Clayton County was formed out of Fayette (to the west) and Henry (to the east) in 1858 and was named after Judge Augustin S. Clayton, who served in the Georgia General Assembly. According to 2004 Census estimates, it is the fifth most populous county in the state as well as the fifth most populous in the 10-county Atlanta region. At 143 square miles, Clayton is the third smallest county in the state (out of 159) and the second smallest in the 10-county region, larger only than Rockdale.
How did Clayton County get to this point? Well, it all began on November 30, 1858 when the county was formed from parts of Fayette and Henry Counties. The 125th county created in Georgia was named in honor of Augustine Smith Clayton (1783-1839), a judge and member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Long before the county was officially formed, Creek Indians made the area their home. Remnants of their farming culture can still be found today along the Flint River. In 1823, Leaksville (later named Jonesboro) was founded and became an important stop on railroad running from Macon to Terminus (later named Atlanta), that connected the southeast to the port city of Savannah.