Ashe was formed in 1799 from Wilkes. It was named in honor of Samuel Ashe, a Revolutionary patriot, a superior court judge, and Governor of the State. It is in the northwestern section of the State and is bounded by the states of Tennessee and Virginia and Alleghany, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The present land area is 427.05 square miles and the 1990 population was 22,209. In 1803 the town of Jefferson was laid out and the public buildings erected. Jefferson is the county seat.

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