Caswell Co., North Carolina Courthouse

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The Caswell County courthouse in Yanceyville, 1938. Architect William Percival designed the building and it was constructed in 1858 at a cost of about $28,000. The pilasters include capitals of corn and tobacco.



"Caswell County, formed in 1777 from Orange, was the home of many distinguished people who developed a plantation economy equal in importance to that of almost any other county in North Carolina. People from Caswell assumed positions of leadership in the state and in the nation. From among them came important military leaders, U.S. cabinet officers and ambassadors, Congressmen, and Senators, teachers, ministers, and businessmen.

Before the Civil War the economy of Caswell County was based on tobacco, and the development of Bright Leaf Tobacco there was one of the notable events of the time. Wealth resulted and made possible the construction of large and handsome houses, public buildings, and churches, investments in mills and railroads, and the development of schools and academies.

After the Civil War chaos reigned for a time as people adjusted to the drastic changes which it brought. Race relations and political conditions were problems of great concern, Ku Klux Klan activity and the Kirk-Holden War were the result. Agriculture declined, many people abandoned the county for more promising places, and Caswell County ceased to be the center of culture and wealth that it once had been.

With the coming of the twentieth century, however, great improvements were anticipated. In due course schools were reestablished, improved roads were built, and eroded farmland was reclaimed. Through local efforts industry was developed and manufacturers encouraged to come to the county. Services for the people were improved through the efforts of the county government, and plans were made for a revitalization of the county that might well make its third century equal in greatness to its first."

Extracted from the cover fly of "When the Past Refused to Die, THE HISTORY OF CASWELL COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA 1777-1977", William S. Powell, Moore Publishing Company, Durham NC, 1977.

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