The following article reprinted from the Monroe Journal, Oct 23, 1925
Before the formation of regular townships, the affairs of the county were managed by militia districts, there being thirteen of them, each containing one company of soldiers commanded by a captain. Owing to this fact, the districts were known as “captain’s beats,” and usually took the name of the commanding officer of that particular locality. At central points in the districts voting places were established and election returns made there from in much the same manner as returns are now made from townships.
In 1869, after the new constitution of the State was framed, under the Reconstruction Act, surveys were made and the townships of Goose Creek, New Salem, Sandy Ridge, Lane’s Creek, Jackson and Buford were laid off and their boundaries defined, in addition to Monroe. In 1879, the township of Vance was formed from portions of Goose Creek and Sandy Ridge, and several years later Marshville township was formed from portions of Lane’s Creek and New Salem, being the last township division made up to the present time.
Within the boundaries of the regular townships, in some instances, charters have been granted for municipal organizations by the Legislature: Waxhaw, in Jackson; Wingate, lying in Monroe and Marshville; Unionville, in Goose Creek; Indian Trail, in Vance; and Marshville, in the township bearing the same name.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUAL TOWNSHIPS
MONROE TOWNSHIP – Monroe Township lies in the center portion of Union County, with Monroe as the principal city. The town of Wingate is in both Monroe Township and Marshville Township. Some of the other communities in this township on the 1907 Union Co. Tax Map include: Bakers, Chapel Hill, Houston, Willoughby and Helmsville. Some of the older churches in this township include (excluding churches within Monroe City): Grace, Union Grove, High Hill, Salem, Mt. Carmel, Shiloh and Liberty.
JACKSON - Jackson Township is located in the Southwest corner of Union County and was named for President Andrew Jackson, one of Union County’s most famous sons, who was born there in 1767. It is bounded to the North by Sandy Ridge Township, to the East by Buford Township, and to the South and West by Lancaster County, SC. This was the earliest area of settlement in what is now Union County, and was settled primarily by Scots-Irish immigrants from the North of Ireland who had arrived in America via the ports of Pennsylvania and Charleston. Prior to that, the area had been inhabited by the Waxhaw Indian tribe, which was wiped out, probably by smallpox, between 1715-1725. From 1748-1762, this area was a part of Anson County, and then was a part of Mecklenburg County until Union County was formed in 1842. It was in 1869 that the original townships of the county were laid off and named, after the new constitution of the state was framed under the Reconstruction Act. The most populated area in this township is the town of Waxhaw, which was incorporated in 1889. The town developed about midway between the center of the Old Waxhaws Settlement and its northeastern fringe where Andrew Jackson, Sr. settled his family. Some of the early churches of the area, and the approximate dates they were organized are as follows: Tirzah Presbyterian (1804), Waxhaw (Roundtop) Baptist (c.1825), Rehobeth Presbyterian (1848), Waxhaw United Methodist (1888), Waxhaw Presbyterian (1888) and King Street Baptist (now First Baptist) (1899).
GOOSE CREEK TOWNSHIP - Goose Creek is the name of one of the northern townships of Union Co., NC. It is bounded on the North by the Rocky River and Cabarrus Co., New Salem Township on the East, Monroe Township on the South, and Vance Township and Mecklenburg Co. on the West. Vance Township was formed from part of Goose Creek Township in 1879. Some of the main creeks situated there are Goose Creek, Crooked Creek, Duck Creek and Mill Creek. Unionville is the largest community in Goose Creek Township and is situated about 7 miles from Monroe. Unionville was incorporated in 1911, but was unincorporated during the Depression. This was the site of the Union Institute, which was established in 1885. Goose Creek Township had many early churches. Some of the earlier ones and the approximate dates they were organized (if known): Union Presbyterian (1832), Zion U.M.C. (1840), Bethlehem Presbyterian (1852), Mill Creek Baptist (1856), Union Grove U.M.C. (c.1860), Hopewell Baptist (1878), Ebenezer Baptist (1879), Crooked Creek Primitive Baptist (1879), Benton’s Cross Roads Baptist (1882), Antioch Baptist (1892), Roanoke Baptist (1901), Rocky River True Light and Emmanuel Lutheran.
NEW SALEM TOWNSHIP - Located in the Northeastern portion of Union County. It is bounded on the North by the Rocky River, on the East by Anson County, on the south by Marshville Township, and on the West by Goose Creek Township. Before Union County was formed in 1842, this area was a part of Anson County. Some churches in this township, and the approximate years they were organized (if known) are: Mt. Moriah United Methodist (?1776+), Olive Branch Baptist (1858), Pleasant Hill Baptist (1868), St. Timothy’s Episcopal, New Hope Baptist (1878), Fairfield Baptist (1901) , Hamilton's Cross Roads Baptist (1889), Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist (1903), Euto Baptist (1926). New Salem Township has three main communities, which are New Salem, Olive Branch and Fairfield. The community of New Salem was originally called Euto, believed to be named after the famous Revolutionary War battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina. It is claimed that a group of patriots from this area went to S.C. to join General GREEN'S forces, and, after returning home, they named an important cross roads in their section "Euto". In the 1930's, when the State Highway Commission took over the county roads, hurried maps were prepared to show which roads were to be maintained by the State, and such important landmarks as schools and churches were named in those maps. In that process, the name of New Salem School appeared on these maintenance maps instead of the historic name of the crossroads. The name of the community is called New Salem to this day.
