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columbus NC


William Douglas Property Management offers HOA Management Services and Association Management services in Columbus, NC

Columbus, NC Facts and Information

The Town of Columbus is a municipality located in Polk County. Columbus is the county seat for Polk County. Polk County is located in the western mountainous area of the state. The Cherokee Indians were the first recorded inhabitants of the future Columbus and Polk area. The Cherokee Indians considered the area their hunting grounds.

  • The population for 2019 per the United States Census for Town of Columbus was estimated to be 998.
  • The population per the 2010 United States Census for the Town of Columbus was calculated to be 999.
  • The 1880 United States Census was the first Census for Columbus, and the population was calculated to be 71.
  • Columbus was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on February 2, 1857.
  • Columbus was formed when Polk County was established in 1855.
  • Columbus is the 427th largest municipality in North Carolina.
  • Columbus is named for Dr. Columbus Mills (1808-1882). Known as the father of Polk County, he was instrumental in the entablement of Polk County while in the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • The Polk County Doughboy is one of the area’s most recognizable memorials. The marble statue was dedicated in 1925. The memorial is dedicated to the Polk County men who lost their lives in World War I.
  • The land area of Columbus is 3.56 square miles.
  • The population per square mile for Columbus is 559.1 per the United States Census.
  • The ZIP Code for Columbus is 28722.
  • The area code for Columbus is 828.
  • Per the United States Census Bureau, there are 414 households in Columbus.
  • Locations-Coordinates of Columbus per Google Earth – Latitude: 35°15′11.42″ N, Longitude: 82°11′49.41″ W
  • The elevation of Columbus is 1,102 feet above sea level.

Polk County – History

Polk County was created from portions of Henderson County and Rutherford County in 1855.

However, the genesis of Polk County was a messy affair with a great deal of public debate and animosity. An act creating Polk County was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1847. However, this act was repealed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1848. The prior county borders of Henderson and Rutherford were restored after the repeal of the 1847 borders.

Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an act in 1855, with essentially the same wording as the 1847 act, creating Polk County from Henderson County and Rutherford County. The 1855 act finally and permanently created the 239 square mile county. Reportedly there were boundary disputes between residents of Henderson and Polk up until 1903. Nonetheless, the 1855 act created the fifth-smallest county in North Carolina by total land area.

A common misnomer is that Polk County is named for the eleventh president of the United States, James K. Polk, a North Carolina native. In fact, the county is named for North Carolinian Colonel William Polk, a Revolutionary War hero who joined the fight against the British at the age of seventeen when he joined a South Carolina regiment as a second lieutenant. He was at Valley Forge and fought the British and Tories in many notable battles. He was wounded at the Battle of Canebrake. He fought at Brandywine and Germantown; Being severely wounded at Germantown. Upon recovering, he participated in the August 1780 Camden campaign, and then he fought at the Battle of Guilford Court House. He served under Thomas Sumter as a lieutenant colonel at the Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina. Colonel Polk was only twenty-two years old at the end of the American Revolution.

A Short Historical Overview of Columbus and the Surrounding Area

Columbus was established from 100 acres of wilderness when Polk County was formed from portions of Henderson County and Rutherford County in 1855. The 100 acres was known then as Foster Race path in front of then Fosters Mountain. Fosters Mountain today is known as Chocolate Drop Mountain.

When the North Carolina General Assembly began discussions on forming Polk County in 1847, the discussions on the county seat location triggered much heated public debate. In attempts to resolve the issue, the General Assembly appointed three non-county-residence county commissioners to find the county seat at or within two miles of the geographical

center of the new Polk County.

The county commissioners were empowered to find a tract of land of no more than 100 acres to either purchase or, if possible, accept the donation for the county seat. The three non-county-residence county commissioners chose Fosters Race path. The Fosters Race path track was named Columbus in honor of Dr. Columbus Mills (1808-1882). Dr. Mills is known as the father of Polk County; He was instrumental in the entablement of Polk County while serving in the North Carolina General Assembly. Dr. Mills was a state senator, farmer, physician, and civic leader highly regarded within the Polk County community.

Dr. Mills was the great-grandson of British Loyalist officer Colonel Ambrose Mills, the commander of the Tory cavalry at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. Colonel Mills was captured and summarily executed by Patriot forces. He, along with eight other Tories, were taken to the Biggerstaff Farm near Gilbert Town in Rutherford County and hung from a large tree.

The new town of Columbus was laid out and divided into 94 lots, with seven lots set aside for public, civic, and spiritual use. The streets were laid out, with some as wide as ninety feet. The commissioners established a public square at the northern portion of the rectangular 100-acre tract.  To sell the remaining lots that were not needed for county or town government use, an auction was held on October 17, 1855. The auction brought in $16,499 for Polk County as a result of 59 lots being sold. Construction began immediately on many of the county and town buildings.

Construction began on the Polk County Courthouse sometime in 1855. Its architecture style is  Greek Revival. Greek Revival was a very popular architectural trend of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in the United States and Northern Europe. The courthouse was constructed by Ephraim Clayton and George Shackelford for $16,836. Notable features of the construction include the matching spiral stairs in the entryway, a cupola made of hand-hewn lumber, and a cast bronze bell dating to 1858. The date the courthouse was completed is not known. However, it was in use in December of 1857 and is still in use today.

