Wilkes County, Georgia

Wilkes Co., GA

Wilkes County, GA


The state's first county, Wilkes County was created in 1777. The area that became the original Wilkes County was called the New Purchase or Ceded Lands, referring to the land lying between the Broad River and the Savannah River. It is named for John Wilkes, a colorful member of British Parliament who opposed some of the British policies that eventually led to the American Revolution.

Creek and Cherokee people originally held the land but lost it to whites in a treaty signed in 1773. The first non-Indians in the area were fur trappers and traders; the first white settlers came from North Carolina, followed soon by a large number of Virginians.

The area now forming Wilkes County saw action during the American Revolution, most notably on February 14, 1779, during the Battle of Kettle Creek, one of the most decisive conflicts of the war. British forces, solidly defeated by the Americans, were prevented from moving farther into west Georgia. Washington, the county seat, was laid out in the midst of the Revolution, retaining the name to honor General Washington and, thus, reputedly becoming the first town in the United States named for him.
Source: New Georgia Encyclopedia

Modern Day Adjacent Counties

Wilkes County is bordered by Elbert, Lincoln, McDuffie, Warren, Taliaferro and Oglethorpe.

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Page last modified on Saturday 10 of December, 2016 10:42:42 CST by Beverly.