Davie County (1836)

Written By Jonathan Martin

William R. Davie was a noteworthy figure not only in North Carolina history but also in the formative years of the United States.  He served as an officer in the Revolutionary War and as a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Davie also helped found the University of North Carolina, and he served as North Carolina’s governor from 1798 to 1799.  

In 1836, enacted legislation culled Davie County from Rowan County. Three years later, “Mocks Old Field” became Mocksville, the county seat of Davie.  Cooleemee, Bermuda Run, and Farmington are other townships within Davie County.

Bordered by Davidson, Rowan, Iredell, Yadkin, and Forsyth Counties, Davie County is home to several historic sites. One of its most distinguished sites is the Cooleemee Plantation (1804), a 4,200 acre plantation that was made a National Historic Landmark in 1979. Some historians believe that Cooleemee (which means “place where the white oaks grow’) was an Indian community in Alabama, and that the first owner of the plantation, General Jesse Pearson, accorded its name because he had visited the village several times during the Creek War. Another landmark in Davie County is the Hinton Rowan Helper House; Helper authored The Impending Crisis of the South (1857), an anti-slavery book that rivaled Uncle Tom’s Cabin in sales.

Year after year, Davie County ranks as one of the primary dairy producers in North Carolina. Agriculture is also a large part of the local economy, namely chickens, corn, tobacco, and wheat.

Since 1878, Davie County has hosted one of the state’s oldest festivals, the Mocksville Masonic Picnic. The original picnic was a celebration for the return of Confederate soldiers who resided in Davie County. Today, the entire community gathers to hear the Masonic Masters deliver speeches with a special guest speaker that concludes the gathering.