Formally established in 1870, the origin on the name of the town has long been debated.
Some theories include:
•Morris K. Jesup, a banker and railroad scion who bought the Savannah, Florida and Western out of bankruptcy following the Civil War
•General Thomas Sidney Jesup, a hero of the Indian Wars who captured the Seminole chief Osceola under a flag of truce
•James R. Jesup, long affiliated with the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad that was the parent company for the Macon and Brunswick line (At Willis Clary’s urging, the Macon and Brunswick intersected the Savannah, Florida and Western at Jesup because of the friendship between Clary and James R. Jesup)