Elbert County, Georgia

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Georgia guidestones
June 1, 1773 - Legal settlement of early Elbert County began when James Wright (governor of Georgia) successfully settled a land cession with the local Creek and Cherokee Indian leaders. This later became called the New Purchase, encompassing 2,000,000 acres of land north of Augusta. This was first known as Wilkes County. [1][2][3]
Early 1870's Cherokee Indians attacked the settlers.
1776-1792 Tories attacked the settlers, during the Revolutionary War
Nancy Hart is the most famous Whig and a patriot, not known for good looks, with a temper, who defended her home. Georgia named a county in her honor. Nancy Hart married the uncle of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator and statesman. She was a woman of substance and family was one of the best. Nancy is said to have captured several Tories and had them hung. In later life she became a Methodist, known as a good woman with a lot of patriotism.[2]
Example -Alexander McAlpin served in the American Revolution while living in Abbeville, South Carolina, who received land bounties in Wilkes county, Georgia and settled there after the Revolution. By the time he died in 1784, he was living in Elbert County, without moving.. Richardson-7161 15:01, 10 November 2017 (EST)
Pre-1775 Georgia local was settled by pioneers from Virginia and both of the Carolinas. The area was originally settled before the American Revolution (1775-83) by pioneers filtering into the region from Virginia and the Carolinas.It would be 10 more for before peace was declared with the Cherokees who were 50 miles from the Elbert frontier.[1]
1776-72-American Revolution Severe partisan fighting between Tories, patriots and Indians. [1]
1779 One of the Revolution's most famous heroines, Nancy Hart earned a place in history. Nancy Hart lived in a log cabin near the Broad River. When some Tories tried to invade her home, she single-handedly defeated a party of Tories as they tried to invade her home.who had invaded her home.[1]
1782 Settlers in Elbert were stretched. Not much was able to be grown in the first years. Augusta, Georgia was a was to travel, so visits there were few. Very little tobacco was grown and no cotton for market until after 1805. The county wealth was cattle and hogs and food gardens for the family.[2]
Post 1783 population increased steadily. Many pioneers were veterans of the Revolution who received land grants in the area as land bounty for their Revolutionary War service. [1]
1785 - settlers to the Broad river area had some wealth, yet their wills still reflected illiteracy. Their culture added to the potpourri in the wilds of Georgia. These Virginians settlers felt tobacco was the only crop which could be raised for profit. They picked these lands for the soil, the availibility of land, then had to deal with protecting the land they had planted in tobacco and building living quarters or houses. This required ammunition for protection, and tools to plow the land or cut the trees . They bought some from traders at Fort James or Augusta, Georgia. They bartered to obtain some of the supplies. [2]
1785 -Old Fort James or Petersburg was the inspecting place for the tobacco grown for the Europe market. Slave-owners (Virginians of wealth or lesser wealth) arrived to the Broad River and Savannah river valleys.. The were either awarded head-rights or bought up the best areas of land. Petersburg became an important and bustling town. The tobacco, which was packed in large hogsheads, was shipped by flatboats to Savannah, where it was sent direct to England. Petersburg merchants were exporters and importers, and goods were sold more cheaply there than in Augusta. Tobacco gave way in the first decade of the new century to cotton, and Petersburg began to decline. With the coming of the steamboats and the growth of Augusta and the abandonment of tobacco planting, its decay was rapid, and now not a house remains.[2]
Dec 10, 1790 Elbert County was split from Wilkes County by an act of the state legislature and thus became Georgia's 13th county. History of Wilkes County often refers to Elbert County. It contained land which would later become Hard and Madison counties. Elbert later served as Georgia's governor from 1785 to 1786. The county is located in the NE Georgia Piedmont, near the Savannah and Broad Rivers. [1][3]

