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Clayton County Digital Archives
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- Mortality Schedule - 1880
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Clayton County Georgia History
Clayton,Augustin Smith (1783-1839)
Born in Fredericksburg, VA.,, November 27, 1783.
Member of Georgia State House of Representatives, 1810; State Court Judge, 1819; member of
Georgia State Senate, 1826;
U.S. Representative from Georgia at-large, 1832-35. Died in Athens, Clarke County, GA.
June 21, 1839. Interment at
Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, GA.
See also: Congressional Biography.
In 1990 the population was 182,052 by 2000 it had jumped to 236,517. The Land Area of Clayton County is 143 square miles. The County Seat is Jonesboro, GA.
Clayton County was formed from parts of Fayette and Henry Counties on November 30 1858. It was the 125th county created in Georgia and named for Augustine
Smith Clayton (1783-1839) (See above). Before the official formation of Clayton, the area was home to the Creek Indians especially parts surrounding the Flint River.
Leaksville was founded in 1823 and was later renamed to Jonesboro and was one of the critical stops on the railroad that ran from Macon to Terminus (Terminus was
later named Atlanta) - this connected the southeast part of the state to the port of call in Savannah, GA. Jonesboro, was named for the popular engineer Colonel Samuel
Goode Jones, who was in charge of that early railroad construction and resided in what was then called Leaksville.
For the first time in history, Clayton had a link to the Pacific and the rail corridor permitted local farmers to ship their cotton in all directions. And it was
this same rail corridor that brought the Battle of Atlanta to its climax during the Civil War. When Union soldiers severed the railroad line at Jonesboro, the
Confederates lost their supply line and Atlanta fell into Yankee hands. Clayton County was the site of heavy fighting during the Civil War. After the battles of
Rough and Ready and Jonesboro, the Confederate armies were forced to vacuate the area. General Sherman then began his "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With The Wind," placed Scarlett OHaras beloved Tara at a fictional location in Clayton County. Much
of the action of her work is based on historical events which she found on record at the old Clayton County Courthouse in Jonesboro. Herb Bridges is the leading
"authority" on GWTW and has the worlds largest collection of GWTW memorabilia. He has authored 5 books in re GWTW - the last one is entitled "The
Three-Day Premiere in Atlanta".
The railroad has played an important part in Clayton's history, it was the convenient railroad that made Clayton County an early commuter community in the 20th
century with Atlanta businessmen leaving their country estates each morning and returning in the evening on the train affectionately referred to as "The Dummy"
for some long-obscured reason. (See newsclip below).
Clayton today has turned into a bubbling metropolis that has emerged as a natural setting for commerce, industry, business and people due to its location and the
availability of resources and transportation services. Clayton is one of the faster growing counties in Georgia. Clayton County is also home of the
Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta.
Clayton County Historical Markers
In regards to the Dummy Line here is a snip from the Middle GA Argus Newspaper:
Among the many other enterprises that we have recently spoken about in these columns, we would like urge it upon our people to push
the Indian Springs Dummy Line to completion this year. There is no doubt of its paying handsomely. In conversation with quite a number of Florida tourists,
from time to time, we learn that many of them would stay over here rather than go farther South, if we had the facilities to accommodate them. In connection
with the dummy line a fine modern hotel should be erected. In winter it would be filled with people from the north who wish to escape the rigors of that
climate, while during summer the people from the sultry Southern cities would be more than glad to come to our healthful, cooling breezes, where they could
everyday take a ride to the ever flowing fountain of health, Indian Springs. Let no one think of Jackson stopping in her progress. The day will come when
all these enterprises we have recently been mentioning, together with the Indian Springs Dummy Line and one or two hundred thousand dollar hotels will ornament
our lovely little city. The Argus will be here to see them. Middle GA Argus – Week of February 5, 1889
Clayton Neighboring Counties
Don't forget to check out our neighbors. . .
Maps on this page was provided by Ed Gordon.
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