Muscogee County History


Muscogee County was created by an act of Legislature Dec 11, 1826. Five large (Map) counties created at the same time --Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muscogee and Troup. Two of these Muscogee and Coweta were given names to commemorate the brave race of people who originally lived on this land. In 1829 parts of Harris and Marion counties were added to it. The border between Muscogee and Marion county was changed in 1840 and again in 1849. In 1847 part of the county was transferred to Talbot county. The boundary between Chattahoochee and Muscogee counties has changed at least three times. Legal Description of Muscogee County Boundaries

More History and Maps

Go here for more Native American History.

From earliest times, both sides of the river have been closely intertwined. The Creek Indians were divided into two main parts--the Coweta's (Lower Creeks) living in GA, and the Coosa (Upper Creeks) living in Alabama. Fort Mitchell (the Alabama side) was erected in 1813 under General Floyd, the head of the State militia, to assist against the outbreak of the Creek Indians, who had been allies of the British.

Muscogee County has always played a significant role in history. By the Treaty of Indian Spring in 1825, the State of Georgia acquired from the Creeks the land.

Columbus, located on a the strategic bend in the river of the Chattahoochee River, grew from Coweta Town, an early Creek village. On December 24, 1827, by an act of Legislature signed by Governor Forsythe, laid out a trading post on the site. Lots were lay out for public sale covering 1,200 acres. There were 500 residence lots of an acre each and a square of 10 acres for public buildings. The proposed name, Columbus, was to honor Christopher Columbus.

Members of the commission were: Ignatius A. Few, Elias Beall, Philip H. Jones, James Hallam, and E.L DeGraffenreid. "Governor Forsythe himself attended the sale and camped out of doors, in a beautiful grove,"... not far from the River.

Columbus Enquirer
One of the earliest settlers was Mirabeau B. Lamar, who established the Columbus Enquirer in 1828. His wife, Tabitha Young, died young and is buried in Linwood Cemetery. In 1834, Lamar, bereaved, left Georgia for the fledgling Texas, and actively participated in the Battle for Independence at San Jacinto, and became the 2nd president of the Republic of Texas.

His successors included: James N. Bethune, Henry W. Hilliard, Wiley Williams, Thomas Ragland, Samuel W. Flournoy, G.A. Miller, John H. Martin, B.H. Richardson, and C.I. Groover.

Colonel Ulysses Lewis, was the first mayor of Columbus, being elected when the town was incorporated in the fall of 1829.

The first steamboat on the Chattahoochee River operated in the spring of 1828. The first bridge over the River was built in 1833 by John Godwin.

As early as 1828, the Muscogee Academy was incorporated.

Lots were donated to denominations: Methodists, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, Roman Catholics.

Columbus was the center of operation for the Creek Indian War of 1836. Most of the tribes were on the opposite side of the Chattahoochee. General Winfield Scott, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. army established headquarters in Columbus. General Jessup was next in command. Col John H. Howard, a native of Columbus, was the head of State Troops.

See the Military page to explore more about those who were enrolled in the militia, the bounty land and pensions that may apply to your ancestor.

Resource: Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends by Lucian Lamar Knight.

Early Settlers

The following list was compiled by John H. Martin from local newspapers to give us a listing of people in Columbus in the first ten years of its existence (1827-1837).
General Mirabeau B. Lamar
Judge Walter T. Colquitt
Colonel Nicholas Howard
Colonel Ulysses Lewis
Edward Lloyd Thomas
A.S. Rutherford
John Fontaine
Hon Henry W. Hilliard
Wm J.W. Wellborn
Forbes Bradley
Colonel John Milton
Dr. Thomas W. Grimes
Coloney John H. Howard
Dr. S.M. Ingersoll
Lambert Spencer (father of president of Southern Railway)
John Beall Dozier  (daughter Virginia married Hon William A. Little)
James W. Fannin, Jr.
Hon Alfred Iverson
Rev. Ignatius A. Few
Rev. Jesse Boring
Rev. Thomas Goulding
General Daniel McDougald, president of the Insurance Bank 
who killed Col Burton Hepburn, in self-defense, as the result of a business quarrel
Louis T. Woodruff (operated steamboats between Columbus and Apalachicola)
George W. Woodruff (owned empire flour mills)
Col Nimrod W. Long
Joel Hurt 
Judge Eli S. Shorter
James S. Moore
John Manley Flournoy
Samuel W. Flournoy
Judge Grigsby E. Thomas
General James N. Bethune
Julius C. Alford
Jonathan A. Hudson
Phio D. Woodruff
J.T. Kilgore
Charles A. Peabody
Dr. E.L. DeGraffenreid
Thomas G. Gordon
Samuel T. Bailey
Dr. H.C. Phelps
Dr. Fitzgerald Bird
Joel B. Scott
General Sowell Woolfolk
R.T. Woolfolk
Elisha Avery
Samuel R. Andrews  (carpenter-judge of the inferior court)
Thomas W. Cox
L.J. Davies
Andrew Harvill
Dr. H.A. Thornton
John Taylor
Nathaniel P. Bird
Major Joseph T. Camp
A.R. Mershon
Asa Bates
T.H. Ball
Moses M. Butt
R.T. Marks
John R. Page
Major A.F. Moore
H.R. Taylor
David Dean
William Mullaly
E.L. Lucas
W.D. Lucas
David W. Upton
G.B. Lucas
J.R. Lyons
E. Jewett
B. Tarver
A.L. Watkins
Neill McNorton
J.P. Jackson
Thomas Davis
A.Y. Gresham
Dr. J.W. Malonw
Dr. A.S. Clifton
Lewis Allen
T.T. Gammage
M.R. Evans
James Hitchcock
Willis P. Baker
G.W. Dillard
John McClusky
George W. Elliott
W.H. Alston
Harvey Hall
J.B. Kennedy
Lemuel Merrill
Allen Lawhon
James H. Shorter
Dr. John J. Wilson
James C. Watson
Rev. John W. Baker
James K. Redd
John Hicks Bass
Thomas J. Bates
Joseph Biggers (soldier of Revolution from S.C.)
John Godwin
Samuel T. Hatcher
Dr. Thomas Hoxey

In the fall of 1828, Judge Walter T. Colquitt, held at Columbus the first session 
of the Superior Court.

Andrew B. Griffin was the first clerk

E.E. Bissell, foreman
John R. Page
Samuel B. Head
E.B. Lucas
Stoddard Russell
Robert Daniel
Robert Henry
Benjamin Tarver
Thomas Rogers
Samuel E. Buckler
Thomas Lang
Joseph White
Henry Triplett
Samuel Koockogy
Thomas Cox
Thomas Sluck
Jonathan A. Hudson
Resource: History of Columbus compiled by John H. Martin from local newspaper files. Published by Thomas Gilbert in 1874

General Daniel McDougald

General Daniel McDougald, president of the Insurance Bank who killed Col Burton Hepburn, in self-defense, as the result of a business quarrel.

Here's what was on his tombstone:
"his extraordinary powers of mind, his great energy of character, and his extended feeling of benevolence of action had assigned to him a large space in the public mind, and gathered around him in every struggle of his life a host of as true warm-hearted, and devoted friends as ever clung to the fortune of the living, or gathered around the grave of the dead. In his social and domestic relations his virtues were conspicuous, few were his equal, and none his superior. He lived and died with a conscience void of offense to God."
Researcher: Nancy Wilson

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