1790- Elbert county was formed from Wilkes county. It was named for General and Gov Elbert. Elbert county was one of the first settled parts of Wilkes county. History of Wilkes County also refers to Elbert County. In 1790 it contained land that later became Hart and Madison counties.[2][1]
1790 Elberton was laid out as soon as the county was organized. It had no special advantages as a commercial town, and was overshadowed by the more vigorous Petersburg and Ruckersville. After Petersburg dwindled away, 1862, Elberton, Georgia became a town of important and the county seat. Its population grew slowly and had a school. An academy was established as soon as the county was laid out. It was incorporated and chartered, and the second female academy chartered in Georgia was in Elberton. The most beautiful granite monuments in Georgia are prepared in Elberton.
Lake near Elberton, Georgia
post 1790 - Petersburg, Georgia emerged as a the import town, located, at the fork of the Broad and Savannah rivers. Petersburg was a commercial center for Elbert County and the Goose Pond community along the Broad River.The tobacco trade stimulated this, including a warehouse to inspect the tobacco before "floating the tobacco" down the river on the flat-bottomed "Petersburg boats" to Augusta, Georgia for sale. Petersburg merchants were exporters and importers. Goods could be sold more cheaply than in Atlanta.
1791 - The first court was held in Elbert County at Thomas Carter's house. George Walton was the presiding justice. The location of the house was 6 miles from Albertan.. They used the cellar of the house for a prison. A Mr. McBride was charged with murder, was confined in the cellar-prison. Mr Thomas was convicted at the court, and hung by Friday. [2]
The first grand jury was: Stephen Heard, Moses Haynes, Richard Easter, Isham Thompson, Wm. Aycock, William Hatcher, Richard Gatewood, Ed McGay, James Crow, Angus Johnson, Archer Walker, Edward Ware, James Shepherd, James Patten, John Davis, Cornelius Sale, Oliver White, Wm. Hodge.
1803 Elberton, Georgia was incorporated in 1803, but citizens lived there since 1790. It was named in honor of Samuel Elbert, who was a commander of Georgia's militia and Continental forces during the Revolution. [1][3]
1810 The poorer people may have migrated to the flat woods land, or the black-jack ridges of land that became Hart County. The alternative was to the cheap land in the Cherokee counties. was afterward Hart, or else to the cheap lands of the Cherokee counties. Therefore 7,582 whites and 4,574 slaves in Elbert; in 1830 there were 6,589 whites and 5,765 slaves, nearly as many slaves as white people in the county, and in 1850 the whites were 6,692 and slaves 6,269.[2]
pre 1811 Early Education was hard to achieve.. A large number of wills and deeds are signed with an X or a mark. Few women's names were not listed on legal documents if they could not write their names.[2]
post 1812 Ruckersville, nearer the river had a bank and large warehouses, but small business building. overshadowed Elberton as Petersburg declined.Crops and goods sold in the county were brought up the river in flatboats or in wagons from Augusta. The cotton made in the county was sent down the river in boats or carried to Augusta in wagons. The average small farmer sold the land to the large planters with many slaves, and who could ship his scores of bales of cotton to the Augusta market. [2]
post 1815 -gradually Petersburg began to decline as citizens moved westward to newer open lands. Tobacco gave way to cotton, and Petersburg began to decline. When steamboats arrived Augusta, Georgia grew, tobacco planting was abandoned. A series of floods and malaria finished the town.. By the Civil War (1861-1865 the town was almost abandoned. Decay was rapid, now not a house remains.[1]
Tobacco became less important, too, and most of the area's farmers turned to the cultivation of cotton, which, unlike tobacco, did not have to be inspected. [1]
Heard Plantation.
1830 Elbert County had large Plantations. The richer parts of the county were owned by a few large slave-owners. Some of these men of wealth lived in the village, however most lived in Wilkes on their plantations, first growing tobacco, and later cotton. As all across the southern states, African Americans increased, but the soil or land became poorer. No one knew to rotate crops yet. If an Elbert county planter decided he could not support the large family of African Americans on the land on Elbert county red hills soil, he may have left the land and moved the slaves for Mississippi lands, Alabama black land or southwest Georgia. [2]
1840 -- Elberton had been overwhelmed by Petersburg earlier. By 1840 Elbertan was the county's most important town.:Other small communities- Ruckersville, home of Joseph Rucker, a millionaire and Edinburg or Edinborough settled by Scottish immigrants near Cold Water Creek and Savannah River. [1]
1850's US Army Corp of Engineers created Lake Russell which is part of the border with South Carollina. .[1]
1853 - Elbert County lost land when parts were used to help create Hart County.[3]
1861-65 Civil War Elbert County heavily endorsed secession. Elbert County men joined the Confederate army. Regiments were Fifteenth, Thirty-seventh, and Thirty-eighth Georgia Infantry Regiments, Seventh Georgia Cavalry all were raised in Elbert County. [1]
1862-65 General William T Sherman and the Union bypassed Elbert county as they invaded the area and marched toward the sea. Citizens were spared destruction and devastation which he wielded on other areas of the state.[1]
1867-70's Elbert county took on a new life as some other counties did. Originally a planter bought very little, and made all things at home. Then the planter traded near home and his African american employees bought their goods at the country store. Trade picked up, with a railroad to bring supplies into Elbert county. The citizens built a branch line from the town to Toccoa. The Seaboard Air Line railroad passed through the village of Elberton, suddenly transforming Elberton, as all the older counties to take on new life. It began to grow into a city.
1870-80's Elbert County continued relying on the cotton industry as a rural county.
1893 -- Elbert County Courthouse, in Elberton, was built, with Romanesque revival style. The building's interior was extensively renovated in 1964.

