The damage caused by the tornado which struck Cuthbert March 9, 1909. Six people were killed and the property damage was severe. Click on the picture to see a larger image with additional details. [Photograph Source: Vanishing Georgia Collection, Georgia Division of Archives and History, Office of Secretary of State.]

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I am Sue Webb, coordinator for this county site. I hope you enjoy your visit. Please email me if you have suggestions, corrections or contributions.

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I hope you find my efforts helpful in your research of your Randolph County roots.

Unfortunately I am unable to do research on your family. I do not live in Georgia and do not have direct access to county records.

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A Little County History

Randolph County, in southwest Georgia, was created from Lee County by an act of the state legislature on December 20, 1828. Georgia's seventy-fifth county was named for Virginia congressman John Randolph (1773-1833) of Roanoke, one of the more controversial statesmen of the early federal period.

This was the second time that a Georgia county was named for John Randolph. Earlier, an act of Dec. 10, 1807 created a Randolph County. After John Randolph became unpopular for publicly opposing the U.S. declaration of war on Britain, Georgia legislators in 1812 voted to change the name of the original Randolph County to Jasper County. However, John Randolph's reputation eventually was restored, and in 1828 the General Assembly again named a new county in his honor.

The land lottery of 1827 had opened the southwest Georgia lands to settlers, who continued to have troubles with the Native Americans until the Creek Indian War of 1836, part of which was fought on Randolph County soil.

Lumpkin served as the county seat until 1830, when it became the county seat for Stewart County, which was formed from Randolph. Cuthbert was named Randolph's county seat by an act of the legislature in 1831.

Agriculture became the mainstay of the region. By 1850 the population of Randolph County totaled 12,868. During this decade two colleges, Baptist Female College (1852) and the United Methodist–affiliated Andrew Female College (1854), later as Andrew College, were established. By 1859 the railroad had come to Randolph County, opening the doors for better transportation and quicker trade.

Some minor skirmishes occurred in Randolph County during the Civil War (1861-65), but the region was spared much military action. Many refugees came to the area for protection. Both of the colleges were used as hospitals during the war years.

After the Civil War, Randolph County continued its educational reputation when Howard Normal School, established by the American Missionary Association, opened its doors to area African Americans in 1867. Richard R. Wright became the first black headmaster in 1876. During his four-year tenure, he organized the Georgia State Teacher's Association and edited the Weekly Journal of Progress. Fletcher Hamilton Henderson Sr. became the headmaster in 1880 and remained until 1942.

U.S. Highways 82 and 27 traverse Cuthbert, which is one of the few municipalities in the country with a water tower in the middle of a federal highway (U.S. 82). The Cuthbert Historic District boasts architectural styles spanning most of the county's history.

Portions of Randolph County were used to form the following counties: Stewart (1830), Clay (1854), Terrell (1856), and Quitman (1858).

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