Located in downtown Asheboro, Randolph County Courthouse is the seventh courthouse of Randolph County, North Carolina. Wheeler, Runge and Dickey, and Owen were the architects.The courthouse preserves records from 1779 onwards, although some are in poor condition. The landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. There is a Confederate monument in front.
Randolph County, North Carolina
Randolph County is included in the Greensboro-High Point, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC Combined Statistical Area.
In 2010, the center of population of North Carolina was located in Randolph County, near the town of Seagrove. 
A Short History of Beverly
Beverly was founded in 1790 as the first county seat of Randolph County, Virginia. From the beginning it was a market and government center for area settlers. With the completion of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike across Western Virginia in 1847, Beverly thrived.
- Beverly: A More Complete History -- 1700's 1800's 1900's
- The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike
- The Western Virginia Campaign of 1861 (American Civil War)
- The Battle of Rich Mountain
- Architectural Periods in Beverly Buildings
- "Beverly in the 1860's" -- A First-Person Account
- Rosser's 1865 Raid on Beverly (American Civil War)
- The Last Will and Testament of Edward Hart (1812)
- The Beverly Town Square
During the war, Rebels raided Beverly four times, twice successfully but the town, and the territory of northwestern Virginia, remained in Union control.
Randolph County Courthouse 372 Hwy. JJ, Huntsville Mo. 65259 Toll Free #(844-277-6555)
“Joe Barnes, Moberly, Missouri, representing Missouri 2021 on behalf of Randolph County Historical Society presented the presiding commissioner, eastern commissioner and western commissioner with official Missouri 2021 pins to be worn until August 10, 2021, to promote the bicentennial of the admission of Missouri as a state. Discussion was held on county programs and projects to be endorsed as Missouri 2021 efforts.”
Thanks Sheriff Mark Nichols for 35 years of service to Randolph County, the past 16 years as Sheriff.
Randolph County Health Department receives a Proclamation for Diligent efforts in the battle on Covid 19 pandemic. In the photo is Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell, Randolph County Health Department Director Sharon Whisenand, and Moberly Mayor Jerry Jeffrey.
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2021 Randolph County Holidays
New Year’s Day Friday, January 1, 2021
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 18, 2021
Lincoln’s Birthday Friday, February 12, 2021
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 15, 2021
Truman Day Friday, May 7, 2021
Memorial Day Monday, May 31, 2021
Independence Day Monday, July 5, 2021
Labor Day Monday, September 6, 2021
Columbus Day Monday, October 11, 2021
Veterans’ Day Thurs., November 11, 2021
Thanksgiving Day Thurs., November 25, 2021
Day after Thanksgiving Friday, November 26, 2021
Christmas Day Friday, December 24, 2021
Important Events in Randolph County during the 1700s and 1800s
Two small forts were constructed in present-day Randolph County during Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774. Fort Westfall was constructed at Beverly and Fort Currence near Huttonsville. The area’s settlers gathered in the forts whenever Indians were known to be in the area. Isolated incidents between the settlers and Indians continued for many years. The bloodiest incidents occurred in April and May 1791 when an Indian raiding party killed about a dozen settlers in the county. Among those killed were Joseph Kinnan and three of his five children. They were killed on May 11, 1791. His wife was taken captive, and was not released until the Indians’ defeat at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. A few days after the Kinnans were killed, the Indian raiding party killed Frank Riffle and William Currence. It is believed that they were the last settlers killed by Indians in Randolph County.
Most of Randolph County’s residents sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War.
On June 3, 1861, about 1,000 Confederate troops commanded by Colonel George Porterfield were defeated by about 1,900 Union troops commanded by Colonel Benjamin F. Kelley at the Battle of Philippi. That battle is considered by many the first land battle of the Civil War. Porterfield retreated to Huttonsville where he was met and relieved of his command by General Robert Selden Garnett. General Garnett then merged his 5,000 Confederate troops with the 1,000 led by Porterfield, creating an army of about 6,000 troops. General Garnett then established several defensive positions throughout the Beverly-Huttonsville area. He was especially interested in defending a strategic mountain pass on the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. On June 22, 1861, 20,000 Union troops, commanded by General George Brinton McClellan crossed the Ohio River by Parkersburg and used the B & O Railroad to reach Grafton the next day. They then marched to meet General Garnett’s forces. The two forces then maneuvered for position for several weeks before finally meeting in battle on July 11, 1861 at Rich Mountain, just a few miles west of Beverly. The Confederate forces were defeated and forced to withdraw from the area. The victory was instrumental in General McClellan’s later being promoted to commander of the Army of the Potomac.
