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Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

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Welcome to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina History!


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Contents

History/Timeline

NC flag with Mecklenburg logo
1670 James Lederer, an English explorer discovered the Catawba Indians living in the Mecklenburg area. [1]
1700's Reports of migration to Mecklenburg area mostly from the North, traveling on the "Trading Path" ( an old Indian Trail), and from the South along the rivers from Charleston. The immigrants were predominately Scots-Irish and were not threatened by the Catawba Indians. [2]
1740 Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware citizens migrated to Mecklenburg as explorers and traders. Here they found Catawba Indian villages in the area, who were peaceful people. They did not threaten the early settlers. [3]
Mid 1750's The Square began on an Indian trading path between two rivers, (Yadkin and Catawba Rivers). This became Charlotte downtown area. [1]


1750's and 60's Churches and settlements and churches were formed by early families such as Alexander, Polk, Latta, Selwyn, Davidson, Harris, Graham, and Torance. Early churches were Sugaw Creek, Hopewell, Rocky River, Steele Creek, and Providence.[2]
Dec. 11, 1762-63 The North Carolina General Assembly formed Mecklenburg County after a petition had been sent to the legislators, effective Feb., 1763. The settlers picked the name of Mecklenburg as the wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte was from Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a German province. The county was formed from Anson county. Charlotte, North Carolina is the largest City in North Carolina.[3] [1][2][4]
Originally this county was very large as it contained these counties as well as the upper part of South Carolina in the first original county. [3][5]
Cabarrus
Union
Lincoln
Rutherford
Cleveland
Gaston counties
Upper portions of South Carolina
map with townships.
1763-68 Charlottetown leaders went ahead and built a log courthouse to show they meant business. Residents of eastern Rocky River area then competed against those from Charlottesburgh Charlottetown to be chosen for County Seat. When The first town was formed, the founders named it "Charlotte Town in honor of "Queen Charlotte". Charlotte is the oldest incorporated town, and includes (7) municipalities which are surrounded by a narrow band of rural areas or small settlements. When The first town was formed, the founders named it "Charlotte Town in honor of "Queen Charlotte". Charlotte is the oldest incorporated town, and includes (7) municipalities which are surrounded by a narrow band of rural areas or small settlements. [2][2] [3]
1768 Old Tryon County was a former county which was located in the state of North Carolina. It was formed in 1768 from the part of Mecklenburg County west of the Catawba River, although the legislative act that created it did not become effective until April 10, 1769. This was due to inaccurate and delayed surveying.}} Tryon County encompassed a large area of northwestern South Carolina.}} It was named for William Tryon, governor of the North Carolina Colony (1765 to 1771).
old Tryon County
Mid 1770's Citizens did not agree with British Crown policies. Mecklenburg citizens along with other citizens were resentful of the English. Leaders from each militia district gathered May 20, 1775 to figure out what action to take. [3]
Commemoration of Mecklenburg
Declaration of Independence
May 20, 1775 Representatives of the citizens met in Mecklenburg, They drafted the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and signed it on the courthouse steps, regardless of their county name and Charlotte Town's name being named for the King's wife. Some of the Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence are listed here.This is also referred to as the Mecklenburg Resolves. Mecklenburgers call this the MECK DEC[1][6] This website gives some history on the individuals who participated in the signing of this document, May, 1775.
See this for a history on the individuals who signed the MECK DEC [7]The history of Mecklenburg County from 1740 to 1900 by Alexander, J. B. (John Brevard).
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
May 31, 1775 After the the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was adopted the Mecklenburg Resolves were an outline for a new government system for the county. Some citizens felt these Mecklenburgers were hasty and hoped for a compromise with England. By July, 1776 the Revolutionary War had begun. The county plans were not put into use. [3]
July 1, 1776 The official American Declaration of Independence was signed and the Revolutionary war began. Citizens of Mecklenburg, NC were supporters of the Revolution. Some enlisted and were at Valley Forge 1777-1778.[3]

