Coweta County (pronounced "Cow-eeta" or
meaning "water falls") was formed
in Georgia in June 9, 1825 as Chief William McIntosh
signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, for which
he was soon killed by his fellow
Settlers migrated to the area following the
Lottery of 1827.
Gerrard M. Veal, a minor, received land lot 279,
acres that became present day Senoia.
Around 1828, a large number of people traveled from Newberry, South Carolina, in covered
wagons, oxcarts, on horseback, and by foot. In the group were preachers,
farmers, masons, and most any other occupation of the day. The names read like a
current register of the area, since these forerunners have numerous descendants
still making their homes in Senoia. In the group from South Carolina were
the Atkinsons, Addys, Pages, Youngs, Levells, Shells, Barnes, Falls, Moses and
many others. They scattered across the countryside, each trying to find a new
start. And find it they did in the rich land of eastern Coweta. Raising cotton,
corn, and livestock, the area was an agricultural Utopia.
Senoia's residents migrated from Newberry, South Carolina. Shown is
Newberry's "Old Courthouse."
Location, Location, Location...
The first "settlement" in the
area was called Location, two miles south of present day Senoia, where a post
office had been established. In 1854, Willow Dell was
established. Settlers continued to move to the area. The founding
date for Senoia is 1860, for in that year the Rev. Francis Warren Baggarly
bought land on which the modern town of Senoia now sits. On October 9,
1864, after many of the people of Willow Dell had moved closer to the two
railroads that ran through the area, the community was renamed Senoia, and a
post office was reestablished. The first building to be erected was
known as the Rock House. Intended for mercantile purposes, it soon became a
commissary for the Confederacy, as the war broke out soon after its completion.
The first church,a Methodist Episcopal, with the Rev. Baggarly as minister, and
the first Sunday school was also organized in the upstairs. A high school was opened in 1865, quite an accomplishment for a rural
southern town at the end of the civil war.
intersecting railroads are much of the reason that Senoia is located where
Pictured is the old depot, which no longer stands.
Post Civil War
After the war, Senoia saw the completion of the
Savannah, Griffin and North Alabama Railroad, which crossed through the
town. Agricultural products such as cotton and peaches were shipped
by rail from Senoia. Senoia was officially incorporated as a city on
December 12, 1866. Pride in their town was very evident, as the citizens aspired
to have the county seat moved there in 1876. Their bid was unsuccessful. Today
with its collection of architectural treasures, most of the town comprises a
historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Senoia was
officially chartered as a city around 1905, about the same time the railways
moved in. The city still features architecture from all those periods -
including structures dating to the 1840s - with most of the architecture from the
city's charming downtown dating from the turn of the century.
has one known citizen who died in combat. Edward Couch was killed in action in
Vietnam. The city of Senoia honored its lone fallen hero by naming its newest
bridge in his honor in 2001.
Where the name Senoia came from is difficult to determine. There
are four main variations to the origins of the name Senoia. They are
listed below in the order of their likelihood as the source for the name
Senoya He-ne-ha was the wife of Captain William McIntosh. Their son, also
named William McIntosh was both a General in the army and a chief in his band of
Creek Indians. Senoya was a member of the prestigious Wind Clan of the Creek
Indians. This is what established the idea of "Princess Senoia."
From an edition of a one-time Senoia paper, the Enterprise-Gazette, comes this
quotation concerning the naming of the town: "John Williams suggested the
name Senoia for an Indian Chief of that name, a medicine man and philanthropist,
noble, brave, and generous, who lived near the present location of
Another newspaper account in 1873 held that Colonel William C. Barnes came up
with the name in honor of a clever Indian who formerly resided in the
(4) Others say that Senoia comes from an Indian word for the
title of Chief William McIntosh, Shenoywa.
Another thing for visitors to Senoia to note: Although you
might think that Senoia would most likely be pronounced "Seh-noy-yuh", don't be
fooled. Locals here simply call it "Seh-noy." If you want to stand
out like a sore thumb, feel free to mispronounce Senoia. No one will say
anything, but every one will know you are not a "local"!
Special Thanks to the Senoia Historical Society for their help with
this brief history.
Senoia Area Historical Society
PO Box 301
Senoia, GA 30276