The act establishing Catawba County named commissioners to acquire
land within two miles of the center of the county, lay out a town by the
name of Newton, and erect a courthouse. Controversy developed over the location.
Consequently in 1845 an act was passed authorizing the erecting of the courthouse
in Newton, which is now the county seat. 1
The early people of the eight municipalities in Catawba County were either refugees or descendants of refugees from European political strife. Most were German and Scotch-Irish, who initially settled in Pennsylvania and migrated to the south when converging factors of crowding and under-employment evolved. Many, after being attracted by the fertile ground of the Valley of Virginia, moved into the Catawba County area in the 1740s after troubles developed in Virginia. The specter of future crowding, plus the growing danger of Indian attack from nations in the Ohio Valley were the primary reasons. 2