The History Of Mocksville
Mocksville and Davie County are very fortunate to have resident historian James Wall in our midst. Mr.Wall has written a book entitled The History Of Davie County, which has provided most of the following information.
According to records, a small village named “Mocks Old Field” was in existence here before the time of the American Revolution. Even then this area was considered to be centrally located of the main north-south, east-west routes of travel in North Carolina. Mocks Old Field was used frequently as a secret meeting place for Colonial Forces and Planners, some of whom were members of the Boone Family.
As a teenager, Daniel Boone came to this area with his parents Squire and Sarah Boone, and his brothers and sisters. Their land-hold was west of Mocksville on Rt. 64. Both Squire and Sarah Boone are buried in Joppa Cemetery and the graves can still be visited. All of Daniel’s descendants migrated west.
In the year 1810 a Mocks Old Field post office was established here. This was the first official name for the growing settlement.
When incorporated in 1839 as the seat of the newly formed Davie County (previously a part of Rowan County), the town’s limits were set at “one half mile in each and every direction from the Court House”, to be located in the center of the town square. Most of the fifteen acres of the incorporation was divided into thirty-two business lots and sold at public auction to finance the building of the “Court House and Jail without a tax levy”.
Those of you who have visited Charleston S.C. know about earthquake rods. For those of you that don’t know they are threaded rods placed through a brick building between the floors and ceiling and tightened, pulling a damaged building into a square and adding support to old soft brick. The ends of these rods are often covered with a decorative plate.
You will notice earthquake rods in several of the buildings here in downtown Mocksville. We know that a portion of our downtown was destroyed in 1886 by the same earthquake that devastated Charleston. Much of our downtown was rebuilt following this event and it is generally thought that the rods were installed during the time of the reconstruction with the sole intent of giving the buildings added support.
Mocksville boasts three designated historic districts, each of which is registered with the National Trust. The historic retail district is in the center with two residential districts adjacent to it. The contributing buildings in the retail district are marked with plaques, thanks to the cooperative efforts of the Historic Downtown Mocksville Association, Community Development Corp. and the Town of Mocksville.
Downtown Mocksville passed another mile-stone in 1991 when we were accepted into the Main Street Program of the National Register for Historic Places which is an organization designed to offer grassroots assistance to historic downtowns in their revitalization efforts. We were part of a pilot program especially designed for small downtowns with a population of less than 5,000.
In addition to the Boone family, other famous residents of Mocksville include:
Hinton Rowan Helper, author of “The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It” which was published in 1857.
Thomas Ferebee, a bombardier on the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic warhead on Japan.
Joe Jackson Gibbs, Washington Redskins football coach and NASCAR championship team owner, was born on Nov.25 1940 in the old Mocksville Hospital operated by Dr. W. M. Long which was located at the North-East corner of the Court Square