Floyd County, Georgia

1832 Floyd County Courthouse

Floyd County was created by Act of December 3, 1832 out of Cherokee County. Originally it included parts of Chattooga, Polk, and Gordon Counties. Early settlers came from Tennessee, South Carolina, and older parts of Georgia. The County was named for Major General John Floyd (1794-1829). Legislator, Congressman, General of the Georgia Militia, Commander of Georgia troops against the Creeks in 1813.

Officers of Floyd County Commissioned, March 18, 1833 were:

  • Andrew H. Johnston Sheriff
  • Edwin G. Rogers Clerk Superior Court
  • Phillip W. Hemphill Clerk Inferior Court
  • John Smithwicke Surveyor
  • Lemuel Milligan Coroner

Sheriff’s of Floyd County Georgia
The following information was obtained from the files of the State of Georgia Archives, The Rome-Floyd County Library, the Floyd County Records Retention Center, Batty’s History of Rome and Floyd County; Aycock’s all roads lead to Rome, and The Rome News.

Andrew H. Johnston (1)
First Elected Sheriff (May 1833) County Seat Livingston, GA.

William Smith

William Smith (2)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 277/34 page 128, Elected on 01/06/1934

One of Rome’s five founding fathers, William Smith later held office in both houses of the Georgia state Assembly, and did much to assure the growth of the City of Rome. He was directly responsible for the building of the community’s first steamboat, for the organization of the Rome Railroad and for the coming to Rome of such able citizens as Alfred Shorter and others. (County seat moved to Rome in 1835).

William R. Williamson (3)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 277/34 Elected: 01/16/1836

Wesley Shropshire (4)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 227/34 Elected: 01/18/1838

Samuel T. Payne (5)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 227/35 page 349, Appointed 10/19/1839

Houston Aycock (6)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 227/34 page 871 Elected: 01/11/1840

Elias H. Kemp (7)


Samuel T. Payne
Took Office in January 1842

William Carstarpher (8)
Appointed: 05/22/1842

Moses M. Liddell (9)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 227/35 page 465, Elected: 07/25/1842

James McConnell (10)
Appointed: 10/2/1842

Joseph Ford (11)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 277/35 page 471, Elected: 01/02/1843

Houston Aycock (6)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 277/35 page 660, Elected: 01/01/1844

Edward F. B. Lumpkin (7)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 227/36 page 22, Elected: 01/05/1846

Thomas Price (12)
Secretary Of Commission Book 227/36 page 237, Elected: 03/07/1846

George W. Hanson (13)
Secretary Of State Commission Book 277/36 page 365, Elected: 01/03/1848

Thomas S. Price

Thomas G. Watters (14)
Elected: 01/02/1852

Thomas S. Price

Thomas G. Watters

William P. Williams (15)

Thomas G. Watters

H. P. Lumpkin (16)

B. F. Payne (17)

John R. Towers (18)
Listed in Sectary of States Commission Book as being under Northern Rule.

Nathan Yarbrough

Nathan Yarbrough (19)
Listed in County and Court Records of Floyd County.

Nathan Yarbrough, Mayor of Rome in 1852, some say he was the first mayor, at any rate he wasn’t satisfied, so later he was made Sheriff in 1866. Judge Joel Branham’s book of reminiscences “The Old Courthouse in Rome” describes Yarbrough as “a stout, red-faced, broad shoulder, redheaded man, abrupt in manner, firm and fearless in conduct and opinion. He later moved to Texas where he died.

S. P. Mays (20)

J. H. Lumpkin (21)

James M. Jenkins (22)

James M. Jenkins

Floyd County Jailhouse, built in 1878

J. M. Quinn (23)

M. C. Mathis (24)

M. C. Mathis

M. C. Mathis

Jake Moore

Jake C. Moore (25)

James M. Jenkins

Jake C. Moore

Jake C. Moore

J. P. McConnell (26)

J. P. McConnell

J E Camp

J. E. Camp (27)

J. E. Camp

W. G. Dunehoo (28)

Dan O. Byars (29)

Dan O. Byars

T Berry Brouch

T. Berry Brouch (30)

W. G. Dunehoo

W. G. Dunehoo

(From Rome News Paper) Sheriff W. G. Dunehoo and his deputy, Mr. Wash Smith are two of the best known and most popular men in Floyd County, and the shooting of Smith by Dunehoo in Rome Monday evening was a sensational and most unfortunate occurrence.

