Coweta County, Georgia History


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Georgia's 67th county bears the name of the Coweta Indians, a Creek tribe headed by William McIntosh, Jr., the half-Scott, half Creek who relinquished lands to the Federal government in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs.

Newnan was named for General Daniel Newnan who fought in the Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and later served in the Georgia General Assembly. Newnan was home at various times to the Male Academy and to the College Temple, a prestigious school which was the first to offer a Master of Arts for women.

The Chattahoochee-Flint Heritage Highway, a scenic highway and bike route, runs through Coweta, Troup, Harris and Meriwether Counties.

Several notable persons have come from Coweta county. Ellis Gibbs Arnall was both an attorney general and governor of Georgia in the Talmadge era. He worked to make Georgia the first state to lower the voting age to 18 and was also successful in repealing the poll tax. Other famous Cowetans include the late columnist and author Lewis Grizzard and novelist Erskine Caldwell (both of whom were from Moreland), football great Drew Hill, author Margaret Ann Barnes, and country superstars Doug Stone and Alan Jackson.

Coweta County's many festivals and special events include the Homemade Ice Cream Festival in historic downtown Newnan, the Taste of Newnan, the Old Town Sharpsburg Spring & Fall Festivals, the Senoia Progressive Dinner & Tour of Homes, Grantville Days, the Lewis Grizzard Bike Ride, the Puckett Station Arts Crafts Festival, and July 4th BBQ and the Powers Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival, which is held Labor Day weekend.

This information is from Georgia History on the Georgia GenWeb Archives

County History: On Feb. 12, 1825, a group of Creek Indians led by William McIntosh signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, in which they ceded all of their remaining lands in present-day Georgia. Subsequently, in an act of June 9, 1825, the General Assembly provided that the land ceded by the treaty be divided into five sections, surveyed into districts and land lots, and distributed by land lottery (Ga. Laws 1825 Extra. Session., p. 3). On Dec. 14, 1826, the legislature redesignated the five land sections as the counties of Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and Carroll and provided for their organization (Ga. Laws 1826, p. 57). Additionally, the act provided that part of southern DeKalb County was transferred to Coweta County.

Despite the fact that the five counties were not named until Dec. 14, 1826, the date their respective boundaries were established -- June 9, 1825 -- is generally accepted as the date of their creation. Because the five counties were provided for in the same act, their order of creation is based on the order they were mentioned in the act -- Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and Carroll. Thus, Lee was Georgia's 61st county, while Coweta was the 64th county.

Coweta County was named for the Coweta Indians, a group of Creek Indians that lived in and around Coweta, one of the largest and most important towns of the Lower Creek Indians. The Lower Creeks had two capital towns. Located near the western banks of the Chattahoochee River across from present-day Fort Benning (in what today in Russell County, Alabama), Coweta was the "red" capital -- which meant that all discussions of war or conflict took place here. Across the river in Georgia was Cusseta, the "white" capital reserved for non-hostile matters, such as peaceful negotiations with whites.

Portions of Coweta County were used to create Campbell County (1828) and Heard County (1830).

The Dec. 11, 1826 act naming and organizing Coweta County provided that the first election of county officials take place on the first Monday in May 1827 at the house of James Caldwell (Ga. Laws 1826, p. 57). After that election, the justices of the county's inferior court were authorized to select a site for the county seat and provide for erection of a courthouse and other public buildings. However, until a county seat was designated, Coweta County superior and and inferior courts were to meet at the house of James Caldwell.

On Dec. 20, 1828, the legislature designated Newnan county seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1828, p. 149). [On Dec. 26, 1823, the General Assembly had designated another town by the name of Newnan as county seat of Pike County. However, in 1825, the legislature moved Pike's county seat to Zebulon, after which Newnan vanished as a town.] Newnan was named for Gen. Daniel Newnan (1780-1851), who was Georgia's Secretary of State at the time Coweta County was created.

James Caldwell's house served as the initial courthouse of Coweta County. In 1828, Newnan was designated county seat, and a log courthouse was built here that year. This was replaced by a two-story brick courthouse in 1829. This building was torn down and replaced by the present courthouse in 1904. The structure was refurbished in 1975, retaining principal design features. The courthouse's interior and exterior were rehabilitated in 1989-90.

See Also: Georgia History on the Georgia GenWeb Archives

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