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Clay County, Georgia facts for kids

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Clay County
Clay County Courthouse in Fort Gaines
Clay County Courthouse in Fort Gaines
Map of Georgia highlighting Clay 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 1854; 168 years ago (1854)
Named for Henry Clay
Seat Fort Gaines
Largest city Fort Gaines
Area
 • Total 217 sq mi (560 km2)
 • Land 195 sq mi (510 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (60 km2)  10.1%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,848
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Clay County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 2,848, making it the fourth-least populous county in Georgia. The county seat is Fort Gaines.

History

This area was historically occupied by the Creek Indians until Indian Removal in the 1830s. European Americans pushed them out and developed the land for cotton, bringing in thousands of African slaves to work the land.

The county is named in honor of Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. Part of what became the Black Belt of Georgia, prior to the American Civil War the county's chief commodity crop was cotton, cultivated and processed by farmers and African-American slaves. After the war, the economy continued to be agricultural, but timber was also harvested.

Clay was created by a February 16, 1854, act of the Georgia General Assembly, and organized from portions of Early and Randolph counties.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 217 square miles (560 km2), of which 195 square miles (510 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (10.1%) is water.

The central and southwestern portions of Clay County, from west of Bluffton to northwest of Coleman, are located in the Lower Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). The county's northwestern corner, which is bisected by State Route 39 running north from Fort Gaines, is located in the Middle Chattahoochee River-Walter F. George Lake sub-basin of the same ACF River Basin. Just the very southeastern corner of Clay County is located in the Spring Creek sub-basin of the same larger ACF River Basin.

Major highways

  • US 27.svg U.S. Route 27
  • Georgia 1.svg State Route 1
  • Georgia 37.svg State Route 37
  • Georgia 39.svg State Route 39
  • Georgia 266.svg State Route 266

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,893
1870 5,493 12.3%
1880 6,650 21.1%
1890 7,817 17.5%
1900 8,568 9.6%
1910 8,960 4.6%
1920 7,557 −15.7%
1930 6,943 −8.1%
1940 7,064 1.7%
1950 5,844 −17.3%
1960 4,551 −22.1%
1970 3,636 −20.1%
1980 3,553 −2.3%
1990 3,364 −5.3%
2000 3,357 −0.2%
2010 3,183 −5.2%

2020 census

Clay County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,143 40.13%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,593 55.93%
Native American 1 0.04%
Asian 6 0.21%
Other/Mixed 64 2.25%
Hispanic or Latino 41 1.44%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,848 people, 1,242 households, and 708 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,183 people, 1,331 households, and 869 families living in the county. The population density was 16.3 inhabitants per square mile (6.3/km2). There were 2,102 housing units at an average density of 10.8 per square mile (4.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 60.4% black or African American, 37.6% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, and 3.3% were American.

Of the 1,331 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.7% were non-families, and 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 45.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,250 and the median income for a family was $31,354. Males had a median income of $29,440 versus $23,816 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,353. About 25.5% of families and 34.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 56.7% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

  • Bellville
  • Bethel
  • Cotton Hill
  • Days Crossroads
  • Garnersville
  • Harrisons Mill
  • Jeff
  • Jones Crossing
  • Moores Crossroads
  • Oakland
  • Pecan
  • Ricks Place
  • Suttons Corner
  • Watson Crossroads
  • Zetto

Ghost town

Education

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