Bibb County
Bibb County courthouse in Macon
Bibb County courthouse in Macon
Map of Georgia highlighting Bibb County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°48′N 83°42′W / 32.8°N 83.7°W / 32.8; -83.7
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedDecember 9, 1822; 202 years ago (1822)
Named forWilliam Wyatt Bibb
SeatMacon
Largest cityMacon
Area
 • Total255 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Land250 sq mi (600 km2)
 • Water5.6 sq mi (15 km2)  2.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total157,346
 • Density629/sq mi (243/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts2nd, 8th
Websitewww.co.bibb.ga.us

Bibb County is located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, its population was 157,346.[1] Bibb County is geographically located in the Central Georgia (Middle Georgia) region, and is the largest county in the Macon metropolitan area (metropolitan statistical area).

Bibb County has a consolidated city-county government following a merger of the county with its county seat and largest city, Macon, in 2014. They were later joined in this consolidated government in 2015 by the county's only other municipality, Payne City.[2]

History

This area was inhabited for thousands of years by successive indigenous peoples. The Ocmulgee National Monument is a national park and historic site incorporating two major mound and town complexes: Lamar Mounds and Village Site and Ocmulgee Mound Site, both located along the Ocmulgee River. They were built by indigenous peoples during the Mississippian culture era. The detailed chronicles of the Hernando de Soto expedition recorded visiting Ichisi, a major village, in 1539. Historians and archeologists have theorized it may have been located at the Lamar Mounds complex.[3]

For centuries, the historic Native Americans Muscogee tribe, descendants of this culture, was the predominant one in a large area of Georgia, including that later organized as Bibb County. During the colonial period, Anglo colonists carried on a brisk trade with them and allied with them in certain wars in the Southeast. With European-American land hunger to extend cotton cultivation in the Georgia uplands, the Muscogee and other four Civilized Tribes of the Southeast were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, in the Indian Removal of the 1830s, during the administration of President Andrew Jackson. The Indian tribes affected refer to their journey is as the "Trail of Tears", since many died during the march west.

In the late 18th century, the cotton gin was invented, making profitable the processing of short-staple cotton. This could be grown across the uplands of the South, in contrast to the long-staple cotton of the Low Country. Bibb is considered one of the counties of the "Black Belt", which originally referred to the fertile dark soil in these uplands. The area was developed by European-American planters, who used enslaved African Americans as workers to clear land and develop large cotton plantations during the antebellum years. Cotton generated high profits, since it was in demand in the textile mills of the northern states and England. By the 1860 census, shortly before the American Civil War, more than a million enslaved African Americans lived in Georgia, and they constituted a majority of the population in much of the Black Belt.

Bibb County was created by act of the Georgia Legislature on December 9, 1822, with Macon to be incorporated as a town/city in December 1823; designated the county seat. It was carved from the earlier territories of the counties of Jones, Monroe, Houston, and Twiggs Counties. The county seat has not been changed since, and no other subsequent county in the state has ever been created ("erected") out of land from Bibb County.

The county was named for Dr. William Wyatt Bibb, a physician from Elbert County, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and United States Senate from Georgia. After he moved to the new Alabama Territory, he was later elected as the first governor of the new State of Alabama upon its admission.

Civil War to present

Main article: Macon, Georgia - History

During the Civil War, an estimated 10% of the white males in the county lost their lives while serving in the Confederate States Army.[4] The war gained the emancipation of slaves across the South. Georgia had been a battleground, and Atlanta and many other areas were left in ruins.

Well into the 20th century, the county depended on cotton and other agriculture as its economic base. It was subject to related vagaries of weather, financial markets, and the devastation of the invasive boll weevil in the early 20th century, which destroyed cotton crops across the South.

After the Civil War and during the 20th century, the county seat of Macon continued to serve as the county's principal population center, site of the most significant landmarks, and the location of major historical events.

On July 31, 2012, voters in the City of Macon (57.8% approval) and Bibb County (56.7% approval) passed a referendum to merge the governments of the city and the county, based on the authorization of House Bill 1171 passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier in the year.[5] Four previous consolidation attempts (in 1933, 1960, 1972, and 1976) had failed.[6][7][8] The consolidation took effect on January 1, 2014, along with the deannexation from the city of a small portion of land in Jones County.

