AHGP Transcription Project

A History of Mitchell County

Mitchell's County Seat
By ch. 8, Pub. Laws of 1860-61 Mitchell County was created out of portions of Yancey, Watauga, Caldwell, Burke and McDowell; and by chapter 9 of the same laws it was provided that the county court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions should be "held in the house of Eben Childs on the tenth Monday after the fourth Monday in March, when they shall elect a clerk, a sheriff, a coroner, a register of deeds and entry-taker, a surveyor, a county solicitor, constables and all other officers. Thomas Farthing of Watauga, John W. McElroy of Yancey, Joseph Conley of McDowell, A. C. Avery of Burke, David Prophet of Yancey, John Harden of Watauga and James Bailey, Sr., of Yancey, were appointed commissioners to select a permanent seat of justice and secure fifty acres of land, to meet between the first of May and June, 1861. Tilmon Blalock, J. A. Person, Eben Childs and Jordan Harden were appointed commissioners to lay off town lots; "and said town shall be called by the name of Calhoun."

A Hitch Somewhere
But, at the first extra session of 1861 (Ratified September 4, 1861), Moses Young, John B. Palmer of Mitchell, John S. Brown of McDowell, Wm. C. Erwin of Burke, and N. W. Woodfin of Buncombe were appointed commissioners to "select and determine a permanent seat of justice," to meet between October 1, 1861, and July 1, 1862.

Still Another Hitch
By chapter 34, Private Laws, second extra session, 1861, the boundary lines of Mitchell were so changed as to detach from Mitchell and re-annex to Yancey all the country between the mouth of Big Rock creek and the Tennessee line, so that the county line of Mitchell should stop on Toe River at the mouth of Big Rock creek and run thence with the ridge that divides Rock Creek and Brummetts creek to the State line at the point where the Yancey and McDowell turnpike road crosses the same.

The Land is Donated
On the 17th of October, 1861, Lysander D. Childs and Eben Childs conveyed to Tilmon Blalock, chairman of the County Court, fifty acres of land (Deed Book C, p. 30) the which fifty acres were to be used "for the location thereon of a permanent seat of justice in said county; two acres for a public grave-yard, one acre for the site of a public school building, and one-half acre to be devoted to each of the following denominations for the erection thereon of church buildings; to wit: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists"; the location of lots in the graveyard and for the school and church buildings to be made by the commissioners charged by law with the duty of laying off the town lots in said seat of justice.

This town was not far from Spruce Pine and Ingalls, "on a lane leading from the Burnsville and Boone road." It was what was afterwards called Childsville. But, although by chapter 61 of the second session of the laws of 1861, a term of the Superior court was directed to be held "for Mitchell County in the town of Calhoun on the sixth Monday after the fourth Monday each year," the county seat never assumed town-like proportions. The people never liked it; and at the first session of the legislature after the Civil War it was changed to the present site of what is now called Bakersville. But, it seems, it was first called Davis; for by chapter 2, Private Laws of 1868, the name of the "town site of Mitchell County" was changed from Davis to Bakersville.

On the 27th of July, 1866, for $1,000 Robert N. Penland conveyed to the chairman of the board of county commissioners 29 acres on the waters of Cane creek "and the right of way to and the use of the springs above the old Baker spring ... to be carried in pumps to any portion of said 29 acres. This was a part of the land on which Bakersville is situated. In 1868 there was a sale of these lots, and at the December, 1868, session of the commissioners the purchasers gave their notes, due in one and two years for balances due on the lots. The first court house in Bakersville was built by Irby & Dellinger, of South Carolina, in 1867, and on the first of November, 1869, M. P. and W. Dellinger gave notice of a mechanic's lien in the building for work done under a contract for the sum of $1,409.85 subject to a set-off of about $200. The first court held in Bakersville was in a grove near the former Bowman house, when it stood on the top of the ridge above its present site. Judge A. S. Merrimon presided. The next court was held in a log house built by Isaac A. Pearson. The present court house was built by the Fall City Construction Company, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Source: Western North Carolina A History From 1730 to 1913, By John Preston Arthur, Published by Edward Mitchell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of Mitchellville, N. C., 1914

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