Elbert County.[1]

1903 - The first granite quarry opened near the north fork of the Broad River. Elbert County Granite quarry provided stone for the railroad and home construction. [1]
1920s-30s Elberton's granite industry was still doing business. As an industry the granite industry passed agriculture as the top economic support. The industry survived and expanded. giving the Albertan the capability to boast they were the "granite Capital of the world".[2]
Two state parks are located in Elbert County: Bobby Brown State Park, marking the site of the old town of Petersburg, which is under the waters of Clarks Hill Lake, and Richard B. Russell State Park on Russell Lake.[1]
Georgia Guidestones.
1980 A granite Monument called Georgia Guidestones was erected in Elbert County. The stones bear 10 guidelines inscribed in 8 languages, with a shortened message in 4 ancient language scripts.. This is 750Ft Georgia Guidestones is a granite monument erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, in the United States. A set of 10 guidelines is inscribed on it in 8 modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient language scripts.The monument is located at 650 feet above sea level, 90 miles east of Atlanta and 9 miles N or Albertan. Subject was government, population control, environment and spirituality. [1][4]
There is 1 slab in the center with 4 arranged around it.. A stone tablet gives notes on history. The whole monument is 19 ft, 3 inches in height and 237,746 pounds..[1][5]
Robert Christian commissioned a company to carve this. He explained he represented a group that planned the guidelinesand wanted to be anonymous.
2008 a group defaced the stones with graffiti.
Georgia Guidestones
Elbert County assets were huge forests, beautiful valleys near creeks, and a wide flat land known as waste land. (Only post-oaks and resembed a grey area). The Virginia settlers were attracted to the red hills and valleys, since they were looking rich soil to grow their tobacco. Where the flat woods were, tall wild grasses grew, which was best used for pasturage. Settlers felt the soil was not good for tobacco. and the country became quite populous.Recently this land can be fertilized with Kainite used in fertilizer and be productive.[2]
Some of the first settlers were: Dr. Bibb, Wm. Brown, A. Brown, Wm. Barnett, Billy Allen, James Bell, P. M. Wyche, Jos. Deadwyler, David White, Dozier Thornton, Thos. Maxwell, R. Tyner, William Key, William Grimes, J. Watkins, Colonel Jack Howard, Nehemiah Howard, Peter Oliver, Wm. Rucker, N. Highsmith, P. Duncan, Wm. Haley, Wm. Ward, E. Shackleford, W. Woods, Middleton Woods, Stephen Heard, D. Oliver, J. Cason, W. Brown, W. Moss, Wm. Tait, Enos Tait, Zimri Tait, Robert L. Tait, James Alston, Wm. Alston, Ralph Banks, Wm. Hodges, S. Wilson, Thos. Carter, John A. Banks, Samuel Davis the father of Jefferson Davis, Absalom Davis, S. Nelson, Thos. Burton, Isham Thompson, Wm. Hodges, S. Nelson, J. A. Carter.[2]
Virginians citizens were Baptist, and Methodists in Elbert County. Beverly Allen, of a prominent family in Virginia, and a Methodist preacher, lived in this county. He become involved in trouble in South Carolina and was expelled from the church. Next he became a Elbert merchant with heavy debts to eastern creditors, which resulted in a law suit. Marshall Forsyth tried to arrest him Augusta, Allen killed him and fled to Kentucky, where he next was a wealthy physician. [2]
mt Elbert
Churches - The oldest Methodist churches are in Elbert, Georgia. The 1st Methodist conference met at the forks of Broad river, then in Elbert county now in Madison county. Baptists are the only other denomination and the church has sent out not a few prominent preachers to other sections. Both detonations have churches of both in Elberton now, and quite a number of each scattered throughout the county.[2]
Bobby Brown State Park is located at Clarks Hill Lake and marks the site where the town of Petersburg used to be, before it was covered by the lake in the 1950s. [1]
Currently There are few better counties than Elbert County, Georgia. Its magnificent forests that crowned the hills have been cut down, and the forests' second growth has also been cut down. Men plow and plant the land in cotton land which grand fathers planted in tobacco. Both wear out the soil.[2]

