North Carolina - Legislative Acts Creating Precincts / Counties

An Act to Lay Off and Establish a New County by the Name of Watauga.*

Chapter XXV

Laws of the State of North Carolina Passed by the General Assembly 1848-1849 - Pages 66-67.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That a county be, and is hereby, laid off and established by the name of Watauga, to be composed of parts of the counties of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey, beginning at the State line in Lemuel Wilson's plantation, and running with the State line in Northern direction two miles; thence running as near as may be, in a direct line, (so as to leave Thomas Sutherland in the county of Ashe), to the top of the Big Bald Mountain; thence to the mouth of Elk Creek, on the south fork of New River; thence down the river to the mouth of a creek that runs through Samuel Cooper's plantation; thence to the Deep Gap of the Blue Ridge; thence along the dividing ridge between the waters of Stoney Fork and Lewis's Fork waters of the Yadkin River, to where the road leading from Wilkesboro to the Deep Gap, crosses the top of the Laurel Spur; thence to Elk Creek at the Widow Hampton's; thence to the top of the White Rock Monntain; thence to the top of the Blue Ridge at the nearest point to the Yadkin Spring ; thence along the extreme height of the Blue Ridge to the top of the Grandmother Mountain; thence with the line of Burke County to the corner of McDowell County; thence to the State line where it crosses the Yellow Mountain; thence with the State line to the beginning.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That Charles H, Doughten and Reuben Mast, be, and they are hereby appointed,
commissioners, whose duty it shall be to survey and mark out the aforesaid line as above described; and that the expenses of the above survey shall be paid, respectively, one half by the county of Ashe, and the other half by the county of Watauga.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the said county of Watauga shall be invested with all the rights, privileges and immunities of the other counties in this State.

[Ratified 27th day of January, 1849.]

ROBERT B. GILLIAM, S.H.C.
CALVIN GRAVES, S.S.

State of North Carolina
Office of the Secretary of State
April, 1849.
I, William Hill, Secretary of State in and for the State of North Carolina, do hereby certify that the Acts and Resolutions contained in this Pamphlet are true copies of the original Acts and Resolutions passed by the General Assembly of this State, at its late session.
WM. HILL, Secretary of State.

* During the same General Assembly the Legislature passed the following "supplemental Act" to the above:

An Act Supplemental to An Act, Passed at the Present General Assembly, Entitled "An Act to Divide the County of Stokes Into Two Distinct Counties."

Chapter XXVI

Laws of the State of North Carolina Passed by the General Assembly 1848-1849 - Pages 67-72.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the county of Watauga shall be, and is hereby, invested with all the rights, privileges and immunities of the other counties in this State, except as is hereafter provided,

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That all the justices of the peace and officers of the militia who reside within the limits of the county of Watauga, shall continue to hold and exercise all the ofiicial powers and authority, in and for said
county, that they have hitherto held and exercised in and for the counties of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey respectively.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the constables now residing in the county of Watauga shall continue to hold their offices and perform all duties appertaining thereto, until the first county court to be held for said county, under the same rules, regulations and penalties as constables are subject to in other counties in this State.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the counties of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey shall continue to be represented in the General Assembly as they have heretofore been; and that all qualified voters taken from said counties of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey shall continue to vote with the counties to which they heretofore belonged, until a future Legislature shall otherwise provide and direct. And elections shall be held, until the first session of the General Assembly which shall be had hereafter for members of both houses of the General Assembly, and of Congress by the Sheriff or other returning officers of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey counties, in all the territory heretofore comprehended in said counties, at the times and places, and under the same rules, regulations and restrictions, as have been made or hereafter may be made by law; and the certificates of said sheriffs or other returning officers to the result of said election or elections, shall be as valid and effectual, to all intents and purposes, as if the Act laying off and establishing the county of Watauga had never been passed.

