Crawford County Courthouse, 1852, Knoxville

historic crawford county courthouse knoxville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Built in 1852, likely by Henry Crews, this vernacular courthouse is among the oldest in Georgia. It replaced an earlier structure on the same location which was destroyed by fire in 1829. After extensive renovations and remodels during the 19th and 20th centuries, it was no longer deemed practical and  a new courthouse was opened across the street in 2002. Thanks to Mona Lowe for the updated historical information.

crawford county courthouse knoxville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Also significant to the history of Knoxville is the story of Joanna Troutman. In 1835, she designed a flag featuring a blue star on a white field with the words “Liberty or Death” and presented it to the Georgia Batallion of volunteers who left Knoxville to aid in the fight for Texas independence. This first “Lone Star” flag would feature significantly in later Texas iconography and because it was raised after the Texas Declaration of Independence, is considered the first flag to fly over an independent Texas. Troutman, who was born in  Milledgeville, married S. L. Pope in 1839 and moved to Elmwood, his plantation at Knoxville.  Upon Pope’s death in 1872, Joanna married W. G. Vinson, a Georgia legislator. She died at Elmwood in 1879 and was buried at the plantation, but upon a special request by Texas governor Oscar Colquitt in 1913, her remains were reinterred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, and a statue was erected to her memory.

National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --CRAWFORD COUNTY GA--, Knoxville GA

6 responses to “Crawford County Courthouse, 1852, Knoxville

  1. My direct ancestors Lewis C. Simmons and his brother Moses moved to Knoxville from Jones County between 1825 and 1835, and I have reason to believe their uncle William H.Simmons owned the “Simmons Dry Good and Confectionary” store in Knoxville at that time. My 3rd gr-grandfather Lewis C. Simmons was married in Crawford County in 1829; by 1840 he had moved to Dooly County, where he would spend the next 30 years before moving to Pineview in Pulaski (later Wilcox) County. By 1890, his son Moses (my 2nd gr-grandfather) had moved to Rebecca, Turner County…quite a number of my Simmons ancestors are buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Rebecca.
    Thanks for the great photos and history, Brian….
    Tom Simmons, Castle Rock, Colorado

  2. Apparently, “marriage Book A” escaped the 1829 blaze…which is how I know my 3rd gr-grandfather Lewis C. Simmons married Mary McLendon on 289 December, 1829 in Crawford County. I’m grateful for that.
    Tom Simmons, Castle Rock, CO

  3. Cheryl Luckie

    I used to ride my bicycle from Roberta to Knoxville…seemed like such a long way then! Of course, in those days we kids roamed all over the town and country by bike or by feet and our parents didn’t worry at all about us. They believed in the adage “it takes a village.” If any parent saw any kid doing anything they shouldn’t or anything dangerous, the parents of the offending child would know it before said child got home!!!! I’ve enjoyed the pictures of Roberta and Crawford Co. There are many old cemeteries around that you might enjoy. Also, another land mark is Lake Henry….used to be quite a “juke joint” where “nice folks” weren’t supposed to go, but many did!!!! Another of my favorite places was the corner drug store owned by Mr. Johnson. I was told a few years back the soda fountain was still there but I don’t know if that’s true. If it is, I need to stop by sometimes and see if the vanilla milkshakes are as good now as they were back then!

  4. Mona Lowe

    Later research has shown this courthouse was built in 1852. The original burned in 1829 and it’s replacement (Crews) was in disrepair by mid-century. This building is now being restored by the Crawford Co. Historical Society to be a heritage center and folk pottery museum. Joanna Troutman’s Lone Star flag INSPIRED the current Texas flag.

  5. mikeprice

    there is a historical marker in the front yard of this courthouse attributating the origination of the texas lonestar flag to a young girl named johana troutman,who lived across the road.she presented a hand sewnflag to a group of g.a. volunteers going to fight for texas independence aginst mexico and gen.santa anna.these volunteers were massacared at goliead texas.but there flag still lives on.i have a photo of this marker if you would like i could send to you.i use it every time i meet someone from texas most all of them don’t have a clue where there beloved lonestar flag came from

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