Randolph County’s five rivers, proximity to land transportation routes, and rich agricultural promise drew settlers to the area before the Louisiana Purchase. As dependence on water-based transportation fell, land and railroad routes allowed agriculture and industry to maintain the county’s economic prominence in northeast Arkansas. The county is home to the Rice-Upshaw House, the oldest standing structure in the state, and Davidsonville Historic State Park, devoted to one of Arkansas’s earliest settlements. The county has five incorporated communities: Biggers, Maynard, O’Kean, Pocahontas, and Ravenden Springs.
Hundred of archaeological sites exist in Randolph County, some dating back to 11,000 BC or perhaps earlier. As time progressed from the Dalton Period through the Archaic,the number of sites and the duration of occupation increased. Randolph County is filled with Archaic and Woodland period sites. Mississippian Period (AD900–1600) is especially well-represented, with the remains of houses,underground storage pits, graves, and other features providing research opportunities for many teams of archaeologists.
European Exploration and Settlement
The first Europeans in Arkansas were Hernando de Soto and the members of his expedition in 1541-2, but they did not travel as far north as Randolph County. France was the first European nation to claim the area, after Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet first explored the Mississippian River Valley in 1673 and then Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claimed the land in 1682. The Spanish acquired the land in the Treaty of Paris of 1763 before transferring it back to the French in 1800.
A settlement of Michigamea—an Algonquian-speaking people from the Illinois Confederation—is said to have existed in the seventeenth century near modern-day Pocahontas. Small settlements of Shawnee, Delaware, and Cherokee groups briefly existed in northwest Arkansas in the early nineteenth century, but they had left by 1820, probably due to the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811. Osage hunted in the area but established no permanent settlements.
Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood
Part of the Louisiana Purchase, the area became part of the District of Louisiana in 1804 before becoming the Louisiana Territory in 1805. The new territory subdivided, with the District of New Madrid containing the region. It became part of the District of Arkansas the next year. In 1812, the name of the governing territory changed to Missouri Territory, and the District of Arkansas converted to New Madrid County. In 1813, it became Arkansas County, with the upper part of the county separating as Lawrence County in 1815.
Before the Louisiana Purchase, a few Frenchmen had settled the region. American settlers quickly followed, entering through Hix’s Ferry. Established by William Hix around 1803, it became the major entry point to northeast Arkansas on the Southwest Trail (also known as Old Military Road, Congress Road, or the Natchitoches Trace). In 1815, Davidsonville, near three rivers and the Southwest Trail, became the Lawrence County seat. This settlement produced Arkansas’s first post office in 1817, a land office in 1820, and a brick courthouse in 1822, as well as a cotton gin, a jewelry store, and a drill site for the Third Regiment of Territorial Militia. In the late 1820s, the town of Davidsonville waned as the Southwest Trail shifted westward, and the county seat changed to Jackson.
Coinciding with the founding of Davidsonville, Ransom Bettis established the Bettis Bluff settlement on the Black River. In the late 1820s, Thomas Stephenson Drew, future governor, arrived and began shipping pork and stock down the river, reinvesting the profits in trade items and gaining sizable landholdings by marrying Bettis’s daughter, Cinderella. Once the first steamboat arrived at Bettis Bluff in 1829, the town economically coalesced. In 1835, Randolph County separated from Lawrence, and Bettis Bluff, renamed Pocahontas, became the Randolph County seat. By 1839, a new county courthouse opened.
Cherokee removed from their eastern lands under the Andrew Jackson administration and guided by John Benge crossed the Current River into Randolph County in 1838 and moved through Jackson toward Smithville (Lawrence County). The economic benefits of the land route and the rivers continued to draw people to the region, increasing the population to more than 6,000 by 1860.
