Bulloch County History
Bulloch County was created by an Act of the Georgia Legislature on February 8, 1796 from parts of Bryan and Screven counties. It was named for Archibald Bulloch (1730-1777), the first Provisional Governor of Georgia. Originally, the county was approximately 40 miles in length and thirty miles in width with a total area of 1,200 square miles. Over the next 118 years various parts of the county were taken to help form the counties of Emanuel, Jenkins, Chandler, and Evans. The county seat of “Statesborough” was established in 1803 from a gift of 200 acres of land given several years earlier by George Siebald of Augusta, Georgia.
In 1849 George White wrote in his book Statistics of Georgia that the “county is inhabited by an industrious and kind people. Although the lands which most of the citizens cultivate are poor, by dint of industry and economy, they manage to supply their wants which, however, are very few. Many rely, in great degree, upon game, with which the county abounds, and the productions of their orchards. The Bulloch County farmer would get rich, while others would starve.”
The county remained sparsely populated until after the Civil War. The population in 1860 was only 5668 (3506 white and 2162 enslaved), but it had tripled by 1880. The county seat of Statesboro grew enough to require a mayor and council chartered in 1889 and other small communities grew throughout the county in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. However, these communities primarily served the many farms and agricultural concerns that were the business of the county. Cotton, tobacco, peanuts, and livestock along with turpentining and lumbering were the chief products of the county. In 1906, the county became the home of the First District Agricultural and Mechanical School, a high school that eventually grew into Georgia Southern University.