Welcome to the Webster County page of the GAGenWeb Project, part of USGenWeb.
Webster County, originally named Kinchafoonee (Kin-cha-foo-nee) County, was created from Stewart County on December 16, 1853. Organized in 1834 - at which time Preston was chartered - Kinchafoonee was Georgia's 104th county. Later renamed Webster County on February 21, 1856, the county is named in honor of Daniel Webster (1782 - 1852).
We welcome any contributions on families within the original county borders (which includes early Lee, Randolph, and Stewart Counties, and later Terrell County).
Please note that the Webster County Archives is a separate project - please submit your items to both projects!
Submit any contributions or queries to Belinda Slocumb, your Webster County Coordinator. Your Georgia State Coordinator is Linda Blum-Barton.
History of Webster County, Georgia
Contributed by Charles Waters
The first white settlement in the area of Stewart County that would form Kinchafoonee County was Lannahassee, which was settled in 1836.
In 1851, residents of Lannahassee apparently moved to a nearby location, which they named McIntosh, after the Creek Indian Chief. The 1853 act creating Kinchafoonee County named Oliver Taggart, Mason H. Bush, Chappell Coy, Robert Batey, and James Holley as commissioners with authority to locate the site of the county seat and to purchase the land and have it laid off into lots. The act also called for election of county officials on the second Monday in Feb. 1854. If a county seat had not been designated by the time of that election, the county's new inferior court was to assume all power to designate the county seat. Though the date of the action is not clear, either the commissioners or the inferior court selected McIntosh as county seat.
Webster County was created from Stewart County on Dec. 16, 1853 by an Act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1853, p. 304). Created by Act of the Legislature December 16, 1853, it was originally named Kinchafoonee (Kin-cha-foo-nee). Organized in 1834 at which time Preston was chartered. Georgia's 104th county was named Kinchafoonee after the Kinchafoonee Creek that flows through the county. ["Kinchafoonee" was a Lower Creek Indian word that apparently referred to a mortar or bone device for cracking nuts.] However, many residents of the new county thought the name was awkward, undignified, and would invite ridicule from outsiders -- so they asked that the county be renamed. On Feb. 21, 1856, the legislature changed the name of Kinchafoonee County to Webster County (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 414). The new name honored the famous U.S. orator and politician, Daniel Webster (1782-1852).
An Act of February 21, 1856, changed the name to Webster in honor of Daniel Webster, New England orator and statesman. Among the first Kinchafoonee County Officers in 1854 were: Sheriff Carey T. Cox, Clerk of Superior Court James G. Hall, Clerk of Inferior Court John D. King, Ordinary E.B. Swiney, Tax Receiver William McLendon, Tax Collector Lucius Sanders, Surveyor Jno. McCain and Coroner James R. Moore.
On Feb. 21, 1856, the legislature changed the county seat from McIntosh to Preston (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 414). Some sources have suggested that this was just a name change, though the actual text of the legislative act states:
"Sec. III. And be it further enacted. That the county site of said county of Webster be changed from McIntosh to Preston."
On Dec. 22, 1857, the legislature incorporated the town of Preston (Ga. Laws 1857, p. 187). Preston is believed to have been named for former South Carolina senator William C. Preston (1794-1860).
The first Webster County Officers included: Sheriff John P. Beaty, Clerk of Superior Court James G.M. Ball, Clerk of Inferior Court Wm. R. Redding, Ordinary David G. Rogers, Tax Receiver Eben E. Little, Tax Collector Alexander Winzor, Surveyor John McCain, Coroner John D. Jones and Commissioners George M. Hay, John W. Easters, William H. Hallen, Henry W. Spears and James G.M. Ball. Webster County was created from Kinchafoonee County by an act of Feb. 21, 1856, its name was changed making it our 103rd county in the state.
Webster County is a small county in the northern portion of the southwestern corner of Georgia. It is primarily an agricultural county with peanuts, corn, soybeans and grain being the main crops.
Indian tribe heritage in this region are known as the Lower Creeks.
Creeks were not a unified tribe or nation. In fact, the name "Creek" was an English name assigned to them by the colonists; their Creek name was "Muskogee." Not all the Creeks were of the same linguistic origins; many were of the Muskhogean stock, but there were some who belonged to other linguistic stocks, such as the Yuchi and Shawnee. The "Creek Nation" was actually a very loose confederation of towns along the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers in present-day Alabama (Upper Creek) and the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers in Georgia (Lower Creek). The main towns of the Lower Creek were all on the Chattahoochee River and several of these had subsidiary villages on the Flint. By 1790, the Chehaw, who had moved to the
Chattahoochee River after the Yamasee War, had at least two villages on or near the Flint River in present-day Lee County, Georgia. Au-muc-cul-le (pour on me) was located in Aumuculle Creek (today Muckalee Creek), nine miles above its junction with Kin-cha-foo-nee Creek. In 1799, it had sixty warriors. A second much smaller Chehaw town named O-tell-e-who-yau-nau (Hurricane Town), was on the west bank of the Flint river about six miles above Kinchafoonee Creek. This town, apparently occupied by both Chehaw and Ooseooche Creeks, had only twenty families in 1799.
by Dr. Lee W. Formwalt; Albany State University
The county seat today is Preston. The Probate Court has birth, marriage, death, burial, and probate records. The Clerk of Superior Court has divorce, civil court and land records.
For more reading on Webster County, see "History of Webster County", compiled by Weston Woman's Club, 1980. Library of Congress No. 80-53769. Copies of this book may be ordered from Weston Woman's Club, General Delivery, Weston, GA 31832.
For lookups in the "History of Webster County," please contact your Webster County Coordinator.
Webster County's neighbors are Stewart, Marion, Sumter, Terrell, and Randolph.
Links to other Georgia Counties at the GAGenWeb.