Harris County, Georgia
Harris County is a county located in the west central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia; its western border is formed by the Chattahoochee River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,024. The county seat is Hamilton. The county was created on December 14, 1827 and named for Charles Harris, a Georgia judge and attorney.
|Harris County, Georgia|
County courthouse in Hamilton
Location in the U.S. state of Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
|Founded||December 14, 1827|
|Named for||Charles Harris|
|Largest city||West Point|
|• Total||473 sq mi (1,225 km2)|
|• Land||464 sq mi (1,202 km2)|
|• Water||9.1 sq mi (24 km2), 1.9%|
|• Density||69/sq mi (27/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Harris County is part of the Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area. In the antebellum era, it was considered part of the Black Belt in the southern United States, an upland area developed for cotton plantations in the nineteenth century before the American Civil War. Muscogee County, to the south, was more heavily developed for cotton.
The county was settled by European Americans largely after the federal government had forcibly removed the indigenous Creek people (Muscogee), who were relocated to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. In the antebellum era, parts of the county were developed for cotton plantations, the premier commodity crop. Planters imported numerous slaves from the Upper South through the domestic slave trade as workers.
By the late 19th century, there had been numerous interracial relationships between whites and blacks both before and after the war; many residents were of mixed race, typically with European ancestry through the paternal line. There were 200 years of families with many inter-connections among them; justice was nearly always meted out to kin. Periodically some of the whites would try to reduce the relations of white men with mixed-race and black women, a movement that started in the late 19th century. The mountain areas of the county had moonshiners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; both whites and blacks took part in this.
On January 22, 1912, a black woman and three black men were lynched in Hamilton, the county seat, allegedly for the murder of local white landowner Norman Hadley. He was described by journalist Karen Branan in her 2016 book about these events as a white “near penniless plowboy-playboy” and "notorious predator of black women."
Dusky Crutchfield was the first woman lynched in Georgia, and the lynching case attracted attention of national northern newspapers. Also murdered by the lynch mob were Eugene Harrington, Burrell Hardaway, and Johnie Moore. (Note: There was confusion about names of victims at the time, and variations have been published.)
The four had been taken in for questioning about Hadley's murder by Sheriff Marion Madison “Buddie” Hadley, but never arrested. Lynched as scapegoats by a white mob of 100 men, they were later shown to have been utterly innocent. As an example of the complex relationships in the town and county, Johnie Moore was a mixed-race cousin of the sheriff; Norman Hadley was the sheriff's nephew.
The county is now part of the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, which has become industrialized and developed a more varied economy. By per capita income, the county is the sixth-wealthiest in the state of Georgia, and the wealthiest county in the state outside of Metro Atlanta.
The majority of Harris County is located in the Middle Chattahoochee River-Lake Harding sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin), with the exception of the county's southeastern border area, south of Ellerslie, which is located in the Middle Chattahoochee River-Walter F. George Lake sub-basin of the same ACF River Basin.
- Interstate 85
- Interstate 185
- U.S. Route 27
U.S. Route 27 Alternate
- State Route 1
- State Route 18
- State Route 36
- State Route 85
- State Route 85 Alternate
- State Route 103
- State Route 116
- State Route 190
- State Route 208
- State Route 219
- State Route 315
- State Route 354
- State Route 403 (unsigned designation for I-85)
- State Route 411 (unsigned designation for I-185)
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,024 people, 11,823 households, and 9,268 families residing in the county. The population density was 69.0 inhabitants per square mile (26.6/km2). There were 13,397 housing units at an average density of 28.9 per square mile (11.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.3% white, 17.2% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 17.2% identified as having African ancestry (in US history this has often also meant distant European ancestry); 13.5% were German, 13.4% were Irish, 11.5% were English, and 10.5% identified as having American ancestry.
Of the 11,823 households, 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 21.6% were non-families, and 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.04. The median age was 42.0 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $67,018 and the median income for a family was $74,457. Males had a median income of $49,844 versus $37,103 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,073. About 6.0% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Harris County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of four elementary schools, an intermediate school, a middle school, and a high school. The district headquarters is located in Hamilton, and has 274 full-time teachers and over 4,411 students spread out over seven schools.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 150.
- Karen Branan, The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth, Atria Books, 2016
- Jeff Calder, " 'Family Tree’ unpacks mystery of a 1912 Georgia lynching", Books & Literature, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9 January 2016, accessed 6 April 2016
- Karen Branan, "Getting to the Roots of My Family Tree", Coming to the Table, 2014, accessed 6 April 2016
- "Woman and 3 Men Lynched by Mob", Chicago Daily Tribune, 23 January 1912, accessed 6 April 2016
- "Three Colored Men and Woman Lynched", VALLEY SENTINEL, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), January 26, 1912, accessed 6 April 2016
- "Burrell Hardaway", Georgia Lynching Project Circa 1875-1930, Project of Emory University, 2016, accessed 6 April 2016
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 19, 2010.
- School Stats, Retrieved June 19, 2010.