kids encyclopedia robot

Brooks County, Georgia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Brooks County
Brooks County Courthouse in Quitman
Map of Georgia highlighting Brooks County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Georgia
Founded December 11, 1858; 165 years ago (1858-12-11)
Named for Preston Brooks
Seat Quitman
Largest city Quitman
 • Total 498 sq mi (1,290 km2)
 • Land 493 sq mi (1,280 km2)
 • Water 4.8 sq mi (12 km2)  1.0%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 8th

Brooks County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia, on its southern border with Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,243. The county seat is Quitman. The county was created in 1858 from portions of Lowndes and Thomas counties by an act of the Georgia General Assembly and was named for pro-slavery U.S. Representative Preston Brooks after he severely beat abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner with a cane for delivering a speech attacking slavery..

Brooks County is included in the Valdosta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Native Americans and the Spanish

Historic Native peoples occupying the area at the time of European encounter were the Apalachee and the Lower Creek. The first Europeans in what is now Brooks County were Spanish missionaries from their colony in Florida, who arrived around 1570.

Early history

The area that was to become Brooks county was first opened up to European-American settlement in 1818 when Irwin County was established. Coffee Road was built through the region in the 1820s. Lowndes Countys first court session was held at the tavern owned ran by Sion Hall on the Coffee Road, near what is now Morven, Georgia in Brooks County.


Many residents of Lowndes County were unhappy when the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad announced June 17, 1858 that they had selected a planned route that would bypass Troupville. On June 22 at 3:00 am, the Lowndes County courthouse at Troupville was set aflame by William B. Crawford, who fled to South Carolina after being released on bond.

On August 9, a meeting convened in the academy building in Troupville at which it was decided to create from the area of Lowndes County to the west of the Withlacoochee River a new county to be called Brooks County.

On December 11, 1858, Brooks County was organized from parts of Lowndes and Thomas counties and was named for Preston Brooks, a member of Congress prior to the Civil War. He was best known for his vicious physical assault in Congress of the older Senator Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery advocate from Massachusetts.

The county was developed for cotton plantations, dependent on enslaved laborers, many of whom were transported to the South in the domestic slave trade during the antebellum years. Cotton brought a high return from local and international markets, making large planters wealthy. At the time of the 1860 federal census, Brooks County had a white population of 3,067, a Free people of color population of 2, and a slave population of 3,282. The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad reached Quitman on October 23, 1860.

Civil War

During the Civil War, the county was the main producer of food for the Confederacy; it became known as the "Breadbasket of the South."

Some Confederate Army regiments were raised from the men of Brooks County. Plantation owners, county officials, and slave patrol members were exempt from military conscription, which caused some contention between the different economic classes in Brooks County.

In August 1864, a local white man named John Vickery began plotting a slave rebellion. His plan called for killing the slave owners, stealing what weapons they could find, setting fire to Quitman, going to Madison, Florida, burning the town, getting help from Union troops from the Gulf Coast, and then returning to Quitman. On the evening before the rebellion, a slave was arrested for theft and interrogated. Vickery was soon arrested as well. Vickery and the four slaves were given a military trial by the local militia. Two Confederate deserters from Florida were also believed to have been involved, but were not caught by the time of the trial. On August 23, 1864 at 6:00 p.m., Vickery, a slave named Sam, a slave named Nelson, and a slave named George were publicly hanged in Quitman. The court could not reach a decision on the guilt of a slave named Warren, who was owned by Buford Elliot.


In the 21st century, Brooks County is classified as being in the Plantation Trace tourist region.

Historical sites

  • Brooks County Courthouse

The Brooks County Courthouse was constructed in 1864 in the county seat of Quitman, Georgia. It was designed by architect John Wind. Brooks County officials paid for the structure with $14,958 in Confederate money. The currency soon became useless.

  • Brooks County Museum and Cultural Center

The former library, this building was adapted for use as a cultural center. It is the site of a series of music, art, and culinary events throughout the year.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2), of which 493 square miles (1,280 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (1.0%) is water.

