WHAT’S IN A NAME: City of LaGrange

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, February 25, 2023

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From LaGrange’s fleur-de-lis logo to its name — translated from French as “The Farm”— the city’s French connection is unmistakable. Its namesake, the Marquis de La Fayette, has his moniker on countless things throughout town, from the city’s primary thoroughfare LaFayette Parkway to the square where his visage watches over downtown.

Marquis de La Fayette, more commonly known in the United States as Lafayette, was an American Revolutionary War hero and a French aristocrat who commanded American troops in several battles, including the battle of Yorktown.

From September 1824 to December 1825, Lafayette returned to tour and visit the United States. During this time, Lafayette spent two weeks in Georgia as a guest of former Governor George McIntosh Troup. 

While visiting Georgia, Lafayette passed close to the area where LaGrange currently sits and remarked that the landscape resembled his home in France, Château de la Grange-Bléneau.

Lewis Powell, of the Troup County Historical Society, said Julius Caesar Alford, a powerful local politician, had been part of the group with Lafayette when he mentioned the resemblance to the French home.

Alford was later at a town hall meeting where they were deciding what to name the new county seat and the name LaGrange was selected. Alford suggested that LaGrange be named for Lafayette’s estate and the name was chosen by unanimous vote.

Powell said Alford served in Congress and was known as the War Horse of Troup because he was very politically powerful at the time.

The selection of the county seat for Troup was given to five Inferior Court judges. One of the judges suggested Vernon and another suggested Mountville. When the judges couldn’t agree on either existing town, they decided to split the difference and the new town of LaGrange was created. 

LaGrange was officially incorporated on Dec. 16, 1828. The same act of the legislature that incorporated LaGrange, naming it the county seat of Troup County.

“That’s how LaGrange ended up with its name,” Powell said.