Atkinson County was created from parts of Clinch and Coffee Counties on August 15, 1917. Atkinson County was the 151st county formed with only
8 more counties to follow. The county was named for William Yates Atkinson, Georgia's governor from 1894-1898. It is bordered by the following counties:
Clinch, Coffee, Lanier, Berrien, and Ware. Atkinson County towns are Pearson, the county seat; Axson, once known as McDonald's Mill; Willacoochee; and Kirkland.
The Brunswick and Western Railroad constructed around 1875, brought a period of growth to these towns.
The Brunswick and Western Railroad later
became the Atlantic Coastline. The Brunswick-Western and the Georgia-Florida Railroads intersected in Willacoochee.
Pearson was incorporated December 27, 1890 and was named after Benejah Pearson, the grandfather of Pearson's first mayor Jeff Kirkland. The city first
surveyed by R.D. Meador, had 32 (1 acre) blocks; 4 blocks east and 8 blocks north. In 1898, the city was surveyed again by T.B. Marshall into a perfect
square using the railroad as a dividing line. Pearson had a post office before Douglas due to the railroad. The postmaster from Douglas had to travel
to Pearson to collect the mail. Pearson's first postmaster was a Mr. Holtzendorff. The newspaper, The Pearson Tribune, was begun in 1915 by a Mr. Roland.
It's earliest editor, B.T. Allen. The Atkinson County Citizen began publication in September 1954 by Bird Yarbrough. Willacoochee, formerly known as Danielsville,
was the first town chartered in Atkinson County on November 12, 1889. Willacoochee is an Indian name believed to mean wildcat. Willacoochee also
had a newspaper between 1910-1930 known as "The Willacoochee Times" and other various names. Axson was named McDonald's Mill for the McDonald's
large sawmill. When the county was created, the name was changed in honor of President Woodrow Wilson's wife. About 1875 a small railroad was built
connecting Axson and Douglas. Kirkland was named for Joseph Kirkland and was a trading center before the arrival of the railroad.
One of the oldest churches in Atkinson County, Antioch Church and cemetery, is located northwest of Kirkland.
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