Lists of Soldiers of served in the Revolutionary War

The Third Regiment was authorized Jan 16, 1776, by North Carolina Legislature, April 15, 1776 and organized with 8 companies. After Valley Forge Battle, the regiment had lost many, needing more enlistments. The 3rd was removed from the middle Department to the Southern Dept. After another recruitment, Nov 5, 1779, the regiment moved to Santee, South Carolina to protect Charlestown. Following the Fall of Charlestown, the 3rd surrendered (162 men). As more recruitments were found, they were sent with no uniforms or arms to South Carolina to help support Gen. Nathaniel Green. . They became a single unit, and in 1883 were sent to James Island until the war ended.[8]Third Regiment, Carolina
Lt. Gen Charles, Lord Cornwallis
Sept 26, 1780 British Lt. Gen Charles, Lord Cornwallis invaded Charlotte, during the invasion of Mecklenburg County. During his two week stay in Charlotte, he experienced the North Carolina Patriots' resistance. These Patriots and the citizens of Mecklenburg, known as the Mecklenburgers made Cornwallis occupation of the town miserable. Cornwallis messages were intercepted or lost by the Mecklenburg militia, resisted his search for food, and interfered with his communication with other allied forces. He called Charlotte, NC and Mecklenburg County a Hornet's nest. [3][1]
Mecklenburg citizens gladly accepted the Hornet’s Nest tag and the city’s official seal later portrayed it. On May 20, 1775, the “Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence” and it officially severed the area’s ties with Britain. Even though the North Carolina flag proclaims the May 20th date as the state’s institution, historians continue to debate the veracity of the Mecklenburg Declaration/“Meck Dec”).[1]
1781-1800 Mecklenburgers concentrated on community, rebuilding and businesses. Stores, a flour mill, a sawmill were begun and opened for business. [3]
1791-94 President George Washington visited Mecklenburg County. 1794 a Stage coach service began.[3]


Gold nugget.
1799 A boy named Conrad Reed of Mecklenburg found a large shiny stone in a creek. His family used the stone as a doorpost. By 1803 the family learned this 17 pound rock was G O L D The Gold Rush began in Charlotte and Mecklenburg. By 1830 Miners and merchants were all over the area and settled there. Mecklenburg County became the gold Capital of the United States. A branch of the US Mint was later established in Charlotte. It is only fitting that Charlotte is the home of the largest assets bank of the USA. [1][3] [2][3]
Gold Regions in North Carolina
"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story", presented by the Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Public Library. However the data is not shared online. One must visit the Library to see this. [2]
1810 The first brick courthouse was built for Mecklenburg.[3]
Early 1810-1850's Antebellum days were prosperous beginning with the gold, and the success of cotton plantations. [3]
1837 The U.S. Mint opened the first branch in Charlotte, NC. During the Civil War, the mint ceased operation. The building was used for other federal organizations until 1930. Then the mint was moved from Trade Street to Randolph Road and reopened as the Mint Museum of Art.[3]
1845 A larger Courthouse which was two 2-story was built. 1850 the Telegraph system began.The Mecklenburg County Public School system began as the first schools were one-room school houses. [3]
1861 - Compared to some of the states, not a lot of fighting occurred in Category:Mecklenburg County, North Carolina The Confederates seized the U.S. Mint and the building was converted to be Confederate headquarters. Norfolk area was threatened the by the Union troops. Thus a Confederate Naval ordinance was moved to Charlotte where weapons, ammunition were made. This regiment, Category: 1st Regiment, North Carolina Artillery, United States Civil War included men from Mecklinburg County,Lincoln County, North Carolina, Category:Gaston County, North Carolina as well.[3] History of Battery C

National Park Service 1st Regiment, North Carolina Artillery

"Battle of the Wilderness comes from... Dowdey, Clifford, Lee's Last Campaign: The Story of Lee and His Men Against Grant - 1864 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press: 1960, 1993) pp. 149, 150."
men of the Charlotte Artillery: "Jordon, Weymouth T., gen. ed., North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Vol. 1: Artillery (Raleigh: North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 2004 (3rd.)), pp. 61-74".
Charlotte, NC and North Carolina maps
1864 The Mint building which the Naval ordinance used during the Civil War for manufacturing weapons and ammunition was destroyed by fire in 1864.[3]
1865 During the Category:United States Civil War North Carolina records from the State Department of the Confederacy as well as the Great Seal were stored in the two story Mecklenburg County Courthouse. This year the last meeting of the Confederacy Cabinet occurred in Charlotte. [3]
1865-1872 Union troops invaded Charlotte during the and did not leave there until 1872. During the Category:North Carolina, United States Civil War, inCategory:Mecklenburg County, North Carolina the regiment which opposed the Union invasion was Category: 1st Regiment, North Carolina Artillery, United States Civil War[3] Charlotte, NC (2017 population 859,035)
Some history is available on the "Official" sites of each of the six towns of Mecklenburg. The links to the available sites are listed below:
Charlotte, NC.


