Welcome to Wilcox County Georgia...
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Georgia's 126th county, Wilcox County comprises 380
square miles and was created in 1857 in the central
part of the state from Dooly, Irwin, and Pulaski
counties. Later, parts of Wilcox County were used to
create Turner (1905) and Ben Hill (1906) counties.
Historians disagree about the origin of Wilcox
County's name, some claiming that it is named after
General Mark Willcox, a soldier in the Indian Wars
who later served in the Georgia General Assembly,
and others believing that it is named for his
father, Captain John Willcox. Hernando de Soto is
believed to have discovered the Ocmulgee River, in
the area that became Wilcox County, in 1540. The
area's first inhabitants were Creek Indians who
signed treaties in the first two decades of the
nineteenth century, forfeiting their land. The first
settlers came from neighboring counties and states
during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth
centuries. Much of the land was virgin pine forest.
Many settlers lived first by subsistence farming and
hunting and moved later into cattle ranching after
establishing their homesteads. Eventually, settlers
produced cotton and fruit, as well as cattle, for
The county seat is Abbeville, established in 1858 but not incorporated until 1883. Its location, near the eastern boundary of Wilcox County, was reportedly chosen because David Fitzgerald donated sixty acres there for use as a county seat. A courthouse was built in 1858, and the town subsequently developed around it. In response to complaints that the seat of government was not centrally located, county taxpayers were invited by the state assembly to challenge the eastern location, but no one came forth. The old courthouse remained in use until 1903, when the brick structure that still serves today was completed. A large wild hog population in Abbeville led to its nickname, the "Wild Hog Capital of Georgia," and the town hosts an annual Ocmulgee Wild Hog Festival.
Wilcox County was relatively young when the Civil War (1861-65) began, but its citizens supported the war effort by sending their sons and husbands to fight. Confederate president Jefferson Davis camped on May 8, 1865, at Abbeville during his flight through Wilcox County at the end of the war, two nights before his capture by Union forces in Irwinville.