Laurens County, in middle Georgia, was established by an act of the state legislature in 1807 and named in honor of Colonel John Laurens (1754-82) of South Carolina. Laurens was an aide to General George Washington and was killed by a British patrol near the end of the American Revolution (1775-83).
With an area of 812 square miles, Laurens is the state's third largest county. The county was originally created from Wilkinson County, and in 1811 portions of Washington and Montgomery counties were added to it. A temporary county seat was established at Sumpterville near Turkey Creek. When additional lands were added to the county, the justices of the inferior court chose a central location on a bluff overlooking
Among the leading citizens of Laurens County in its early development were George Troup and David Blackshear. Troup, an early advocate of states' rights, was Georgia's first popularly elected governor. He nearly precipitated a war with the United States over the issue of Indian lands. Blackshear was a general in the War of 1812 (1812-15) and led the movement to remove the Seminole Indians from southern Georgia. Another early resident, Mirabeau B. Lamar, who became the second president of the Republic of Texas, lived in Troup's household as his personal secretary.
The establishment of five railroads in the county lifted the area from the economic depression of the late 1800s. By 1900 Laurens County was one of the fourteen most populous counties in the state. When timber companies clear-cut tens of thousands of acres of timber, farmers began to plant even
Laurens resident Captain Bobbie Brown was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in World War II (1941-45). The county also produced an unusually large number of men who were awarded the silver star for service during World War II and the Vietnam War (1964-73).
Bertha Sheppard Hart, The Official History of Laurens County, Georgia, 2 vols. (1941; reprint, Athens, Ga.: Agee, 1987).
Scott B. Thompson Sr., Pieces of Our Past (Dublin, Ga.: Emerald City History Co., 2003).
Scott B. Thompson Sr., Tales of the Emerald City and the Land of Laurens (Dublin, Ga.: Gem City, 1998).
Scott B. Thompson Sr., Laurens County Historical Society
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