Walton County, Georgia

Coordinates: 33°47′N 83°44′W / 33.78°N 83.74°W / 33.78; -83.74
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Walton County
Walton County courthouse in Monroe
Walton County courthouse in Monroe
Flag of Walton County
Map of Georgia highlighting Walton County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°47′N 83°44′W / 33.78°N 83.74°W / 33.78; -83.74
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedDecember 22, 1818; 206 years ago (1818)
Named forGeorge Walton
SeatMonroe
Largest cityMonroe
Area
 • Total330 sq mi (900 km2)
 • Land326 sq mi (840 km2)
 • Water4.3 sq mi (11 km2)  1.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total96,673
 • Density297/sq mi (115/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district10th
Websitewww.waltoncountyga.gov

Walton County is a county located in the Middle Georgia portion of the U.S. - State of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 96,673.[1] It is located about 30 miles east of the state capital, the city of Atlanta. Monroe is the county seat; Loganville is another major city.[2]

Walton County is part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Walton County was created on December 15, 1818. It is named for George Walton, one of the three men from Georgia who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.[3] The other two were Button Gwinnett and Lyman Hall.

A Supreme Court ruling in April 1946 had ruled that white primaries were unconstitutional, enabling some black citizens in Georgia to cast ballots for the first time during the primary race later that summer.[4] This increased social tensions in many areas, as whites continued to oppose voting by blacks. In addition, many whites resisted black veterans' efforts to gain expanded freedoms following their service during World War II.

Moore's Ford lynchings (1946)[edit]

In July 1946, the county was the site of one of the last mass lynchings of the pre-Civil Rights Era, when four African Americans, two young married couples, were murdered here. African American Roger Malcom had had an argument with a local white farmer, "ostensibly over a woman".[4] He and his pregnant wife, and her cousin and her husband, were beaten and lynched on July 25.

A historical highway marker erected by the state in the 21st century reads:

2.4 miles east, at Moore’s Ford Bridge on the Apalachee River, four African-Americans - George and Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Dorsey Malcom (reportedly 7 months pregnant) - were brutally beaten and shot by an unmasked mob on the afternoon of July 25, 1946. The lynching followed an argument between Roger Malcom and a local white farmer. These unsolved murders played a crucial role in both President Truman’s commitment to civil rights legislation and the ensuing modern civil rights movement.

The sign is at 33° 51.417′ N, 83° 36.733′ W. Marker is near Monroe, Georgia, in Walton County. This is at the intersection of U.S. 78 and Locklin Road, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 78.[5][6]

In 1998, local people arranged a biracial memorial service honoring the victims, which was held at Moore's Ford Bridge.[7][8] Since then a local interracial committee organized to rekindle attention to the case, in hopes of bringing justice to the victims. They also gained state support to erect the historical highway marker noted above to mark the unsolved murders and commemorate the victims.[4]

In the 21st century, commemoration has included an on-site reenactment, held annually since 2005 as part of the education effort.[4][9]

Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America (2003), by author Laura Wexler, is among the books to explore the case and social context, and related evidence, including reference to contemporary FBI reports in the investigation ordered under President Truman.[4][10][11]

In the early 21st century, the US Department of Justice reopened an investigation into the cold case, but they were unable to gain sufficient evidence to prosecute any survivors among the more than 50 suspects that FBI files from 1946 had suggested had been involved in the lynching.[4][12] A local multi-ethnic committee continues to press for the case to be reviewed again in hopes of bringing justice to the victims. In February 2014 they presented a video to the Walton Board of Commissioners about the case.[13]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 330 square miles (850 km2), of which 326 square miles (840 km2) is land and 4.3 square miles (11 km2) (1.3%) is water.[14] The county is located in the Piedmont region of the state.

The western half of Walton County, in a half circle from Social Circle through Monroe to northeast of Loganville, is located in the Upper Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin. The eastern part of the county, east of that curve, is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the same Altamaha River basin.[15]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

There was a noted decline in the African American population from 1900 to 1960 as thousands left rural areas in the South during the Great Migration to the North, Midwest and West Coast to escape social oppression and to gain better jobs and opportunities.

With dramatic new growth related to the rise of Atlanta as a corporate city, the demographics have changed and the county is majority white in the 21st century. The area has been developed for suburban housing and retail.

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18101,026
18204,192308.6%
183010,929160.7%
184010,209−6.6%
185010,8216.0%
186011,0742.3%
187011,038−0.3%
188015,62241.5%
189017,46711.8%
190020,94219.9%
191025,39321.3%
192024,216−4.6%
193021,118−12.8%
194020,777−1.6%
195020,230−2.6%
196020,4811.2%
197023,40414.3%
198031,21133.4%
199038,58623.6%
200060,68757.3%
201083,76838.0%
202096,67315.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1880[17] 1890-1910[18]
1920-1930[19] 1930-1940[20]
1940-1950[21] 1960-1980[22]
1980-2000[23] 2010[24] 2020[25]
Walton County, Georgia – Racial and ethnic composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[26] Pop 2010[24] Pop 2020[25] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 49,731 65,677 68,499 81.95% 78.40% 70.86%
Black or African American alone (NH) 8,703 12,993 17,136 14.34% 15.51% 17.73%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 145 194 188 0.24% 0.23% 0.19%
Asian alone (NH) 410 947 1,409 0.68% 1.13% 1.46%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 10 38 44 0.02% 0.05% 0.05%
Other race alone (NH) 25 159 552 0.04% 0.19% 0.57%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 500 1,077 3,617 0.82% 1.29% 3.74%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,163 2,683 5,228 1.92% 3.20% 5.41%
Total 60,687 83,768 96,673 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 96,673 people, 33,350 households, and 25,736 families residing in the county.

