Baldwin County
Baldwin County Courthouse
Baldwin County Courthouse
Official seal of Baldwin County
Map of Georgia highlighting Baldwin County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°04′N 83°15′W / 33.07°N 83.25°W / 33.07; -83.25
Country United States
State Georgia
Founded1803; 221 years ago (1803)
Named forAbraham Baldwin
SeatMilledgeville
Largest cityMilledgeville
Area
 • Total267 sq mi (690 km2)
 • Land258 sq mi (670 km2)
 • Water9.6 sq mi (25 km2)  3.6%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total43,799
 • Density170/sq mi (70/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitebaldwincountyga.com

Baldwin County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, its population was 43,799.[1] The county seat is Milledgeville,[2] which was developed along the Oconee River. Baldwin County is part of the Milledgeville micropolitan statistical area.

History

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For centuries, the land was occupied by the Creek Nation, and for thousands of years before them, varying cultures of indigenous peoples.

Part of the land ceded by the Creek people in the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson in 1802 was used to create Baldwin County on May 11, 1803, by the Georgia General Assembly, the state's legislative body.

The land west of the Oconee River was organized as Baldwin and Wilkinson Counties. The Treaty of Washington with the Creek in 1805 extended the state's western boundary to the Ocmulgee River. A legislative act on June 26, 1806, added some of this additional land to both counties.

The state legislature subsequently passed an act on December 10, 1807, that created four new counties from Baldwin County's 1806 borders. It expanded Baldwin to the east with land from Hancock and Washington Counties. The new counties were Morgan, Jones, Putnam, and present-day Jasper (originally named Randolph County at the time of the act).

The county is named for Abraham Baldwin, a signer of the United States Constitution, U.S. congressman representing Georgia, and the founder of the University of Georgia.[3] White settlers moved into the area and developed large cotton plantations, made possible by the labor of slaves. Since the invention of the cotton gin, short-staple cotton could be profitably processed, and it was well-suited to the uplands of Georgia. What became known as the Black Belt of Georgia, an arc of fertile soil, was one of the destinations for slaves being sold from the Upper South, as well as from the Low Country.

The county seat of Milledgeville, formerly the state capital of Georgia (1804–1868), is one of only 3 planned capital cities in the United States along with Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis, IN.

Because of its central location within the state and its abundant supply of water from the Oconee River, Milledgeville grew rapidly into a bustling frontier town. On November 2, 1807, the state legislature held its first session in the newly completed statehouse in Milledgeville. Georgia's first state penitentiary was also built within the historic city limits of Milledgeville in 1817. This site is now used as the main campus of Georgia College and State University. In 1837, the General Assembly provided for the establishment of the state's first mental asylum, today known as Central State Hospital.

When the state of Georgia seceded from the Union in January 1861, during a legislative session held in Milledgeville, Baldwin County became a target for Union forces. When Union general William T. Sherman made his devastating March to the Sea through Georgia, his troops occupied the capital city in November 1864. Sherman and his Union armies burned the state penitentiary, vandalized the city, and held a mock session of the legislature in the statehouse to repeal the state's ordinance of secession.

In 1868, after the Civil War (1861–65), Georgia's capital was moved from Milledgeville to its present location in Atlanta. Today, Milledgeville is home to two institutions of higher education: Georgia College and State University and Georgia Military College. Founded in 1889 as the Georgia Normal and Industrial College for Women, Georgia College and State University has since grown to become the state's premier public liberal-arts university. Georgia Military College, founded in 1879, now occupies the Old Capitol Building.

In addition to the Old Capitol and Governor's Mansion, visitors to Baldwin County can explore Andalusia, the family farm of writer Flannery O'Connor; Milledgeville's historic district; and the Lockerly Arboretum, a botanical garden and nature education center that hosts the Lockerly Heritage Festival each September.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 267 square miles (690 km2), of which 9.6 square miles (25 km2) (3.6%) is covered by water.[4]

The county is located along the fall line of the Eastern United States. The city of Milledgeville, which is located along the Oconee River, is an important city in the region. Because of its location, the northern part of the county tends to be more hilly due to its location in the Piedmont than the southern part of the county, which is in the far northern part of the Atlantic coastal plain.

Most of Baldwin County, south of Lake Sinclair, is located in the Lower Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin. The northern portion of the county is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the same Altamaha River basin.[5]

Adjacent counties

Communities

City

Census-designated place

Unincorporated community

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18106,356
18207,73421.7%
18307,295−5.7%
18407,250−0.6%
18508,14812.4%
18609,07811.4%
187010,61817.0%
188013,80630.0%
189014,6085.8%
190017,76821.6%
191018,3543.3%
192019,7917.8%
193022,87815.6%
194024,1905.7%
195029,70622.8%
196034,06414.7%
197034,2400.5%
198034,6861.3%
199039,53014.0%
200044,70013.1%
201045,7202.3%
202043,799−4.2%
2023 (est.)43,396[6]−0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1880[8]1890-1910[9]
1920-1930[10] 1930-1940[11]
1940-1950[12] 1960-1980[13]
1980-2000[14] 2010[15]
Baldwin County racial composition as of 2020[16]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 22,432 51.22%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 18,318 41.82%
Native American 64 0.15%
Asian 599 1.37%
Pacific Islander 27 0.06%
Other/mixed 1,220 2.79%
Hispanic or Latino 1,139 2.6%

As of the 2020 United States census, 43,799 people, 16,191 households, and 9,568 families were residing in the county.

