Contact Us
C.D. Smith's
"Brief History"

A Brief History of Macon County, NC

by the Rev. C.D. Smith, D.D. (1891)

The Rev. C.D. SmithCanaro Drayton Smith (1813-1894) was the eighth son of a pioneer Macon County family. In 1820, his father Samuel purchased a tract known as the Tesenta Town (Tessentee), an old Cherokee village site. The family place was a mustering ground and Smith's Bridge became the name of the militia district. Today Smiths Bridge is one of eleven townships in Macon County.

C.D. Smith became a Methodist circuit preacher, but when traveling impaired his health he returned to Macon County and pursued his interest in minerals. He and his wife Margaret Bearden had seven children. Son Frank operated Smith's Drug Store in downtown Franklin and was a photographer whose work helped document the turn-of-the -century landscape.

The "Brief History" Smith wrote in 1891 enjoyed considerable local interest. It went through several printings as a pamphlet published by The Franklin Press, with an accompanying chapter on topography by W.A. Curtis.

Smith knew many early settlers and was present when some of the early work of organization and building was underway. His booklet is about one-third history and two-thirds philosophy, but it was for many years the only printed source of local history. Because of its historical interest, we are offering it here, unedited (except for paragraph breaks to make it more readable). The reader will note that some of Smith's comments are insensitive by today's standards but were reflective of his time. Other comments, such as his diatribe about concealed weapons, provide an interesting glimpse of his own time - a time that is more remote to us than the era of settlement was to him.

  • Part I: Early settlement of Macon County
  • Part II: Formation of county government
  • Part III: The first court and remarks on the character of the magistrates
  • Part IV: Early customs and a comparison with the present day (1891)

Teresita Press, PO Box 1114, Franklin NC 28744