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VOL. XXV NO. 4
TRYON, N. a FRIDAY," MAY 30, 1919.
$2.00 A YEAR
G iil Tf M
HISTORY OF POLK COUNTY.
m.-v H. McFarland.)
L Art of -the General assembly of
An.Ac Pio f iSlfi and 1827 to
ay off and establish a county by
tif name of Polk. -
The late Col. William
L ,i. r thu State, was a meritorious
irtVr in the Continental line during
The commissioners "appointed to
have the boundary lines established,
and by authority granted them,- em
ployed Messrs. Chesterfield McKinney
and Joseph Whitesides to make the
survey and establish tne boundary
lines, who performed the ':. duties as
signed them.' -
The next thing in order was the
location of the geographical center
ers to Sell "lots at Schuvnrha. "
The next in order was the tax levy
of 1847. 7 -The county tax on the $100
valuation was 8 cents,. on white polls
25 . cents, and black 25 cents . The
poor tax on the $100 valuation was 3
cents, on polls 9 cents. Common
school tax on $100 valuation 2 cents,
on polls 6 cents. i ;
In September, 1847, was " the time
i.hi'x --f L'hM -kc virv-M j' sv-t t;. vr'vr?l
?T4rrC ;v :;r. ' i -T Jr , A V, ' . ;
.! i .
Pi:- - u--
; i. i ! r- ; I J -jfji
Dr. Columbus Mills, beincr a man of
influence, and one of the strongest ad
vocates of this point, did much in
naymg tne county site located at this
place, anoj in honor of him the name
of,Columbas was given the town. The
commissioners were engaged fourteen
days in discharge of this important
duty, ior mch they were paid $2 per
The commissioners appointed to
superintend, and. look 'after the public
works were: Dr. Thompson Simms,
sale a large number of people were
assembled from this and adjoining
counties. D. Thompson Simms was
the auctioneer, and lots sold for fair
prices, bringing from $200 to $1,000.
The little county now being fully es
tablished, the attenton of the people
of adjoining counties was attracted
and the outlook for its future prosper
ity was flattering. Several good cit
izens who had purchased lots began
their improvement at once. The con
tract for the erection of the court
house and county jal was awarded to
term, June. 1856, His Hon. John L.
Bailey presiding. The first court at,
Columbus, , the - county site, was held
first of December, 1856, His Honor
John . W. Ellis, presiding, afterward
elected Governor of the State. Held
in a temporary building erected for
that purpose, which is now used as a
stable at the-Chevalier House, at this
place. The bar was there represent- .
ed by able and learned attorneys, such
as the -Hon. William M. Shipp, Bur-
gess S. Gaither, John Gray Bynum,
B. F. Edney, C. T. N. Davis, and oth-
County Court House, atlColumbus
the war of the revolution, and in the
capacity of Major and lieutenant-
Colonel rendered oisunguisnea service
in the battles of Germantown Brandy
wine and Eutavv, in all of which he
was wounded, and,
Whereas, This General Assembly is
-desirous of testifying their respect
for his memory uv cat ling one of the
counties by his name, therefore, ;
Section 1. Be it enacted, " By the
North Carolina, and it is hereby en
acted Dy authority of the same, that a
new county by the name, of Polk and
the same is hereby laid off and estab
lished of parts of Rutherford and
Henderson: That portion of Hender
son which originally ocionged to
Jiuthert'ord, 'beginning on the top of
Sugar Loai liiountain, at the Hender
son corner, and running nearly east
down to the ridge between the waters
ofjGreen and Broad Rivers, and with
said ridge to Gray's chapel continuing
the same ridge, down to the lands oi
Thomas Millers, thence nearly east,
including said lands to Broad river;
lthence wtih main Bread river to
lPoor's ford and from Poor's ford with
y? old road to the South Carolina
v, thence with the South Carolina
li ''Xp the old Buncombe, corner, and
tUncewith the old Buncombe hue to
original point on Sugar Loaf
-mpuitain, which shall have all the
powers lauthorities and immunities of
othei cjunties of the State. '
Th: let further provided and made
the house of Marvil Mills the court
houFy until .the county scat was es-
SfUBlished. It also aDDointed . Wm.
for the county seat. After a careful
and accurate survey the . center was
located, which was shown to be three
and a half mjles northeast of Colum
bus, the present county seat. - The act
provided that the' county town should
be within five miles of the center. It
was. found that the most suitable
place for the town ,; within the, pre
scribed limits was a " point 7 on Cow
pen's ridge, three and a half miles
c a&L . af JohiraJbuSfKhichwas - - given
the-name of Schuyucha. The next
thing in order was to make surveys
lay off streets, lots, etc., for the town,
cansequently three competent survey
ors were employed, viz: Chesterfield
McKinney. and Adam Camo. ..-of the
county and William Thornhill of
Greenville, S. C.
