Clinch County, the 94th county formed in Georgia, was founded in 1850 from land that came from parts of Lowndes County and Ware County. Clinch is the third largest county in the State of Georgia. It compromises 850 square miles and includes portions of the Okefenokee Swamp. It was named after General Duncan Clinch who is credited for the defeat of Seminole Chief Osceola and who later served as a Georgia Congressman.
The region was originally inhabited by the Oconee Indians. The first white settlers established small farms, but by the nineteenth century, the county's economy focused on timber products. In recent years, Clinch has thrived in the blueberry farming and honey bee farming industries.
The county seat is Homerville, which began as a stagecoach stop and was first incorporated in 1869. The town became important to the developing turpentine industry, and several major sawmills were established in and around Homerville after the Civil War.
There are three other incorporated towns in Clinch County-Argyle, DuPont, and Fargo. Established in 1885, Argyle was first known as Saussy, after Clement Saussy, an heir to Gasper J. Fulton of Savannah, who had previously owned the land. The town was located on the A.C.L. Railroad and in its first years was little more than a railroad station. In 1899 the town took its current name, which honors Fort Argyle, the earliest of James Oglethorpe's coast forts. Then in 1901 the town became incorporated. DuPont was first known as Suwannoochee, after a nearby creek. Settled in 1858 by Captain J.P.A. Dupont of Darien, the town was renamed Lawton. It did not take its current name until 1874, when it was incorporated. The town of Fargo was established on the banks of the Suwanee River and incorporated in 1992.
Notable residents of Clinch County have included U.S. Congresswoman Iris Faircloth Blitch, who was the first woman to serve two terms in the Georgia Senate, actor Ossie Davis, and Methodist Bishop Arhur J. Moore.
Part of the Okeefenokee Wildlife Refuge lies in Clinch County. Both the St. Mary's and Suwanee Rivers rise within the swamp. The world famous Stephen C. Foster State Park is located in Fargo.
Iris Flaircloth Blitch
Arthur J. Moore