Ashe County

A History; A New Edition

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About the Book

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, along the Virginia and Tennessee borders, sits rural, mountainous Ashe County. When an act of the North Carolina General Assembly created Ashe in 1799, the county had previously been claimed by four other counties, the short-lived State of Franklin, and even France, based on treaty claims that the New River drained into the Mississippi.
This work is a reprint of the first-ever complete history of the county, originally commissioned by the Ashe County Research Association, written by Arthur Lloyd Fletcher and published in 1963. Chapters cover early explorers, the ill-fated War of Regulation, the county’s creation in 1799, the county’s role in the Civil War and both World Wars, religion, education, industry, community leaders and newspapers, recreation, and folklore, among other topics.

About the Author(s)

Ashe native Arthur Lloyd Fletcher served in the North Carolina National Guard in World Wars I and II and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He became North Carolina Commissioner of Labor in 1932, was a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Labor in 1938, and was later chairman of the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. He was also the author of History of the 133rd Field Artillery, 30th Division and History of the N.C. Department of the American Legion, 1919–1959.

Bibliographic Details

Arthur Lloyd Fletcher
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 463
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos (on glossy paper), appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4329-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition      vii
List of Illustrations      xii
Preface to the Original Edition      xiii

1. Bishop Spangenberg Discovers Ashe—Early Settlers—Daniel Boone, Pioneer—Early Records      3
2. War of the Regulation—Revolutionary War—State of Franklin      16
3. Ashe Created—Boundary Changes—Who Came First—The U.S. Census Reports      33
4. Perils and Hardships—The Geography of Ashe—Climate and Soils      58
5. Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions—Boards of County Commissioners—Legislators and County Officers      72
6. Ashe County at War—War Between the States—World Wars I and II      133
7. Religion in Ashe County—The Baptists—The Methodists—Presbyterians and Other Denominations      148
8. Education in Ashe (1784–1868)—Development of Public Education (1868–1962)—Church Schools Established      183
9. Agriculture in Ashe—Pioneer Livestock, Dairying, and Cheese-Making—Long Period of Small Progress—Modern Agriculture Comes to Ashe—Future of Agriculture in Ashe      199
10. Iron Ore Discovered—Manufacture of Iron—Copper Mining—Future of Mining in Ashe      221
11. Pioneer Industry—Electrification for Industry—Power and Light and Telephone for Everybody      230
12. West Jefferson, Its Origin and Growth—Survey of Available Labor and Employment—Banks and Banking      249
13. Toll Roads and Railroads—Lost Provinces Recovered by Highways—Growth of Postal Service      263
14. Ashe County Department of Public Welfare—Ashe County Department of Health—The Ashe Memorial Hospital and Ashe’s Physicians      273
15. Homemade Remedies—Inherited Skills—Ancient Superstitions, Beliefs, and Customs      288
16. Secret Orders in Ashe—Jefferson Lodge A.F. and A.M.—Jefferson Lodge No. 38 I.O.O.F.—Rotary, Lions, and Woman’s Clubs      299
17. Lawyers and Leadership—Ashe County Newspapers      315
18. Ashe County and the W.P.A.—Public Health and W.P.A.—County Schools and W.P.A.—Ashe County Women and W.P.A.       322
19. A New Cash Crop—Mount Jefferson State Park—Conference and Recreational Camps      328

Appendix      343
I. Ashe County Soldiers in the War Between the States
II. Ashe County in World War I
III. Ashe County in World War II
IV. Land Entries in Ashe County Beginning March 4, 1778

About the Author      377
Index      379