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Old 10-27-2013, 10:34 AM   #135
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Rome, GA
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Floyd County, Rome, GA


Other Information: Floyd County's first courthouse was a log cabin built in Livingston in 1833. On Dec. 20, 1834, the General Assembly designated Rome as county seat. It is not known what initially served as the county courthouse, but around 1840 a new courthouse and jail were built, as evidenced by the fact that in an act of Dec. 19, 1840, the General Assembly authorized the justices of Floyd County's inferior court to levy a special tax "for the purpose of paying the debt already incurred by the erection of a Court-House and Jail in said county" (Ga. Laws 1840, p. 184). It is not clear how long the 1840 courthouse was used, but apparently a third courthouse was built sometime prior to the Civil War (as indicated by war-time references to the "old courthouse" in Rome). Though Rome was occupied by Union troops for six months in 1864, the courthouse was spared -- despite Sherman's order that his troops burn all public property upon departing.

What is believed to be Floyd County's fourth courthouse -- a new two-story brick courthouse with clock tower --was built in 1892-93 (see photo and profile). Though no longer used as a courthouse, this building still stands as the most prominent structure in the Floyd County government complex in downtown Rome.

Floyd County's fifth courthouse (see photo) originally served as the U.S. Post Office for Rome. Construction began in 1895 and was completed in January 1896. Opened for business on Jan. 30, 1896. the facility was subsequently remodeled in 1904, 1911, and 1941. The post office moved to a new federal building constructed in 1974. The next year, Floyd County purchased the old post office building for use by county agencies and courts. Between 1975 and 1978, the building was renovated and modernized, finally opening as the new Floyd County Courthouse in June 1978.

Lack of space forced Floyd County to construct its sixth and present courthouse in 1995. Built in conjunction with a new civic center, the multi-purpose county government building is located behind the old 1893 courthouse. Officially known as the Administrative Courthouse Building, this three-story brick structure houses the offices and courtrooms for Floyd County's superior court and other county courts, additionally serving as offices for various administrative agencies. Meanwhile, the 1893 courthouse continues in use, housing the tax commissioner and other county offices. Also, the old U.S. Post Office (which still bears the designation "Floyd County Court House" above the front entrance) continues to be used by county agencies, though it no longer serves as a court house.

Completing the buildings in the Floyd County government complex is the Rome-Floyd County Law Enforcement Center (see photo) build in 1998 across the street from the front of the 1893 courthouse. It houses the city and county police departments and jail, while the county sheriff's department has been moved to new facilities outside the downtown Rome area.

County Courthouse Historical Marker: Click here

County History: Floyd County was created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1832, p. 56). [Click here for complete text of legislation.] According to that act, Floyd County was to consist of the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th districts of the 3rd Section, and the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 14th, 15th, and 16th districts of the 4th Section of the original Cherokee County (see map).

In way of background, by 1830, the Cherokee Nation consisted of most of northwest Georgia (see map), plus adjoining areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Even while Cherokee Indians remained on their homeland in Georgia, the General Assembly on Dec. 21, 1830 enacted legislation claiming "all the Territory within the limits of Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee tribe of Indians; and all other unlocated lands within the limits of this State, claimed as Creek land" (Ga. Laws 1830, p. 127). The act also provided for surveying the Cherokee lands in Georgia; dividing them into sections, districts, and land lots; and authorizing a lottery to distribute the land. On Dec. 26, 1831, the legislature designated all land in Georgia that lay west of the Chattahoochee River and north of Carroll county as "Cherokee County" (see map) and provided for its organization (Ga. Laws 1831, p. 74). However, the new county was not able to function as a county because of its size and the fact that Cherokee Indians still occupied portions of the land. On Dec. 3, 1832, the legislature added areas of Habersham and Hall counties to Cherokee County, and then divided the entire area into nine new counties -- Cass (later renamed Bartow), Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union -- plus a reconstituted and much smaller Cherokee County. Cherokee lands were distributed to whites in a land lottery, but the legislature temporarily prohibited whites from taking possession of lots on which Cherokees still lived. By 1833, however, whites began occupying areas of Floyd County.

The official basis for Georgia claiming possession of all Cherokee lands in Georgia was the Treaty of New Echota of Dec. 29, 1835. In this treaty, a faction of the Cherokees agreed to give up all Cherokee claims to land in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina and move west in return for $5 million. Though a majority of Cherokees opposed the treaty and refused to leave, the U.S. and Georgia considered it binding. In 1838, U.S. Army troops rounded up the last of 15,000 Cherokees in Georgia and forced them to march west in what came to be known as the "Trail of Tears."

Georgia's 88th county was named for Gen. John Floyd, who was involved in various campaigns against the Creek Indians in the early 1800s and later served in the Georgia General Assembly and U.S. Congress.

Portions of Floyd County were used to create Chattooga County (1838), Gordon County (1850), and Polk County (1851). Between 1840 and 1856, the General Assembly transferred land between Chattooga and Floyd counties on ten occasions.
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