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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.[1] The county seat is Hamilton.[2] The county was created on December 14, 1827 and named for Charles Harris, a Georgia judge and attorney.[3]

Harris County, Georgia
Harris County Georgia Courthouse.JPG
County courthouse in Hamilton
Map of Georgia highlighting Harris County
Location in the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded December 14, 1827
Named for Charles Harris
Seat Hamilton
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%
 • (2010) 32,024
 • Density 69/sq mi (27/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
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.

The County courthouse was designed by Edward Columbus Hosford of Georgia and completed in 1906.

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.[4] 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.[4]

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”[5] and "notorious predator of black women."[6]

Dusky Crutchfield was the first woman lynched in Georgia,[5] and the lynching case attracted attention of national northern newspapers.[7][8] Also murdered by the lynch mob were Eugene Harrington, Burrell Hardaway,[9] and Johnie Moore. (Note: There was confusion about names of victims at the time, and variations have been published.)[4]

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.[5][4][9]

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.


View of Harris County on Pine Mountain.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 473 square miles (1,230 km2), of which 464 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 9.1 square miles (24 km2) (1.9%) is water.[10]

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.[11]

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


Census Pop.
1830 5,105
1840 13,933 172.9%
1850 14,721 5.7%
1860 13,736 −6.7%
1870 13,284 −3.3%
1880 15,758 18.6%
1890 16,797 6.6%
1900 18,009 7.2%
1910 17,886 −0.7%
1920 15,775 −11.8%
1930 11,140 −29.4%
1940 11,428 2.6%
1950 11,265 −1.4%
1960 11,167 −0.9%
1970 11,520 3.2%
1980 15,464 34.2%
1990 17,788 15.0%
2000 23,695 33.2%
2010 32,024 35.2%
Est. 2016 33,652 [12] 5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,024 people, 11,823 households, and 9,268 families residing in the county.[17] 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).[18] 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.[17] 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.[19]

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.[17]

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.[20]



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.[21] The district headquarters is located in Hamilton, and has 274 full-time teachers and over 4,411 students spread out over seven schools.[22]

  • Mulberry Creek Elementary School (Cataula)
  • New Mountain Hill Elementary School (Fortson)
  • Park Elementary School (Hamilton)
  • Pine Ridge Elementary School (Ellerslie)
  • Creekside Intermediate School (grades 5-6) (Cataula)
  • Harris County Carver Middle School (Hamilton)
  • Harris County High School (Hamilton)

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 150. 
  4. ^ a b c d Karen Branan, The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth, Atria Books, 2016
  5. ^ a b c Jeff Calder, " 'Family Tree’ unpacks mystery of a 1912 Georgia lynching", Books & Literature, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9 January 2016, accessed 6 April 2016
  6. ^ Karen Branan, "Getting to the Roots of My Family Tree", Coming to the Table, 2014, accessed 6 April 2016
  7. ^ "Woman and 3 Men Lynched by Mob", Chicago Daily Tribune, 23 January 1912, accessed 6 April 2016
  8. ^ "Three Colored Men and Woman Lynched", VALLEY SENTINEL, (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), January 26, 1912, accessed 6 April 2016
  9. ^ a b "Burrell Hardaway", Georgia Lynching Project Circa 1875-1930, Project of Emory University, 2016, accessed 6 April 2016
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 
  18. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 
  19. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 
  20. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-29. 
  21. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  22. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 19, 2010.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 32°44′N 84°55′W / 32.74°N 84.91°W / 32.74; -84.91