W G Dunehoo

Dunehoo was standing for re-election and the opposing ticket was composed of two of his deputies – Mr. J.R. Barron for Sheriff, with Smith as deputy. Smith sent out cards to the voters last week intimating that Donehoo had kept him busy out of the state and promising a sober administration if elected – the latter being taken by Dunehoo as a reflection on his personal habits.

April 27, 1914
To the voters of Floyd County.
Having just returned from Virginia with a prisoner, and acting under orders of the sheriff, I am again on my way to Fort Wayne, Ind, for a prisoner, I won’t be able to see you before the election. Kindly remember me and my ticket on next Tuesday and make our majority as big as possible.

Promising you in return a good, clean, sober administration, I am yours truly, Wash Smith.

From testimony reported in the Tribune Herald paper, the following transpired:

On Monday, April 27 (1914), the eve of the (primary) election, Sheriff Dunehoo and his son Henry had been to the Courthouse (on 5th ave).

Henry, who was his father’s driver, was sitting on the wall outside waiting. They left the courthouse and were on their way home, but the sheriff had to stop by the jail across the street to deliver some bond news to a prisoner. Smith was at the jail using the phone. It was the end of the day and Dunehoo had had a few drinks. When he went into the jail Dunehoo began to ask Smith about the card and said that Smith had hit him “below the belt”.

Dunehoo questioned the implication that he had sent Smith for the prisoners to keep him from campaigning. Dunehoo then began to question the “sober” in the card and called Smith a hypocrite. The conversation quickly escalated and Dunehoo began cursing Smith. Smith got angry and punched Dunehoo in the face and they went down, with Smith on top.

Henry Dunehoo came running in and begain hitting Smith on the back and head. Smith began to run out the door with Henry close behind him, using a gun in each hand to pummel Smith as he made his escape. Smith had lost his pistol in the fracas. Smith made it to the back gate, pulled it shut and held it. By this time Sheriff Dunehoo had recovered and followed Smith, blazing away with his pistol. When he could not get the gate open he shot through it hitting Smith in the gut. The wounded Smith picked up a board and opened the gate and began to beat Dunehoo on the head. Henry arrived and put a gun to Smith’s head, saying he would kill him if he didn’t get off of his father. Then the sheriff jumped on Smith. Deputy Barron and some others arrived about that time and began to pull the combatants apart and restore some order to the scene.

Smith was taken to Emergency Hospital and immediately operated on. The paper reported news of his health for the next few days. His deathbed testimony was taken. Fortunately, he did not develop peritonitis and lived to testify at the trial which after many delays, was held in November. Judge Moses Wright excused himself and Judge A.W. Fite of the Cherokee Circuit sat on the bench. The Coroner, John W. Miller, was responsible for the jurors and witnesses.

The Headlines of the Rome Tribune Herald of Sunday, November 8, 1914 read “Sheriff Dunehoo found guilty of shooting another; fined $1000.00

Because both men were so well known it took a pool of 346 jurors to select 12 that were qualified. Dunehoo had already withdrawn from the primary election of April 28, 1914, and Joe Barron won. Technically, Dunehoo was still sheriff of Floyd County until January 1 and was still responsible for running the jail and the courts, with the exception of his own trial. Wash Smith continued in law enforcement and went on to win the sheriff’s election April 6, 1916.

Mr. Dunehoo also served two terms as commissioner on the Floyd County Board of Roads and Revenue.

AKA: “Captain Bill”
Born: May 17, 1857
Married: Mary Lou Ritch, May 23, 1886
Died: June 19, 1930

Joe R. Barren (31)

Acts 1914, page 43, ratified November 3, 1914, effective January 1, 1917 changed two-year terms to four-year terms.

G W Smith

George Wash Smith (32)

Robert E. Wilson (33)

Oscar Leon Betts

Oscar Leon Betts (34)

Robert E. Wilson

Oscar Leon Betts

Oscar Leon Betts

Oscar Leon Betts
Passed away June 6, 1936

Mark Horton

Mark E. Horton (35)
Appointed June 15, 1936

Mark E. Horton

Mark E. Horton

Floyd County Jail, built in 1940

D. Gilmore Johnson (36)

Joe Adams

Joe Adams (37)
Served for 20 years.

Lynn Garner

Lynn Garner (38)

Bill Hart

Bill Hart (39)
Served for 8 years

Wayne Atchley

Wayne Atchley (40)

Mike Thornton

Mike Thornton (41)

A Tommy Rickman

1993 – 2004
A. Tommy Rickman (42)
Served for 12 Years

Tim Burkhalter

Timothy L. Burkhalter (43)

Floyd County Jail, renovated in 1998

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