Upson County, Georgia

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Upson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created on December 15, 1824. As of 2000, the population was 27,597. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 27,562.[1] The county seat is Thomaston.[2]

It is included in the Thomaston, Georgia, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Upson County, in west central Georgia, was established by an act of the state legislature on December 15, 1824. The Treaty of Indian Springs (1821) between the United States and the Creek Indians gave the government the land that extended from the Ocmulgee River to the Flint River through middle Georgia. Upson County was created from Pike and Crawford counties. Many settlers were drawn to the area by the lottery system used to settle the acquired lands. The state's fifty-ninth county was named in honor of the noted Georgia lawyer Stephen Upson (1784/5-1824) just four months after his death. It is also the birthplace of the Gordon brothers John Brown Gordon, a major general in the Confederate army and a governor of Georgia and Eugene C. Gordon a Confederate major in the Alabama Cavalry who developed Decatur, Alabama.

In March 1825 the justices of the inferior court bought land lot 217 in the Tenth District to build the courthouse and the jail. Around this lot grew Thomaston, the county seat. Incorporated June 11, 1825, the town was named for General Jett Thomas, a hero of the War of 1812 (1812-15).

The majority of the settlers to Upson County came from the eastern counties of Georgia, between the Oconee River and Augusta. Some were wealthy plantation owners who also owned many slaves. Farming the rich soil of the eastern section of Upson County, around the town of The Rock, Georgia and along the Flint River, they primarily grew cotton. Other settlers came from North Carolina and South Carolina. The first cotton mill in Upson County, the Waymanville or Franklin Factory, was built on Tobler Creek in 1833, and in 1835 a group of New Englanders arrived to manufacture textiles.

The Old Alabama Stagecoach Road, a well-traveled stagecoach and wagon-freight line between Augusta and Columbus, ran from the northeastern section of Upson County, crossing the Flint River at Double Bridges over Auchumpkee Covered Bridge in the southwest. Double Bridges being the site where two bridges spanned either side of Owen's Island in the middle of the Flint River; a brief Civil War (1861-65) cavalry skirmish took place there. On April 18, 1865, Union raiders began three days of devastation in Upson County. Major General James Harrison Wilson's cavalry was headed toward Macon; its task was to destroy the agricultural and industrial facilities in the South. Fifty men of the First Battalion Georgia Cavalry Reserves stood to defend the bridges. The defenders fired a few scattered shots at the larger Union forces before fleeing. Homes were pillaged and burned, and several factories were destroyed, including the Waymanville cotton mill.

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