History of Paulding County, Georgia

Georgia's 89th county was named for John K Paulding, (1759-1818), who was a Revolutionary War soldier. Paulding County was formed on December 3, 1832 by the Georgia Legislature.

The original county seat was Van Wert from 1832-1851.  In 1851, part of Paulding County was used to create Polk County. Between 1832 and 1874 portions of Paulding County were annexed to Bartow, Campbell, Carroll, Cobb, Douglas, Haralson and Polk counties. 1850-1874, parts of Carroll, Cobb, Douglas, and Polk counties were annexed to Paulding County. 

In 1852, because Van Wert was located in section of Paulding transferred to Polk County, the county seat was moved to Dallas which was named for George Mifflin Dallas, vice president under James K. Polk.

Many Civil War sites are located in Paulding County, making it a popular site for obtaining historical information. A monument and memorial park stand at New Hope Church, describing events of the well known battle fought in 1864 between General Sherman and General Johnston. Pickett's Mill Historic State Site is one of the best preserved battlefields in the nation. It is the site of the bloody 1864 battle between General Sherman and General Howard at which Union troops were turned away from Paulding county toward Kennesaw by Confederate lines.
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Paulding county was formed in 1832, the county seat was in Van Wert.  The Van Wert courthouse burned and was rebuilt.  Dates unknown.   Dallas became the county seat in 1851-52, when Van Wert became part of Polk County and a new Paulding courthouse was built around 1856.  Another new courthouse was built in 1892, and a new 3 story courthouse was built in 2001.    


A timeline from select newspapers of events in Paulding County.

Paulding County, GA

Transcribed by: 
Date Newspapers
1812 The War of 1812. Fought between the United States and British Empire from 1812 to 1815, on land in North America and at sea around the world. Some history books refer to this war as the "War of 1812-14", using the date of the peace treaty as the ending date of the war. http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/pensions/1812/gaindex.htm is a link to rosters of your Georgia War Veterans. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/war-of-1812.html NARA's information regarding the war. There are Revolutionary War Veterans and 1812 War Veterans who were granted land in the 1832 Land Lottery (Cherokee Nation.) None of them seem to have been granted land in Paulding county (the closest being in 3rd section, 22nd district.)
1817 1817-1874: The Georgia Penitentiary was opened in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia. This is important to Paulding county as many of its criminals were sent there (after Paulding County was established in 1832.) http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/county/baldwin/pen.html links you to cemetery, pictures and other information. http://www.genealogy-quest.com/collections/gapen.html links you to the 1850 census of the prisoners. http://www.genealogy-quest.com/collections/gapen2.html links you to the 1860 census of the prisoners. http://www.jailmuseum.com/Aboutahaingangs.htm provides good historical information about the prison and chain-gangs.
21 Dec 1830 Cherokee County, Georgia, was created from ceded land of the Cherokee Indians. On 3 December 1832, Cheorkee County was divided into ten counties: Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union, Cobb, Cherokee, Gilmer, Cass [now Bartow], Murray, Floyd, and Paulding.
Before 1831 The location before Paulding county becomes organized is known as the Hightower or Etowah District (by the Cherokee General Council.) 

Three main Cherokee towns were Cedar Town (present day Cedartown of Polk County), Clean Town (northwest of Van Wert in Polk County, probably near Aragon, no longer in existence) and Char’le Town (present day located north of Cedartown in Polk County, looking at maps it appears no longer in existence).

For more great info on settlers and history, etc. go to site: http://www.rootsweb.com/~gaalhn/nwga/ (18 Feb 2006).  If interested in the Cherokee natives who lived in this area the book Cherokee Planters In Ga 1832-1838 by Don L. Shadburn is still in circulation (highly recommended.)