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That a court ot pleas and quarter sessions shall be held, and the same is hereby
established in and for the county of Watauga, to he held by the justices for said county, on the third Monday of February, May, August and November; the first session of which shall he held at the house of Jordan Council, on the third Monday of May next, when the court aforesaid, a majority of the justices of said county being present, shall elect a clerk, a sheriff, a coroner, a register, an entry taker, a surveyor, constables and all other officers for said county, who shall enter into bond as required by law, and shall hold and continue in said offices until successors to them are duly chosen and qualified according to the Acts of the General Assembly in such cases provided. And the said court, at its first session aforesaid, may appoint, the place of its future sessions, until a court house shall be erected for said county.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That the court of pleas and quarter sessions established by this Act, shall possess and exercise the same power, authority and jurisdiction as is possessed and exercised by other county courts in this
State, and shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all crimes committed within Watauga County, of which the county
courts have jurisdiction, until a Superior court of law is established for said county; and all suits at law, now pending
in the county courts ot Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey, wherein the citizens of Watauga County are both
plaintiff and defendants, and all indictments in the county courts of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey against citizens of Watauga, shall be transferred to the county court of Watauga, in the manner now provided for transferring suits from one county to another; and all appeals from the county court of Watauga shall be sent to the superior courts of Ashe or Wilkes, at the discretion of the county court.

Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That all criminal offenses which may be committed in the county of Watauga which are cognizable only in the Superior courts of Law shall be and continue under the jurisdiction of the superior courts of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey, as if the Act establishing the county of Watauga had never been passed,
until a superior court shall be appointed for the county of Watauga.

Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That all persons who may be liable to imprisonment, under any process either civil or criminal in Watauga County, before the completion of the jail therein, may be committed to the jails of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell or Yancey counties.

Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That all process issued from the superior courts of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell or Yancey, against any of the citizens of Watauga, shall be valid without the seal of office being affixed, until a superior court is erected for the county of Watauga; and all process so issued, after the third Monday of May next, shall be directed to the sheriff of Watauga County and executed by him.

Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That Charles H. Doughten, of the county of Ashe, James Gwyn, Jr., of the county of Wilkes, and John W. McElroy, of the county of Yancey, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners to select and determine upon a site for a permanent seat of justice in said county, who shall locate the same at such place as they may think best and most convenient to a majority of the citizens of said county; which site shall be between Reuben Hartley's and a point one half mile west of Willis McGee's, East and West direction, and between John Pennell's and Howard's Knob, North and South direction; and said commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to purchase, or receive by donation, a tract or parcel of land, not less than fifty acres, upon which the said site shall be located; the title to which land shall be made to the chairman of the county court of the county of Watauga and his successors in office, for the use and benefit of said couuty.

Sec. 11. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the commissioners before mentioned, at some day between the tenth of May and the tenth of June next, to meet together and select a location or site for said town; and a majority of said commissioners shall have full power and authority to make said selection, for which service they shall be entitled to receive such compensation as the county court of Watauga may allow.

Sec. 12. Be it further enacted, That Jonathan Horton, Jordan Council and Noah Mast, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to lay off the lots of said town; and after designating such as shall be retained for public uses, after an advertisement for thirty days, in such manner and at such places as said commissioners may think proper, shall expose to public sale, and to the highest bidder, said lots, upon a credit of one and two years; and shall take from the purchaser or purchasers bonds with approved sureties, for the purchase money, payable to the chairman of the county court and his successors in office; and upon payment of the purchase money, the chairman, or his successor in office, shall execute titles therefor, which money or so much thereof as may be necessary shall be appropriated to the building of the court house and jail.

Sec. 13. Be it further enacted, That nothing in this Act shall be so construed as to prevent the sheriffs of Ashe, Wilkes, Caldwell and Yancey from collecting all arrearages of taxes, in the same manner as they could have done previous to establishment of Watauga County.

Sec. 14. Be it further enacted, That the tax laid and collected in year 1849 in the portions of Watauga heretofore
being part of Yancey and of Wilkes, shall be collected by the sheriff of the respective counties, and paid over to the
county trustee of the respective counties of Yancey and Wilkes, for the use of said counties respectively.

[Ratified 29th day of January, 1849.]

ROBERT B. GILLIAM, S.H.C.
CALVIN GRAVES, S.S.

State of North Carolina
Office of the Secretary of State
April, 1849.
I, William Hill, Secretary of State in and for the State of North Carolina, do hereby certify that the Acts and Resolutions contained in this Pamphlet are true copies of the original Acts and Resolutions passed by the General Assembly of this State, at its late session.
WM. HILL, Secretary of State.



© 2019 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved