ENG & CHANG BUNKER
COLONEL BENJAMIN CLEVELAND
BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES B. GORDON
JUDGE JOHNSON JAY HAYES
JAMES LARKIN PEARSON
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE STONEMAN
RICHARD ALLEN born in Maryland in 1741, moved to Rowan County, NC in 1770 and became an integral member of the community until his death at the age of ninety-one. The portion of Rowan County along Big Bugaboo Creek where Allen lived became Surry County soon after Allen moved there. Just a few short years later, Allen served the newly created Wilkes County as its first sheriff in 1778 and then represented the county at the Hillsborough constitutional convention. His other public service achievements included serving a term in the House of Commons in 1793 and as Wilkes’ sheriff again from 1798 until 1804. In 1780, Allen was a Colonel of N.C. Militia at Battle of King's Mountain. A historical marker is located on NC 268 East in Roaring River.
Click here to learn about DANIEL BOONE.
ENG & CHANG BUNKER were born in 1811 in Siam and were the first original Siamese Twins. In 1829 they traveled to America … after 10 yrs of exhibiting; they settled, married, and raised 21 children in the Traphill community of Wilkes County and later moved to White Plains, located in Surry County . Eng & Chang died in 1874 .
Learn more about this amazing family in the Wilkes Heritage Museum, located on Main Street in Wilkesboro, (336)667-3171.
Click here to learn about COLONEL BENJAMIN CLEVELAND - Revolutionary War.
Click here to learn about TOM DULA (Dooley).
CHRISTOPHER GIST, an American frontiersman, w as the first white man to settle in what is now Wilkes County along the Yadkin River , Daniel Boone being his neighbor. Gist provided England and its colonists with the first detailed description of southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky . While Daniel Boone is generally given credit for opening Kentucky to white settlement, Gist preceded him by more than fifteen years. Nathaniel, one of three of Gist’s sons, married a Cherokee ‘princess’, in which their son, Sequoyah, invented the Cherokee alphabet.
Click here to learn about BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES B. GORDON.
JUDGE JOHNSON JAY HAYES born in 1886. In 1927,he was appointed judge of the Middle District of the Federal Courts, serving thirty years. Today the former federal court building bares "Johnson Jay Hayes Federal Building" and is beside Town Hall of Wilkesboro. His effort with the state legislature and citizens of Wilkes County saw the establishment of Wilkes Community College where a building is also named in his honor. In his later years, Judge Hayes compiled a history of Wilkes County entitled The Land of Wilkes and authored an autobiography and a Genealogy of the McNeil Clan. Learn more about him in the Wilkes Community College Library (336)838-6115 and the Wilkes County Public Library (336)838-2818.
Click here to learn about JUNIOR JOHNSON and BENNY PARSONS - Nascar Legends born in Wilkes County.
JAMES LARKIN PEARSON
Personal papers, books, and memorabilia of Wilkes County native James Larkin Pearson, who was the North Carolina Poet Laureate from 1953 – 1981. Pearson’s collections are housed in this combination library and museum in Lowe’s Hall on Wilkes Community College campus.
A historical marker, located on the corner of NC 268 West & Collegiate Drive in Wilkesboro, was dedicated to his life’s work in 2008.
MONTFORD STOKES moved from Salisbury , NC to Wilkes County after serving as US Senator from 1816 – 1823. He was elected Governor of the State of North Carolina in 1830 however, in 1832 Stokes resigned his governorship to accept President Andrew Jackson’s appointment as Federal Commissioner of Indian Affairs, charged with the resettlement of Indians from the southeastern United States . Relocating to Fort Gibson in present-day Oklahoma, he continued to work with Indian Affairs for the remainder of his life. Stokes died at Fort Gibson in 1842.
A historical marker is found on NC 268 West in Wilkesboro.
Click here to learn about MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE STONEMAN - Stoneman's Raid during the Civil War.
JAMES WELLBORN born in 1767 in Wilkes County and died at his home in 1854. He served 27 years as state senator; colonel in War of 1812; delegate to the Constitutional Convention 1835. Wellborn and his wife, along with her sister, donated land they inherited from his father-in-law to create the Town of Wilkesboro .
A historical marker is located on NC 268 West.