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Brief history of Davie County

by Marie Roth
Davie County Historical and Genealogical Society, 2011.

See also: Davie County (from Encyclopedia of North Carolina).

View: Davie Dossier map [PDF]

Davie County was previously known as the Forks of the Yadkin. The Yadkin River forms its northern and eastern boundaries, and the Lower Yadkin River forms its southern boundary. It was settled rapidly. The gently rolling, fertile, and well-watered land was attractive. It was near the Shallow Ford crossing of the Yadkin and contained well-traveled roads, including the Old Georgia Road. During the Revolutionary War, Cornwallis marched his soldiers across Davie on that road, and there were two battles near the crossing. Many of its citizens including the Boones, Bryans, Pearsons, Gaithers, and Clements were prominent in Rowan government until 1836. Daniel Boone lived here for a time, and his parents’ graves are marked here." (Davie County: A Brief History by James W. Wall, page xiii)

The Civil War had a strong impact on Davie County. There were 1,147 men from the county who served on the Confederate side. (Civil War Roster of Davie County, North Carolina by Mary Alice M. Hasty and Hazel M. Winfree). Previous to the war, a former resident of Davie County, Hinton Rowan Helper had written a book The Impending Crisis which had fanned the flames of secession and war.

Until about 1945, Davie was rural with a small-farm agricultural economy. Recent years have brought rapid growth in industry and a more diversified economy and social structure. Some of these industries have relocated or closed as typical of other counties in North Carolina. The biggest industry was the Erwin cotton mill in Cooleemee which closed in 1969.

Additional resources:

Davie County Historical and Genealogical Society


Origin - location: