|City of Waycross|
Headwaters of the Okefenokee
|Coordinates: 31°12′50″N 82°21′18″W / 31.21389°N 82.35500°W|
|• Mayor||Michael-Angelo James|
|• City||11.96 sq mi (30.97 km2)|
|• Land||11.87 sq mi (30.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)|
|Elevation||131 ft (40 m)|
|• Density||1,174.95/sq mi (453.65/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0356622|
Waycross is the county seat of, and only incorporated city in, Ware County in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 14,725 at the 2010 Census and dropped to 13,942 in the 2020 census.
Waycross includes two historic districts (Downtown Waycross Historic District and Waycross Historic District) and several other properties that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, Lott Cemetery, the First African Baptist Church and Parsonage, and the Obediah Barber Homestead (which is seven miles south of the city).
The area now known as Waycross was first settled circa 1820, locally known as "Old Nine" or "Number Nine" and then Pendleton. It was renamed Tebeauville in 1857, incorporated under that name in 1866, and designated county seat of Ware County in 1873. It was incorporated as "Way Cross" on March 3, 1874. Waycross gets its name from the city's location at key railroad junctions; lines from six directions meet at the city.
The city council in Waycross opened municipal primary elections to white women in 1917, the first town in Georgia to do so. This action was taken because some of the largest property owners in town were women who wanted a say in how their tax dollars were spent. It wasn't until two years later in 1919 that Atlanta became the second Georgia city to do this. Georgia women would not get the right to vote generally in all elections until 1922.
Waycross was home to Laura S. Walker (1861-1955) a noted author and conservationist. Walker promoted a comprehensive program of forestry activity, including the establishment of forest parks. She erected markers and monuments along old trails and at historic sites, in Waycross and Ware County so that local history would not be forgotten. An effort to recognize her work culminated in President Franklin D Roosevelt issuing a proclamation to establish the Laura S Walker National Park in her honor. She was the only living person for whom a state or national park was named. In 1937, the federal government purchased distressed farmland for the park. Work on the park was undertaken by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1941, the national park was deeded over to Georgia, becoming the State's 13th state park.
Waycross was the site of the 1948 Waycross B-29 crash, which led to the legal case United States v. Reynolds (1953), expanding the government's state secrets privilege.
During the 1950s the city had a tourist gimmick: local police would stop motorists with out-of-state license plates and escort them to downtown Waycross. There they would be met by the Welcome World Committee and given overnight lodging, dinner and a trip to the Okefenokee Swamp. The tradition faded away after the interstates opened through Georgia.
In the mid-1990s, the Flanders Hamburgers, a frozen hamburger that needed no defrosting, was created in Waycross. This was the creation of Eaves Foods, Inc., a company that later changed to Flanders, LLC. in 2000. Bubba Burgers are now sold nationwide as well as worldwide through the United States Military Commissary system.
Waycross is located at 31°12′50″N 82°21′18″W / 31.21389°N 82.35500°W (31.213860, -82.354911) and is the closest city to the Okefenokee Swamp.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.7 square miles (30 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.17%) is water. The closest major city is Jacksonville, Florida, which is roughly 81 miles away.
In May 2010, the city purchased the Bandalong Litter Trap and installed it in Tebeau Creek, a tributary of the Satilla River. The trap was invented in Australia, but is manufactured in the United States. Although the city has maintained a good standing with the state's Environmental Protection Division, the city wanted to take action to reduce the amount of human generated trash entering the Satilla River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said, "Water is one of Georgia's most important and precious resources... the litter trap installed by Waycross is a model of stewardship for the state and the nation." The Satilla River litter trap is the first in Georgia and only the second in the nation.
Part of Waycross was situated in Pierce County, but effective July 1, 2015, Waycross was no longer located nor allowed to be located in Pierce County. State Rep. Chad Nimmer introduced HB 523 during the 2015 Legislative Session without providing the required statutory notice to the City of Waycross. HB 523 de-annexed the portion of Waycross located in Pierce County and prevents the City of Waycross from coming back into Pierce County.[needs update]
|Climate data for Waycross 4NE (1991-2020) extremes 1897–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||88
|Average high °F (°C)||63.9
|Daily mean °F (°C)||50.3
|Average low °F (°C)||36.7
|Record low °F (°C)||2
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.89
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.0||8.0||8.0||6.0||7.0||11.0||12.0||12.0||8.0||6.0||7.0||8.0||102|
|Source: NOAA |
- Waycross Journal-Herald discontinued, restarted as weekly paper(daily newspaper)
- The Florida Times-Union (Georgia Times-Union edition)
- Waycross Area Television Service (WATS) Channel 10
- W201DK 88.1 (Christian)
- WXVS 90.1 (GPB and NPR)
- WASW 91.9 (Contemporary Christian)
- WAYX 96.3 (Classic Rock) Simulcast with WSIZ
- WWUF 97.7 (Adult Contemporary)
- WYNR 102.5 (Country)
- WQGA 103.3 (Adult Contemporary)
- WKUB 105.1 (Country)
- WSGT 107.1 (Oldies)
WXGA-TV, a Georgia Public Broadcasting outlet, is licensed to Waycross and also serves nearby Valdosta.
Waycross is part of the Jacksonville, Florida television market.
With over 100 employees and 10 physicians, Satilla Regional Medical Center is a leading center in health care in the area. The three-story facility has a trauma unit, cancer care unit, outpatient surgery and imaging services. In 2012, Satilla Regional Medical Center joined the Mayo Clinic Health System and became the Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross. The Mayo Clinic ceased operations of the hospital in 2015. The hospital later joined HCA Healthcare and has since been renamed Memorial Satilla Health.