In February '47 the first court of.
Pleas and Master Session was organ
ized at the residence of Marvil Mills.
Tho old iustices of the Deace who
constituted this court were Ambrose
Mills, Joel Cloud, John H. Alley, Luke
Waldrop, Wm. Dimsdale, Thos Eger
ton, EJ.- G Foster and Richard Allen,
and at this Session Wm. S. Mills, Da
vid Porter, John W. Hampton and H.
M. Earl e came into" open court and
were sworn in by the chairman of
this body. 7-
At this session also the county of
ficers were elected, viz: E. G. Foster,
Chairman Select Court; Ambrose
Mills and John H. Alley, Associates;
Wm. Wilkins, Clerk of Superior Court
P. B. Williams Sheriff; Thomas Jef
ferson, Register of Deeds; C. McKin
ney Surveyor; Wm. Tabor, Coroner;
Wm. S. Mills, Treasurer; Jason H.
' - '.v . t i . " ..t - . ; :-rZ.'i - at J
.. ' v ' vvs-:
.- ' . c .
.r r? . - .-
: ..,'" . y . . M'W i , ....
.'. . " ! '
- 5? ;
. ..... .....
Blue Ridge Mountains in the Distance
set apart for the sale of lots at Wm. S. Mills, J. W. Walker, J.
Schuyucha, but as there was some , Ward and A. E. Miller.
trouble existing with some of the cit- Engineers Glemi and D. Peak and
lzens of the county with regard to the Wesley Wall were engaged to lay off
T. , Ephriam Clayton and George and
John Shackelford of Asheville, N. C,
and an examination of the . work to
day proves that they were contractors
"J. : i - -.'
if""-. IV . ,
s Mill snunkawaken Falls, near Columbus. '
Pg,1 JcmMlnBlacvellt Jonathan j Carson'i County Solicitor. ,
missi;h-M lls .and Wm. R Jonen The same court appointed Jas. McD
Xunty ieaf ?f ay off an locate
ncVof Marvil Mills, Esq.
The same couri i.aPPOinted fas. McD
Carson, Geo. J. Mills. Wm. F. Jo nes
Dr. C. MillsHenry M. Earle, Wm. S.
Mills and Luke Waldrop, commission-.
geographical center, of --the same,
George Baxter counsel for those op
posing the location, procured a writ
of injunction, issued by Judge Bailey,
of Morganton, and had it served by
M. O. Dickerson, then sheriff of Ruth
erford :.. county, on the commissioners
on the day of sale" of. town lots, which
stopped further business.
'At the next general election the
new county question was .made an is
sue. Wm. Wilkins was elected to
represent the county and through him
the new cdunty act was repealed and
most of the .records returned to Ruth-L
crl'ord county. At the session of the
general assembly of 1854-5, Col. Wm.
x1'. James and Dr. Columbus Mills
ooth favorable to the new county,
.vere elected to represent Rutherford
and Cleveland counties, and to them
,vere intrusted the re-establishing of
:.he new county. After encountering
i long and stubborn resistance, they
aiccecded in the re-estabiishment oi
t'olk county whi ch was ratified the
nHi Anv nf' January. 1855. and at the
jihie session of the general assembly
3. Burgin, of McDowell county, J. R.
iOgan, of Cleveland county, and J.; J.
firwin, of Burke county, were ap
pointed to locate and lay off a town
,ite for said county. -They met at the
louse of Geo. J. Mills, on the 11th
Jay of June, 1855, to enter upon their
mportanti duties. After obtaining all
,he information from persons, surveys
itc, made in reference to the boun
dary of the county, as originaHy
nade,, and to the location of its town
jite, and being in doubt as to its true
point of the geographical center, call
ed to thir assistance , two competent
Engineers, Messrs. Glenn - and George
Peak, and had such surveys made on
the boundaries of the countv and geo
graphical center as to fix that impor
tant point to their satisfaction. Hav
ing ascertained the geographical cen
ter of the county, a careful and thor
ough examination was made by them
to find the most suitable location for
a town under the limits prescribed by
the act, decided to locate the. town
site oh whatMs generally known as
the "race pathes" on the line of the
survey of the Charleston and Cincin
nati lailrcad surveyed by Capt. Lewis
and John C. Freemont in the year
1836, upon" a tract of land containing
100 acres' which is recorded as .a do
nation for the purpose from Messrs.
