Coweta County Georgia
Coweta County administrative offices are located at 22 East Broad Street, Newnan, GA 30263; phone: 770-254-2601.
The county is named for the Coweta tribe of Creek Indians.
For almost a century after the founding of Savannah, European settlement in Georgia was limited to the coastal plain and the lower Savannah River Valley. Up until the early 1800s, the area encompassed by modern Coweta County belonged to the Creek Confederation. During the early 1800s, it was increasingly clear that white encroachment would result in the removal of the local Creek, which was legitimized by the Indian Springs Treaty of February 12, 1825. On that date, General William McIntosh, the half Scots-half Creek chief of the Cowetas, ceded most of the Lower Creek lands to the state of Georgia. He was later killed by a group of Upper Creeks opposed to the land cession.
The legality of the 1825 treaty was long disputed between the Federal government and the state of Georgia, but the issue was moot. Coweta County and other neighboring counties were created by the state legislature the following year. Pruned back from its original size to form additional counties, Coweta was eventually bounded by Campbell (now part of Fulton) County to the north, Fayette County to the east, Meriwether County to the south, and Heard County to the west. Forming the northwest border was the Chattahoochee River.
The new county was populated by means of a land lottery. Authorized by the legislative act of June 9, 1825, passed just months after the Indian Springs Treaty, the lottery was originally made eligible to residents who had been in the state for at least three years. Later, the rules were revised to include more recent arrivals. The county was divided into districts, which in turn were divided up into lots, laid out in a grid pattern. The lottery winners won the right to buy individual lots, each of which measured 202.5 acres. The drawings for the lots were held from March to May of 1827, just months after the establishment of Coweta County. Some winners almost immediately sold their land and never journeyed to the county; others sold quickly and moved on. Relatively few of the original winners resided for any length of time on their holdings (Coweta County Genealogical Society Magazine 1983:57).
As originally formulated, Coweta County was laid out into nine districts. Most of Districts 7 through 9 were later cut off for Campbell County, now part of Fulton County. The project area, located immediately south of Newnan, was situated in District 2, wholly within the bounds of modern Coweta County. Named for General Daniel Newnan, who fought in the Revolutionary War and later with Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, the town of Newnan was founded in February of 1828. Soon established as the county seat, Newnan became a thriving community with the arrival of the railroad, the Atlanta and La Grange, constructed in the late 1840s and early 1850s. The name was changed in 1857 to the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, the name it kept until around 1960.