U.S. Highway 1 runs north–south through Waycross, while concurrent with U.S. Highway 23. U.S. Highway 82 is an east–west highway in Waycross. U.S. Highway 84 runs east–west through Waycross. There are no limited-access highways anywhere near Waycross; Interstate 75 is 60 miles to the west, and Interstate 95 is 40 miles to the east. Waycross-Ware County Airport (IATA: AYS, ICAO: KAYS, FAA LID: AYS) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) northwest of the central business district of Waycross. It is owned by the City of Waycross and Ware County.
Six railroad lines meet at Waycross, making it a logical location for shunting freight to different destinations. CSX Transportation operates Rice Yard here, a major "hump"-type classification yard.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American||7,672||55.03%|
|Hispanic or Latino||595||4.27%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 13,942 people, 5,748 households, and 3,197 families residing in the city.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 14,649 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 54.8% Black, 39.6% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from some other race and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.8% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,333 people, 6,094 households, and 3,741 families living in the city. The population density was 1,311.8 inhabitants per square mile (506.5/km2). There were 7,534 housing units at an average density of 644.5 per square mile (248.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 44.31% White, 53.51% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.37% of the population.
There were 6,094 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. Individuals made up 34.9% of all households, and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37, and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.3% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,399, and the median income for a family was $28,712. Males had a median income of $24,865 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,468. About 24.8% of families and 30.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.9% of those under age 18 and 17.0% of those age 65 or over.
Ware County School District
The Ware County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of a pre-school, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The district has 431 full-time teachers and over 6,370 students.
- Southside Christian School
- Discovery Montessori School
- South Georgia State College - Waycross campus
- Coastal Pines Technical College - Waycross campus
- Johnny Archer — professional pool player, "The Scorpion"
- Michael P. Boggs — Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and former judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals.
- Stanley Booth — author, journalist, music critic
- Billy Carter — brother of former President Jimmy Carter, promoter of Billy Beer
- Sonora Webster Carver — first woman horse diver
- Ossie Davis — actor, writer, director, producer, Kennedy Center Honors award recipient, was born in Clinch County
- Nikki DeLoach — former member of The New Mickey Mouse Club, the girl group Innosense, and actress on the television series North Shore and Windfall
- Harry D. Dixon — state representative; served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 38 years; served on the board of the Georgia Department of Transportation
- Drayton Florence — professional football player, cornerback who played 11 seasons in NFL, highest draft pick ever from Tuskegee University
- Ernest Jones - professional football player for the Los Angeles Rams
- Tim McCray — professional football player from 1985 to 1990 in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Leodis McKelvin — former cornerback in the NFL (currently a free agent)
- Caroline Pafford Miller — Pulitzer Prize-winning author
- Gram Parsons — country singer and musician; The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and solo artist
- Pernell Roberts — actor, star of TV series Bonanza and Trapper John, M.D., was born in Waycross
- Bill Shanks — Atlanta Braves sportscaster
- Joshua Rouse, retired actor, known for playing Jerry Ford in movie, The Sim Racer
On the National Register of Historic Places:
- First African Baptist Church and Parsonage
- Lott Cemetery
- Phoenix Hotel
- United States Post Office and Courthouse
- ^ U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000, Summary File 1. "GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000 - County -- Subdivision and Place". American FactFinder. <http://factfinder2.census.gov>. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ @BishopJames2002 (24 August 2019). "Breaking News: Surprise!!! Michael-Angelo James you're Mayor-elect of Waycross, Georgia. #HeDidItAgain #HeGetsAllTheGlory" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
- ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ a b City of Waycross entry on GeorgiaInfo.com Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- ^ Ware County entry on GeorgiaInfo.com Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- ^ a b c Taylor, A. Elizabeth (March 1959). "The Last Phase of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Georgia". Georgia Historical Quarterly. Georgia Historical Society. 43 (1): 23. JSTOR 40577919.
- ^ a b Eltzroth, E. L.. (20 July 2020). "Woman Suffrage". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
- ^ "Laura S. Walker: The Woman Behind the Park". Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- ^ Thomas J. Straka; S. Knight Cox; Heather T. Irwin. "Current Use of Federal Land Utilization Projects Granted to State and Local Agencies" (PDF). Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Clemson University. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- ^ a b "Laura S. Walker State Park Established 1941" (PDF). Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- ^ Dixon, Lance; Garvin, Glenn (May 15, 2016). "The topsy-turvy life of former Miami-Dade commissioner ends in gunfire". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
When Burke was a teenager during the 1950s, Waycross was so desperate for commerce that police used to patrol nearby highways, looking for out-of-state license plates — not to give the drivers tickets, but to escort them into town for a visit with the town's Welcome World Committee, in hopes they'd spend a little money.
- ^ Hinson, John (2015). Hang the Elephant. Lulu Press.
- ^ "Frozen Burgers Make a Big Splash Across the South". The Augusta Chronicle. Associated Press. August 27, 1996. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- ^ Bubba Burger Heritage Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- ^ "Georgia's First Bandalong Litter Trap Launched". Storm Water Solutions Magazine. May 26, 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- ^ "Representative Chad Nimmer". www.house.ga.gov. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/151607.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". NOAA. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
- ^ Waycross Journal-Herald
- ^ "- City of Waycross". www.waycrossga.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ "Hospital and ER in Waycross, GA - Memorial Satilla Health". mayoclinichealthsystem.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
- ^ Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- ^ "Southside Christian School - Home". www.southsidek12.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ www.thirdwavedigital.com, Third Wave Digital -. "Home - South Georgia State College". www.sgsc.edu. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ "Home - Future Students - coastalpines.edu". www.coastalpines.edu. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- ^ Josh Rouse at IMDb