Government

Members of the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners are responsible for administering the government to residents. Five members serve on the board, elected from single-member districts. Commissioners served 4 year terms up until 2024 when legislation allowed for staggered elections. The 2024 Election will be the last in which all commissioners are up for election simultaneously. Now, Districts 1-3 will share the ballot every 4 years beginning in 2028, and commissioners elected in 2024 to represent districts 4 and 5 will serve a 2 year term, to end in 2026, and thereafter terms will be 4 years.The members of the board elect the chair from amongst themselves.[17]

Board of commissioners
District Commissioner Party
District 1 Emily Davis Democratic
District 2 Kendrick Butts Democratic
District 3 Sammy Hall Republican
District 4 Henry Craig*** Republican
District 5 John Westmoreland*** Republican

[18]

Politics

Baldwin County has been a Democratic-leaning swing county in recent presidential elections, with no candidate receiving more than 52.9% of the vote in any presidential election from 1992 onward. The county was the only one in Georgia that failed to give a majority to either major-party candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial election, with Democrat Stacey Abrams winning the county by only 58 votes over Republican Brian Kemp.[19] Baldwin County, along with neighboring Washington County, was one of 2 counties that gave a plurality of votes to Herschel Walker in the first round of the 2022 Senate election but then gave a majority of votes to Raphael Warnock in the subsequent run-off.[20]

As recently as 2018, Democrats held all county constitutional offices with the exception of Surveyor (R). Since then, the Sheriff, Superior Court Clerk and Tax Commissioner have registered as Independents, and a Republican now serves as Solicitor General. Democrats still hold the Coroner's Office and Chief Magistrate. [21]

Baldwin County voted for the Republican candidate in all 8 statewide executive offices in 2022. In the Georgia General Assembly, the state's legislature, Republican Rick Williams represents the county in the Georgia State Senate. Democrat Mack Jackson, and Republican Kenneth Vance represent the county in the Georgia House of Representatives. [22]

United States presidential election results for Baldwin County, Georgia[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,903 48.75% 9,140 50.05% 218 1.19%
2016 7,697 47.76% 7,970 49.45% 449 2.79%
2012 7,589 46.64% 8,483 52.14% 198 1.22%
2008 7,823 47.23% 8,587 51.84% 154 0.93%
2004 7,709 52.89% 6,775 46.48% 91 0.62%
2000 6,041 49.82% 5,893 48.60% 192 1.58%
1996 4,570 40.79% 5,740 51.23% 895 7.99%
1992 4,262 36.16% 5,813 49.31% 1,713 14.53%
1988 5,852 59.05% 4,008 40.44% 51 0.51%
1984 5,717 59.74% 3,853 40.26% 0 0.00%
1980 3,639 43.71% 4,368 52.46% 319 3.83%
1976 3,612 43.59% 4,674 56.41% 0 0.00%
1972 4,826 77.08% 1,435 22.92% 0 0.00%
1968 2,318 32.60% 2,115 29.74% 2,678 37.66%
1964 3,430 55.59% 2,740 44.41% 0 0.00%
1960 1,264 35.85% 2,262 64.15% 0 0.00%
1956 1,080 32.19% 2,275 67.81% 0 0.00%
1952 1,023 30.62% 2,318 69.38% 0 0.00%
1948 559 26.68% 1,132 54.03% 404 19.28%
1944 307 19.02% 1,307 80.98% 0 0.00%
1940 203 13.36% 1,313 86.38% 4 0.26%
1936 113 12.20% 811 87.58% 2 0.22%
1932 45 5.27% 801 93.79% 8 0.94%
1928 270 27.49% 712 72.51% 0 0.00%
1924 107 10.87% 826 83.94% 51 5.18%
1920 92 14.24% 554 85.76% 0 0.00%
1916 65 9.48% 579 84.40% 42 6.12%
1912 24 3.47% 621 89.74% 47 6.79%

Education

Main article: Milledgeville, Georgia § Education

Transportation

Major highways

Hiking and cycling

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Baldwin County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 13. ISBN 0-915430-00-2. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 17, 2003.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  5. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2023". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2024.
  7. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  8. ^ "1880 Census Population by Counties 1790-1800" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1880.
  9. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1910.
  10. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1930.
  11. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1940.
  12. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia -" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1950.
  13. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1980.
  14. ^ "2000 Census of Population - Population and Housing Unit Counts - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 2000.
  15. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  17. ^ https://baldwin2k.com/g/milledgeville-ga/n/252695/adistrict-5
  18. ^ https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/GA/Baldwin/121819/web.317647/#/summary?v=343421%2F
  19. ^ "Georgia Governor Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  20. ^ "Georgia U.S. Senate Runoff Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 19, 2023.
  21. ^ https://www.bbnews.today/news/qualifying-county-and-state-legislative-offices-begun
  22. ^ https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/GA/Baldwin/115471/web.307039/#/summary?v=313143%2F
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 18, 2018.

Further reading

33°04′N 83°15′W / 33.07°N 83.25°W / 33.07; -83.25