Dooly County, the 48th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1821. It was one of the original landlot counties and was later divided to make Crisp and parts of Macon, Pulaski, Turner, Wilcox and Worth counties.
The county was named for Colonel John Dooly, a revolutionary war hero who helped prosecute Tories in 1779 and was murdered by them the following year. Vienna (pronounced vye’-anna locally), the county seat, was named after the capital of Austria.
Dooly County claims several notable Georgians past and present. Walter F. George was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1922-1957, served as President Pro Tem of the Senate and chaired the Finance and Foreign Relations Committees. A museum honoring George operates in Vienna. George Busbee, governor from 1975-1983, was born and reared in Dooly County. Roger Kingdom, gold medalist in the high hurdles at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, was born in Dooly County. Jody Powell, press secretary to President Jimmy Carter, also hails from the county.
Historic sites in the county include the Dooly County Courthouse, built in 1891 of granite, slate, and brick. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dooly Campground, which was built in 1875, is an open-air tabernacle constructed with hand-hewn timbers that still hosts many community activities.