1831 Cherokee Nation v. Georgia - the Supreme Court rules against the Cherokees; the Cherokees  are trying to prevent Georgia from applying its laws in Indian territory where gold has recently  been discovered. Court rules that Cherokees are "domestic dependents" and cannot sue in  Federal courts.
24 Dec 1831 “The Act of Dec 24, 1831.  This act mandated that approximately a third of the 160-acre land districts to be laid out under the act of December 21, 1830, be designated as gold districts of 40 acres each and to be distributed in a separate lottery. Date of Drawing: 22 Oct 1832 – 1 May 1833.  The original Cherokee Indian territory became Cherokee County by an Act of December 26, 1831. A law passed on December 3, 1832, divided original Cherokee County into ten counties: Cass (renamed Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union. In the drawing of tickets and in the granting of the land, the area was treated only as Cherokee territory. It was divided between land lots distributed by the sixth land lottery and “gold” lots that were distributed by the seventh land lottery.” [12 Feb 2006; http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/land_lottery_1832gold.htm]
1832 Worcester v. Georgia - Supreme Court declares that the laws of the state of Georgia "can have  no force" within Cherokee boundaries. Georgia refuses to acknowledge the courtís decision and  finds support with President Jackson who declares, "John Marshall has made his decision, now  let him enforce it!"
Bef. 1832. There was an organization in the county known as the "Pony Club" who went to and fro, it seems, plundering the people until by the skillful organization of citizens, their land was put to district. This last organization was called the Hicks' regular officers, who did not go through the county in disguise. Wherever they found a man who was noted as a member of the Pony Club, they arrested him and tied him up and beat him till he told them where the stock was he had stolen. (Paulding New Era)
3 Dec 1832  Paulding county created from Cherokee County, named “The Gold District County”.
November 1837 The first census of Paulding County was taken, after the Cherokee Indians were removed. This census was taken before the Legislature passed an act asking each county to take a census of their residents as of 1 April 1838.
26 Dec 1837 "Pay Roll of Captain John Witcher's Company of Mounted Volunteers of Paulding County organized under an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia; for the protection of the Cherokee Country and for the removal of the Cherokee and Creek Indians from February 1838 to June 1838; and ordered into Service of the State by orders of the Governor of the State of Georgia." Lists of the men can be found at the Georgia Archives: Military Records, 1779-1839, Book 1, pg. 324, Microfilm reel 40/16.
27 Dec 1838 First County seat of Van Wert incorporated.
1838 Cherokee Indians removed, “Trail of Tears.”  See http://www.rosecity.net/tears for more information.
1840 Paulding Census, population 2, 556.
1842 The opening of Milledgeville State Hospital (Baldwin County, Georgia) in order to provide a place for mentally ill people to live so they would not have to reside in a jail or a prison. See http://www.arches.uga.edu/~mgagnon/students/kAnderson.htm for explanation of the Hospital. http://www.centralstatehospital.org/genealogy.htm is the main link for the hospital and gives information on where to write for records. The hospital is important to Paulding county because its disabled citizens were also taken there.
26 Apr 1846 Mexican War.  (Service pensions were granted by an act of Congress approved January 29, 1887. It appears the majority of recipients applied within the first three years of the pension's availability. Applications were accepted until 1926.) See article dated: 24 Apr 1884.
1850 Paulding Census, population 7,039 
20 Dec 1851 Polk County was formed (from Paulding). In 1856 Haralson County was formed from Carroll and Polk Counties.
14 May 1852 Dallas was founded on land deed from Garrett H. Spinks.
1852 Polk County's first courthouse was built in Cedartown.
1853 New courthouse built by contractor E. Guild.
8 Feb 1854 Dallas became the new county seat of Paulding and Cedartown became the new county seat of Polk.
1856 Polk County's courthouse in Cedartown burned down.
1856 Haralson County was formed partially from Polk County. Marriage records began in 1859. I've been informed that the records in Haralson (except for probate) are either nonexistent or difficult to search. (part of Haralson County is in the southwestern corner of "old" Paulding County)
1858 [The Daily Constitution, Atlanta]  Yellow fever epidemic in Savannah, Ga.
1860 Paulding Census, population 7,038.
1861 Civil War begins.
May 25-26,  1864 Battle at New Hope church.  (see 15 May 1884 and 2 Jan 1887 articles for war stories)
May 27, 1864 Battle at Pickett’s Mill
May 28, 1864 Battle at Dallas
1864 The courthouse located in the old county seat of Van Wert was burned down. According to the Polk County Heritage Book "the right wing of Sherman's army encamped at the foot of the mountain, and at night fall the court house was fired for the amusement of his soldiers. The frightened inhabitants fled to the mountains and wept, the court house was never rebuilt, for Cedartown was the undisputed mistress of the western half of Van Wert's old dominion".
1865 Cholera in Atlanta, due to infected soldiers.   [The Daily Constitution Atlanta, GA]
1867 Polk County rebuilt it's courthouse after the civil war.
1869 Destructive Flooding in Paulding County [according to 17 Apr 1884 article]
1870 Paulding Census, population 7,639.
