Immersed in the natural beauty of pine forests and fertile river lands Jeff Davis County was first established in 1870. The Macon & Brunswick Railroad, under the direction of railroad engineer George H. Hazlehurst, built a depot at Mile Post 8 1/2 at the halfway point between Brunswick and Macon. In 1905, the Georgia Legislature created Jeff Davis County from parts of Appling and Coffee Counties. The small community of Hazlehurst, which had sprung forth around the depot, was named after Colonel Hazlehurst at his request and became the county seat.
The early days of the county were focused on agricultural products. The Hazlehurst Tobacco Market was historically one of Georgia's strongest. After World War II, the Chamber of Commerce was formed and Jeff Davis County became home to more diversified industry. Today, Jeff Davis County still manages to balance its agricultural roots with retail, industry, timber and timber products. Tourism, particularly agritourism and ecotourism, has also become a viable industry because of farming and the vastness of the Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Altamaha river systems.
One of Jeff Davis County's gifts from nature is the confluence of two of Georgia's major - and most picturesque - rivers: the Ocmulgee and the Oconee to form the mighty Altamaha. The Altamaha River is one of the Nature Conservancy's "75 Last Great Places" in the world.
Jeff Davis County is located within an hour's drive of three of Georgia's major interstates - Interstate 16 running from Savannah to Macon, Interstate 75 running from near Miami to Michigan, and Interstate 95 running from Miami to Maine. It is also at the crossroads of two major federal highways: Highway 341, also known as the "Golden Isles Highway," and Highway 221, which connects Virginia with Florida. With its central location from some of Georgia's vitally important cities like Savannah, Albany, Valdosta, Macon, and Brunswick, Jeff Davis County enjoys easy connections to the rest of the state.