Covington GA History

Newton County and the City of Covington Georgia once belonged to the Creek Indian Nation. The Creek Indians wandered the land as the very first English settlers landed on the coast of Georgia in 1733. In 1813 Georgia Governor Thorp negotiated a treaty where the Creek Indians relinquished all claim to the land. Named in honor of Sergeant John Newton, a Revolutionary Soldier, Newton County was formed by the Georgia General Assembly on December 24, 1821. The very first inhabitants (mainly from the Carolinas and Virginia) began showing up during this era, picking the Eastern part of the county around a town called Winton for their homesteads. Winton was the website of the first brick building in the county. The Brick Shop functioned as a general shop, a phase coach stop and was the area of the first session of Newton County Court in April of 1822. The Georgia General Assembly, nevertheless, insisted with few exceptions that the county seat be in the center of the neighborhood, so Newton County’s seat was moved west to “Newton borough:. Relabelled for General Leonard Covington of the American Revolution, the Indian War and the War of 1812. Covington was included on December 6, 1822. The conclusion of the railway in 1845 brought brand-new growth and instructions to the area. Till the early 1900’s, Covington and Newton County was strictly agricultural. Crops grown in the county consisted of barley, corn, cowpeas, grain sorghum, hay, oats, peaches, pecans, peanuts, rye, soybeans, sweet potatoes, watermelons, and wheat. However, like a lot of Georgia counties, “Cotton was King, ” and the advancement of the cotton mill brought the first sign of real success to Covington. The town continued to grow as a business and agricultural center and was quickly accepted as the cotton market for regional farmers. The sawmill and pulpwood industry likewise contributed to the growing economy of Newton County. Civil War Covington and Newton County played an active role in the Civil War. The night of July 20, 1864, saw Union forces under Brigadier General Kenner Garrard move into Covington. Orders from his leader, General Sherman, were to burn bridges over the Yellow and Alcovy Rivers and ruin the railroad in between Lithonia and the Alcovy. Effectively completed, this raid stopped all interaction in between Augusta and Atlanta and ended all hope that protectors of Atlanta may receive desperately required supports from the Eastern Confederacy. Luckily, many plantations and town homes were spared by Sherman on his “March to the Sea.” Today’ these historic homes and landmarks stay a happy suggestion of our nation’s heritage.

The above information was put together by Mrs. Irene Robinson Smith and the late Mrs. Sara Clay Patterson. Both functioned as presidents of the Newton County Historical Society and The Covington Garden Club.