Genealogy and History
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The county is bounded on the north by McMinn and Monroe, on the east by North Carolina, on the
south by Georgia, and on the west by Bradley County. The greater part of Polk County is mountainous, and unfit
for agricultural purposes. There are copper mines found in this county. They were developed many years ago, and
have been worked with success. They are known as the Ducktown mines. They are situated about forty miles
from Cleveland. The mines are about two miles from the Ocoee River, in the midst of hills, surrounded by high
mountains in the distance. The principal ranges of these mountains lie between the copper mines and Benton, and
traverse the county in a northeasterly and southwesterly direction, occupying, perhaps, more than half its area.
Communities in Polk County include Benton, Copperhill, Delano, Ducktown, Ocoee, Turtletown with Benton being the town seat.
Polk County was founded November 28, 1839. It was taken off Bradley and McMinn, and named in honor of James Knox Polk
CITIES, TOWNSHIPS, COMMUNITIES
Polk County (formed iu 1839 from Bradley ami McMinn and named
for James K. Polk): Mainly settled in 1836. the first village being
Columbus, four miles north of the present town of Benton. It was on
the Federal road leading from Knoxville to Cassville, Georgia. Among
the first settlers were W. M. Biggs. Nelson Lawson. Abraham Lillard.
Thomas Jones. R. W. McClary. Early Boyd. William Higgins, Michael
Hildebrand. A. R. Stephenson and John N. Taylor. In 1844 a school for
boys, Ocoee Academy, was established at Benton. In 1850 copper was
discovered in the eastern portion of the county, and several mines were
Present population, 14,116.
A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and ..., Volume 3 1913
By Will Thomas Hale, Dixon Lanier Merritt
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