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The Founding of Newton County

Not only did Santa Claus come on Christmas Eve in 1821, but the Georgia General Assembly gave the settlers living in the area a huge present that year also… their very own County!

In 1821, the Georgia State Constitution provided that, when the population of a county reached a certain level – or for reason of law enforcement or educational needs – the General Assembly was to alter the county’s boundaries and lay out a new county.

And so it was that the General Assembly laid out a new county from portions of land previously in Jasper, Walton and Henry Counties.  The new county was known by the name of Newton, named for Sergeant John Newton, a Revolutionary War soldier, and companion of Sergeant Jasper, after whom Jasper County was named.

At the time Newton County was formed, the center of activity was around the “Brick Store,” which was a general store and stagecoach stop.  But also in accordance with the State Constitution, a county seat, or court house town and local government center, was to be established “which shall be as near the center of said county as convenience will admit of, at which place the courts and elections shall be held.”

So even though everything in the new county was centered around the Brick Store community, the seat of government was moved to the center of the new county, and a new town named for General Leonidas Covington, a hero of the War of 1912, was established.

The county seat of Covington was located on 202 ½ acres of land drawn in the 1821 land lottery by Joab Crutchfield of Richmond County, and sold in January 1822 to Leonard Fretwell of Newton County for $650.

Newton County was thus formed by the Georgia General Assembly on land ceded by the Creek Indian Nation on December 24, 1821 – Today, a Newton County Moment in Time.

 

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