Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 60,485. The county seat is Jefferson.
On February 11, 1796, Jackson County was split off from part of Franklin County, Georgia. The new county was named in honor of Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel, Congressman, Senator and Governor James Jackson. The county originally covered an area of approximately 1,800 square miles (4,662.0 km2), with Clarkesboro as its first county seat.
In 1801, the Georgia General Assembly granted 40,000 acres (160 km2) of land in Jackson County for a state college. Franklin College (now University of Georgia) began classes the same year, and the city of Athens was developed around the school. Also the same year, a new county was developed around the new college town, and Jackson lost territory to the new Clarke. The county seat was moved to an old Indian village called Thomocoggan, a location with ample water supply from Curry Creek and four large springs. In 1804, the city was renamed Jefferson, after Thomas Jefferson.
Jackson lost more territory in 1811 in the creation of Madison County, in 1818 in the creation of Walton, Gwinnett, and Hall counties, in 1858 in the creation of Banks County, and in 1914 in the creation of Barrow County.
The first county courthouse, a log and wooden frame building with an attached jail, was built on south side of the public square; a second, larger, two-story brick courthouse with a separate jailhouse was built in 1817. In 1880, a third was built on a hill north of the square. This courthouse was the oldest continuously operating courthouse in the United States until 2004, when the current courthouse was constructed north of Jefferson.