A History of Anson Court House, North Carolina

The first county seat for Anson County, North Carolina was aptly named Anson Court House, and it was established in 1755, five years after the county was created. Why it took so long to establish a county seat is not currently known to this Author, nor have I been able to find any information on this issue. When Anson County was created it was the largest county in the colony, but none of its boundaries were even well-imagined, much less surveyed. At the time, many claimed that Anson County went all the way west to the Mississippi River. And for many years after the county was established, much of South Carolina was included in its deedbooks. Perhaps this is why it took so long to select a suitable site for the new court house.

Anson C.H. was located on the western bank of the Great PeeDee River only a few miles north of the "now known" South Carolina border - close now to the Richmond County, NC border with Anson County. Why this site was chosen is not known, except for the fact that the NC-SC border survey was in "hot dispute" at the time and perhaps this was North Carolina's solution to try to force South Carolina's hand on accepting the border being further south than finally agreed upon in 1813. In fact, at the time that it was created the greatest majority of the folks living in Anson County were along the PeeDee River, therefore it only made sense for Anson Court House to be where the people were living - even if the people kept pressing westward.

Needless to say, this chosen location so far east and south was not convenient to many folks who kept pushing further west immediately after the county was established. Therefore, Mecklenburg County was created out of Anson in 1762, with a new county seat of Charlottesburg. The next major chunks taken from Anson were Montgomery and Richmond Counties in 1779 - and South Carolina established York, Lancaster, Chesterfield, and Marlboro Counties in 1785 - major parts of all once considered to be part of Anson County, NC. When most of these were now a "matter of fact" it no longer made sense for the significantly smaller Anson County to have its county seat in such an inconvenient location. New Town, or Newton was established in 1783 as the new county seat for Anson County - to be renamed to Wadesboro in 1787.

According to the Depression Era WPA book entitled, "North Carolina - A Guide to the Old North State" within the Federal Writers Project named the American Guide Series, first published in 1939 by the University of North Carolina Press - the town of Anson C.H. was actually named Mount Pleasant, which continued to exist as a small hamlet at the time of that printing. Mount Pleasant is/was located about six miles from Lilesville. (direction not given).

"Right across from the Lilesville Baptist Church on a dirt road to Mount Pleasant, 6 miles, site of the first Anson County Court House, a log building was erected in 1755. On April 28, 1768, 500 Regulators of Anson County forcibly removed the magistrates from the bench and held a public discussion of injustices in the exaction of fees and taxes. They sent Governor William Tryon a petition demanding the election of county officers by popular vote, because 'no people have a right to be taxed but by the consent of themselves or their delegates.' The seat of government was moved to New Town (now Wadesboro) in 1787. The grave of Colonel Thomas Wade (1720-1786), Revolutionary officer, in a grove 50 yards west of the old court house, is marked by a bronze tablet on Indian Execution Rock, so named because tribal executions supposedly took place here."

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved