Georgia was the site of the first European settlement in what is now the United States. In 1565, the Spanish established a settlement on St. Simons Island, which is now part of Georgia.
Located in southwestern Georgia, Terrell County has a rich history that spans back centuries. In its early years, the area was inhabited by Native American tribes, most notably the Creek Nation, who lived along the Flint River. With the arrival of European settlers in the late 18th century, the landscape began to change and the county was created by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on February 16, 1856. The county was named after Dr. William Terrell, a prominent physician and Georgia state legislator.

During the antebellum period, cotton plantations thrived in Terrell County, with enslaved African Americans providing the labor force. After the Civil War, the county faced the challenges of Reconstruction and the transition from an agrarian economy to a more diverse one. The construction of the Georgia Western Railroad in the late 19th century further stimulated growth in the area by attracting industries and improving transportation.

Throughout the 20th century, Terrell County experienced both progress and setbacks. The Great Depression devastated the local economy, but the establishment of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in nearby Warm Springs provided employment opportunities for county residents. In the 1960s, Terrell County, like many other parts of the South, was deeply affected by the civil rights movement, with local activists working towards racial equality and voting rights for African Americans.

In recent years, Terrell County has focused on economic development and improving the quality of life for its residents. Agriculture remains an important sector, with peanuts, cotton, and timber being significant crops. The county also offers recreational opportunities, such as hunting and fishing, and promotes tourism by highlighting historical landmarks and natural attractions. As Terrell County continues to evolve, its history remains an integral part of its identity and a testament to the resilience and spirit of its people.

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

  • 1856 - Terrell County was established on February 16
  • 1857 - The county seat was established in Dawson
  • 1861-1865 - Terrell County was heavily impacted by the American Civil War
  • 1873 - The Albany and Stockbridge Railroad was completed, providing economic growth
  • 1895 - The Terrell County Courthouse was built
  • 1914 - Terrell County's first public high school, Terrell County High School, was established
  • 1950s - The construction of the Walter F. George Lock and Dam on the Chattahoochee River began, creating Lake George
  • 1980 - A tornado struck the town of Dawson, causing significant damage
  • 2005 - Terrell County was severely affected by Hurricane Katrina, leading to widespread power outages and damage
  • 2010s - The county continues to focus on agricultural and industrial development to stimulate economic growth