Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at the origins of the formation of Bulloch County.)
Mary Carter’s book, “Effingham (and) Liberty (the) Early Records” (1978), reported the citizens of both Scriven and Bryan counties petitioned the Georgia Convention in 1795.
They stated, “Citizens of Scriven County (when) of necessity they are obliged to attend on public requisitions (have the) Ogeechee River to cross, generally full of water and badly accommodated with flats canoes.”
The governor was asked to make the part of the “county of Bryan (up) Ogeechee River (and) that part of Scriven County lying on the south side of Great Ogeechee River (to) Skulls Creek be a separate (and) distant county.”
A “Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia” (1800) recorded “Drury Jones, Andrew E. Wells, Stephen Denmark, Joseph Rogers, and John Cook (were) appointed commissioners (of the new Bulloch County.)”
The Digest recorded they were told to “Erect a Court House and jail (for) the permanent seat (of the government) of Bullock.” Until then, all “courts shall continue to be held...at the house of William Fletcher.”
Jedidiah Morse, a renowned gazetteer, created the “American Universal Geography (and the) Known World (1812). In it, Bulloch County makes its first formal ‘appearance.’
Morse, who was the father of Samuel Morse, the inventor of the “Morse Code,” wrote that the population of Bulloch County in 1810 was “2,305 people, of whom 1,879 were free and 426 were slaves.”
Bishop Davenport, in his “A New Gazetteer (of) North America, (1833)” described ‘Bullock County’ as 45 miles long and 12 miles wide and... (an area of) 540 square miles.”
Davenport described the boundaries of the new “Bullock County.” He revealed, “Bullock County (is) bounded by Bryan SE., Tattnall SW., Emanuel NW., and Scriven and Effingham NE.”
Davenport added “Bullock County included 1,933 whites and 653 coloreds, for a total of 2,586.” Georgia’s population grew dramatically. In 1790 there were 82,548 people living in the state.
The Bulloch Times-Statesboro News-Statesboro Eagle issue of March 28, 1929 explained Act #270 in the Acts of the General Assembly Passed in Milledgeville...in November and December 1866 (1867).
Section #1 of the Act declared “Statesboro, in the county of Bulloch, shall be (and) is hereby made the permanent seat of the public buildings of said county.” It was assented to on Dec. 29, 1866.
Section 2 of the Act stated “That W.H Myley, W.H. Coleman, C. Predorius (Pretorius), J. Zetomer (Zetterower), and C.E. Fletcher, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners of said town.”
A story entitled “Clippings in Old Newspaper Reveals Bulloch’s History” in the September 3, 1957 Bulloch Herald reprinted a story from the Savannah Republican of December 13, 1850.
It read “Bulloch County was comprised of 900 square miles in 1850, but has only 668 in 1957. Bulloch’s Real Estate in 1850 was valued at $379,205, whereas its farms alone in 1937 were valued at “$9,595,886.”
And, “Bulloch’s population (in) the 1850 census (listed) 1,435 white males, 1,405 white females, and 1,460 slaves. Bulloch County had 477 dwellings, with 487 families, 412 farms, and 3 manufacturing establishments.”
In the 1860 census, there were 2,164 slaves and “one free person of color.” Then, in the 1930 census, Bulloch County’s population was 26,509, two-thirds of whom were white.
“In 1870, the county had 5,610 population, and (Statesboro), its principal town, the seat of its government, was made up of a one-horse store, two or three ram-shackle dwellings, and a so-called court house.”
“Their fathers dozed out its life in comfortable mediocrity, (until) a very great change came over the spirit of its dreams. Railroads were built (and) the products of its farms found swift and easy access to the markets.”
The Bulloch Times issue of July 13, 1893 listed the current Bulloch County Officers. The Ordinary Court Judge was C.S Marin, and the Clerk of Court was Harrison Olliff. Bulloch’s Sheriff was W.H. Waters.
Bulloch’s Tax Receiver was A.B. Akins of Excelsior, Tax Collector was J.C. DeLoach of Harville, and Treasurer was Josiah Zetterower, Surveyor was H.J. Proctor Jr. of Proctor, and Coroner was T.A. Waters of Statesboro.
The Bulloch County Board of Education members were W.N. Hall, W.P. Donaldson, J.C. Cromley, R.P. Miller, and Algarene Trapnell, while the School Commissioner was J.S. Belknap of Hagan.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.