Turner County, in central Georgia, is the state's 145th county and comprises 286 square miles. It was created in 1905 from Dooly, Irwin, Wilcox, and Worth counties, and named for Henry Gray Turner, a Confederate veteran, U.S. congressman, and justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia. The original inhabitants were Creek and Seminole Indians, who lost their land in the Seminole Wars. Many of the first white settlers in the area were of Irish or German heritage.
The county seat is Ashburn, incorporated in 1890, when it was part of Worth County. First named Troupville Crossroads and then called Marion, Ashburn acquired its current name when the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad surveyed the area in 1889. At the time, the railroad's just-finished line from Florida to Macon had generated interest in the area. A local landowner and bank president, W. W. Ashburn,
Other towns include Amboy, Rebecca, Sycamore, and Worth. Amboy, unincorporated, was named for the New Jersey city of that name, which in turn comes from an Algonquin word meaning "valley." Sycamore, incorporated in 1891, was named for the trees in the area. Rebecca was incorporated in 1904, and Worth was incorporated from 1910 to 1943.
Turner County's economy has always revolved around agriculture, and the most important crops are cotton, peanuts, and pecans. A satellite campus of Moultrie Technical College is located in the county.
According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 8,930, a decrease from the 2000 population of 9,504.
David M. Baldwin, with Gail Watson Walls, Turner County, Georgia: A Pictorial History (Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning Co., 1999).
Susan R. Boatright and Douglas C. Bachtel, eds., Georgia County Guide (Athens: Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, University of Georgia, annual).
John Ben Pate, History of Turner County (Atlanta: Stein Printing, 1933; reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1979).
Elizabeth B. Cooksey, Savannah
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