CLINCH COUNTY, GEORGIA
HISTORY


THE ORGANIZATION of CLINCH COUNTY

Pursuant to the above Act passed by the Legislature, the commissioners named therein, viz.: Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichols, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sirmans and John J. Johnson, proceeded to employ a suitable person to distinctly run the lines of the new county which were not pointed out in the Act, and to decide on a suitable place for the courthouse or county site. Elijah Mattox, one of the commissioners, who was skilled in surveying, was selected to run the lines of the new county, and with some help the work was soon done.

The commissioners met at the house of Jonathan Knight as pointed out in the Act. Mr. Knight lived about two miles north of where DuPont now is, and the house in which he then lived, is now standing, with some modifications, and is occupied by Mr. Charles H. North, who now owns the lot of land on which the house is situated. The house is one of the historic marks of the county, for it was here that the organization of Clinch County was perfected.

The commissioners named in the Act were some of the best men in the new county.
Elijah Mattox was previously clerk of the Superior Court of Ware County, also a former surveyor and representative, and at this time lived on the Florida line at Blount's Ferry.
Simon W. Nichols moved here from Jones County, and was a large landowner. He was the father of the celebrated trio of brothers, John C., William M., and Waver J. Nichols, who played such prominent parts in the future history of the county.
Benjamin Sirmans was one of the first settlers of the county and was formerly a representative from Lowndes County several terms.
Timothy Kirkland lived in what is now Coffee County.
John J. Johnson lived down in the vicinity of where Echols County now is.

The election for county officers, which the Act above set out, called for, was duly held on the first Monday in April, 1850, and the following officers were elected:
J. C. Kirkland, Clerk of the Superior and Inferior Courts;
Charles Cowart, sheriff;
Benjamin Cornelius, tax receiver;
Ezekiel J. Sirmans, tax collector;
David J. Blackburn, surveyor;
Joseph L. Rogers, coroner.
The following justices of the Inferior Court were elected:
David Johnson, Isham F. Johnson, Hiram Sears, and Manning Smith.
Although the Act called for five justices, for some reason only four were elected and commissioned.
However, in 1852, Francis H. McCall was elected to fill out the term, but for some reason did not qualify. Elijah Mattox was elected surveyor soon afterwards owing to the failure of Blackburn to qualify.


Source: History of Clinch County Georgia, Compiled and Edited by Folks Huxford, The J. W. Burke Company, Macon, Georgia, 1916



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