Montgomery County, North Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2010)



Richard Montgomery


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1750s / Scots-Irish from PA & VA

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Historical Post Offices

American Revolution

American Civil War

Significant Education Events

Alphabetical / Date Started

Battles & Skirmishes / Militia

Coming Later

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Airports in Montgomery County

Maps of Montgomery County

Books on Montgomery County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Montgomery County

Montgomery Court House - Troy, NC

The Act establishing Montgomery County specified that the first court should be held at the home of Henry Munger, and all subsequent courts were to be held where the justices of the peace decided until a court house could be erected. Another Act was passed that same year naming commissioners to select fifty acres of land centrally located and erect a court house, prison, and stocks. By 1783, there had developed dissatisfaction among many of the inhabitants as to the location the commissioners had selected. However, the General Assembly that year authorized the court house to be constructed on the land purchased. The Act provided for adequate ferries across the Yadkin and Uwharrie Rivers on the court, public, and election days. In 1785, the General Assembly was petitioned to authorize the removal of the court house.

In 1791, an Act was passed directing that the center of the county be located by actual survey, at which place Stokes was to be established. The commissioners, however, failed to act, and in 1792 new commissioners were named. The courts were to be held at the home of Mark Kennet unless the justices decided on some other place more convenient. In that year, Henderson was established at the confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie Rivers. In 1795, the court house, on the land formerly belonging to James Tindall, was authorized to be sold. Tindallsville had been established that year. In 1815, commissioners were named to locate the center of the county, purchase land, and erect a court house. They were authorized to sell the old court house and lot in the town of Henderson and apply the proceeds to the erection of the new buildings.

In 1816, Laurenceville was named under the authority of a law enacted in 1815 establishing a town at the court house. In 1843, the court house was ordered to be moved from Laurenceville (later to be spelled as Lawrenceville) to the geographical center. Commissioners were named to locate the center, acquire the land, to lay out a town, and erect the public buildings. In 1855, Troy was established as the county seat and it had remained ever since.

Montgomery County was formed from Anson County in 1779 and was named in honor of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, a 37-year-old native of Ireland who had been a distinguished British soldier for sixteen years. He sold his commission in 1772 and came to American with his wife Janet Livingston. He purchased a farm at Kingbridge, NY on the Hudson River. Richard Montgomery was a man who loved justice, and had an unwavering devotion to liberty and a strong sense of duty and courage. He soon became a staunch supporter of the rights of the colonies. 

In 1774, he was appointed to represent his county at the Provincial Convention in New York City. In July, the Continental Congress at Philadelphia commissioned officers for the army with General George Washington in command. There were five Major Generals and eight Brigadier Generals. Among these was Richard Montgomery.

An army of 3,000 troops was to be organized to take Canada before the British could bring in reinforcements. With considerably fewer troops, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery lay siege to Fort St. John on September 6th. The surrender came on October 2nd. Next, Brigadier General Montgomery moved against Montreal, which fell November 13th. Then it was on to Quebec where in a driving snow storm the attack was made December 31st and Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, leading his men, was killed.

A former friend and compatriot, Sir Guy Carlton, leader of the British forces, with affection and respect had him buried with full military honors within the walls of Quebec.

Montgomery’s remains were in Quebec for forty-two years. Then, by order of the government, they were brought to New York City where they were buried in front of St. Paul’s Church on Broadway by a monument designed by Col. L'Enfont, which was commissioned by Benjamin Franklin and bears this inscription: “This monument is erected by order of Congress 25 January 1776 to transmit to posterity a grateful remembrance of the patriotic conduct, enterprise and perseverance of Major Richard Montgomery who after a series of successes, amidst the most discouraging difficulties fell in the attack on Quebec 31st December 1775, aged 37 years.”

There are fourteen states with counties named Montgomery – North Carolina third, with Maryland and Virginia first and second..

The Pee Dee River divided the county and made the journey to the court house difficult resulting in a dispute regarding which side of the river should the court house be located. In those days, there were no bridges or safe ferries, only fords or flat-bottomed boats which were easily upset and made the trip dangerous.

Miss Carrie Lilly of Mt. Gilead, a teacher and historian, says the first county commissioners were Henry Munger, Walton Harris, and James Pickett and they were appointed to establish a boundary between Montgomery and Anson counties. Also, West Harris, James Allen, Edmund Lilly, and James Roper were appointed to contract for fifty acres of land to establish a county seat that would include a court house, prison and stocks.

The first county seat was Tinsdale (or Tindallsville) on the west bank of the river. Among the many roving county seats are references to Blakely, Henderson, Stokes, and Lawrenceville. Tindallsville was wiped out by an epidemic of typhoid fever. The roving county seats were burned and their county records lost.

Because of the controversy regarding the court house location, the county was divided in 1842 using the Pee Dee River as the boundary line. This bill was ratified January 13, 1843. The same year the court house at Lawrenceville was burned and a decision was made to move the county seat to Troy, which was then known as West Old Fields.

Fifty acres of land donated by Angus M. McCaskell was selected. Here a new court house and jail was built by Peter Munroe and completed in 1846. This building burned in 1886 and again almost all records lost. The second court house, a wooden structure, was built in 1897-98. In December of 1918, a fire destroyed the jail, and the county commissioners decided it was time to build a more-permanent court house and jail. The present beautiful brick building was constructed and ready for occupancy by mid-1921.

At the time of the division of the county, D.H. Montgomery was a member of the Senate from Montgomery County, and Thomas Pemberton and Edmund Lilly were in the House of Commons. Farquar Martin was Clerk of Court and James Lilly the Register of Deeds. Martin later served as the Sheriff. Henry Deberry was the first sheriff of Montgomery County.

From a piney woods forest, Montgomery County has been converted to a thriving, beautiful place to live. The rivers have been harnessed by Hydro and Tuckertown dams to furnish electricity and converted to lovely vacation and sports areas. Good road traverse the county in all directions. The barren sandhills are now a thriving section of beautiful peach orchards and produce farms. The Uwharries are a national games preserve. Throughout the county are industries of all kinds from knitting, textile, rug, and bedspread mills, to tile and furniture, mobile homes, and a shoe factory.

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