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Lamar County was created 100 years ago

On Aug. 10, 1920, the state legislature approved a constitutional amendment that created Lamar County. Voters approved the new county at the polls in the Nov. 1920 general election and LC began operating as a government on Jan. 1, 1921. Under a headline reading ‘˜At Last! Lamar County’, the Barnesville News-Gazette announced the newborn county joyfully: ’The Georgia Legislature Tuesday passed the constitutional amendment creating the new county of Lamar from portions of Pike and Monroe counties, thus ending a fight for a new county which began more than 50 years ago, and which has been carried on with vigor during the past few years. The creation of the new county will bring with it freedom from a political bondage for the people of Barnesville and the territory involved which they had begun to believe was intolerable and from which they had determined to be relieved at all costs. ’Had it not ended now, the fight would have grown in intensity and bitterness, the result of which no man could have foreseen or foretold. Well indeed it is that the fight is over.’ Immediately, community leaders called a meeting to facilitate the creation of a Lamar County Board of Trade. The newspaper called for maximum participation. ’Every citizen who can possibly do so, is expected to be present, as every section of the county should be fully represented. There is a determined purpose that the citizens of every portion of Lamar shall always participate equally and alike in all of its affairs in order that the people of the county shall always be as one big family, with common interests and aspirations. ’Let the first meeting of the new county be well-attended. Blessings on thee, Lamar, fairest and best county in all Georgia.’ The executive committee formed to battle for the creation of Lamar was headed up by Professor Joseph D. Smith. Other members were W.B. Smith, B.M. Turner, C.H. Humphrey, J.C. Collier, B.H. Hardy, mayor J.E. Bush and and alderman W.C. Jordan. The state’s newest county was named for Lucius Quintus Cinncinatus Lamar. Born in Putnam County on Sept. 17, 1825, Lamar graduated from Emory College, read law in Macon and was first admitted to the bar in Dooly County. He represented Newton County in the state legislature which convened in Milledgeville at that time. When his father-in-law, Judge Longstreet, was named president of the University of Mississippi, Lamar moved with him there and taught. He was elected to Congress and, in 1876, to the U.S. Senate. President Grover Cleveland named him Secretary of the Interior. He was later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court on which he served until his death in Macon on Jan. 23, 1893. Additional source: The History of Lamar County, Augusta Lambdin and Mrs. Edward A. Fish; 1932

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