Goss, a post-village of Elbert county is a station on the Southern railway 5miles northwest of Elberton. It has a good local trade and does some shipping. The population in 1900 was 58. [6]
Heardmont a village of Elbert county, is a station on the Seaboard Air Line railroad 11 miles east of Albertan with a 1900 census population of 70. Businesses are money order postoffice, express and telegraph offices, some stores and is a shipping point for the surrounding plantations. [7]
Huguenot, a village of Elbert county is 5 miles from the mouth of the Broad river. It has an international money order postoffice, some mercantile stores. 1900 census population was 76, and in 1900 reported a population of 74 with Heardmont as the nearest railroad station.[2]

(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

Middleton, a post-village of Elbert county, is on the Seaboard Air Line railroad, about six miles east of Elberton. It has a money order postoffice, with free delivery to the adjacent rural districts, express and telegraph offices, schools, stores, churches, etc.

[Source: Georgia Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Vol 2, Publ 1906. Transcribed by Tracy McAllister]

Oglesby, a post-hamlet of Elbert county, is located on the Seaboard Air Line railway,5 miles west of Elberton with telegraph and express office, merchant stores, and is a trading center for the nearby district. [2]

[Source: Georgia Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Vol 2, Publ 1906. Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz]

Overton, is a post-village in the southeastern part of Elbert county, located near the Savannah river. Heardmont is the nearest railroad station.[2]

Government Offices

Elbert County has many active civic organizations such as the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce, Elbert County Historical Society, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Pilot Club, Elbert Theatre Foundation (part of the Georgia Council for the Arts), NAACP, Boys and Girls Club, Elbert Civic League (part of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs), and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, many local churches have very active missions programs, and many trade organizations, such as the Elbert Granite Association.

Elbert county, Georgia courthouse


Type - In the northeast Georgia Piedmont, between the Savannah and Broad rivers.
Rivers - between the Savannah and Broad Rivers.
Lakes -Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes are on Elbert county's eastern border with the Savannah River, making the county a prime destination for water-recreational activities.
Clarks Hill Lake (also known as J. Strom Thurmond Lake), completed in the early 1950s, is located on the southern tip of the county
Russell Lake, was completed in the 1980s.
Size -374 square miles (970 km2), of which 351 square miles (910 km2) is land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (6.2%) is water.
Boundariies The northern half of Elbert County, north of a line made by State Route 17 from Bowman southeast to Elberton, and then following State Rt- 72 east to just before the South Carolina border, and then heading south along the shores of Lake Richard B. Russell & Clarkes Hill to the county's southeastern tip.
Location - in the Upper Savannah River sub-basin of the larger Savannah River basin. The portion of the county south of this line is located in the Broad River sub-basin of the Savannah River basin.

Adjacent counties

  • Anderson County, South Carolina (northeast)
  • Abbeville County, South Carolina (east)
  • McCormick County, South Carolina (southeast)
  • Lincoln County (southeast)
map of Elbert County in Georgia.
  • Wilkes County (south)
  • Oglethorpe County (southwest)
  • Madison County (west)
  • Hart County (north)
  • Franklin County (northwest)

Protected areas

  • Bobby Brown State Park, marks the site of the old town of Petersburg, was beneath Clarks hill Lake waters
  • Richard B. Russell State Park on Russell Lake.
Land Grants
  • Land had been granted to Virginians by head-rights following the American Revolution. Soon the best parts of Elbert county were taken.


