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Terrell County, Georgia facts for kids

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Terrell County
Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson
Terrell County Courthouse in Dawson
Map of Georgia highlighting Terrell 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 February 16, 1856; 167 years ago (1856)
Named for William Terrell
Seat Dawson
Largest city Dawson
 • Total 338 sq mi (880 km2)
 • Land 335 sq mi (870 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)  0.7%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 28/sq mi (11/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Terrell County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,315. The county seat is Dawson.

Terrell County is included in the Albany, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Formed from portions of Randolph and Lee counties on February 16, 1856, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, Terrell County is named for Dr. William Terrell (1778–1855) of Sparta, Georgia, who served in the Georgia General Assembly and the United States House of Representatives.

During the American Civil War, after Atlanta's capture by Union forces, a refugee settlement was established in Terrell County for civilians forced to flee the city. The Fosterville settlement, named after Georgia Quartermaster General Ira Roe Foster, was according to author Mary Elizabeth Massey in her 2001 history, the "most ambitious refugee project approved by the Georgia General Assembly" [during that period]. On March 11, 1865, the Georgia General Assembly authorized General Foster to "continue to provide for maintenance of said exiles, or such of them as are unable by their labor to support themselves, or their families for the balance of the present year."

During the civil rights era of the 1960s, the local white minority resisted change, sometimes violently. In September 1962, an African-American church was burned down after it was used for voter registration meetings. (Note: Like other southern states, Georgia had disenfranchised most blacks at the turn of the century by rules raising barriers to voter registration; they were still excluded from the political system.) That month Prathia Hall delivered a speech at the site of the ruins, using the repeated phrase "I have a dream." Rev. Martin Luther King attended her speech; afterward, he also began to use that phrase, including in his noted speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 338 square miles (880 km2), of which 335 square miles (870 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.7%) is water.

The western and southern two-thirds of Terrell County is located in the Ichawaynochaway Creek sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). The county's northeastern third is located in the Kinchafoonee-Muckalee sub-basin of the same larger ACF River Basin.

Major highways

  • US 82.svg U.S. Route 82
  • Georgia 32.svg State Route 32
  • Georgia 41.svg State Route 41
  • Georgia 45.svg State Route 45
  • Georgia 49.svg State Route 49
  • Georgia 50.svg State Route 50
  • Georgia 55.svg State Route 55
  • Georgia 118.svg State Route 118
  • Georgia 520.svg State Route 520

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 6,232
1870 9,053 45.3%
1880 10,451 15.4%
1890 14,503 38.8%
1900 19,023 31.2%
1910 22,003 15.7%
1920 19,601 −10.9%
1930 18,290 −6.7%
1940 16,675 −8.8%
1950 14,314 −14.2%
1960 12,742 −11.0%
1970 11,416 −10.4%
1980 12,017 5.3%
1990 10,653 −11.4%
2000 10,970 3.0%
2010 9,315 −15.1%
2018 (est.) 8,611 −7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Terrell County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 3,189 34.72%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,540 60.32%
Native American 11 0.12%
Asian 57 0.62%
Pacific Islander 1 0.01%
Other/Mixed 210 2.29%
Hispanic or Latino 177 1.93%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,185 people, 3,399 households, and 2,348 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,315 people, 3,519 households, and 2,450 families living in the county. The population density was 27.8 inhabitants per square mile (10.7/km2). There were 4,080 housing units at an average density of 12.2 per square mile (4.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.2% black or African American, 36.6% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.8% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 8.7% were American, 5.7% were English, and 5.0% were Irish.

Of the 3,519 households, 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 24.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.4% were non-families, and 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.11. The median age was 39.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,909 and the median income for a family was $35,663. Males had a median income of $36,641 versus $25,461 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,553. About 28.2% of families and 31.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.4% of those under age 18 and 24.6% of those age 65 or over.


Notable people

  • Benjamin J. Davis Jr., Harvard Law School graduate and elected to New York City Council. Defended Angelo Herndon in Georgia against insurrection charges for organizing a union, resulting in a U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled against Georgia's insurrection law as unconstitutional.
  • Walter Washington, activist and politician, elected as the first black mayor of Washington, D.C. after Congress granted home rule to the city.
  • Otis Redding, rhythm and blues singer; one of the first crossover artists appealing to both young blacks and whites in the post-World War II era.
Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Athletes:
DeHart Hubbard
Wilma Rudolph
Jesse Owens
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Major Taylor
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