High Victorian Eclectic
Bruce & Morgan
Monroe County's first courthouse, built in Forsyth in 1825, served the county until torn down in 1895 or 1896. The present two-story, brick courthouse was completed in 1896 (see photo 1
and photo 2
). The clock tower was restored in 1990.
County Courthouse Historical Marker: Click here
Monroe County was created on May 15, 1821 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1821 Extra. Session, p. 3). [Click here
to read the legal description of Monroe County's original boundaries.] Dooly, Houston, Monroe, Fayette, and Henry County were created in that order by the Georgia Land Lottery Act of 1821
, which was enacted at a special session of the General Assembly four months after the Creek Indians ceded lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint rivers (see map
) on Jan. 8, 1821 in the first Treaty of Indian Springs
. Monroe County was organized by an act of the legislature approved Dec. 24, 1821 (Ga. Laws 1821, p. 44).
Georgia's 50th county was named for James Monroe
, who was President of the United States when the county was created.
Portions of Monroe County were used to create the following counties: Bibb and Pike (1822), Butt (1825), and Lamar (1920).
The Dec. 24, 1821 act organizing Monroe County authorized the justices of the inferior court to select the location of the county seat (Ga. Laws 1821, p. 44). An act of Dec. 23, 1822 designated the inferior court as a commission to select a county seat, "which shall be as near the centre of the county as convenience will admit" (Ga. Laws 1822, p. 23). Initially, the legislation directed that Monroe County courts and elections be held at the house of Henry H. Lumkin. Subsequently, those inferior court chose lot 171 in the sixth district of Monroe County. Here, they purchased 202.5 acres from John Booth on Feb. 18, 1823, and directed that a town be laid out. The new county seat was named Forsyth, in honor of Georgia politician and diplomat John Forsyth
(1780-1840) In an act of Dec. 10, 1823, the legislature confirmed this action by designating Forsyth permanent county seat and incorporating it as a town (Ga. Laws 1823, p. 198).