The first city government of Griffin, founded in 1840 by General Lewis Lawrence Griffin, was authorized in 1843 when the General Assembly of Georgia granted it a charter. The charter was accepted locally in 1844 and the first municipal government was established in 1845. This consisted of a Board of Commissioners with Major Henry Moor, an attorney, acting as chairman. After serving later as mayor, Major Moor, with William Dewberry, represented Spalding County at the Secession Convention where both men voted to secede from the Union.
In 1850 the form of government changed to Mayor and City Council with Alexander Moore designated as the first mayor of Griffin. The Mayor-Council form was followed until December 10, 1918 when J. Woods Hammond was the last mayor. At that time Griffin inaugurated a three member commission with one member serving as chairman and providing for a city manager to be employed by the Board of Commissioners. The first commission was composed of J.W. Greasham, Chairman, R. F. Strickland, Vice-Chairman, B. B. Brown, Commissioner. E. P. Bridges was the first City Manager.