Oglethorpe is a city in Macon County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,200 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Macon County. It was named for Georgia's founder, James Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe was once one of the largest cities in Georgia, and by the 1850s, was tagged as "The Metropolis of Southwest Georgia". By the late 1850s, the city had a population of around 20,000. A Malaria and Smallpox epidemic wiped out most of the city's population in the early 1860s and the remaining residents in Oglethorpe fled south to Americus.