Ellaville, located fifteen miles north of Americus and fifty miles east of Columbus, is the county seat and the only incorporated town of Schley County. Ellaville was established along the south end of the community on what is now U.S. Highway 19. The town's original name of Pondtown was changed to Ellaville in honor of Ella Burton, the daughter of the family on whose land the town was established.
During its early years, the town, in addition to serving as the site of government for the county, supported the immediate commercial needs of the surrounding agricultural region. There were cotton gins,
The first courthouse, built in the late 1850s, was replaced by a second structure in 1899. The new building, designed by J. W. Golucke and G. W. Stewart, the architects for several Georgia courthouses of the period, is a Romanesque-inspired plan with a tall capped clock tower over the entrance.
Railroad transportation came to Ellaville in 1884. The "Buena Vista and Ellaville" line limped along with little success
Since 2000 Ellaville has enjoyed a modest revival in population growth. According to the 2010 U.S. census the population of Ellaville was 1,812, an increase from the 2000 population of 1,609. Annual homecoming weekends, sports activities, good schools, a mild climate, and attractive neighborhoods enhance Ellaville's appeal, and the number of retirees moving to the area
Ellaville has also experienced a revival of economic stability. Small-town commercial activity together with agriculture and light manufacturing in the county are the chief economic features. The Andersonville National Historic Site is about a dozen miles to the southeast, and Plains, the hometown of U.S. president Jimmy Carter, lies about fifteen miles to the southwest. A welcoming community, Ellaville encourages quiet growth in combination with an ongoing improvement in services to its citizens.
Steve Gurr, Ellaville and Schley County: An Historical Sketch for All Schley Countians Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow [Ellaville, Ga.: Heritage Committee of the Schley County Bicentennial Commission, 1976].
Schley County Preservation Society, comp., History of Schley County, Georgia (Roswell, Ga.: W. H. Wolfe, 1982).
Steve Gurr, Gainesville
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