Clinton, Georgia

Summary

Clinton is an unincorporated town in Jones County, Georgia, United States. Formerly the county seat of Jones County, Clinton is located along Georgia State Route 18 (and the former US 129) only 1+12 miles (2.4 km) southwest of the center of Gray. The center of the formerly incorporated town forms the Old Clinton Historic District.

Clinton, Georgia
Lowther Hall in 1934
Lowther Hall in 1934
Clinton is located in Georgia
Clinton
Clinton
Clinton is located in the United States
Clinton
Clinton
Coordinates: 32°59′55″N 83°33′20″W / 32.99861°N 83.55556°W / 32.99861; -83.55556Coordinates: 32°59′55″N 83°33′20″W / 32.99861°N 83.55556°W / 32.99861; -83.55556
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyJones
Elevation
548 ft (167 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)478
GNIS feature ID355194[1]

HistoryEdit

Clinton was originally called Albany[2] and served as the first county seat of Jones County,[3] which was formed in December 1807 from Baldwin County.

The town was renamed Clinton for DeWitt Clinton (1769–1828), the seventh and ninth governor of New York,[2][4] or possibly his uncle George Clinton, vice president of the U.S. from 1805 to 1812.[4] It was established as the county seat by the Georgia General Assembly on December 22, 1808.[5]

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the "Town of Clinton" in 1816.[6] A post office called Clinton was established in 1821, and remained in operation until 1924.[7]

In the early and middle 1800s, Clinton grew as a center of commerce and the cotton trade,[3] and was one of the most populous cities in Georgia.[2][4] During this period, impressive homes were constructed and the town was visited by the Marquis de Lafayette during his 1825 tour of the U.S.[4] The Clinton Female Seminary, incorporated in 1821 and established in 1828,[2] was the forerunner of what would become Macon’s Wesleyan College in neighboring Bibb County.[4]

Clinton began a period of near-terminal decline first with the destruction of the town in 1864 at the hands of the invading Northern armies of William T. Sherman in the American Civil War.[2] This was compounded when the Central of Georgia Railway bypassed Clinton in favor of nearby Gray due to local opposition.[2]

The county seat of Jones county was moved to Gray in 1905,[2][4] and Clinton's municipal charter was officially dissolved in 1995[2] along with those of many other inactive Georgia municipalities.

Today, the nucleus of the original residential portion town forms the Old Clinton Historic District (listed in 1974).[8] The town's former business district no longer exists.[8]

GeographyEdit

Outside of Old Clinton, the town functions much like a suburb of Gray, especially along the four-lane divided Gray Highway (formerly US 129, which now bypasses Clinton and Gray). Small parcels of Clinton along Gray Highway have been formally annexed to Gray.

CultureEdit

Since the late 20th century, the Old Clinton Historic District has been the site of War Days, an event reenacting 19th century life, including the Jones County Civil War battles of Sunshine Church and Griswoldville.[3]

Notable peopleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Clinton". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Kenneth K. Krakow. "Clinton" entry in Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins. 3rd ed. Winship Press, 1999. p. 46. ISBN 0-915430-00-2
  3. ^ a b c "Jones County, Georgia." Advisory Council on Historic Preservation website. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f William Bragg. "Jones County." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 31 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia: Passed at Milledgville, At An Annual Session, In November and December, 1808". Article To establish the site of public buildings in the county of JONES, and to appropriate the money arising from the sale of lots., Act of 22 December 1808. ...the site of public buildings in and for the county of Jones shall be in the town called and known by the name of Clinton in said county...
  6. ^ Park's annotated code of the state of Georgia. The Harrison company. 1916. p. 533.
  7. ^ "Post Offices". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b Elizabeth Z. Macgregor (10 June 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Old Clinton Historic District / Old Clinton". National Park Service. Retrieved 30 March 2020. With 13 photos from 1974.