Morgan County was created from Baldwin County on December 10, 1807 by an act of the General Assembly. Georgia's 30th county was named for Revolutionary War general and later Virginia Congressman, Daniel Morgan, who is best remembered for his victory over the British at Cowpens in 1781. Madison was designated the county seat in 1808 and incorporated in 1809. Sherman's Army spared Madison from destruction because it was the home of pro-Union Senator Joshua Hill.
The first courthouse was a red brick square building, built in 1809 on the square in the middle of downtown Madison. This building was converted to office space when the current courthouse was built across the street on the corner facing the square. In 1917, the original courthouse building was destroyed in a fire.
Among the notable people who hail from Morgan County are William Tappan Thompson, a journalist and author who founded and edited The Savannah Morning News, and Lancelot Johnson, who first developed the process of pressing oil out of cottonseed.