Effingham County, Georgia

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1730's Johann Martin Boltzius, Lutheran minister arrived with the Refugees from Salzburg , Austria founded the settlement of Ebenezer, Georgia. Ebenezer, which was located near Savannah was hoped to be a religious utopia. Boltzius and Lutherans of Salzburg, Austria had been exiled to Augsburg, Germany in the early part of the 1700's. The land offers and start-up funding from Georgians led Botzius and seventy-eight (78) refugees to depart for Georgia. They and the ministers traveled upon the "First Salzburger Transport".[1][2] See: Salzburgers category.
May 21, 1733 Land for Effingham County was first ceded by the Creek Indians in the Treaty of Savannah too the English as Georgia's 4th County. At this time all were Parishes. Thus Effingham County was formed from Saint Matthew Parish and the part of Saint Philip Parish which was north of Canoochee River. Effingham county sheriff oversaw tax collection and maintaining order. Punishment for minor things were the stockades, while public hangings were for severe crimes. [3][4][5]
1733, 35, 36 Creek Indians lived here as the first settlers, until some leaders signed treaties with the English, then later with the United States. This eventually led to these American Indians losing their land, and being moved westward to Oklahoma.[1]
Boltzius, Salzburg
Salzburgers leaving Germany
1733 Five towns were founded by James Edward Oglethorpe while Georgia was a colony in its early history. Oglethorpe laid out Savannah, then laid out Ebenezer for the Salzbergers immigrants. The area was low, thus Oglethorpe granted that the Salzbergers could move this first town Ebenezer to New Ebenezer. This was located at Red Bluff on the Savannah River. [6]
1734 Upon arrival of the "First Salzburger Transport" and ministers, General James Oglethorpe offered them land (25 miles from Savannah) in a swampy area. Here the Salzbergers struggled with clearing the land, trying to grow crops and disease from the swamps. The Salzbergers received permission to move in 1746 to higher elevation on a ridge.. This town had the same name, (New Ebenezer).[1][7]
The Salzbergers had been expelled by the Catholic bishop of Salzburg, Austria. Their Lutheran English Society to Promote Christian Knowledge financed the first voyage. Ebenezer was too low on the Ebenezer River. So the settlers moved to the Salzbergers Tracts in the new town,New Ebenezer, Georgia. [8] [4][2]
Darien GA, Vernon-Columbus Square
1736 Oglethorpe founded New Inverness known as Darien Georgia, located on the Altahama River for some Scots Highlanders. The (non-military towns) were New New Inverness (Darien), Frederica on Saint Simons Island was defensive against possible Spanish attacks from Florida, and Augusta.[9]
1736-40 The Salzbergers moved into the dying Abercorn Scottish community. They built the first orphanage. The church congregation is the oldest continuing Lutheran Church.[1][2]Other Salzburgers settlements were: Abercorn, Bethany, and Goshen. [4]
New Ebenezer, Salzburg Tracts
"The Salzbergers Tracts" are shown in Samuel Urlsperger's book about the Salzburgers. Georgia attracted the Lutherans that had been driven away from Salzburg, Austria. The English “Society for Promoting Christain Knowledge” paid for the voyage of the first group. Their first settlement in Georgia on the Ebenezer River proved to be an low and created undue illness among the immigrants. The settlement was laid out in a uniform area.[4][2]
1769 Salzbergers were spread twenty-five square miles in Effingham County on farms, running gristmills, lumber mills, and silk filature. Salzbergers built the red brick Old Salzburger Church or New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church. This building survived the Revolutionary War and still stands. [1][2]
Salzberg Heritage Day.
Pre 1775-1783 Originally this area was St. Matthews Parish with Ebenezer in the Center. After 1783, the North Carolina named the area as Effingham County, which was one of the original (8) counties founded in Georgia which the 1777 State Constitution created. Effingham County was one of the largest of these (8 counties which were Bulloch, Screven, Candler, Emanuel, Bryan and Evans Counties). [10][4]
The County was named for Lord Effingham, a colonel of the British Army prior to 1776. When Lord Effingham was then ordered to fight the colonists, he refused as he believed in Colonial rights. [10][4]
1775-1783 Originally this area was St. Matthews Parish with Ebenezer in the Center. After 1783,
The County was named for Lord Effingham, a colonel of the British Army prior to 1776. When Lord Effingham was then ordered to fight the colonists, he refused as he believed in Colonial rights. [10][4]
The first governor of Georgia was John Adam Treutlen, (a Revolutionary patriot) who lived in Effingham County, Georgia. [10][4]
1776-1782 Boltzius had died. The British occupied Ebenezer, set up their taverns, placed their troops in Salzbergers homes and converted the Jerusalem Church into a hospital. Many of the settlers fled to the country. When they returned their homes, and farms were ruined. [1]
Ebenezer, Abercorn, and Goshen became Ghost towns!!![1]
Map showing Effingham
Feb 5, 1777 Effingham county, Georgia was formed Feb 5, 1777, during the American Revolution from the old St. Matthew and St. Phillip Parishes. The county is named for Thomas Howard, the 3rd Earl of Effingham, who was an advocate for the Colonial civil rights. He resigned his commission in protest against having to fight for England against the Colonists during the Revolutionary War. Effingham is is Georgia's #4 county to be formed as one of the eight original counties. Location is on Georgia's eastern border. [4][11][1]


