top of page

A Timeline of Bulloch County History

February 8, 1796

Bulloch County was Established

Bulloch County was created from Bryan and Screven counties by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1796, p. 14). Georgia’s 21st county was named for Archibald Bulloch, Georgia’s first provisional governor (1776-1777). The county was considered one of Georgia's largest at that time.

Image courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries

Archibald Bulloch was a Revolutionary soldier, a leader of Georgia's Liberty Party, and the state's first chief executive and commander in chief.

December 9, 1803

Statesboro, Georgia became Incorporated

In 1801, George Sibbald of Augusta donated a 9,301-acre (37.64 km2) tract for a centrally located county seat for the growing agricultural community of Bulloch County. In 1803, Georgia legislature created the town of "Statesborough" using this land.

Statesboro was designated as the seat for Bulloch County and a wooden courthouse was built.

Image courtesy of of

Detail from Map of Georgia, ca. 1822


Statesboro Replaced 1st Courthouse

In 1807, the first courthouse was replaced by a larger wooden building, which served until burned during Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864.


Portal, Georgia became Incorporated

Photo of downtown Portal, Georgia, 2011

December 4, 1864

Sherman's March to the Sea

December 4, 1864, Statesboro, Georgia, is the first major town visited by the Right Wing of Sherman's Army in almost two weeks.

During the Civil War and General William T. Sherman's famous march to the sea, a union officer asked a saloon proprietor for directions to Statesboro. The proprietor replied, "You are standing in the middle of town." The soldiers destroyed only the courthouse—a crude log structure that doubled as a barn when court was not in session.

General William T. Sherman

Image courtesy of Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division

Sherman's March to the Sea through Central Georgia

Earliest known photograph of the Willow Hill School, circa 1900.


Willow Hill School

In 1874, nine years after the Civil War ended, a group of former slaves of the Riggs, Donaldson, Parrish, and Hall families founded the Willow Hill School to serve the area’s black children.


Georgia Ann Riggs, age 15 and a former slave, was the first teacher.

Learn More >

Image courtesy of The Willow Hill Heritage

and Renaissance Center


Present-Day Courthouse Built

In 1866, the legislature authorized county officials to levy a tax for rebuilding the courthouse. Proceeds of this tax were used to build a two-story wooden building, which served until the present courthouse was built in 1894.


Sea Island Cotton makes name for Bulloch County

In 1903, Bulloch County was the largest sea island cotton-producing county in the world.

Cotton-filled wagons at the Brannen and Smith Statesboro Ginnery.
1913–1914, Vanishing Georgia
Georgia Division of Archives and History
Office of Secretary of State


Will Cato & Paul Reed are lynched

Cato and Reed are lynched for the murder of the Hodges Family in a case that is covered across the nation as the country debates its legacy of violent vigilantes targeting primarily African Americans.


Brooklet, Georgia was Incorporated


Bank of Statesboro

Bank of Statesboro was constructed for $21,500 on the corner of Seibald and

East Main Street in Statesboro.

Statesboro Bank, c. 1920



In 1928, the tobacco industry opened in Statesboro.

It was not until 1938 that the market had annual sales in excess of one million dollars

W. Lawton Brannen examines his tobacco crop.


Register, Georgia was Incorporated

Register, 2011

bottom of page