Civil War through Reconstruction
The importance of Pitman’s Ferry, the old Hix’s Ferry site purchased by the Peyton R. Pitman family, made Randolph County an early Civil War assembly area, drawing soldiers into the region to outnumber the civilian population of the county at the time. Confederate General William Joseph Hardee took command at Pitman’s Ferry, transferring the state volunteers to Confederate service before shifting them east of the Mississippi River in the fall of 1861. The avenues of entry remained weakly defended, and small skirmishes and guerrilla activity ensued.
The largest engagement in Randolph County occurred on October 27, 1862, at Pitman’s Ferry. Colonel William Dewey of the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry marched thirteen companies and an artillery section to the ferry by force. Opposed by Confederate Colonel John Q. Burbridge’s estimated 1,500 men, the Union forces carried the position. The number of engaged forces is estimated at more than 2,500. After the surprise and capture of Confederate General M. Jeff Thompson and his staff at Pocahontas in 1863, only skirmishes and guerrilla activity occurred as the county remained deep in Union territory.
After the war, the construction of railroad routes near the county brought travelers and trade. The Hoxie-Pocahontas and Northern Railway Company, part of the St. Louis-San Francisco system, entered the county, expanding markets, encouraging land sales, and bolstering the lumber industry.
Post-Reconstruction through Early Twentieth Century
Postwar prosperity funded construction of a new courthouse in 1875, and easier travel encouraged the development of two nineteenth-century resort communities, Warm Springs and Ravenden Springs, around natural mineral springs. The improved transportation allowed for more immigration into the county. A large number of German families began migrating into Randolph County, creating a strong German Catholic presence in Pocahontas and Engelberg by the turn of the century. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the construction of U.S. Highways 62 and 67 coupled with Works Progress Administration (WPA) road construction and Civilian Conservation Corps projects helped Randolph County withstand the Depression. Pocahontas added a library, a waterworks, and a hospital before the construction of the current county courthouse in 1940.
World War II through Modern Era
The entrance of the United States into World War II had mixed results for Randolph County. The economic prosperity brought by war industry drew some citizens to better-paying jobs outside the region however, some industries entered the county, creating a slight economic boom. An egg-dehydrating plant and a shoe manufacturing facility opened, employing many local citizens. While the financial outlook for the county improved, more than 1,200 young men were called to war, with fifty-nine killed in service.
Today in Randolph County, lowland farmers export rice, soybeans, corn, and other grains, while cattle ranches and poultry houses dominate the uplands.
The largest employer, Pinnacle Frames and Accents, produces picture frames and albums primarily for export outside the county. The wooded terrain, five rivers, and many smaller streams attract fishermen and hunters of deer, duck, and turkey to the region.
Randolph County contains several points of interest. Davidsonville Historic State Park interprets the life and death of Davidsonville, the 1820s-era Rice-Upshaw House still stands near Dalton, and the Maynard Pioneer Museum celebrates the early settlers. Pocahontas houses the restored 1875 courthouse the Century Wall monument, a celebration of influential twentieth-century Americans and the Eddie Mae Herron Center, a refurbished African-American school functioning as a community center and interpretative site.
For additional information:
Cook, Regina, et al. History of Randolph County, Arkansas. Dallas: Curtis Media Corp., 1992.
Dalton, Lawrence. The History of Randolph County. Little Rock: Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company, 1946.
Dollar, Clyde. An Archaeological Assessment of Historic Davidsonville, Arkansas. Fayetteville: Arkansas Archeological Survey, 1977.
Stewart-Abernathy, Leslie C. The Seat of Justice, 1815–1830: An Archeological Reconnaissance of Davidsonville,1979. Fayetteville: Arkansas Archeological Survey, 1980.
Derek Allen Clements
Randolph County Museum
This museum-wide exhibit “If These Walls Could Talk” takes visitors to the Randolph County Museum on a journey through time, showcasing how the Blackman-Bosworth building, which houses the museum, has transformed over the centuries. Opening in June 2021.