Government[edit]

Walton County has a six-member commission elected from single-member districts. This legislative body can pass laws for the county and tax bills. The county chairman is elected at-large to serve as the leader. If a seat becomes vacant during the term, the governor can appoint someone to fill the seat, based on recommendations. In 2015, two of the six positions were filled by appointees.

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Walton County, Georgia[27]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 37,839 74.05% 12,683 24.82% 576 1.13%
2016 31,125 76.18% 8,292 20.29% 1,441 3.53%
2012 29,036 77.07% 8,148 21.63% 493 1.31%
2008 27,253 75.54% 8,469 23.47% 357 0.99%
2004 21,594 78.11% 5,887 21.29% 166 0.60%
2000 12,966 67.95% 5,484 28.74% 633 3.32%
1996 7,934 52.82% 5,618 37.40% 1,468 9.77%
1992 5,619 45.35% 4,821 38.91% 1,951 15.75%
1988 5,974 65.56% 3,091 33.92% 47 0.52%
1984 4,995 66.81% 2,481 33.19% 0 0.00%
1980 2,618 35.85% 4,525 61.96% 160 2.19%
1976 1,687 23.80% 5,402 76.20% 0 0.00%
1972 3,994 77.80% 1,140 22.20% 0 0.00%
1968 1,399 19.99% 1,552 22.18% 4,047 57.83%
1964 2,874 54.99% 2,350 44.97% 2 0.04%
1960 403 11.52% 3,095 88.48% 0 0.00%
1956 470 12.56% 3,271 87.44% 0 0.00%
1952 324 8.11% 3,672 91.89% 0 0.00%
1948 164 5.71% 2,440 84.99% 267 9.30%
1944 172 7.75% 2,046 92.25% 0 0.00%
1940 104 4.55% 2,179 95.24% 5 0.22%
1936 132 6.33% 1,952 93.58% 2 0.10%
1932 36 1.66% 2,136 98.34% 0 0.00%
1928 424 27.20% 1,135 72.80% 0 0.00%
1924 90 8.78% 873 85.17% 62 6.05%
1920 123 9.38% 1,189 90.63% 0 0.00%
1916 83 5.61% 1,305 88.24% 91 6.15%
1912 40 3.35% 885 74.06% 270 22.59%

Education[edit]

Walton County School District is the local school district for all sections except those in Social Circle. Areas in Social Circle are in the Social Circle City School District.[28]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Walton County doesn't have any pedestrian trails. However, there are trails in neighboring Gwinnett and Rockdale county such as the Arabia Mountain Path, Conyers Trail and Cedar Creek Trail Loop.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Camp, Lynn Robinson, and Jennifer E. Cheek-Collins. Walton County, Georgia (Black America Series; Charleston, S.C., 2003) (ISBN 0-7385-1528-0).
  • Sams, Anita B. Wayfarers in Walton: A History of Walton County, Georgia, 1818–1967 (Monroe, Ga., 1967).
  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Walton County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-915430-00-2. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 27, 2003.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Chelsea Bailey, "Moore's Ford Massacre: Activists Reenact Racist Lynching as a Call for Justice", 02 August 2017; accessed 11 June 2018
  5. ^ "Moore's Ford Lynching Historical Marker". www.hmdb.org.
  6. ^ "Historical Marker Database Map". www.hmdb.org.
  7. ^ "Lynching in the South; Marking Murder". The Economist. February 21, 2015.
  8. ^ GeorgiaInfo - Moore's Ford Lynching GHS Historical Marker Archived November 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Last accessed July 4, 2008.
  9. ^ Auslander, Mark. “Touching the Past: Materializing Time in Traumatic ‘Living History” Reenactments.” Signs and Society Vol. 1 (2013): 161-183
  10. ^ Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America. Scribner. 2003. ISBN 0684868164.
  11. ^ Asim, Jabari (January 2003). "The Moore's Ford Incident". The Washington Post. washingtonpost.com. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "New evidence collected in 1946 lynching case - CNN.com". www.cnn.com.
  13. ^ Joeff Davis, "New information to be presented in unsolved Georgia lynching case", Creative Loafing (Atlanta), 1 March 2014
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  16. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decade". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "1880 Census Population by Counties 1790-1800" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1880.
  18. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1910.
  19. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1930.
  20. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1940.
  21. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia -" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1950.
  22. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1980.
  23. ^ "2000 Census of Population - Population and Housing Unit Counts - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 2000.
  24. ^ a b "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Walton County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  25. ^ a b "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Walton County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  26. ^ "P004 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Walton County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  27. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  28. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Walton County, GA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 7, 2023. - Text list

External links[edit]

33°47′N 83°44′W / 33.78°N 83.74°W / 33.78; -83.74