Understanding Thomasville's namesake

Understanding Thomasville's namesake

THOMASVILLE, GA (WTXL) - There's a longstanding debate over whom Thomas County is named after.

But according to the Thomas County Museum of History, there is evidence that it's named after Major General Jett Thomas.

Ephraim Rotter, a curator with the museum, said the person who filed the legislation to create Thomas County, a guy named Thomas Jefferson Johnson, named it after Major General Jett Thomas.

Little is known about Thomas, as he died from cancer about 10 years before Thomas County was even founded.

He is best known for his rise to fame, fighting in the War of 1812. He was also the architect and builder of what was then called Franklin College, now known as the University of Georgia.

But there's no evidence that he ever had any ties to the area.

"One of the really interesting things about Thomas County being named after Jett Thomas is that normally, a person that a county is named after is for someone who may have visited there at one time. This is a completely different instance," said Rotters.

There are three competing theories as to how Thomas County got its name.

One is that it's named after "Thomas Ashon Lewis, who owned a large plot of land in what would become Thomas County.

The other two theories involve six people named "Tom".

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