Georgia was the site of the first American gold rush, but it was also the site of the first American oil rush. In 1905, oil was discovered in Bibb County, and the state's oil industry began to grow rapidly.
Schley County, Georgia, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1857. The county was named after William Schley, a prominent lawyer and legislator from Georgia. Originally part of Marion County, the area became a separate county due to the efforts of local citizens who wanted more representation and services closer to home.

In the early years of its history, Schley County was primarily an agricultural community, with cotton being the dominant crop. The county experienced a significant population growth during the late 19th century as more settlers moved to the area to take advantage of the fertile land. With the arrival of the railroad in 1886, Schley County also became an important transportation hub, facilitating the export of its agricultural products and further fueling its growth.

The county faced challenges in the early 20th century, including the Great Depression and a decline in the cotton industry. However, as with many rural areas, the resilience of the community allowed it to adapt and find new economic opportunities. Today, agriculture still plays a vital role in the county's economy, with peanuts, corn, and soybeans being the main agricultural products.

The small and close-knit community of Schley County takes pride in its rich heritage and values the preservation of its historical buildings and landmarks. Today, visitors can explore the county's history through its museums, like the Schley County Historic Jail Museum, and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings that make this area unique.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Schley County, Georgia.

  • 1836 - Schley County is created from a portion of Marion County.
  • 1839 - The first courthouse is built in the county seat of Ellaville.
  • 1850s - The county experiences significant growth with the establishment of cotton plantations.
  • 1861-1865 - Schley County residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1875 - The railroad reaches Ellaville, boosting local commerce and transportation.
  • 1920 - The boll weevil infestation leads to a decline in cotton production.
  • 1940s-1950s - The decline in cotton continues, and the county experiences a shift towards poultry farming.
  • 1989 - The Schley County Courthouse, built in 1839, is restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Present - Schley County remains a predominantly rural community with a focus on agriculture and a close-knit community.