Links to local genealogy and history sites may be found in the "Old Mecklenburg" and "Resources" sections and under sources.
Mecklenburg County may be found in the south central part of North Carolina. See the Geography section
1868-1870's Reconstruction - The Gold mines re-opened on a limited basis. The county did not compete as a cotton producer, but instead became the processing center. It opened (17) cotton mills. Charlotte was the important transportation and distribution center due to the railways and roads. [3]
1880 A private hospital opened in Charlotte. The public health service began forming in 1890. Soon the public library was opened. Graded public schools opened in Charlotte. Newspapers began reporting as well as telephones and electricity were installed. The towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, and Pineville were also established during this period.[3]
Biddle Memorial Hall, Charlotte, NC


Late 1880-1890's Charlotte continued its growth and expansion. Industry and distribution were its economic factors. Textile plants, corporations began such as Charlotte Chemical Laboratories, the Lance Corporation, the Allison-Erwin Company with its influence on Charlotte's pre-bank economy.[1]
Elizabeth College
1897 Elizabeth College opened as a college for women to broaden their intellectual opportunities.
1900 Population in Mecklenburg County was 55,268.[3]
1917-18 World War I, population and growth here increased. An Army Training camp, Camp Greene was opened west of Charlotte. US Army recruits came from all over the USA to the Army training camp. Many of these men returned here to live after the war.The Charlotte economy decreased during this time.[3] [1]
1930 Population had doubled to approximately 110 625. The Depression ushered in economic hardships.[3]
1940 County Population was 127,971. Morris Field developed for World War II and was built around Charlotte, NC's airport. Charlotte Memorial Hospital, a general hospital opened.
1946 University of North Carolina at Charlotte was begun along with the City and County school systems consolidated in 1959.[3]
1960 Mecklenburg County had a one-quarter of a million (272,111) living here. More Education opportunities began.[3]
Central Piedmont Community College (1963)
University of North Carolina began(1965)
New Businesses (500) began offering 70,000 new jobs.
Lake Norman was Built
Governmental Plaza began withe the Education and Law Enforcement Center of 1969
1970 Census now reflected Mecklenburg’s expansion -- a total of 354,656 people lived here.[3]
1971 A vote was taken to consolidate the governments of the City of Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County. The voters defeated the proposal 2-1 in 1971. City-County cooperation is being done for water, sewer, tax collecting have merged. This urbanization of the county is still growing.[3]
North Corridor
1980-1991 Charlotte-Mecklinburg area flourished again Banking Mergers occurred. Charlotte, North Carolina is considered to be second to New York City as a leading financial banking capital in the USA.. [1]
National Bank and C&S Sovran created NationsBank
Bank of America and Wachovia Corporation moved into Charlotte, North Carolina.
It is considered Charlotte, North Carolina is second to New York City as a leading financial banking capital in the USA.. [1]
Many historical, cultural, academic and entertainment centers are fin Charlotte-Mecklenburg County. Noted historical centers are: Charlotte Museum of History, the Latta Plantation, and the Hezekiah Alexander House. [1]
Four Academic centers or universities - The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Queens University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Davidson College
Cultural attractions are: Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Mint Museum of Art, Opera Carolina, and the Charlotte Repertory Theater.
Athletic /Sports franchises are the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) and the Carolina Panthers (NFL), are in the Charlotte downtown area
NASCAR’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway is located within the district as well.[1]
1700's-2000's Mecklenburg County was and is a image of diversity of citizens; beginning with the Catawba Indians to the Germanic, Scotch, Irish, English, Latin, African American, Middle Eastern, Balkan, Hispanic, and Asian immigrants and American.
2000's Mecklenburg County has progressed in the new millennium, with continued growth and prosperity. Development is continuing and carefully monitored to enhance the area rather than detracting from the area.Growth, however, is not taking place haphazardly. The city is the center of a (6- county) Statistical area known as (MSA). This contains over 1.4 million people. Union, Cabarrus, Anson Counties of North Carolina are part of this as well York County, South Carolina. [3]
Today MECK DEC and the Hornet's Nest is celebrated here. Mecklenburg citizens gladly accepted the “Hornet’s Nest” tag and the city’s official seal later portrayed it. Even though the North Carolina flag proclaims the May 20th date as the state’s institution to celebrate the MECK DEC and historians debate the veracity of the Mecklenburg Declaration .[1][3]

