The act establishing the county made no provision for the courthouse, prison and stocks. However, a law was passed making provision for levying special taxes for the county seat. There is nothing to indicate the location. In 1779 Williamston, first called Squhawky, was laid out on the land of Thomas Hunter.
Martin County was named in honor of Josiah Martin, the last Royal Governor of North Carolina. It is probable that this county's name would have been changed like those of Dobbs and Tryon but for the popularity of Alexander Martin, who was governor, 1782-1785 and l789-1792. 1