In the early 1700s, the first settlers came to the area, which later became Rockdale County, and built their cabins along Hightower Trail. This area was officially opened to settlers in 1816. Soon a railroad was built to connect Augusta and Marthasville (now Atlanta).
Conyers, first know as Conyers Station, grew along this railroad. The town was named for Dr. W. D. Conyers, a Covington banker.
The town's first inhabitant was a blacksmith by the name of Holcombe, who owned a lot of land where the town now stands and ran a shop nearby. He was bitterly opposed to the railroad's coming and when the grading reached his land, legend has it that he swore he would kill the first man who struck a pick in his dirt.
Dr. Conyers happened upon the scene and found Mr. Holcombe walking up and down the lot making his threats. Dr. Conyers offered to buy the blacksmith's land. Mr. Holcombe agreed on seven hundred dollars, sold the land to Dr. Conyers, who donated it to the railroad. The railroad authority named the place for Dr. Conyers for negotiating the land transaction so simply. Dr. Conyers was one of the railroad directors and was very active in its construction. He gave the property for the right-of-way and the depot to the railroad.
Conyers had a population of 400 in 1854, and its citizens wanted the town to be incorporated. A Bill was introduced and passed in the Legislature; it provided that the boundary line would be ½ mile from the depot. On February 16, 1854, Conyers became a town. The Charter was amended on October 26, 1870, extending the boundary one mile from the depot of the Georgia Railroad.
The Reconstruction Period, 1867 - 1877, was one of tremendous growth. Reports showed an increase in population from 300 to 2,000 people. The rapid growth and growing independence led to the desire to separate from what was known as the "Upper End" from Newton County. This impetus led to the creation of Rockdale County. John F. Hardin and John Harris of Newton County were elected to the Legislature. Being very much in favor of forming a new county, the two men drew up a bill, and Mr. Harris introduced it. The bill, creating a new county from Newton and Henry counties, was approved October 18, 1870. It was stipulated that the first election of county officials would take place in Conyers on the first Wednesday in February. The first election in Rockdale County was held in Dr. J. A. Stewart's Drug Store. The first voter at the polls was an ex-slave named Churchfield.
A law, that authorized the ordinanry to levy taxes and sell bonds to raise money to build a courthouse, was passed soon after the county was created. For many years Rockdale County was governed by a Board of County Commissioners. The act creating the county provided for the erection of a courthouse to be carried out by the commissioners. The Board could not agree on a suitable location for the building. Finally in a 3-2 verdict, they officially decided on the location of the building. The two dissenting voters rendered their resignation on November 7, 1871. The remaining three commissioners signed a contract with a contractor to build the courthouse. The lot was secured and a courthouse was erected on it. This building cost the citizens $500. The courthouse was a two-story, brick Georgian structure with a center hall and adjoining rooms. The courthouse was completed on June 29, 1872 and dedicated in July.
This was the first of three courthouse buildings erected in the county. In 1939, the original building was demolished and replaced by another brick building on the same lot. Following the phenomenal growth of Rockdale County during the 1960's, it soon became apparent that existing facilities were inadequate, and plans were made for a larger courthouse building adjacent to the 1939 structure. Rockdale County voters approved a Bond Referendum in excess of one million dollars for a new courthouse. This three-story brick building was erected in 1974, and is connect to the existing courthouse, which still stands in Olde Town Conyers.
On January 20, 1872 the commissioners hired Mr. Addison Riley to build a jail for $2,490. This was a rock building completed March 1872. Unitl this time law breakers were jailed in Newton County or in a calaboose at Costley's Mill. In 1897 a red brick jail was built on Milstead Avenue, and that jail served for 71 years.