Adjacent counties

  • Iredell County - north
  • Cabarrus County - northeast
  • Union County - southeast
  • Lancaster County, South Carolina - south
  • York County, South Carolina - southwest
  • Gaston County - west
  • Catawba County - northwest
  • Lincoln County - northwest


Government Offices

1st County Courthouse, 1766 Charlottetown leaders went ahead and built a log courthouse to show they meant business. [3]

3rd Courthouse, 1836

Mecklenburg courthouse, 1836.

4th County Courthouse, 1898

Mecklenburg Co. Courthouse, 1898
A vote was taken to consolidate the governments of the City of Charlotte, NC, and Mecklenburg County. The voters defeated the proposal 2-1 in 1971. City-County cooperation is being done for water, sewer, tax collecting have merged. This urbanization of the county is still growing.[3]
Mecklenburg co. courthouse,
  • Mecklenburg County is a member of the regional Centralina Council of Governments. The County is governed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC is a nine-member board made up of representatives from each of the six county districts and three at-large representatives elected by the entire county. [9]

Geography

Location - Mecklenburg County may be found in the south central part of North Carolina.

Protected areas

Demographics

In 2000 there were 695,454 people in the county with a population density of 1,322 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 64.02% White, 27.87% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 3.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.01% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 6.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $50,579, and the median income for a family was $60,608. The per capita income for the county was $27,352. About 6.60% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.[10]

Politics:

  • Mecklenburg County voted for Obama/Biden in the 2012 United States presidential election by 60.65 percent to Romney/Ryan 38.24 percent.

Emergency care
The residents of Mecklenburg County are provided emergency medical service by MEDIC, the Mecklenburg EMS Agency. All emergency ambulance service is provided by MEDIC. No other emergency transport companies are allowed to operate within Mecklenburg County.

Library
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County serves residents of Mecklenburg County.

Schools
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) serves the entire county; however, the State of North Carolina also has approved a number of charter schools in Mecklenburg County (independently operated schools financed with tax dollars).

County Resources

[2]

  • Mecklenburg Historic Sites and Attractions
  • The James Latta Plantation
  • The Hugh Torance House and Store
  • The James K. Polk Memorial
  • Hezekiah Alexander Homesite & Charlotte Museum of History
  • Historic Rosedale Plantation
  • Rural Hill Farm
  • The Charlotte Trolley and Museum
  • A Genealogical Survey of the Gum Branch of Long Creek
  • Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission & Museum
  • The Mint Hill Country Doctor's Museum & Ira V. Ferguson Country Store
  • Levine Museum of the New South

Highways

  • I-77
  • I-85
  • I-277
  • I-485
  • US 21
  • US 29
  • US 74
  • US 521
  • Charlotte Route 4, Route 4
  • NC 16
  • NC 24
  • NC 27
  • NC 49
  • NC 51
  • NC 73
  • NC 115
  • NC 160
  • NC 218

LOCAL RESOURCES (Some Mecklenburg On-Line Resources)

Births, Deaths and Marriages since 1913 are on-line at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Page. Property records since 1763 are also there. Cemeteries:
Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room - Has some Mecklenburg Cemeteries Churches:
Mecklenburg Church Guide: A historical directory with links.
Charlotte's Web Church Directory
The Mecklenburg Church Directory
Charlotte District Page of the United Methodist Church.

Genealogy Societies:

  • The Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society home page, hosted by RootsWeb, has on-line resources and membership information. The society offers quite a few publications pertaining to Mecklenburg genealogy and history.
  • The Steele Creek Historical & Genealogical Society home page, hosted by RootsWeb. genealogy & history articles of the old Steele Creek township of Mecklenburg co.. Membership information is on their page. Society has quarterly publication

Churches:

  • Mecklenburg Church Guide: A historical directory with links.
  • Charlotte's Web Church Directory
  • Charlotte District Page of the United Methodist Church.

