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Fitzgerald, Georgia
Fitzgerald City Hall
Fitzgerald City Hall
"History, Harmony, Heritage"
Location in Ben Hill County and the state of Georgia
Location in Ben Hill County and the state of Georgia
Country United States
State Georgia
Counties Ben Hill, Irwin
 • Total 9.13 sq mi (23.64 km2)
 • Land 8.98 sq mi (23.25 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total 9,006
 • Density 1,003.23/sq mi (387.34/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 229
FIPS code 13-29528
GNIS feature ID 0355809

Fitzgerald is a city in and the county seat of Ben Hill County in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,053. It is the principal city of the Fitzgerald Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ben Hill and Irwin counties.


Fitzgerald was developed in 1895 by Philander H. Fitzgerald, an Indianapolis newspaper editor and a former drummer boy in the Union Army, who founded it as a community for Civil War veterans – both from the Union and from the Confederacy. The majority of the first citizens (some 2700) were Union veterans. It was incorporated on December 2, 1896. The town is located less than 15 miles (24 km) from the site of the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865.

Fitzgerald is one of the few truly planned cities in the United States. The city was laid out as a square, with intersecting streets dividing it into four wards. Each of the wards was divided into four blocks and each block had sixteen squares. Streets running North/South on the east side of the city were named after Confederate ships and generals, whereas the ones on the west side were named after Union ships and generals.

After about a year, the citizens planned a Thanksgiving harvest parade. Separate Union and Confederate parades were planned. However, when the band struck up to play, the Confederates joined the Union veterans to march as one beneath the US flag.

In recent years, the unofficial, and sometimes controversial, mascot of the city has become the red junglefowl, a wild chicken native to the Indian subcontinent. In the late 1960s, a small number were released into the woods surrounding the city and have thrived to this day.

Historical sites

The Ben Hill County Courthouse and Ben Hill County Jail in Fitzgerald are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fitzgerald Commercial Historic District was listed on the Register on April 28, 1992. It is generally bounded by Ocmulgee, Thomas, Magnolia and Lee Streets. The South Main-South Lee Streets Historic District was listed in April 13, 1989 and is generally bounded by Magnolia Street, S. Main Street, Roanoke Drive, and S. Lee Street. The Dorminy-Massee House at 516 W. Central Avenue, the Holtzendorf Apartments at 105 W. Pine Street, and the Miles V. Wilsey House at 137 Hudson Road are also listed on the register.


Fitzgerald is located in south central Georgia at 31°42′56″N 83°15′23″W / 31.71556°N 83.25639°W / 31.71556; -83.25639 (31.715432, -83.256464). U.S. Route 129 passes through the center of the city, leading north to Abbeville, Hawkinsville, and eventually Macon, and south to Ocilla, Nashville, and Lakeland. U.S. Route 319 also passes through Fitzgerald, leading northeast to McRae and Dublin and southwest to Tifton.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23.3 km2), of which 8.8 square miles (22.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.64%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,817
1910 5,795 218.9%
1920 6,870 18.6%
1930 6,412 −6.7%
1940 7,388 15.2%
1950 8,130 10.0%
1960 8,781 8.0%
1970 8,187 −6.8%
1980 10,187 24.4%
1990 8,612 −15.5%
2000 8,758 1.7%
2010 9,053 3.4%
2020 9,006 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Fitzgerald racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 3,392 37.66%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 4,804 53.34%
Native American 38 0.42%
Asian 74 0.82%
Other/Mixed 295 3.28%
Hispanic or Latino 403 4.47%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,006 people, 3,346 households, and 1,932 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,053 people living in the city. 51.2% were African American, 42.1% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 1.1% from two or more races. 4.3% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Arts and culture

Fitzgerald is home to the Dorminy-Massee House, now a bed and breakfast. Built in 1915 by J. J. (Captain Jack) Dorminy for his family, this two-story, colonial-style home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Ben Hill County Board of Education
Ben Hill County School District headquarters
Fitzgerald High School
Fitzgerald High School

The Ben Hill County School District conducts pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of one pre-school, one primary school, an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. The district has 217 full-time teachers and over 3,395 students.

  • Ben Hill County PreK
  • Ben Hill County Primary School
  • Ben Hill County Elementary School
  • Ben Hill County Even Start
  • Ben Hill County Middle School
  • Fitzgerald High School College and Career Academy

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College – Ben Hill-Irwin Campus is located on the southern end of the county.

Notable people

  • Morris B. Abram, president of Brandeis University and civil rights leader
  • Brainard Cheney, author
  • Neal Colzie, NFL defensive back
  • General Raymond G. Davis, USMC, World War II hero, Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, Commander of the 3rd Marine Division in 1968–69 in Vietnam, and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps 1971-72
  • Abner Jay, blues musician
  • Frances Mayes, author
  • Charlie Paulk, seventh pick of 1968 NBA draft
  • Joe Reliford, youngest professional baseball player
  • Forrest Towns, 1936 Summer Olympics track star
  • Jemea Thomas, former NFL cornerback
  • Leah Robyn Masee, Miss Georgia 2007, Miss America contestant 2008

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fitzgerald (Georgia) para niños

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