In 2000 , there were 20,511 people living in the county with a population density of 56 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 66.94% White, 30.85% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. 2.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $28,724, and the median income for a family was $34,276. Males had a median income of $27,221 versus $19,737 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,535. About 14.60% of families and 17.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.50% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over. By 2010 there were 20,166 people with a population density of 57.4 people/sq. mi. [8]

  • here is a large cotton factory in the city, and other enterprises of value.
  • Elberton, Georgia is well supplied with water furnished by a bold spring in the city itself.



Towns/Census Des Places/Uninco Communities

Census-designated place


Ghost town

    • Petersburg

County Resources

  • Nancy Hart cabin
  • Dan Tucker gravesite
  • Stephen Heard Cemetery
  • Petersburg Township site
  • Vans Creek Church
  • Elbert County Courthouse
  • Elberton Seaboard-Airline Depot
  • Rock Gym,
  • Granite Bowl
  • Elberton Granite Museum and Exhibit
  • Richard B. Russell Dam
  • Elbert Theatre
    • Georgia Guidestones
  • Richard B. Russell State Park
  • Bobby Brown State Park.
  • Georgia Guidestones
  • General and Governor Elbert
  • Wm. Wyatt Bibb, Georgia senator and governor of Alabama, lived at Petersburg.
  • Charles Tait, Georgia senator, was from a leading family in this county.
  • Samuel Davis, father of President Davis, came to Elbert County, moved from it to Kentucky. He was a soldier in the Revolution.
  • Rev. John Andrew, father of Bishop Andrew, lived in this county as country schoolmaster, Soldier of Revolutionary war, 1st Georgian to be traveling Methodist preacher.
  • Benjamin Andrew, the staunch patriot of Liberty county and speaker of the Assembly
  • Revolutionary War heroine Nancy Hart, who resided in southern Elbert County
  • Rev. Daniel Tucker, a popular minister and ferry operator, possible inspiration for the song "Old Dan Tucker".
  • Corra Harris, author of "A Circuit Rider's Wife,"
  • Stephen Heard, deceased, was Governor of Georgia from 1780-1781.
  • Hon. Joseph Rucker Lamar, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1910–1916, was born in Elbert County.
  • Statesman and Judge Young L.G. Harris, for whom Young Harris College is named, was born in Elbert County.
  • U.S. Secretary of War and 1824 U.S. Presidential candidate William Harris Crawford,
  • American explorer Meriwether Lewis 'family owned land in Broad River Valley
  • Clark Gaines, NFL record holder,former Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, was raised in Elbert County and played football for Elbert County Comprehensive High School.
  • Blues guitarist Baby Tate was born in Elbert County.
  • Jojo Glidewell and Jay Gulley, Recording artists Modern Skirts members from Elbert County


1800 --- 10,094 —
1810 --- 12,156 20.4%
1820 --- 11,788 −3.0%
1830 --- 12,354 4.8%
1840 --- 11,125 −9.9%
1850 --- 12,959 16.5%
1860 --- 10,433 −19.5%
1870 --- 9,249 −11.3%
1880 --- 12,957 40.1%
1890 --- 15,376 18.7%
1900 --- 19,729 28.3%
1910 --- 24,125 22.3%
1920 --- 23,905 −0.9%
1930 --- 18,485 −22.7%
1940 --- 19,618 6.1%
1950 --- 18,585 −5.3%
1960 --- 17,835 −4.0%
1970 --- 17,262 −3.2%
1980 --- 18,758 8.7%
1990 --- 18,949 1.0%
2000 --- 20,511 8.2%
2010 --- 20,166 −1.7%
Est. 2016 --- 19,143



  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 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/counties-cities-neighborhoods/elbert-county
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 http://genealogytrails.com/geo/elbert/countyhistory.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 https://www.genealogyinc.com/georgia/elbert-county/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones
  5. Georgia Guidestones
  6. (Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. VOL III Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Marilyn Clore)
  7. (Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. VOL III Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Marilyn Clore)
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbert_County,_Georgia

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