Genealogy Societies:

  • The Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society home page, hosted by RootsWeb, on-line resources and membership information. The society offers publications of Mecklenburg genealogy and history.
  • The Steele Creek Historical & Genealogical Society home page, hosted by RootsWeb - genealogy, history articles of the old Steele Creek township of Mecklenburg co.. Membership information is also on their page. Society has quarterly publication
  • The Cabarrus County Genealogy Society another RootsWeb hosted site, interesting for researchers

of history near the Rocky River along the county line.

  • The Special Collections Section of the UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library has 200 + manuscript collections documenting North and South Carolina history (1700's to present)
  • Central Piedmont Community College Archives.
  • "Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Deed Abstracts 1763-1779," by Brent H. Holcomb. https://www.bholliman.com/files/Mecklenburg-CO-NC-Records-saved-by-Walter-O-Holliman-26pp.pdf
  • The Cabarrus County Genealogy Society, RootsWeb hosted site, for history researchers near Rocky River and the county line.
  • The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library home page.
  • Central Piedmont Community College Archives.
  • Davidson College Archives.
  • Johnson C. Smith University Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center
  • Mecklenburg Civil War soldiers- The Branch-Lane Brigade Society page.
  • The Mecklenburg County AHGP (American History & Genealogy Project) page.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission pg - list, desc. of historic property, links
  • The Bethel Presbyterian Church Family History & Genealogy Research Page.
  • "Thomson's Mercantile and Professional Directory 1851-1852" for North Carolina, from the New River Group, including Mecklenburg
  • Civil War Records of Mecklenburg soldiers may be found at censusdiggins.com.
  • Mecklenburg Ancestry & Family History section of ePodunk page.

Notables

  • Andrew Jackson, born 1767, President, was a native Mecklenburger.
  • James K. Polk, born in 1795, President, was a native Mecklenburger
  • Billy Graham, world-renowned evangelist was born in Charlotte.
Ric Flair, entertainer
Anthony Hamilton, entertainer
Shannon Spake, entertainer

Cities/Communities



Census

  • 1900 Population in Mecklenburg County was 55,268.[3]
  • 1930 Population had doubled to approximately 110 625. The Depression ushered in economic hardships.[3]
  • 1940 County Population was 127,971.

Cemeteries



Cemeteries:

Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room - Has some Mecklenburg Cemeteries
Quest of Cemeteries of the Enslaved In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.- Genealogical Svcs, documenting and preserving slave cemeteries in the area.

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 http://northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/mecklenburg-county-1762/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 http://sites.rootsweb.com/~ncmeckle/
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 http://www.carolana.com/NC/Counties/mecklenburg_county_nc.html
  4. https://archive.org/stream/historyofmecklen00alex/historyofmecklen00alex_djvu.txt
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryon_County,_North_Carolina
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecklenburg_Resolves
  7. The history of Mecklenburg County from 1740 to 1900 by Alexander, J. B. (John Brevard)
  8. http://www.carolana.com/NC/Revolution/revolution_nc_third_regiment.html
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecklenburg_County,_North_Carolina
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecklenburg_County,_North_Carolina
  11. Huntersville, NC
  12. Matthews, NC
  13. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineville%2C_North_Carolina


  • Davidson College Archives.
  • Johnson C. Smith University Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center
  • Mecklenburg Civil War soldiers- The Branch-Lane Brigade Society page.
  • The Mecklenburg County AHGP (American History & Genealogy Project) page.
  • The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission page - list, description of designated historic properties.
  • The Bethel Presbyterian Church Family History & Genealogy Research Page.
  • "Thomson's Mercantile and Professional Directory 1851-1852"-North Carolina,.Mecklenburg is available from the New River Group.
  • Civil War Records of Mecklenburg soldiers may be found at censusdiggins.com.
  • Mecklenburg Ancestry & Family History section of ePodunk page.




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Another source for researching ancestors on deed records which are difficult to locate, "Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Deed Abstracts 1763-1779," by Brent H. Holcomb. https://www.bholliman.com/files/Mecklenburg-CO-NC-Records-saved-by-Walter-O-Holliman-26pp.pdf
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Another great source for Revolutionary War history of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Worth S. Ray, "Mecklenburg signers and their neighbors." https://archive.org/details/mecklenburgsigne00rayw/mode/2up. Thank you, profile managers, this is an OUTSTANDING resource page!
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
edited by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Could you please delete Category: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Populated Places from this profile? It's being deleted.
posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott