And they have a time capsule!
GPS Coordinates: 31.3264, 84.17130
Date Built: 1917-18
Architectural Style: Neoclassical Revival
Designer: J.J. Baldwin
Other Information: The Dec. 14, 1826 act naming and organizing Lee County providing that on the first Monday in May 1827, voters of Lee County would assemble at "Pond Town, or Williams' Store" and elect county officials (Ga. Laws 1826, p. 57). The act also authorized the justices of the inferior court to select a county seat and build a courthouse and jail. An act of Dec. 22, 1828 that organized the county provided that initial county elections would be held in the home of Benjamin Matthews (Ga. Laws 1828, p. 63). That same act authorized the first justices of the county's inferior court to contract for erection of a courthouse and other county buildings. What served as courthouse for the next nine years is not known, but reportedly a courthouse was built in Starkville in 1837. In 1854, the General Assembly repealed Starkville's status as county seat and directed that a commission select a new county seat by Oct. 15, 1854. That commission selected a new site, which the county seat was moved to Webster, where a new courthouse was built.
What happened next is not exactly clear. Lee County's courthouse is known to have burned -- though sources differ as to 1856 or 1858. In Feb.1856, the legislature designated Starkville again as county seat (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 117). The old 1837 courthouses was used until it was destroyed by fire in 1856 or 1858 (sources vary). On March 1, 1856, the legislature authorized Lee County to levy a special tax for construction of a new courthouse and jail (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 546). Construction of the new courthouse was completed in Feb. 1861.
On Aug. 20, 1872, the General Assembly moved Lee's county seat from Starkville to Wooten Station (see map) on the Southwestern Railroad (Ga. Laws 1872, p. 264). That act named commissioners with responsibility for erecting a courthouse and jail at the new county seat. A building in Wooten used as a temporary courthouse burned in 1872. In 1873, the legislature authorized Lee County to borrow up to $10,000 to build a new courthouse and jail (Ga. Laws 1873, p. 229). Construction began on a courthouse but was halted in Nov. 1874 after a grand jury recommended that the unfinished building and all materials be sold. Subsequently, various buildings were rented until a new courthouse was completed in Dec. 1880. This courthouse served until the present courthouse was completed in 1918. A rear addition was built in 1975.