Randolph County is home to two municipalities. Although many of our county's residents live in unincorporated areas, these municipalities play a vital role in the economic and social fabric of the county.
The City of Cuthbert is the county seat of Randolph County. The city was incorporated on December 26, 1831 and named for Colonel John Alfred Cuthbert, editor, congressman and judge.
Cuthbert is home to Andrew College, a private Methodist college recognized as the second in the nation to grant degrees to women. During the Civil War, the college also distinguished itself as a Confederate hospital.
In Cuthbert's Greenwood Cemetery are two dozen graves of Confederate soldiers who died at Hood Hospital. These soldiers are commemorated with a life-sized marble sculpture of a confederate soldier.
Cuthbert boasts a large collection of Victorian homes and is the birthplace of boxer Larry Holmes, NFL player Rosey Grier and jazz and swing musician Fletcher Henderson Jr. (1897-1952).
Most of the buildings built on the town square around 1890 are still there. Many of the businesses there today are in historic buildings. The courthouse on Court St. is undergoing renovation. City Hall across the street from it was built in 1940, and the Post Office was finished in 1938. The Chamber of Commerce is in the old Carnegie Library, kept in beautiful condition.
The Cuthbert Water Tower, erected in 1895, has the distinction of being the only water tower in the middle of a federal highway. It is located in the middle of US Highway 82 and defines the skyline of Cuthbert. For many years, people believed those who drank water from the tower would either stay or return to Cuthbert.
When the water tower was erected, the roadway was south of the tank. The streets of Cuthbert were paved in the 1930s, and the east entrance to the square was moved. The city did not have the funds to relocate the water tank, so the national highway just went around it. The bottom fell out of the tank when a cyclone hit Cuthbert in 1909, and graves were washed up in the Rosedale Cemetery in the resulting flood. No longer used as a water tank, the tower serves as a beacon to Cuthbert.
The city is located along U.S. Route 27 and U.S. Route 82. U.S. Route 27 passes east of the city leading north 57 miles to Columbus and south 112 miles to Tallahassee, Fla. U.S. Route 82 passes through the heart of the city leading east 45 miles to Albany and west 26 miles to Eufaula, Ala. Other highways that pass through the city include Georgia Route 266 and Georgia Route 216.
Shellman, established in 1883, is named for Major W.F. Shellman, a traffic manager for the Central of Georgia Railroad. The city was incorporated on April 5, 1883, and has a population of about 1,100 people.
NFL defensive player Thomas Davis and former NBA star Donnell Harvey grew up in Shellman. On of Shellman's claims to fame is that Gertrude Baines, the world's oldest person at 115 years of age when she died September 11, 2009, in Los Angeles, was born in Shellman. The husband half of the prolific songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Diadourius Boudleaux Bryant, was born in Shellman in 1920.
The 1893 Central of Georgia depot at Shellman was rehabilitated in the mid-1990s for use as a community center.