Columbus was chartered or incorporated as a town by the North Carolina General Assembly on February 2, 1857. The town limits were initially established as the courthouse being the center expanding out a half-mile square. These town limits have remained the same except for voluntary annexations through the years.

columbus nc


William Douglas Property Management offers HOA Management Services and Association Management services in Columbus, NC

Columbus, NC Facts and Information

The Town of Columbus is a municipality located in Polk County. Columbus is the county seat for Polk County. Polk County is located in the western mountainous area of the state. The Cherokee Indians were the first recorded inhabitants of the future Columbus and Polk area. The Cherokee Indians considered the area their hunting grounds.

  • The population for 2019 per the United States Census for Town of Columbus was estimated to be 998. 
  • The population per the 2010 United States Census for the Town of Columbus was calculated to be 999.
  • The 1880 United States Census was the first Census for Columbus, and the population was calculated to be 71.
  • Columbus was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on February 2, 1857. 
  • Columbus was formed when Polk County was established in 1855.
  • Columbus is the 427th largest municipality in North Carolina.
  • Columbus is named for Dr. Columbus Mills (1808-1882). Known as the father of Polk County, he was instrumental in the entablement of Polk County while in the North Carolina General Assembly. 
  • The Polk County Doughboy is one of the area’s most recognizable memorials. The marble statue was dedicated in 1925. The memorial is dedicated to the Polk County men who lost their lives in World War I. 
  • The land area of Columbus is 3.56 square miles.  
  • The population per square mile for Columbus is 559.1 per the United States Census.  
  • The ZIP Code for Columbus is 28722.
  • The area code for Columbus is 828.
  • Per the United States Census Bureau, there are 414 households in Columbus.
  • Locations-Coordinates of Columbus per Google Earth – Latitude: 35°15′11.42″ N, Longitude: 82°11′49.41″ W
  • The elevation of Columbus is 1,102 feet above sea level.

Polk County – History

Polk County was created from portions of Henderson County and Rutherford County in 1855. 

However, the genesis of Polk County was a messy affair with a great deal of public debate and animosity. An act creating Polk County was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1847. However, this act was repealed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1848. The prior county borders of Henderson and Rutherford were restored after the repeal of the 1847 borders. 

Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an act in 1855, with essentially the same wording as the 1847 act, creating Polk County from Henderson County and Rutherford County. The 1855 act finally and permanently created the 239 square mile county. Reportedly there were boundary disputes between residents of Henderson and Polk up until 1903. Nonetheless, the 1855 act created the fifth-smallest county in North Carolina by total land area. 

A common misnomer is that Polk County is named for the eleventh president of the United States, James K. Polk, a North Carolina native. In fact, the county is named for North Carolinian Colonel William Polk, a Revolutionary War hero who joined the fight against the British at the age of seventeen when he joined a South Carolina regiment as a second lieutenant. He was at Valley Forge and fought the British and Tories in many notable battles. He was wounded at the Battle of Canebrake. He fought at Brandywine and Germantown; Being severely wounded at Germantown. Upon recovering, he participated in the August 1780 Camden campaign, and then he fought at the Battle of Guilford Court House. He served under Thomas Sumter as a lieutenant colonel at the Battle of Eutaw Springs in South Carolina. Colonel Polk was only twenty-two years old at the end of the American Revolution.

A Short Historical Overview of Columbus and the Surrounding Area

Columbus was established from 100 acres of wilderness when Polk County was formed from portions of Henderson County and Rutherford County in 1855. The 100 acres was known then as Foster Race path in front of then Fosters Mountain. Fosters Mountain today is known as Chocolate Drop Mountain. 

When the North Carolina General Assembly began discussions on forming Polk County in 1847, the discussions on the county seat location triggered much heated public debate. In attempts to resolve the issue, the General Assembly appointed three non-county-residence county commissioners to find the county seat at or within two miles of the geographical 

center of the new Polk County. 

The county commissioners were empowered to find a tract of land of no more than 100 acres to either purchase or, if possible, accept the donation for the county seat. The three non-county-residence county commissioners chose Fosters Race path. The Fosters Race path track was named Columbus in honor of Dr. Columbus Mills (1808-1882). Dr. Mills is known as the father of Polk County; He was instrumental in the entablement of Polk County while serving in the North Carolina General Assembly. Dr. Mills was a state senator, farmer, physician, and civic leader highly regarded within the Polk County community. 

Dr. Mills was the great-grandson of British Loyalist officer Colonel Ambrose Mills, the commander of the Tory cavalry at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. Colonel Mills was captured and summarily executed by Patriot forces. He, along with eight other Tories, were taken to the Biggerstaff Farm near Gilbert Town in Rutherford County and hung from a large tree.

The new town of Columbus was laid out and divided into 94 lots, with seven lots set aside for public, civic, and spiritual use. The streets were laid out, with some as wide as ninety feet. The commissioners established a public square at the northern portion of the rectangular 100-acre tract.  To sell the remaining lots that were not needed for county or town government use, an auction was held on October 17, 1855. The auction brought in $16,499 for Polk County as a result of 59 lots being sold. Construction began immediately on many of the county and town buildings. 

Construction began on the Polk County Courthouse sometime in 1855. Its architecture style is  Greek Revival. Greek Revival was a very popular architectural trend of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in the United States and Northern Europe. The courthouse was constructed by Ephraim Clayton and George Shackelford for $16,836. Notable features of the construction include the matching spiral stairs in the entryway, a cupola made of hand-hewn lumber, and a cast bronze bell dating to 1858. The date the courthouse was completed is not known. However, it was in use in December of 1857 and is still in use today. 

Columbus was chartered or incorporated as a town by the North Carolina General Assembly on February 2, 1857. The town limits were initially established as the courthouse being the center expanding out a half-mile square. These town limits have remained the same except for voluntary annexations through the years. 

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