The Biggest County in America

With my post today I would like to history about the surrounding area Botetourt County, Virginia. The reason I name this chapter the biggest county in the world was because Botetourt County was is a very vast open expensive land. It extended to the Mississippi River which covered Kentucky, parts of West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

The land was mainly settled by the English and east and the Germans and the mountainous west of Virginia, it will be now know to be Franklin County and Roanoke County. Some important figures of the time where col. William Preston of Botetourt, col. William Fleming who as of 1781 was the head of the local government commission. Andrew Lewis a militia commander at the battle of point Pleasant.

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A drawing of Col. William Preston of Botetourt

A little known fact is that George Washington when he was a militia col.,He rode around inspecting frontier forts and stopped at Fort William in Botetourt, and then went to what is now Roanoke to spend the night at a widows home. There is quite a bit to be said before the schools that popped up around this time. In the community of Salem, Virginia in 1842 Roanoke College was founded all while in Hollins the women’s school had been there since 1837 started out as raw milk female seminary, later to become Hollins College then University.

Hollins College was a female seminary school that went by the name of Valley Union seminary. It is one of the oldest institutions for higher education for women in United States. Although it is still a female college men are allowed to come and work at the graduate programs there. Some of the things people that attended there where Author Annie Dillard, sportswriter Mary Garber, good night moon author Margaret Wise.

The Cocke Building on Hollins Campus

Originally the buildings of Hollins College were going to be a resort area of the sort but when venture failed, the property and buildings were acquired for the seminary. After the start of the school in 1825 they hired a math instructor named Charles Lewis Cocke, he came with his wife Susanna and bought 16 slaves. In the same year of 1846 he started the first school for enslave people in the Roanoke area. Many of the slaves worked at the school and is pay received an education. In 1851 Cocke abolish the men’s department of the institution. In 1855 the name was changed to Hollins Institute because of a large donation.

Prior to being known is Roanoke the town was called big Lake due to the fact that there were many salty marshes in the area that attracted animals. Farming was a big contribution to the city when it was first starting out as well as in the late 1800s, because it but Industry and trade to the Blue Ridge Mountains and opened it up as a Route. Later on the county became known for railroads and a tractor residence to help build those does having a population boom around the time that they arrived.

All facts for this post were taken from:

Hollins Wikipedia page

the visit Roanoke website

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