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 market.
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.