In addition to Macon, Bibb County contained one other municipality, Payne City (or Payne), an enclave of around 200 people that was surrounded entirely by the preconsolidation City of Macon. In the 2012 referendum, Payne City voters rejected consolidation by a vote of 9 to 7, so it was not merged into the consolidated government. In early 2015, at the request of the small city's government, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill dissolving Payne City, merging it with the rest of Macon-Bibb County.[2]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 255 square miles (660 km2), of which 250 square miles (650 km2) is land and 5.6 square miles (15 km2) (2.2%) is water.[9] The entirety of Bibb County is located in the Upper Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.[10]

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18307,154
18409,80237.0%
185012,69929.6%
186016,29128.3%
187021,25530.5%
188027,14727.7%
189042,37056.1%
190050,47319.1%
191056,64612.2%
192071,30425.9%
193077,0428.0%
194083,7838.7%
1950114,07936.2%
1960141,24923.8%
1970143,4181.5%
1980150,2564.8%
1990149,967−0.2%
2000153,8872.6%
2010155,5471.1%
2020157,3461.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1880[12]1890-1910[13]
1920-1930[14] 1930-1940[15]
1940-1950[16] 1960-1980[17]
1980-2000[18] 2010[19] 2020[20]
Bibb County, Georgia – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[21] Pop 2010[19] Pop 2020[20] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 76,262 65,494 56,787 49.56% 42.11% 36.09%
Black or African American alone (NH) 72,503 80,744 85,234 47.11% 51.91% 54.17%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 255 287 281 0.17% 0.18% 0.18%
Asian alone (NH) 1,632 2,492 3,209 1.06% 1.60% 2.04%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 35 74 42 0.02% 0.05% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 92 215 602 0.06% 0.14% 0.38%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,085 1,852 4,454 0.71% 1.19% 2.83%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,023 4,389 6,737 1.31% 2.82% 4.28%
Total 153,887 155,547 157,346 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 157,346 people, 56,726 households, and 33,573 families residing in the county.

Government and politics

Since the 2014 consolidation, Macon-Bibb has been governed by a mayor, elected at-large (county-wide), along with a nine-member county commission with members elected from single-member districts.[22][23][24]

Like all other Georgia counties, Bibb has an elected sheriff responsible for maintaining the jail. Bibb's sheriff also manages the county's law enforcement duties, with their deputies acting as the city and county police force. As of 2019, the current sheriff is David Davis.[25]

Elections

Bibb County Courthouse, circa 1876

In 2013, the consolidated city-county held its first elections. Macon's incumbent mayor Robert Reichert received 49% of the vote in the general election on September 17 over the other five mayoral candidates, but a winner had to take a majority of the vote. Reichert subsequently won 63% of the vote in a runoff election against former Macon mayor C. Jack Ellis.[26] Reichert was unopposed for re-election in 2016, following the death of his only opponent before the election. Under the city-county charter, the mayor is subject to term limits and may serve only two consecutive terms. Reichert had to leave office in December 2020.[27]

As an urban county with a majority African-American population, voters in Bibb County today consistently vote at high rates for Democratic candidates counties in presidential elections. During the late 19th century and into the late 1960s, when most African Americans were disenfranchised by the state constitution and practices under Jim Crow, white conservatives dominated the Democratic Party and voting. The combination of these two contrasting affiliations resulted in the majority of county voters having supported for a Republican presidential candidate only three times in its history. Bibb was the only county in the 2004 flag referendum to vote to keep the 2001 flag.[28]

United States presidential election results for Bibb County, Georgia[29][30]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 26,559 37.53% 43,408 61.34% 796 1.12%
2016 24,043 38.24% 36,787 58.50% 2,050 3.26%
2012 25,623 39.54% 38,585 59.54% 595 0.92%
2008 27,037 40.69% 38,987 58.67% 424 0.64%
2004 28,107 48.64% 29,322 50.74% 359 0.62%
2000 24,071 48.36% 24,996 50.22% 709 1.42%
1996 20,778 41.61% 26,727 53.53% 2,427 4.86%
1992 19,847 36.72% 28,070 51.93% 6,132 11.35%
1988 22,179 49.96% 22,084 49.74% 133 0.30%
1984 24,170 47.77% 26,427 52.23% 0 0.00%
1980 15,175 31.53% 31,770 66.01% 1,185 2.46%
1976 12,819 28.66% 31,902 71.34% 0 0.00%
1972 27,402 72.87% 10,201 27.13% 0 0.00%
1968 13,490 32.59% 10,579 25.55% 17,328 41.86%
1964 25,641 58.98% 17,831 41.02% 0 0.00%
1960 10,523 42.24% 14,387 57.76% 0 0.00%
1956 7,242 32.61% 14,966 67.39% 0 0.00%
1952 6,121 29.42% 14,687 70.58% 0 0.00%
1948 3,837 27.26% 7,011 49.80% 3,229 22.94%
1944 1,884 26.04% 5,352 73.96% 0 0.00%
1940 1,371 16.85% 6,729 82.70% 37 0.45%
1936 452 7.29% 5,722 92.34% 23 0.37%
1932 405 8.42% 4,372 90.93% 31 0.64%
1928 2,078 47.58% 2,289 52.42% 0 0.00%
1924 455 10.38% 3,647 83.17% 283 6.45%
1920 458 18.41% 2,030 81.59% 0 0.00%
1916 58 2.51% 2,048 88.77% 201 8.71%
1912 71 3.70% 1,741 90.82% 105 5.48%
1908 565 21.91% 1,946 75.46% 68 2.64%
1904 236 9.86% 2,117 88.47% 40 1.67%
1900 250 11.42% 1,897 86.66% 42 1.92%
1896 670 18.36% 1,854 50.81% 1,125 30.83%
1892 641 14.67% 3,627 83.00% 102 2.33%
1888 1,121 32.45% 2,215 64.11% 119 3.44%
1884 857 33.17% 1,727 66.83% 0 0.00%
1880 908 36.38% 1,588 63.62% 0 0.00%

