County -- In response to the need of the people the General
Assembly of 1828 passed an act to create a new county with
the name Macon in honor of Nathaniel Macon from Warren
County, a respected North Carolina Senator and Speaker of
the House of Representatives. This new county was formed
from Haywood County and contained parts of Jackson and Swain
Counties. The town of Franklin was established by an act of
the General Assembly on February 10, 1855.
Franklin -- The town was named for Jesse Franklin who was
instrumental in guiding the course of North Carolina during
the critical days after the Revolution. He served in the
House Commons and in the State Senate as well as the U.S.
Senate, and was governor of North Carolina in 1820 and 1821
at the time of the settlement of Franklin.
Highlands -- The high plateau on which Highlands stands
remained remote during the early days of Macon County's
history. Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson
of Reno County, Kansas selected the plateau for the
development of a new town. They arrived at the site of their
new town on February 1875, purchased 839 acres and began
development and promotion of the area. It was to be called
Kelsey's Plateau but the name was soon changed to Highlands.
Nantahala -- Nantahala is a remote community in the western
part of the county about 32 miles west of Franklin. It was
named by its first residents, the Cherokee Indians. The name
means "Land of the Noonday Sun."
Townships -- Currently Macon County consists of 11
townships: Burningtown, Cartoogechaye, Cowee, Ellijay,
Flats, Franklin, Millshoal, Nantahala, Otto, Smithbridge,