This exhibit made possible in part by a grant from the:
The Randolph County Museum is located in the Blackman-Bosworth building in Beverly, West Virginia. Built in 1827-28 by David Blackman, this was one of the first commercial brick buildings constructed west of the Allegheny Mountains. This building was originally used as a mercantile store until the Civil War broke out and the Union Army turned it into a commissary you can still see graffiti on the walls in the upstairs rooms leftover from the Union soldiers.
Graffiti upstairs in the Blackman-Bosworth Store
The building later filled the role of a post office, and print shop. The Randolph Enterprise newspaper was printed here until the turn of the 20th century. Before the bank was built in the early 1900s, the cellar of the store was used for housing people’s valuables. There was a stone vault in the basement that made it an ideal place to store these goods. When the new courthouse caught fire in 1897 the Blackman-Bosworth building was also used as a temporary courthouse for Randolph County.
Squire Newton Bosworth, son of Dr. Squire Bosworth, bought the store in 1881, and ran a general store called the ‘S. N. Bosworth Cheap Cash Store’ which operated until the 1920s. He was a postmaster for Beverly as well and ran that out of the Blackman-Bosworth Store. He later built an addition in 1894 that can easily be seen on the north side of the building. This building was then passed down through Bosworth’s descendants. In the 1930s the building was used as a recreational center for the National Youth Administration (Harding) for a few years, then in 1972 the Randolph County Historical Society purchased the building and turned it into the Randolph County Museum.
Harding, James E. West Virginia Antiquities Commission Historic Properties Inventory Form. Rep. no. 10-300 Rev, (10-74). N.p.: n.p., n.d. National Register of Historic Places Inventory- Registration Form. Web.
to support the
Randolph County Historical Society
Old Randolph County Courthouse
The Old Randolph County Courthouse sits in the middle of historic downtown Pocahontas (Randolph County). The second courthouse to serve Randolph County, the Old Courthouse is made of bricks and wood and decorated with wood trimming. A cupola adorns the roof. The building once had a vault, but it was removed sometime in the 1930s. Although the Old Courthouse is no longer home to the court system, it is still an important landmark for the city of Pocahontas.
The Randolph County courts moved their offices diagonally across the street from the Old Courthouse to the new courthouse in 1940, after more than sixty years of service for the Old Courthouse. Since that time, the Old Courthouse has had several uses, including serving as an entertainment center for servicemen from the Walnut Ridge Army Flying School (during World War II) and as the county library. In the twenty-first century, the building houses the Randolph County Board of Tourism as well as the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce.
When Randolph County was created in 1835, Pocahontas, formerly known as Bettis Bluff, became the county seat for two reasons—although one reason is apocryphal. First, the only other contender for county seat, Columbia, was not located on a navigable waterway as Pocahontas was. The second reason is much more the stuff of legend. As the story goes, as the vote for county seat was given to the people of Randolph County, Ransom Bettis and his son-in-law Thomas S. Drew, who owned the site of Pocahontas, held a festival with free barbecue and liquor. The people of Randolph County thus voted Pocahontas as the county seat.
The first courthouse was built on land donated in July 1837 by Drew and his wife, Cinderella Bettis. The land was then transferred to James S. Conway, the governor of Arkansas at the time. The first courthouse was built between 1837 and 1839 but collapsed due to structural weakness a second courthouse was built on the same plot. The contract for what is now the Old Courthouse was given to John A. McKay of Helena (Phillips County). During the construction of the second courthouse, the offices of clerks and courts were moved first to the lower floor of the county jail, then to the store building of J. P. Black & Co., and then to the St. Charles Hotel (and possibly elsewhere) until completion of the Old Courthouse early in 1875.
The architecture of the courthouse is of early Victorian style. With intricate details adorning its woodwork, high stories, and stilted windows, the courthouse is an imposing structure. One architect remarked that “[w]hile there are many courthouses of similar architectural importance in other areas of Arkansas, the architectural style of the Old Randolph Courthouse is quite rare in this area of the state.”
The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.
For additional information:
Dalton, Lawrence. History of Randolph County. Little Rock: Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company, 1946.
