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About Baker County, Georgia

 

Baker County, in southwest Georgia, was formed from Early County in 1825. Before the Civil War (1861-65) parts

of Baker in turn formed all or parts of Calhoun, Dougherty, Miller, and Mitchell counties.

 

The county was named for Colonel John Baker, a Puritan and hero of the Revolutionary War (1775-83). In 1828 the settlement of Byron (near Albany) was designated the first county seat, but residents complained that the location was too close to the Lee County border. Subsequently, the county seat was moved to Newton in 1831. Newton, named for another Revolutionary War hero, Sergeant John Newton, was incorporated in 1872.

 

One of the last battles in the Creek Indian War of 1836 took place in Baker County. Several county militias attacked and defeated the Creeks at Chickasawhatchee Creek Swamp in July of that

year. Much of Baker County’s history is marked by flooding from the Flint River.

The courthouse, built in 1906, was damaged by the floods of 1925, 1929, and 1994.

The current courthouse is located in a 1930s-era school; the old courthouse has been

repaired and now is a historical site. The area around the town square that was submerged

by the 1994 flood is now overgrown, and most of its former structures are gone..

 

Baker County encompasses almost 350 square miles and, according to the 2020 U.S.

census, has a population of 2,876, a decrease from the 2000 population of 4,074. The county is

governed by a five-person commission with a manager, and the school system comprises

one school, a prekindergarten through 12th grade. Farmers in the county produce beef

cattle, corn, cotton, hogs, peanuts, poultry, and soybeans.

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