John W. Hampton, John Nodin and
A Mountain Home in Polk County
and locate the public grounds," streets
and lots, with O, Amer as their clerk.
This work having been accomplished,
Wesley Wall was chosen supervisor
and in September and Octdber of the
same year, employed a number of
hands to remove the timber and clean
away the rubbish. The following are
those who v ere employed and the
amounts ot money each received for
Elijah Thompson . . . ... . . w. .$122.25
D. J. Garrett 7 . 8.07
Nathan Williams . . . .'.N
E. Smith ..
J. K. Cloud..
J. E. Hall &' Son. .......
Lee Pack . . . .".
L. Underwood .....
Wnv Foster ...... . .
A. Thompson .......
Alex Thompson . .
Cavid Thompson .
3. P. Thompson
Robert Lankf ord ...
Mathan Lankford . .
W. R. Williams;....
John Wi lliams
3yron, Green ......
Henderson . 7
C Nodine ........ .
Jeter Nodine . ... ..
Jack Foster . ......
Thomas Williams . .
f. Qarrett .........
Steve West .......
W7 X Foster. .... ..
Prank Henderson . . .
W. .-Wall's -.hands'...'.
W. C. Williams.....
W. C. Williams..,..
D. Newman v.
J . Hampton. ... .
B. H. Green. .7. .
of experience. The work was com
pleted in the yar 1859, and all ma
trial used was furnished by the coun
ty. . -X r
The first tvTo terms of the Superior
ers. The first clerk of the court was
R. S. Abrams, elected by the peopl
August 1855, and held the .office 31
consecutive years; E. L. Allen, sheriff, .
Thomas E gerton, treasurer, Jerry
Jackson, register of deeds and John '
Little john, entrytaker. -
The county was now in af prosper
ous condition: and was regarded.-as-v -having
as many progressive citizens as
any forJts size, in thestate; It grad- ' x" -VlJmBroyedjmme
which time the news of the war be-, 7":
tween the States was soundedthe ex-7 X--citement
of which seemed to stop all
further plans of business and a large .
number of the county's best citiens
went to war for what they then be
lieved to be right, many of whom
never returned to their native county
which they loved so well
The North Carolina Roster shows :
that the county furnished the Confed
erate army 303 soldiers. The first
company was organized at Columbus .
on the 20th day of April, 1861, with
the followinp" offivers : J. C Camp,
captain: G. W. Peak, 1st lieut.: R. S.
Hunter, 2nd lieut; R. H. .-Mills, 3rd
lieut. Number of men enrolled 110.
The second company organized
April 5th, 1862, with officers as fol- ,
lows::. N. B. Hampton, captain; J.'A.
Thorn, 1st lieut.; D. V. Rhodes. 2nd
lient.; O. M. Cornwell, 3rd lieut.;
number of men enrolled, 65.
-The third company organized July
5th, 1862, with B.T. Morris, captain; .
W. R. Tabor, 1st lieut.- B. F. Hamp
ton, 2nd lieut.; H. H. Collins, 3rd lieut. -
The fourth company organized Sep
tember 7, 1863, with J. L. Ward cap-
Total amount . . . . 7. . . . . . .. $331.88
After this was accomplished, oh the
17th and 18th days of October of "the
same year, "were the days of ; the sale
of lots. Total number of - lots sold,
59, unsold, 28;- set apart for pubic
purposes 6; aggregate sale of town
lots, $16,394.00. all of wheh was ap-
plied for public purposes On day of
. If V"'
i ."' r. ...
Hemlock Falls, Near Columbus.
court of the new county were held in
the residence of George J. Mills, , at
Mill Spring, the first being held Dec.
ber 3rd, 1855, His Hon. Methias Man
ley, judge presiding; Augustus Bur
ton, States' attorney; R. S." Abrams;
Clerk; IE. J. Alien, Sheriff. Second
tain; L. B. IJavis, 1st lieut.; Eli Jack
son 2nd lieut.; C. S. Monroe, 3rd litut.
number of men enrolled 50, making a
total of 303. as above stated. .
. This number of oar very, best" men
taken from the county while yet In its
- . (Continued'on next page.) . '