The state of Georgia is composed of 159 counties, each county is created through an act by the state legislature. The county of Cobb was created in 1832 as the 84th county. The designated land was taken from Cherokee County. At the same time, the counties of Forsythe, Lumpkin, Union, Gilmer, Murray, Cass, Floyd, and Paulding were created. Governor Wilson Lumpkin signed the legislation.
Our neighbors were Fulton County on the East. Cherokee and Bartow counties were the North border. The Chattahoochee River served as our southern border at Fulton County line. Our western border was Paulding County. Cobb County was designated some 340 square miles of land.
Legislation providing for the organization of Cobb County stipulated that the first election should be held at the home of John Pace on the first Monday in March next. The elector population consisted of approximately 2,000 individuals. The election was to select individuals for the offices of justice of the Inferior Court (5), clerks of both Inferior and Superior courts, a sheriff, a tax collector, a tax receiver, a county surveyor, and coroner. These officers would hold their respective office until January 1834. At this time a new election would be held to coincide with elections in the other counties within the state. Cobb County was a part of the Cherokee Circuit of Superior Court. Court sessions would be held in Cobb on the 3rd Monday in March, June, September, and December.
Lots were drawn for property in Cobb. There were 342 lots drawn for the land lottery and 4,360 gold lots. It is commonly believed the land lots were 160 acres each and the gold lots were 40 acres each. The drawings began October 22, 1832 and were completed by April 29, 1833.
First officials for Cobb County were: Tandy Martin, Sheriff; William Morris, Clerk of Superior Court; R.B. Harris, Clerk of Inferior Court; E.R. Mills, County Surveyor; Henry Quiton, County Coroner; James B. Waller, Representative; and Jacob Brooks, Senator. Senator Brooks had lived in Cobb County on the Chattahoochee River since 1819 and was a representative from Dekalb before settling in Cobb.
Cobb County received its name from the honorable Thomas W. Cobb. Our namesake contributed greatly to the State of Georgia, serving in congress for three (3) terms, once as United States Senator for Georgia, and served as a Superior Court Judge in the Ocmulgee Circuit.
Cobb County consisted of several townships and villages. These included Marietta, Sweet Water Town, Buffalo Fish, Big Shanty and the post village of Nickajack which was located 12 miles from Atlanta. Northcut Station, a water stop for the Western & Atlantic Railroad became the City of Acworth in 1860. Kennesaw, formerly Big Shanty Grade, had its beginning as shanty housing for local railroad workers. Austell was a station on the Georgia Pacific Railway and was incorporated in 1885. Powder Springs was incorporated as Springville in 1838 and in 1859 the name was changed to Powder Springs. Both names resulted of the numerous mineral springs within the city. Smyrna was incorporated in 1872 with its boundaries extending one mile in every direction from the Smyrna Academy. Marietta began as a cluster of homes along an old Indian trail and grew rapidly with nearby rail construction by the Western & Atlantic Railroad. Marietta was incorporated in 1834 and became the official county seat.
Milton County was created in 1857 from parts of Cobb County along with portions of Cherokee and Forsyth counties. In 1932, Milton County and Roswell merged with Fulton County.
The Civil War brought many changes to Cobb County. It is rich with battles and historic value of these times. The Kennesaw House, formerly the Fletcher House, was an inn that set the scene for the Great Locomotive Chase. Union spies spent the night to devise their scheme to steal the “General” train engine. Other notable battles were Kolb Farm, Kennesaw Mountain, Gilgal Creek, Ruff’s Mill, and Pine Mountain. The Georgia Military Institute was built in Cobb County and opened in 1851. It was a 110 acre development comprised of 18 buildings. During its years of operation, it earned an outstanding reputation as an educational institute. Cadets from GMI served in Caper’s battalion during the Civil War and surrendered at Augusta, Georgia on May 20, 1865. They were the last organized Confederate soldiers on duty east of the Mississippi River. The Marietta Convention Center now sits on the site formerly occupied by the Georgia Military Institute.
Early Marietta became a boom town due to its proximity to Atlanta and the Chattahoochee River. Many of the farmers brought their goods to Marietta for destination elsewhere. Cobb was rich in many ways. This was a huge attraction for many. Marietta became known as a resort town and visitors flocked to enjoy the warm winters and natural springs.
World War II brought even more growth to Cobb County. Rickenbacher’s Field became home to the Bell Bomber factory. For years the field was used to test bombers before the planes were put into action. The influx of workers and jobs created by the factory has been a leading factor in Cobb’s success over the years. The Bell Bomber factory is now Dobbins Air Force Base and Lockheed-Martin. It remains as a premier aeronautical developer and a major employer in Cobb County.
A review of Cobb’s rich history underscores the reasons for the steady growth the County has experienced through the years. Cobb remains an extraordinary area to live and work; combining good location, solid leadership and a shared community vision for the future of the County.