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POLICE DEPARTMENT HISTORY

The historic Town of Rutherfordton was established in the picturesque foothills of western North Carolina in 1787. James Adair sold the Town Commissioners fifty acres of land where downtown Rutherfordton is located today. Rutherfordton was two years old, when North Carolina ratified the federal Constitution making the state part of the United States of America on November 21st, 1789. The Town was officially incorporated by the General Assembly on January 12th, 1841. Over the numerous years, she has welcomed one and all. Even today, everyone who visits and calls her home; still feels her warmth and southern hospitality. The colorful history that was painted so many years ago is still being brushed on the Town's canvas today, which is exhibited proudly in its communities, churches, and citizens.

Main Street, 1900s Rutherfordton, NC
Main Street, 1900s

In the many hours of studying every line, of every page in the official Town Minutes, I could only go back as far as the year 1873. Before the year 1873, there are no Town Minutes available for reference. In checking with the North Carolina State Archives (Asheville Office), they only have as far back as 1873 on record/microfilm of the Town Minutes. So, I could not start with the year 1841, when the Town was incorporated. That being the case, I apologize in advance, if I have left anyone out of this collection of information. I can only state the names, years and facts that can be backed up with written documentation. Even so, the history and events that took place in the remarkable Town of Rutherfordton is incredible and lively. I only wish everyone could take the time to read through its documented history!

The Minutes from the start are bursting with daily life and challenges, which made up the "growing pains" of the young town. Events such as horses and hogs running down Main Street. Someone in town having to be responsible to light all the street lamps every evening. People washing their buggies with town water. People required to work so many hours on the maintenance of the town streets. To the Chief of Police being put in charge of the "defense and protection" of the town after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

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