United States Congress

Senators Name Party Assumed Office Level
  Senate Class 2 Raphael Warnock Democratic 2021
  Senate Class 3 Jon Ossoff Democratic 2021
Representatives Name Party Assumed Office
  District 2 Sanford Bishop Democratic 1993
  District 8 Austin Scott Republican 2011

Georgia General Assembly

Georgia State Senate

District Name Party Assumed office
  18 John F. Kennedy Republican 2015
  25 Burt Jones Republican 2013
  51 David Lucas Democratic 2011

Georgia House of Representatives

District Name Party Assumed office
  140 Robert Dickey Republican 2011
  141 Allen Peake Republican 2011
  142 Miriam Paris Democratic 2017
  143 James Beverly Democratic 2011
  144 Bubber Epps Republican 2008

[31][32][33]

Recreation

A view of the calm Lake Tobesofkee in the wintertime. Taken facing Northwest from beside the Lower Thomaston Road Bridge.
Lake Tobesofkee in the Wintertime

Lake Tobesofkee, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Macon, has three parks. Claystone, Sandy Beach, and Arrowhead Parks, each with a beach, and children's playgrounds. Sandy Beach has lighted tennis courts, a water park with many attractions, and a softball field.[34]

Transportation

Major highways

Pedestrians and cycling

See also

References

  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Bibb County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Maggie (April 1, 2015). "Payne City officially dissolved". The Telegraph | Macon.com. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Charles M. Hudson, Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun, University of Georgia Press, 1997, pp. 157-162
  4. ^ Davis, Robert Scott (1998). Cotton, Fire, and Dreams. Mercer University Press. ISBN 9780865545984.
  5. ^ "HB 1171 - Macon-Bibb County; create and incorporate new political body corporate". Archived from the original on October 30, 2012.
  6. ^ City-County Consolidation Proposals, 1921 - Present Archived 2012-07-19 at the Wayback Machine, National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-02-11.
  7. ^ "The Effects on City-County Consolidation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  8. ^ Consolidation pass for Macon and Bibb county in the 2012 vote.CONSOLIDATION OF CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS: ATTEMPTS IN FIVE CITIES Archived 2013-01-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "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 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "1880 Census Population by Counties 1790-1800" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1880.
  13. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1910.
  14. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1930.
  15. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1940.
  16. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia -" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1950.
  17. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 1980.
  18. ^ "2000 Census of Population - Population and Housing Unit Counts - Georgia" (PDF). US Census Bureau. 2000.
  19. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Bibb County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  20. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Bibb County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  21. ^ "P004 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Bibb County, Alabama". United States Census Bureau.
  22. ^ Jim Gaines (July 28, 2012). "Last details of Macon-Bibb consolidation debate aired". The Telegraph.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Mike Stucka (July 31, 2012). "Macon-Bibb County consolidation wins with strong majorities". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  24. ^ Erica Lockwood (July 13, 2012). "Consolidation: 3 Areas of Macon and Bibb Affected Differently". 13 WMAZ. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013.
  25. ^ "Sheriff David Davis | bibbsheriff.us". Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Election Race Results | Macon, GA - Warner Robins, GA | 13WMAZ.com". Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  27. ^ Dunlap, Stanley (May 25, 2016). "Reichert reveals plans for final term, reflects on past". The Telegraph | Macon.com. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Statewide Advisory Flag Referendum". Georgia Secretary of State. July 7, 2004. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  29. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  30. ^ http://geoelections.free.fr/. Retrieved January 13, 2021. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ "House Members List". Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  32. ^ "Senate Members List". Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  33. ^ "Georgia Counties by 2012 Legislative and Congressional District" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  34. ^ "Tobesofkee parks and beaches". Retrieved June 2, 2012.

32°48′N 83°42′W / 32.80°N 83.70°W / 32.80; -83.70