The eastern boundary of the county is made up of the Little River (Withlacoochee River) and the Withlacoochee River, which together meander along a distance of over 100 miles (160 km) to form that boundary. These river boundaries are shared with Cook and Lowndes counties. The southern boundary of the county has a mutual east-west interface of about 25 miles (40 km) with Florida, although it is not continuous. The county is discontinuous along the Florida border, with the easternmost section about a mile east of the rest of the county. This section presently consists of one parcel, recorded as 350 acres (1.4 km2), although it has a border with Florida of almost 2 miles (3.2 km). The county shares a north-south boundary about 26 miles (42 km) in length with Thomas County to the west. It also shares an east-west boundary of 10 miles (16 km) and a north-south boundary of 3 miles (4.8 km) with Colquitt County to the northwest. The county has over 10,000 parcels of land, with 19 over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) and two more than 5,000 acres (20 km2).

The county is home to several endangered plant and animal species, including the Pond Spicebush, the Wood Stork, and the Eastern Indigo snake.

The majority of Brooks County, including the northwestern portion, all of central Brooks County, and the southeastern corner, is located in the Withlacoochee River sub-basin of the Suwannee River basin. Most of the southern edge of the county is located in the Aucilla River sub-basin of the larger Aucilla-Waccasassa basin. The county's northeastern portion, centered on Morven and including Barney, is located in the Little River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin.

Adjacent counties


Major highways

  • US 84.svg U.S. Route 84
  • US 221.svg U.S. Route 221
  • Georgia 33.svg State Route 33
  • Georgia 38.svg State Route 38
  • Georgia 76.svg State Route 76
  • Georgia 122.svg State Route 122
  • Georgia 133.svg State Route 133
  • Georgia 333.svg State Route 333


GA Bike Route 10

Georgia State Bicycle Route 10 is one of 14 bike routes across Georgia. Route 10 is 246 miles (396 km) long and goes from Lake Seminole in the west to Jekyll Island in the east. It runs a west–east route, of approximately 27.3 miles (43.9 km), through the county and passes through downtown Quitman.


BROOKS CO (4J5) Runway length 5000' Lights, CTAF 122.9 FSS Macon 122.4


As a result of the demand for slave labor to work the cotton plantations, the county was majority black from before the Civil War well into the 20th century. Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of blacks left the county in the Great Migration to northern and midwestern industrial cities to gain better opportunities and escape the oppressive Jim Crow conditions, including the highest rate of lynchings of blacks in Georgia from 1880 to 1930.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 6,356
1870 8,342 31.2%
1880 11,727 40.6%
1890 13,979 19.2%
1900 18,606 33.1%
1910 23,832 28.1%
1920 24,538 3.0%
1930 21,330 −13.1%
1940 20,497 −3.9%
1950 18,169 −11.4%
1960 15,292 −15.8%
1970 13,739 −10.2%
1980 15,255 11.0%
1990 15,398 0.9%
2000 16,450 6.8%
2010 16,243 −1.3%
2019 (est.) 15,457 −4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,243 people, 6,457 households, and 4,379 families residing in the county. The population density was 32.9 inhabitants per square mile (12.7/km2). There were 7,706 housing units at an average density of 15.6 per square mile (6.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 59.9% white, 35.3% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.9% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 16.3% were American, 8.3% were Irish, 6.4% were English, and 5.9% were German.

Of the 6,457 households, 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.2% were non-families, and 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.06. The median age was 40.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,309 and the median income for a family was $47,599. Males had a median income of $38,791 versus $25,006 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,346. About 14.7% of families and 17.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 22.3% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Brooks County Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 9,066 55.62%
Black or African American 5,684 34.87%
Native American 24 0.15%
Asian 67 0.41%
Pacific Islander 6 0.04%
Other/Mixed 499 3.06%
Hispanic or Latino 955 5.86%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 16,301 people, 6,335 households, and 4,015 families residing in the county.


Brooks County is well known for its wildlife. Quail, dove, ducks, and deer abound in the fields and forests. Brooks County also offers excellent fishing in its many lakes and streams, which are open to the public.



Unincorporated communities


The Brooks County School District offers pre-school to grade twelve. There are two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, Brooks County High School. The district has 167 full-time teachers and over 2,563 students.

  • North Brooks Elementary School
  • Quitman Elementary School
  • Brooks County Middle School
  • Brooks County High School

The county is serviced by the Brooks County Public Library.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Brooks (Georgia) para niños

kids search engine
Brooks County, Georgia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.