Banks County was created by Act of Dec. 11, 1858 from Franklin and Habersham Counties. It was named for Dr. Richard Banks (1784-1850), whose reputation as physician and surgeon extended over north Ga. and S.C. Especially noted for treating Indians for smallpox, he practiced medicine in Gainesville from 1832 until his death. First officers of Banks County, commissioned March 19, 1859, were: William P. Richards, Sheriff; James Anderson, Clk. Sup. Ct.; William H. Means, Clk. Inf. Ct.; Archibald McDonald, Coroner; Pierce C. Key, Surveyor; Fountain G. Moss, Ord.; Thomas Ausburn, Tax Col.; Elijah Owens, Tax Rec.