Bartow County was first established as Cass county in 1832 on land that had previously been Cherokee. The county was named to honor General Lewis Cass of Michigan. General Cass had been Secretary of War for President Andrew Jackson. When General Cass sided with the abolitionists the local population was offended and the decision was made to change the name of the county to honor General Francis S Bartow. Bartow had been born in 1816 in Chatham County Georgia, near Savannah. He went to Law school at Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in Athens (the founding college of the University of Georgia). In 1856 he was elected Captian of Savannah's 21st Oglethorpe Light Infantry after loosing his bid for United States congress. In this position he trained the young men of the highest social standing of the area. When President Lincoln was elected Bartow joined the crowd that was calling for secession.
When war erupted the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, named Bartow as the first leader of a regiment of fighting men. Bartow let his troops to northern Virginia and was the first Colonial killed at the battle of Manassas. Bartow had a quick and unsuccessful career but he did get a county named for him.
In 1836 a bill was passed that established the Western & Atlantic Railroad. A group of settlers had begun a town to take advantage of the train location close to the Etowah River. Farish Carter, a merchant who had made a fortune selling supplies to the government for the War of 1812, had bought 15,000 acres of land along Coosawattee River from Judge John Martin, treasurer of the Cherokee Nation. Farish had wanted a town named to honor him and he asked Nathaniel Deery Lewis, a leader of the town of Birmingham, GA if they would change the name of that town to honor him. Lewis told him to try the little town up on the Etowah. Cartersville was founded around 1838.
Cassville was the largest town in Bartow county and was the seat of government for the county. It was destroyed during the Civil War and the county seat was moved to the next largest city. Cartersville had by then encroached on and taken over Birmingham. The county was decimated by the war and it took many years to overcome the damage and trauma that had occurred. The slaves were freed and many stayed in the area but were kept poor and controlled by Jim Crow laws.
I have retired from Law Enforcement and trucking. Well actually I still take trips. Maggie--you will see her in some of the photos--and I still go if it sounds like fun. I love photography so there will be photos here. Call us if we can help with your windshield.