History of Clinch County and the Surrounding Area
Clinch County was created on February 14, 1850, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, and was named for General Duncan L.
Clinch, a decorated United States brigadier general and Georgia Congressman who had recently died. Clinch, Georgia’s 95th county,
was formed from land originally inhabited by the Oconee Indians and consolidated portions of Ware County and Lowndes County.
The Act creating the county named Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichol, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sumon, and John J. Johnson as
commissioners charged with selecting a county seat and constructing a courthouse.
The designated commissioners quickly settled on a site just southwest of the present day Homerville and in memory of President James
K. Polk decided to name the county seat Polk. Two years later, however, the Georgia General Assembly inexplicably changed the
name of the county seat to Magnolia, just as the county’s first court house was completed. The first courthouse was quite small and was
destroyed in 1856 when a citizen presumably dissatisfied with legal proceedings brought against him, decided to destroy the courthouse
In February of 1853, Dr. John Homer Mattox and his family moved from their former home on the Suwannee River and settled on a
track of land adjacent to the Magnolia stage route. In recognition of his family name, he called the settlement “Homerville.” Shortly
thereafter the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad expansion replaced the stage route and Mattox’s settlement was simply known as “Station No.
Over time, the settlement grew and in 1860 approximately 275 citizens of Clinch County petitioned the Georgia General Assembly to
move the county seat of the county from the nearby Magnolia to Mattox’s settlement. Later the same year, the legislature relented and
officially named Station No. 11 as the county seat of Clinch County. It would take approximately nine more years for the legislature to
officially recognize the name Homerville and incorporate the city.
Dr. John Homer Mattox’s original dwelling is now the home of the Clinch County Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center. The
home recently underwent an extensive restoration that not only restored many of the rooms to their former glory but also added modern
plumbing and central heat and air for the convenience of visitors. The structure now holds the administrative offices of the Chamber and
a museum dedicated to the early days of Clinch County.
|Clinch County and Homerville
Other Incorporated Areas
The city of Argyle, which was established in 1885, was first known as Saussy, after Clement Saussy, an heir to Gasper J. Fulton of
Savannah, who had previously owned the land. The town was located on the A.C.L. Railroad and in its first years was little more than a
railroad station. In 1899, however, the town took its current name, which honors the earliest of James Oglethorpe's coastal forts, Fort
The beginning of the town of DuPont may be traced back to about 1858, when Mr. J. P. A. DuPont of Darien, built an elegant home in
a settlement called Suwannoochee for the creek than ran through the city. The town was later renamed Lawton, and finally took its
current name, Dupont, when it was incorporated in 1874.
Despite being one of the state's oldest settlements, the town of Fargo, which is situated on the banks of the Suwannee River, was only
officially incorporated in 1992. The settlement was originally established by the timber industry when a large saw mill was built on the
Suwannee River. To this day many of the local residents are employed in the timber industry. Fargo has also recently become a popular
tourism destination due to its proximity to Stephen Foster State Park and the Okefenokee Swamp.