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Early County, Georgia
Early County Courthouse in Blakely Georgia.jpg
Map of Georgia highlighting Early County
Location in the state of Georgia (U.S. state)
Map of the U.S. highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1818
Named for Peter Early
Seat Blakely
Largest city Blakely
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

516 sq mi (1,336 km²)
513 sq mi (1,329 km²)
3.8 sq mi (10 km²), 0.7%
 - (2010)
 - Density

21/sq mi (8/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Early County is a county located in the southwest of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,008.[1] The county seat is Blakely, home of the Early County Courthouse.[2] Created by European Americans on December 15, 1818, it was named for Peter Early.[3] The county is bordered on the west by the Chattahoochee River.

History[edit | edit source]

Prehistoric and nineteenth-century history has been preserved in some of Early County's attractions. It is the site of the Kolomoki Mounds, a park preserving major earthworks built by indigenous peoples of the Woodland culture more than 1700 years ago, from 350 CE to 600 CE. This is one of the largest mound complexes in the United States and the largest in Georgia; it includes burial and ceremonial mounds. The siting of the mounds expresses the ancient people's cosmology, as mounds are aligned with the sun at the spring equinox and summer solstice.

The county area was territory of the historic Creek Indian peoples of the Southeast, particularly along the Chattahoochee River, before European-American settlers encroached and pushed them out during Indian Removal of the first half of the nineteenth century.

The Cohelee Creek Bridge in the county is the southernmost covered bridge still standing. One of the last wooden flagpoles from the American Civil War era is located at the historic courthouse in downtown Blakely.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 516 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 513 square miles (1,330 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (0.7%) is water.[4]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 768
1830 2,051 167.1%
1840 5,444 165.4%
1850 7,246 33.1%
1860 6,149 −15.1%
1870 6,998 13.8%
1880 7,611 8.8%
1890 9,792 28.7%
1900 14,828 51.4%
1910 18,122 22.2%
1920 18,983 4.8%
1930 18,273 −3.7%
1940 18,679 2.2%
1950 17,413 −6.8%
1960 13,151 −24.5%
1970 12,682 −3.6%
1980 13,158 3.8%
1990 11,854 −9.9%
2000 12,354 4.2%
2010 11,008 −10.9%
Est. 2013 10,542 −14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 12,354 people, 995 households, and 1,195 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 938 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.28% White, 12.14% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,695 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.00% were married couples living together, 20.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.70% under the age of 18, 17.80% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 5.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 67.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 60.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,629, and the median income for a family was $31,215. Males had a median income of $36,458 versus $27,277 for females. The mean income for the county was $147,364. The per capita income for the county was $34,936. About 22.20% of families and 25.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.20% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit | edit source]

Communities[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Early County 2055 - a non-profit corporation established by native son Charles Barton Rice and Catherine B. Rice to support the revitalization, economic development and preservation of Blakely and Early County, Georgia.
  • Blakely - Early County Chamber of Commerce - Chamber of Commerce for Blakely and surrounding communities of Jakin, Arlington and Damascus.
  • Southwest Georgia Academy(SGA)-a private school is located in Damascus and its adjoining Counties by Georgia Independent School Association (GISA)
  • Early County News, a local newspaper founded by the Fleming Family in 1859

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Jerald T. Milanich, The Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994).
  • Jerald T. Milanich, et al., McKeithen Weeden Island: The Culture of Northern Florida, A.D. 200-900 (New York: Academic Press, 1984).
  • Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Kolomoki: Settlement, Ceremony, and Status in the Deep South, A.D. 350 to 750 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003).
  • William H. Sears, Excavations at Kolomoki: Final Report (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1956).
  • Christopher Trowell, "A Kolomoki Chronicle: The History of a Plantation, a State Park, and the Archaeological Search for Kolomoki's Prehistory," Early Georgia 26, no. 1 (1998).
  • Mark Williams and Daniel T. Elliott, eds., A World Engraved: Archaeology of the Swift Creek Culture (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1998).

Coordinates: 31°20′N 84°55′W / 31.33, -84.91

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