Old Randolph County Courthouse Centennial Edition, Pocahontas Star Herald, August 30, 1973.
Randolph County Court House
The first court house in Randolph county, created in 1835, was erected in 1886, on the site of the town of Pocahontas, which was then known as Bettis' Bluff.
Erected 1936 by Arkansas Centennial Commission, 1836-1936, Arkansas Historical Commission. (Marker Number H-11.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Arkansas Centennial Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1835.
Location. 36° 15.69′ N, 90° 58.214′ W. Marker is in Pocahontas, Arkansas, in Randolph County. Marker is at the intersection of North Marr Street and East Everett Street, on the left when traveling south on North Marr Street. Located on the grounds of the old Randolph County Courthouse, now the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pocahontas AR 72455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old Randolph County Courthouse (here, next to this marker) Spinnenweber and Peters Equine Store and Merchantile (within shouting distance of this marker) Lewis deMun (within shouting distance of this marker) Sanitary Barber Shop (within shouting distance of this marker) Sir Henry Morton Stanley
(within shouting distance of this marker) Site of the St. Charles Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker) American Civil War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker) Futrell Pharmacy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pocahontas.
More about this marker. One of 143 cast-iron markers placed across Arkansas in partnership with the Arkansas History Commission during the state's 1936 centennial. Originally silver in color, this one has been painted black and yellow.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on the old Randolph County Courthouse. (Submitted on April 6, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
History in Downtown Pocahontas
The Randolph County Heritage Museum, 106 E. Everett St., Phone 870-892-4056, is a wonderful storehouse of local history in downtown Pocahontas. Among many other displays, there’s a real button factory, moved a few years ago from the banks of the Black River a few blocks from the museum and rebuilt inside the museum, that remembers the mussel shell industry that once thrived in Pocahontas, as shells were turned into buttons in the days before plastic was developed.
During the American Civil War, downtown Pocahontas was burned by union troops, and they captured a Confederate general right on the town square. A historical marker describes that event, and a granite monument acknowledges the suffering of the people of Pocahontas and Randolph County as a result of the war. Nearby Black River Overlook Park contains several more historical markers that describe the events of the war in Pocahontas and Randolph County.
The Saint Charles Building is the oldest building in Pocahontas. Built in 1860 as an annex to the Saint Charles Hotel (built 1850, burned in the 1920’s), it’s the only building in town that witnessed the American Civil War. It’s currently undergoing historical rehabilitation to create retail space downstairs and lodging upstairs, just as it was created to do in 1860.
The 1872 Randolph County courthouse, in the center of the Pocahontas town square, served as the seat of county government until it was replaced by a newer building, 1 block away, in 1940. The 1872 building was preceded by an 1836 courthouse on the same spot. A historical marker tells the story of that older building.
/>A granite obelisk monument marks the location of the Old Saint Charles Hotel, which served as headquarters of both Confederate and Union forces in Pocahontas during various phases of the American Civil War. The obelisk is placed in observance of the great pain suffered by the people of Pocahontas and Randolph County during that war.
The old Saint Charles Hotel, built 1850, as it appeared after 1872, when the old courthouse (extreme right side of this photo) was built. The brick St. Charles Annex can also be seen just to the right of the wood-framed Saint Charles Hotel. The Annex still stands, and has been restored to look like it did long ago.
Most of the brick buildings on the west side of the Pocahontas town square were designed in the late 1800’s by noted architect Henry Lesmeister, Jr., who also designed his father’s building that now houses Lesmeister Guesthouse on North Marr Street. Henry Jr. also designed the roof on St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Pocahontas, with its king trusses that carry the building’s roof without need for interior support posts. Henry Jr. also designed many buildings in nearby Jonesboro and as far away as Memphis, Tennessee.
The Port of Pocahontas was the main feature of Pocahontas in the steamboat days, and it was the town’s main industrial area up until about 1965. That area is now Black River Overlook Park, across US Highway 67 from downtown Pocahontas.
The local Visitor Information Center in the restored 1921 train depot (across US Highway 67 from downtown Pocahontas) includes a great little history museum of local transportation and commerce.
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