Creation of Peach County

Material written by Marilyn Neisler Windham on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Peach county - July 10, 1999

Peach County was officially created in July 1924 when the legislature passed the constitutional amendment that created Georgia's last formed county. In the 1924 November general election, the people of Georgia ratified the bill by a vote of 77,052 to 31,211. Beginning January 1, 1925, Peach County went into business. County officers were elected on January 7th.

The idea of this area at the north end of Houston County having its own county seat was not just something that developed in the 20th century. As early as the 1850s folks living here wanted their own independence. Again in the 1880s there was talk of a new county. It was hard getting to the Courthouse in Perry and there were parts of Macon County that found it difficult to cross the Flint River to do business in their county seat. So the idea of making a county out of Houston and Macon Counties was hardily discussed.

But the real push to make this new county a reality was begun in 1914 at a meeting at Mr. A.B. Greene's house at Everett Square. Bryon decided to do what it took to put this area on the map.

The movement officially started as early as 1916, but it was in 1922 that the political battle reached its peak. The fight between the north end of Houston County and the south end was almost unprecedented in terms of a war of words and political advertisements in papers across the state. There were many issues at hand: Population, land distribution, need for another county, and the name being a fruit!

The main debate state wide was whether the state needed any more counties. Peach County would be number 161 at the time. Several years before 5 counties were created. People around the state began seeing all these new counties as just more governments and more political power for certain groups.

With local people the debate was much deeper. The concerns were divisions of political power, race, population ....and everything in between.

Macon County was persuaded to vote against a Peach County amendment and in return was given 40,000 acres by Houston County. Women's clubs got in the act and wrote vicious letters back and forth from Fort Valley and Montezuma. One merchant in Marshallville was sent a letter to "get out of town" because of his support of the new county.

The question of the name was raised. How could Georgia possibly start naming counties after agricultural crops? Would there soon be a "Watermelon County". And what about cotton, pecan or corn counties? Where would it all lead?

In 1922 the Amendment to create Peach County was passed by the legislature but was defeated by the people of Georgia in the General Election.

After the 1922 defeat there is little written about all the many things that happened, but in the end, the bickering parties got together and made the peach capital of the world a reality. Untireless efforts from Senator J.E. Davison, Emmet House, Charles Jackson, H.C. Neil, C.L. Shepard, A.J. Evans helped to resolve the differences with the Macon and Houston County electorate, so that the 1924 amendment passed.

Study the lines of the counties and you will see:

1)section of Houston given to Macon

2)Section from Macon and Houston which resulted in Peach County

3)The Central of Georgia Railroad line runs diagonally through the counties.

Copyright: 2000
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