BUFORD - Buford Township lies directly south of Monroe and extends to the South Carolina line. It is bounded to the west by Jackson Township, to the North by Monroe Township, to the east by Lanes Creek Township, and to the south by Chesterfield Co. and Lancaster Co., SC. Principal waterways in this township are: Cane Creek, Stewart Branch, Adam’s Branch, Richardson Creek, Polecat Creek, Buffalo Creek, Buck Branch, Cowpens Branch and Gum Log Branch. The main communities in Buford Township are Prospect, Roughedge, Trinity and Altan. Some of the earlier churches in this township, and the dates they were organized (if known) were: Bethlehem U.M.C. (1840’s), Mt. Prospect U.M.C. (now called Prospect) (1847), Smyrna U.M.C. (1859), Trinity U.M.C. (c.1880), Macedonia Baptist (1880), Mt. Pleasant Baptist (1880), New Hope U.M.C. (1889), Altan Presbyterian (1893), Mountain Springs Baptist (c.1900) and Ebenezer True Light.
SANDY RIDGE - Sandy Ridge Township is located in the Western portion of Union County, NC, and is currently bounded on the West by Mecklenburg County, on the North by Vance Township, on the East by Monroe Township, and on the South by Jackson Township. Vance Township was formed from parts of Goose Creek and Sandy Ridge Townships in 1879. Before Union County was formed in 1842, the area now known as Sandy Ridge Township was a part of Mecklenburg County. Some of the communities in this township are Weddington, Marvin (first called “Poortith,” a name taken from someone’s favorite poem written by Robert Burns), Mineral Springs (formerly known as Potter). Some of the early churches of Sandy Ridge Township, and the approximate dates they were organized (if known) were: Antioch United Methodist (c.1870’s), Banks Presbyterian (1891), Bulah, Bonds Grove United Methodist (c.1890), Marvin United Methodist (c.1872), Oak Grove Baptist (c.1880’s), Pleasant Grove United Methodist (c.1831), Siler Presbyterian (1895), Union United Methodist, Weddington United Methodist [Sandy Ridge Society] (1823), Wesley Chapel United Methodist (c.1832).
LANES CREEK – This township is located in the southeast corner of the county, and borders Anson Co., NC to the East, and Chesterfield Co, SC to the South. Lanes Creek Township used to encompass what is now the lower part of Marshville Township, but was divided before the turn of the century. One of the oldest churches in the area is Philadelphia Baptist, which was originally known as Lanes Creek Baptist. It is the oldest Southern Baptist Church (congregation) in Union County, and celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1973. Another older church in this township is: Beulah Presbyterian (1892).
VANCE TOWNSHIP - Vance Township was formed from Goose Creek and Sandy Ridge Townships in 1879. The towns of Indian Trail and Stallings are located in Vance Township. Indian Trail was incorporated in 1907, and got its name from the Indian path that ran through there from Petersburg, VA to the Waxhaw Settlement (N.C./S.C.) in the 17th century. Stallings was incorporated in 1975, but was in existence much earlier. It was probably named for Matthew Thomas Stallings who moved to Union County from Cabarrus County about 1902 and purchased 200 acres about a mile from Indian Trail and started a large general store and a sawmill on the property. Some of the older churches include: Bethel United Methodist (1852), Mill Grove United Methodist (1846), Center Grove and Sardis.
MARSHVILLE TOWNSHIP – This township was formed from portions of Lane’s Creek and New Salem, being the last of the township divisions. Marshville Township was formed between 1897-1900 (I am not certain of the exact year). Towns include Marshville and a portion of Wingate. The town of Griffinsville was established in 1877 and was also known as “Beaver Dam.” Beaver Dam was considered a rowdy place for the time, due to the fact that the Carolina Central Railroad station ran through there and saloons were established around the train depot. “Beaver Dam became famous from one end of the railroad to the other as the rowdiest and most wicked station on the road” according to one historian in the 1920’s. In 1897, the name of the town of Griffinsville was changed to Marshville and was made a “dry town.” The name of the town was changed to honor local resident and benefactor J. W. Marsh. Some of the older churches in this township include: Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist (1903), Faulks Baptist (1851), Bethel Baptist (1861), and Gilboa Methodist.
-Various issues of the Carolinas Genealogical Society Bulletin
-1907 Union Co. Tax Map (copies for sale HERE)
-Family and church files of The Heritage Room, Monroe, NC
-Heritage of Union County
-Monroe Journal, Oct 23, 1925
-Personal knowledge & misc. other resources
page created May 2, 2003
©2003 - Julie Hampton Ganis
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