In 1826, the county established its seat in the settlement
of Bullsboro with Walter Colquitt as the first superior-court judge. The scarcity
of defined roads led to the settlement, a new site was located roughly two miles
west. The county seat was named Newnan after the North Carolina Native, General
Daniel Newnan, who was a soldier and later became Georgia Secretary of State
and a United States Congressman. Lawyers, doctors, and merchants began conducting
business once Newman was established as a town. The city was laid out in
a grid pattern with a nine block central business district, the center of which
was the courthouse.
Due in part to the success of the cotton industry, Newnan prospered
at the turn of the century. Newnan’s leading citizens invested in
the railroad during the mid l800’s. This brought economic prosperity to
the town and established Newnan as one of the wealthiest towns per capita
in the United States. The passenger railroad line to Newnan was opened in 1851.
The streets were named for such famous Americans as Jackson, Jefferson, Washington
and Madison. Ultimately, Newman became the main economic center for the county.
The county had grown to almost 15,000 people by 1860 and was evenly divided
between whites and blacks, with plantations and farms the main means of income.
The Battle of Brown's Mill was fought outside Newnan in 1864
and due to its location on the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, and its distance
from the heaviest battles, the largest town in Coweta was selected to host a
hospital for treating the wounded. Eventually Newnan would have seven hospitals
and treat more than 10,000 soldiers from both sides. Many soldiers, including
269 Confederates who died in the town's hospitals, were buried in nearby Oak
Hill Cemetery. After the war the southern economy changed. The textile industry
found its way to the South and Coweta County. In 1866 the Willcoxon Manufacturing
Company was the first cotton plant built in the county.
By the early 1900s more cotton factories had opened. Textile
mills continued to be built in the county. Together with such manufacturing
firms as R. D. Cole, builder of Newnan's first water tower and manufacturer
of war supplies, they made the county quite prosperous. Today Coweta County
encompasses 443 square miles in west central Georgia, bordered by Carroll, Fayette,
Fulton, Heard, Meriwether, and Troup counties. Some prominent natives of Coweta
County include New York classical musician and conductor Charles Wadsworth,
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Buford Boone, country singers Alan Jackson
and Doug Stone, writers Lewis Grizzard and Erskine Caldwell, and former Georgia
governors Ellis Arnall and William Y. Atkinson.