The first settlers, in what is now Brooks County, were Spanish missionaries from Florida who arrived around 1570. Brooks County was formed from parts of Lowndes and Thomas counties and was named for Preston Brooks, a member of Congress prior to the Civil War and an avid defender of state rights.
During the Civil War, the county was the main producer of food for the confederacy and became known as the "Breadbasket of the South."
The county's courthouse was constructed in 1864. Brooks County officials paid for the structure with $14,958 in Confederate money, a fortunate circumstance for the county, since this currency was soon to become useless.