1782 Gen. Anthony Wayne drove the British out of Ebenezer. Then the Georgia Legislature used the church for meetings.[2]
1784 Tuckasee King became first County site for Effingham County for (10 years). Site #2 was Elberston, Georgia on the Ogeechee River. [10][4]
1793 Georgia legislature split away part of Effingham and Burke Counties for Screven County.[3][1][4]
New Ebenezer, Salzburg Tracts
1794 Some land from the large Effingham County was used to enlarge Bryan County.[3][1][4]
1796 Georgia Legislature selected (5) citizens to name the county site nearest the center of the county. The commission, selected Springfield in 1799. Since moving the County Seat site (3 times) within (25) years, it has been the same the last 200 years [10][4]
Effingham County Jail
1799 Springfield, Effingham, Georgia began and was the next (4th county seat). Springfield was incorporated in 1838. The old 1908 Courthouse was replaced with a new building in 2007 known as the Effingham County Judicial Complex.[1]
Tuckasee King was county seat (1784-87), a river-landing community within Clyo, Georgia.[4]
Elberton was county seat (1787-97), is no longe an active community.[4]
Ebenezer was county seat (1797-99)[12][4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebenezer,_Georgia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebenezer,_Georgia

1850 Some land from Effingham County was lost when Chatham County (1850). [3]
German Ebenezer Settlement, a present day ghost town
1855 By this date Ebenezer was left in ruins following the Revolutionary War and almost vanished except for the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.[1][4][2]
Old Ebenezer, Georgia
1864 During the Civil war, the Union troops occupied the abandoned town of Ebenezer, when Gen. William T. Sherman's troops passed through the area in the "March to the Sea. Some Troops others stayed in Jerusalem Church. They skirmished on the Jerusalem Church grounds and at night built fires with the picket fence and the hymnals![1]
Effingham County improved economically after the Railroads extended the tracks..[4]
1891 Rincon began after the SouthBound Railroad laid the tracks from Savannah to Columbia, SC. with citizens catering to the railway workers.[4]
1925 Salzburgers descendants still live in Effingham County, who are active in the Georgia Salzburger Society, founded in 1925.[1]
The Rabbi House, Guyton, Georgia
1927 Citizens also built cotton gins, lumber mills, and turpentine stills. By 1927 Rincon was incorporated. [4]
1980 Factories and large companies built in Rincon. Suddenly Rincon was the largest town in Effingham County![1][4]
1866-1960 While Rincon was growing, Springfield, Georgia has had several fires, which destroyed the historic buildings. They renovated to restore the remaining historic buildings. Highway 21 bypass diverted cars from the business, forcing the closing of businesses. County offices were moved to Rincon, Georgia. The town since has focused on its history, tourism and good living in the area for survival. [1][4]

