Bulloch County is named for revolutionary leader Archibald Bulloch, who came to Georgia from South Carolina in the late 1750s.
At that time, the Province of Georgia had been divided into eight parishes by a March 17, 1758, act of the colonial Georgia Legislature. The parishes were St. Paul 's, St. George's , St. Matthew's, Christ Church 's, St. Philip's, St. John's, St. Andrew's and St. James'. Mr. Bulloch, who held a plantation along the Savannah River, was a prominent figure in the resistance to the authoritative rule of the British Parliament. Under the threat of British hands and sympathizers, he signed a July 14, 1774 editorial in The Georgia Gazette calling for Savannah's inhabitants to resist and fight the oppression of Great Britain. Due to his bravery and selfless acts, on January 20, 1776, Archibald Bulloch was elected President of the Executive Council of Georgia and immediately thereafter elected to the esteemed position of Provincial Governor.
In February 1776 the Georgia Legislature created a county from St. Philip's Parish and called it "Bulloch County." On August 10 of the same year, seven months after being elected Governor, Archibald Bulloch read a copy of the Declaration of Independence to the council members of Savannah and later to an audience at the public square. After a third reading at the Liberty Pole, the Declaration of Independence was praised for its importance by thirteen thunderous rounds from a canon. To commemorate that historic event, residents of Bulloch County have celebrated "Archibald Bulloch Day" on August 10.
The county's first commissioner's court was held May 6, 1873 to name appointees to the Road Commission for their respected districts. These first commissioners were Chairman John L. Denmark, Algeverre Scarborough and Solomon Hagin. On August 11, 1924, an Act created the Board of Commissioners for Bulloch County . The Act created a seven-member commission, with each member including the chairmen directly elected from the citizenry but the vice chairperson selected by the commissioners.
The Origin of Statesboro
George Sibbald, whose last name came to be spelled "Siebald," gave the community the land on which Statesboro now stands. Mr. Siebald was a wealthy Augustan who possessed large land holdings in Bulloch County . Reasons for his generosity are undocumented, but on November 7, 1801, Mr. Siebald presented a 200-acre tract of land to the administrative officials of Bulloch County. On December 19, 1803, an Act of the Georgia Legislature was signed by then-Governor John Milledge and the small township of "Statesborough" became official.
It's uncertain how the town came to be called "Statesborough." One theory connects that name to a term developed through acts of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson made a great argument in Virginia for states' rights and the rights of people for local self-governance. Elected to the presidency in 1801, Jefferson entered office when local and state rights were a popular topic. It is assumed "Statesborough" was originated in honor of states' rights. In the original charter, granted in 1866, "Statesborough" was spelled as it is today.
Statesboro has been home to several famous citizens including Emma Kelly, the “lady of 6,000 songs,” blues artist “Blind Willie” McTell and the late great national championship-winning college football coach, Erskine “Erk” Russell.
-- With appreciation, based on information provided on Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau and Bulloch County Historical Society websites.