Clayton County, located just south of Atlanta, is one of the smallest counties in the state, with an area of only 143 square miles. On November 30, 1858, the state legislature created Clayton County from parts of Fayette and Henry counties, making it the 125th county in the state. Clayton County is named for Augustin Smith Clayton, a Virginia native who moved with his family to Georgia as a child. He attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1804. Clayton helped compile the law statutes of Georgia, served three terms as a judge of the Western Circuit, was a member of the Electoral College, and served in the U.S. Congress from 1831 to 1835.
After the Revolutionary War (1775-83) many veterans were given land bounties in Georgia. In the Treaty of Indian Springs (1821), the Creeks ceded their land to the state, and settlers from other parts of Georgia and southern coastal states moved into the area.
Jonesboro, the county seat, was originally called Leaksville but was renamed in 1845 after Colonel Samuel Goode Jones,
One of the
The twentieth century brought growth in transportation and higher education. Clayton County is home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest passenger airport and the state's largest employer center, with a workforce of more than 56,000. It also has a commuter bus service known as C-Tran. Clayton State University, founded in 1969 as Clayton Junior College, is located in the city of Morrow.
The Battle of Jonesboro is reenacted annually during the Fall Festival.
According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population of Clayton County is 259,424, an increase from the 2000 population of 236,517. In addition to Jonesboro and Morrow, other
During the 1996 Olympic Games, Jonesboro hosted the beach volleyball competition at Atlanta Beach in Clayton County International Park. The Clayton County Water Authority also attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see the county's natural land application process for the treatment of wastewater. The system purifies the wastewater and, at the same time, fertilizes the land; it also produces palletized fertilizer for the marketplace.
Clayton County Annual, vol. 1 (Lovejoy, Ga.: Walter H. Grant, 1893).
Alice Copeland Kilgore et al., eds., A History of Clayton County, Georgia, 1821-1983 (College Park, Ga.: The Society, 1983).
William J. Northen, Men of Mark in Georgia, 7 vols. (1907-12; reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1974).
Joan H. Taylor, Clayton State University
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