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Donalsonville, Georgia
Donalsonville City Hall
Donalsonville City Hall
The Gateway to Lake Seminole
Location in Seminole County and the state of Georgia
Location in Seminole County and the state of Georgia
Country United States
State Georgia
County Seminole
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 4 sq mi (10.3 km2)
 • Land 4 sq mi (10.3 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
148 ft (45 m)
 • Total 2,796
 • Density 699/sq mi (271.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 229
FIPS code 13-23368
GNIS feature ID 0331568
Website Official website

Donalsonville is a city in Seminole County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,796 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Seminole County.


Donalsonville was originally part of Decatur County. It is named after John Ernest Donalson (1846–1920), also known as Jonathan or John E. Donalson, a prominent businessman of the area. Donalson built the first lumber mill in Donalsonville, Donalson Lumber Company. He also built homes and a commissary for the workers of the mill. The lumber company paved the way for the town's growth.

Donalsonville was first chartered as a town in Georgia on December 8, 1897. When Seminole County was formed in January 1920, Donalsonville was named as its county seat. By August 1922, the Town of Donalsonville became known as the City of Donalsonville, with the charter passing on August 19, 1922.

The Seminole County Courthouse was erected in 1922 and is still standing today. The Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Wolfe)


Donalsonville is located at 31°2′27″N 84°52′42″W / 31.04083°N 84.87833°W / 31.04083; -84.87833.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which 4.0 square miles (10 km2) is land and 0.25% is water. The city is located 20 minutes north of Lake Seminole, 62 miles (100 km) south of Albany, 36 miles (58 km) east of Dothan, Alabama and 107 miles (172 km) west of Valdosta.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 519
1910 747 43.9%
1920 1,031 38.0%
1930 1,183 14.7%
1940 1,718 45.2%
1950 2,569 49.5%
1960 2,621 2.0%
1970 2,907 10.9%
1980 3,320 14.2%
1990 2,761 −16.8%
2000 2,796 1.3%
2010 2,650 −5.2%
Est. 2015 2,675 0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,650 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 61.4% Black, 34.1% White, 0.0% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.3% from some other race and 1.2% from two or more races. 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

At the 2000 census, there were 2,796 people, 1,008 households, and 697 families residing in the city. The population density was 702.8 people per square mile (271.2/km²). There were 1,116 housing units at an average density of 280.5 per square mile (108.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 37.23% White, 58.73% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 2.75% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.90% of the population.

There were 1,008 households of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 27.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.23.

The age distribution was 29.3% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.

The median household income was $20,687, and the median family income was $25,679. Males had a median income of $24,464 versus $16,451 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,095. About 25.4% of families and 32.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.6% of those under age 18 and 27.6% of those age 65 or over.


According to 2012 data from the Donalsonville Chamber of Commerce, the top five employers in the city are as follows:

Employer Employees
Donalsonville Hospital, Inc. 350
Ponder Enterprises Inc. 250
Lewis M. Carter, Inc. 150
American Peanut Growers Group, LLC 80
JH Harvey Company 30
Train Depot Mural on Lions Hall
Train Depot Mural on Lions Hall


Agriculture, art and music reflect the tone of the city. The Olive Theatre is in an old building downtown which has been renovated and periodically hosts local talent in addition to several plays, concerts, talent contests and other artistic events. Hand-painted murals are present on a few of the downtown buildings and depict the main industry in the county, agriculture.

The former "Harvest Festival", now "Georgia's Big Fish Festival", is a part of Donalsonville’s culture as well. This festival is held each October to educate visitors, support and promote the many sporting and recreational opportunities available at nearby Lake Seminole.

There are many other attractions that are held in and around the City as well including the Christmas Tour of Homes, the PRCA Rodeo, mug track racing, occasional street dances, outdoor concerts, movie nights, indoor concerts, karaoke, parades, book signings, and more.


By the 1900s, the need for churches arose. The first church was erected in Donalsonville in 1850, the Friendship United Methodist Church. In the beginning the Methodist Church served as a meeting place for all Protestant denominations. Later, the First Presbyterian Church of Donalsonville was established in January 1898 with 25 members. On August 4, 1902, 18 people helped to create the First Baptist Church of Donalsonville. The Church of The Nazarene, originally called “The Holiness Church,” was established in October 1902. The meetings of the Church of the Nazarene were actually held in a member’s house until 1903, when a building was erected. The first black church in Donalsonville was created in 1895, the Live Oak African Methodist Episcopal Church. The people of Donalsonville saw the need to create churches to worship and with this vision came a number of churches, eventually totaling thirteen. (

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