Bio of Gov. John Adam Treutlen
1747 The Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Ebenezer, Georgia has records of the Salzburgers arrival. At this time John Adam Treutlen was (14 years old). From this record and family records, historians have deduced his DOB to be at least 1734. The Family records show the location of birth was Berchtesgaden, Austria in 1726.... [10]
Marker of Old Ebenezer
Gov. Treutlen.
Frenchmen or pirates, stopped the ship, stole the family possessions and arrested Treutlen's father. After his mother and sons arrived, she remarried. So Treutlen became under the care of Pastor John Martin Bozius' care. Jonn Adam became a teacher, and Justice of the Peace in St. Matthew Parish. Treutlen was a member of the the Constitutional Convention of Georgia. He and wife had nine children. 1799 Treutlen's plantation home and barn were burned. Treutlen was murdered by Tories. which may have been at Two Sisters' Ferry. The Jerusalem Lutheran Church erected a monument for Gov. Treutlen on its grounds Set. 1963. met in Savannah on July 4, 1775. This led to him on the first Constitutional Convention of Georgia. His wife was Margareth Dupuis' of Purysburg, South Carolina. Nine children were born. Treutlen married secondly, after retiring. His plantation home, barn were burned in 1799. Treutlen fled to St Matthews Parish, South Carolina. Treutlen was murdered by Tories in a mysterious event. A monument was erected for Gov. Treutlen on the Jerusalem Lutheran Church grounds, Ebenezer, Georgia. Sept. 1963. [10][4]


Jerusalem Lutheran Church

Jerusalem Lutheran Church has a white swan steeple, which survived over (200 years) and two wars. The Tories fired a British musket which put a hole in the swan when the Tories were occupying Ebenezer, Georgia. [10][2]
1738 There are Two bells in the church bellfry, which ring for the call to worship. Why Two bells? Rev. George Whitfield of England, visited Ebenezer, Georgia and was impressed by the early community.
Bell #1 Upon returning to England, Whitfield sent them a bell to install in the old wooden church. are used to toll the call to worship.
1750 Bell # 2 The Salzburgers wanted a larger bell as some of the congregation could not hear the first Bell #1. They wrote to Rev. Whitfield for a larger bell, and they paid for this.
Arrival of Bell The second bell ws installed, but the congregation had reservations of removing Bell #1. Thus the kept both bells. Here sits the Jerusalem Lutheran Church with its swan on the church and the bells to call the congregation to service, yet the citizens have disappeared from Ebenezer.
1769 The second building for Jerusalem Lutheran Church was built. It is the oldest church and public building in Georgia, located at the site of the old historic town of Ebenezer stands Jerusalem Lutheran Church. [10][2]
Jerusalem Lutheran Church
1767-69 The next Jerusalem Lutheran Church was built 1767-69 from hand made Salzburger bricks. The church had red brick walls, (23 inches in thickness) with the spots on the sides are due to salted meat being stored there. They were irregular sized from the clay deposits. Fingerprints of the workmen can be seen on the bricks. Women of the town carried the bricks from the Kiln to the church site loaded in their aprons.[4][2]
The British soldiers occupied the church during the American Revolution. They also used it for a hospital, then as a stables and commissary. The church had a beautiful alter, but this was ruined since it was used as a butcher block[2]

Georgia with Effingham county map

Adjacent counties

  • Hampton County, South Carolina (north)
  • Jasper County, South Carolina (northeast)
  • Chatham County (southeast)
  • Bryan County (south)
  • Bulloch County (west)
  • Screven County (northwes

Government Offices

Effingham County has been moved (three times in the first 25 years) . Since then it has remained the same for 200 years.


  • Tuckasee King (1784-87) 1st county seat, no courthouse data found
  • Elberton (1787-97) 2nd County Seat- No Courthouse found
  • Ebenezer (1797-99) - 3rd county seat See below
  • Springfield -4th County Set - See below

1st court was held in James Wilson's home. 2nd Courthouse , 1797 in Ebenezer, GA built courthouse without authority of Georgia legislature. town officials apparently built a courthouse and jail there in 1797 or 1798. But this action was done without sanction of the General Assembly, which in 1797 provided that Effingham court session be held at the home of James Wilson until a new county seat could be selected. In 1799, the legislature named Springfield as county seat and directed the building of a courthouse there. In 1816, the General Assembly authorized Effingham County to levy a tax for building a new courthouse. If and when the tax was levied and a courthouse built is not known. Reportedly, a new courthouse was completed in 1849.

4th County Seat in Springfield, 1799 was named.

1816, the Georgia legislature authorized Effingham County to levy a tax for building the new courthouse.

3rd Courthouse, was built 1799
4th Effingham County Courthouse was built 1908.

Effingham Courthouse

5th Courthouse was built 2000's. Effingham County Courthouse in Springfield was built in 1908 and designed in the neoclassical revival style. The courthouse is likely the second to be constructed in Springfield, which was named the fourth seat in the county's history in 1799.



