Wilkes Co., NC

Wilkes County, NC


Established in 1777 from Surry County, Wilkes County, is situated in the mountains of North Carolina. The Tutelo and Cherokee originally lived in the area, and the first Europeans to settle in the land were German and Scotch-Irish immigrants. The county was named in honor of John Wilkes, a distinguished English statesman and member of Parliament. He was elected by the Ministerial party from Parliament on account of his liberal political views; and often was returned by the people. He died in 1797.

The larger portion of the county lies between two great mountain ranges and the Yadkin river flows between, thus forming a valley of unexcelled fertility and picturesque beauty. Besides the Yadkin there are Mitchell's, Roaring and Reddies rivers and numerous large creeks in the county.

Just when the first white settlers came to what is now Wi1kes county is not known. As early as l740 the crack of the white man's rifle had brought the timid deer to the ground and frightened the other animals of the forest. Governor Rowan wrote that "In the year of 1746, I was in the territory from the Saxaphaw (now Haw river) to the mountains, and there was not above one hundred fighting men in all that back country." According to the Colonial Records there were, in 1749, only three hundred taxable men in North Carolina west of Haw river.

About the year 1750 three streams of immigrants began to pour into this section of the state, one from south-eastern Pennsylvania, one from eastern North Carolina and one from South Carolina. But most of the settlers coming within the present borders of Wilkes county came from eastern North Carolina.

Modern Day Adjacent Counties

The county is situated in the north-western part of North Carolina, and is bounded on the north by the Blue Ridge, which separates it from Ashe and Alleghany counties; on the east by Surry and Yadkin counties; on the south by Iredell and Alexander counties, and on the west by Caldwell and Watauga counties.
Source: New River Notes

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Page last modified on Sunday 18 of July, 2021 12:41:03 CDT by Beverly.