Buncombe was formed in 1791 from Burke and Rutherford. It was named in honor of Colonel Edward Buncombe, a Revolutionary soldier, who was wounded and captured at the Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777, and in May, 1778, died a paroled prisoner in Philadelphia. It is in the western section of the State and is bounded by McDowell, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Yancey counties. The present land area is 656.55 square miles and the 1990 population was 174,778. Asheville, named in honor of Samuel Ashe, Governor of North Carolina, 1796-1798, is the county seat.
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