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Despite objections, Bulloch Co. is sliced and diced
Bulloch History
roger allen
Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at the origins of the formation of Bulloch County.)

Part I

In the Statesboro News issue of June 15, 1909, an article entitled "Right to the Point" was published at the top of the paper, which was reprinted from the newspaper the Americus Times-Recorder.

It read "The Statesboro News objects to having Bulloch County sliced up. Bulloch has nearly 1,000 square miles of territory. It is the Texas of Georgia's counties."

And, "While its size may be a little cumbersome, we sympathize with the News in its fight. There is too much creation of new counties to make jobs for politicians (and help) cross-road villages (to) become county seats." A) Emanuel County (285) (From Lamar’s Compilations, 1821, pages 197-99).

Emanuel County was created on Dec. 10, 1812 from land that was originally part of ‘Bullock’ and Montgomery counties. Emanuel County actually used to be much larger.

Emanuel's original borders were cut to form the following counties: Johnson (1858), Jenkins and Toombs (1905), Candler (1914), and Treutlen (1918).

Canoe was cut from Bulloch County, was placed in Candler, and was renamed Canoe Station. Emanuel County has a total area of 690 square miles: 686 are dry land and 4 are water.

The county is named in honor of Revolutionary War veteran Gov. David Emanuel. In 1812, Edward Lane, Francis Pugh, Needham Cox, Eli Whitdon and Uriah Anderson as commissioners to select a county seat.

Then, the Legislature named Joshua Wood, Travis Thigpen, Jesse Price, John Wolf and Gideon Hose as new commissioners, with instructions to go ahead and purchase a suitable site for the county seat of up to 100 acres.

In 1814, the commissioners selected the location of the county seat. In 1822, the Legislature named it Swainsborough, honoring state Senator Stephen Swain, who introduced the bill for the county's creation.

The town's name was changed to Paris when it was formally incorporated on Feb. 18, 1854. Three years later, the name was changed again, this time to its current name, Swainsboro.

The Emanuel County Courthouse was the scene of major fires in 1841, 1855, 1857, 1919 and 1938. Because of a family feud, the town of Adrian was divided between Johnson and Emanuel counties.

Originally named Kea's Mill, Stillmore got its name from a Post Office list of possible names for the town, adding that if the townspeople did not like any of the names on the list, "still more" could be sent. B) Candler County (218) (From 1914 Georgia Laws, Act #282, pp. 29-33.)

Candler County was created on July 17, 1914 and ratified Nov. 3, 1914. The county was carved out using parts of ‘Bullock’, Emanuel and Tattnall counties.

Several Bulloch County towns then became part of the new county, including Metter, which generated 1/4 of Bulloch County’s revenue. Other towns included Parrish, Pulaski and Queen.

Candler County is one of only a few counties that kept their boundaries assigned at the time of their formation. Candler has a total area of 249 square miles: 247 miles are dry land and 2 miles are water.

The county was named for Georgia Gov. Allen D. Candler (1834-1910). Candler spent a great deal of his retirement years compiling the state's Colonial, Revolutionary and Confederate records.

Metter is the county seat of Candler. The Candler jail, a two-story brick building constructed in 1916, was built to serve as both a jail and living quarters for the county sheriff.

The Metter Advertiser was once owned and published by the town of Metter. Metter is home to the Guido Evangelical Association and its "Seeds from the Sower" programs.

In the Bulloch County Superior Court minutes of 1898-1901, D.L. Trapnell, W.R. Sykes and O.R. Waters requested Metter’s boundaries be 5/9 of a mile in a circle from the depot of the Bruton & Pineora Railroad.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail him at

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