2017 HART COUNTY, GEORGIA
Hart County was created by an Act
of Legislature, dated December 7, 1853
from territory taken from Elbert and
Franklin Counties. The new county was
named for Nancy Morgan Hart, one of
the most patriotic women of Georgia.
After the new county was created,
there was an election held on Monday,
February 6, 1854. The election was to
vote for the county officers. The first
Hart County government included five
justices and a Clerk of the Inferior
Court, an Ordinary, Clerk of Superior
Court, Sheriff, Tax Receiver and Col-
lector, Surveyor and Coroner. The last
names of the Justices were, Chandler,
Carter, Webb, Johnson and Richardson.
Streets in Hartwell are named for them.
Herschel V. Johnson, Governor of Geor-
gia, commissioned these officers.
The honorable William Myers was the
first sheriff of Hart County, resigning
before the expiration of his term to be
elected Representative to the General
Assembly of Georgia.
Hart County has had four jails. The
first was built in 1855. It was a wooden
weather boarded two-story building, lo-
cated on Lot No. 6, in the original plan
of the town of Hartwell. It was destroyed
by fire prior to 1866. The second jail
was built on the same site of the first.
It was constructed of large hewed logs,
with an outer and an inner wall, filled
with rock. It was a one-story building.
It stood until 1877 when a new jail was
built, being the third jail built for the
Nancy Hart Visits The Old Jail
county. The old lot was sold.
The third jail was built on Lot No. 2,
located at S W. corner of Franklin and
Carter Streets. It was a two-story build-
ing of brick and wood, and was consid-
ered safe and to fill all requirements
of a jail. On January 30, 1893, this jail
was destroyed by fire. Two prisoners
were trying to burn a hole in the wall to
make their escape.
The fourth jail was located at the
N. E. corner of Johnson and Jackson
streets on Lot No. 89. On May 20, 1893
a contract was approved to build a brick
structure. A few years later an annex
was added and a wooden building was
erected to be used for a kitchen.
This jail was considered the best in
the country, safe and secure, and mod-
ern. The total cost was $10,270.00.
It is a Romanesque Revival-style
building containing two stories and a
basement. A three-story tower projects
on the center of the front facade. The
first floor housed the sheriff’s residence
and the basement housed the prison-
ers. The sheriff’s office was located in
Stewart V. Bowers was sheriff from
1949-1952. His daughter, Dixie Lewis
recalls living in the jail and her mother
cooking for the prisoners.
Larry Sanders was sheriff from 1976-
1988. His family was the last family
that resided in the old jail. His son, Tim
Sanders remembers living in the jail.
He proposed to his wife, Dona Feltman
Sanders in November 1986 on these
A new jail was constructed behind the
old one in 1992, The Hart County Dis-
trict Attorney’s office was located in the
old jail until they moved to Cade Street
HART COUNTY’S HISTORY
Nancy Hart, Dona Feltman-Sanders and Tim Sanders on the steps of the old jail building, where
Tim proposed to Dona in 1986.