Economic mainstay - agriculture was the county economy primary industry..
Irish Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes Both ship out in 1920's in boxcars full of potatoes.
Businesses - Effingham Canning Company vanished 1913 , Potato Barrel manufacturing mills
Canning company began 1940 in the Springfield grade school
21st century - Coastal Georgia had economic contributors such as Military, Aerospace industry, manufacturing.
Savannah is home of Gulfstream Aerospace
Savannah is home of Hunter Army Airfield.
Other manufacturers- Effingham County Industrial Park has EFACEC Group, Portuguese transformer manufacturer for North, Central America - core & shell technology power transformers.
Other are Flint River Svcs refrigerated storage, Value Part distribution
Georgia Ports Authority and Chatham County Mega site is home of Daimler-Chrysler site.
Industries - Paper manufacturing, Georgia Pacific (Savannah River Mill) - turbine blade production of Doncasters, aluminum geodesic dome production (Temcor), concrete pipe manufacturing (Hanson), customized business jet interiors--(Edward's interiors) and power transformer production (EFACEC PT)

Protected areas

  • old Ebenezer site
  • Savannah National Wildlife Refuge (part)


In 2000 United States Census, there were 37,535 people in the county with a population density of 78 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 84.66% White, or European Americans, 12.99% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races. About 1.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Median income for a household in the county was $46,505, and the median income for a family was $50,351. The per capita income for the county was $18,873. About 7.10% of families and 9.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.80% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.[13]

  • Effingham County is included in the Savannah metropolitan area.
  • In 2008, Effingham County was ranked as the sixth-fastest-growing midsize county in the nation from 2000 to 2007 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The county had a 35.1% growth rate over that period.

County Resources

  • Military, Aerospace industry, manufacturing.
  • Effingham Museum in Springfield
  • Ebenezer Townsite
  • Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Guyton Historic District
  • Mossy Oak Music Park in Guyton; and Veterans Park.
  • Savannah is home of Gulfstream Aerospace
  • Savannah is home of Hunter Army Airfield.
  • Effingham County Industrial Park has EFACEC Group, Portuguese transformer manufacturer for North and Central America - core and shell technology power transformers.
  • Flint River Svcs refrigerated storage, Value Part distribution
  • Georgia Ports Authority and Chatham County Mega site is home of Daimler-Chrysler site.


  • John Adam Treutlen, Georgia's first elected governor
  • Richard H Clark, Georgia superior court judge helped write the Georgia Code, 1860s
  • Herschel V. Jenkins, owner and publisher of the Savannah Morning News and Evening Press.


The Rabbi House, Guyton, Georgia
  • Guyton, incorporated, population 500 in 1900
  • Rincon, incorporated, population 91 in 1900
  • Springfield, incorporated, population 107.
  • Clyo, population 160 in 1900
  • Darien, Georgi
Darien, GA Vernon Columbus square
  • Stillwell, population 110 in 1900
  • Pineora, population 46 in 1900
  • Berryville
  • Ebenezer
  • New Ebenezer
Marker of Old Ebenezer
  • Egypt, population 250 in 1900
  • Marlow, Population 150 in 1900
  • Tuckasee King was county seat (1784-87), a river-landing community within Clyo, Georgia.
  • Elberton was county seat (1787-97) is no longer an active community.
Ebenezer was county seat (1797-99), Ebenezer is no longer active community.


  • As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,250.

  • I-16 Interstate 16
  • I-95 Interstate 95
  • US 80 U.S. Route 80
  • Georgia 17 State Route 17
  • Georgia 21 State Route 21
  • Georgia 21 Spur State Route 21 Spur
  • Georgia 26 State Route 26
  • Georgia 30 State Route 30
  • Georgia 119 State Route 119
  • Georgia 275 State Route 275
  • Georgia 404 State Route 404 (unsigned designation for I-16)
  • Georgia 405 State Route 405 (unsigned designation for I-95)
  • Georgia 565 Savannah River Parkway
    • 1900, the population of the county was 8,334.



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/counties-cities-neighborhoods/effingham-county
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 http://visitebenezer.com/the-salzburgers/
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 https://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/histcountymaps/effinghamhistmaps.htm
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 https://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/topics/counties/effingham
  5. http://www.effinghamsheriff.org/159/History
  6. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584598?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  7. http://digitalarchives.columbusstate.edu/items/show/22
  8. http://digitalarchives.columbusstate.edu/items/show/22
  9. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40584598?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 http://www.effga.com/effingham-history.html
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effingham_County,_Georgia
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebenezer,_Georgia
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effingham_County,_Georgia

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