History of Worth County, GA

Worth County, located in Southwest Georgia, was named for Major General William James Worth, son-in-law of Zachary Taylor. Major William A. Harris, leader in organizing the new county, served under General Worth in the Mexican War.  The county's first known inhabitants were the Apalachee Indians. Their nation was destroyed in a war between the Florida Spanish and the Carolina English. When Oglethorpe arrived more than 30 years later to establish the Colony of Georgia, the area was occupied by the Lower Creek Indians.  San Bernard was the original county seat. It was located approximately where the Isabella Cemetery is now. The county seat was moved a mile east from San Bernard and called Isabella in 1854. The county courthouse, a large two-story frame building, was on the public square center. Four or five substantial store houses were on the corners northwest of the square. The county jail was on the west side of the Warwick Road, 200 yards north of the square.  After the Civil War, the population of Isabella was several hundred, but today is a mere community. In 1872, the Brunswick and Albany (now the Seabord Coast Line) Railroad was built, passing 3 miles south of Isabella. Other towns, like Sumner, Poulan, and Sylvester, sprang up along the railway line, and in 1904, after a bitter power struggle, the county seat was moved to Sylvester.  Worth County, according to the book, "Georgia Counties, Their Changing Boundaries", Pat Bryant, and Ingrid Shields, was created December 20, 1853, Georgia Laws 1853, page 308.

Worth took area from the following counties:
Colquitt December 15, 1857 GA Laws 1857, page 233
Colquitt December 14, 1859 GA Laws 1859, page 275
Dooly December 20, 1853 GA Laws 1856, page 308
Dooly county was formed May 15, 1821 (GA Laws 1821, page 3) and distributed in the Lottery of 1821. This lottery opened that portion of Georgia between the Ocmulgee and the Flint Rivers for settlement. The land ceded by the Creeks at the Treaty of Indian Springs. The northern part of WORTH came from Dooly.
Dooly March 5, 1856 GA Laws - 1856 page 133 -
Worth took more area from Dooly County in 1856.
Irwin December 20, 1853 GA Laws - 1853, page 308 -
Irwin County was formed in 1818 (Lamar's Compilation, page 416) from land ceded by the Creek Indians and distributed in the Georgia Land Lottery of 1820. The southern portion of WORTH was taken from Irwin.

Worth GAVE area to the following counties:
Dooly - March 5, 1856 GA LAws 1856, page 133
Doughterty - Jan. 14, 1854 - Ga LAws - 1854, page 314
Doughterty - Feb. 13, 1854 - Ga. Laws 1854, pg 319
Tift - August 17, 1905 - Ga Laws - 1905 - page 60
Turner - August 18, 1905 - GA Laws - 1905 - page 63

As written in "History of Turner County, Ga.", page 94, it states that the men appointed to lay off the county and establish its boundaries were Jonathan Smith of Irwin County and Elijah B. Pate of Dooly County.  The records of Worth County were burned, but information lists many pioneer citizens of Turner County that were prominent in all political and civil affairs of Worth.  Some notable names were: Daniel Henderson, Lott Whiddon, the Davis Family, the Story family, the Fillyaw family, the Brown family, and the Hobby family. All were prominent and served in various positions of trust and honor until the creation of Turner County. Andrew J. Davis was Judge of the County Court at the Creation of Turner County.

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