1874 The end of the Penitentiary at Milledgeville. Prisoners were “leased” out into chain-gangs. This program began in March 3, 1874, when Federal Governor Ruger signed the bill authorizing state prisoners to be “leased out” to private individuals and companies. Each convict brought the state about $10.00 per year. Prisoners were often the labor sources for mining operations, rock quarries, and the turpentine industry (ended in 1897)
1880 Paulding Census, population 10,1887.
1883 Many reported deaths of consumption and typoid fever in Paulding county.
1883 1883-1884: Measles outbreak in Paulding County. Many deaths reported.
20 Mar 1884 Mormon missionaries grace the county. (note: I thought I would add this excerpt in because there have been many articles about the Mormon Missionaries visiting Paulding county at this time, and many young women were influenced by them. There are stories of sad unnamed fathers whose daughters were “whisked” away by the missionaries.)
27 Mar 1884 One of the most destructive storms hit Paulding County (25 Mar 1884—New Era was normally written on a Thursday & the storm occurred last Tuesday) The storm sent tornadoes rip through four states (including Georgia.)
17 Apr 1884 Report of floods causing damage to mills and bridges in the county (14 Apr 1884).
8 May, 1886 Coca Cola was invented by Doctor John Pemberton a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. John Pemberton concocted the Coca Cola formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard. The name was a suggestion given by John Pemberton's bookkeeper Frank Robinson.
18 Feb 1887 Measles reported in Dallas. Meningitis is raging in some parts of Paulding, including Yorkville, where deaths have been reported.
1897 : The General Assembly passed an act to end the lease system in favor of a “reformed” system run by a prison commission. Also in that same year, $50,000 was appropriated to build a new prison farm for men, women, and boys. The term in old gangster movies, where the criminals talk about being “sent to the farm” may have been slang for being sent to prison, but in Georgia it was an actual farm. Built near Milledgeville and surrounded by stockades, it featured sturdy, separate buildings for men, women, and boys. It also had a gin, a mill for corn grinding, a depot, a warehouse, and other structures. In fact, it was one of the largest agricultural undertakings in the state and was both a financial and humanitarian success.
1898 Spanish-American War. The United States gaining control over the former colonies of Spain in the Caribbean and Pacific. The war killed at least 1,500 US troops (disease losses were much higher) and perhaps 10,000 Spanish soldiers and sailors (Cuban losses in the summer of 1898 are not commonly tabulated). However, as a humanitarian cause it was a success since this US intervention rapidly put an end to the far bloodier 1895-1898 Cuban War of Independence. Cuba would be declared independent in 1902. (Spain lost control in Cuba, Philippines, & Puerto Rico. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/spanish-american-war.html http://www.spanamwar.com/3rdGeorgiacoc.htm
1903 The state prison board commissioners once again authorized contracts with individuals and corporations and started the chain gang.. In this new system, counties received a share of the state inmates for public construction of highways, railroads, and other forms of public service. These prisoners were housed in camps, and by 1929, Georgia had 140 prison camps. To cut down on travel time between the camps and work sites, inmates sometimes spent the night at the sites in rolling cages. These had a lattice steel design, which provided ventilation. Today these convict cages are jokingly referred to by the manufacturer as the country’s first RV’s. Grand Jury Presentments from 1911 note that Turner County had two such “convict cages in good condition.”
1917 the U.S. joins in World War I, a world conflict lasting from August 1914 to the final Armistice (cessation of hostilities) on November 11, 1918. The Allied Powers (led by Britain and France, and, after 1917, the United States) defeated the Central Powers (led by Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire), and led to the collapse of four empires and a radical change in the map of Europe. The Allied powers are sometimes referred to as the Triple Entente, and the Central Powers are sometimes referred to as the Triple Alliance. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww1.html
1920 Paulding Census, population 14,025
1930 Paulding Census, population 12,327
7 Dec 1941 the bombing of Pearl Harbor lead the U.S. to enter World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a large scale military conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. It engulfed much of the globe and was the largest and deadliest war in history. The war was initially fought between Germany and the Allies. The Allies consisted of the United Kingdom (with the British Empire), France (with the French Empire) and Poland. Germany was later joined with Italy, jointly known as the Axis Powers, and Japan. Some of the nations that Germany conquered also sent military forces, particularly to the Eastern front, while others joined the Allies. The Soviet Union had signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany, but on June 22, 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union, pulling that country into the war as well. In the same year, December 7, 1941 the USA entered the war on the Allies' side after first Japan and then Germany attacked and declared war on the US. China, which had been engaged in war with Japan since the mid-1930s, also entered the Allies camp. Germany surrendered to the Allies in May of 1945. The war ended on September 8, 1945 with the surrender of Japan. http://www.archives.gov/research/ww2/index.html
4 Apr 1977 Southern Airways DC-9-31 plane crash in New Hope. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Airways_Flight_242



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