On August 11, 1914, the Georgia General Assembly proposed a constitutional amendment to create Evans County from Bulloch and Tattnall counties. Georgia voters ratified the proposed amendment on November 3, 1914, which marks the official date of Evans County’s creation.
There was little debate necessary when it came time to select a name for the new county when it was first proposed. The county fathers chose the name “Evans” for General Clement Anselm Evans, whose service to Georgia qualified him for the respect in which he was regarded. Many Evans County area men served under him in the Civil War.
In November 1864, General Evans was named Acting Major-General of the brigade previously commanded by Gen. John B. Gordon. During his term of service, Evans distinguished himself in combat until the final hour of war.
In the years following the Civil War, Evans continued to excel in private life, becoming a Methodist minister, preparing “The Confederate Military History”, and later, being elected State Prison Commissioner until his death on July 2, 1911.
Claxton, the county seat of Evans County, was incorpated by Tattnall Superior Court in April 1894.
The town visionary, W.R. Hendricks, son of Glenn and Nancy Hendricks, had been given a large tract of land by his parents. The Hendricks’ ambition was to secure a railroad station at the site but they met considerable opposition from railroad company officials .Hendricks made a proposition to railroad officials that a well be dug and pump installed free of charge so that trains could stop for water.The deal was made. The vision of building a town was fully supported by his mother who offered to give a lot to anyone who would erect a building upon it.
With the establishment of a town well underway, efforts were begun to establish a post office at the settlement already widely known as Hendricks. Postal officials in Washington, D.C., up on receiving an application from George E. Wood, declined to approve the name Hendricks because a post office in the state was already operating under that name in Upson County. Two other names were then submitted, Jenny and Claxton. Postal officials agreed to Claxton and the post office opened in 1890.
There is some dispute about the origin of the name Claxton, but it is believed it was inhonor of Philander Priestly Claxton, a noted educator of the time.
The City of Claxton is known world-wide as the “Fruit Cake Capital of the World”.