“Genesis” of The City of Greensboro
Approximate Center Of Guilford County as Determined for the Establishment of Greensborough as the County Seat of Guilford County, 1808.
In 1807 a petition from the people of southeast Guilford, many of whom were from the German settlements, was filed with the General Assembly requesting that the county seat be moved from Guilford Court House or Martinsville southeastwardly to the center of county. Heading the petition was the following surveyor's map showing Guilford Court House or Martinsville to the northwest and the supposed center to the southeast of Guilford Court House.
This monument marks the approximate site of the center of the county as determined by the unknown surveyor and shown on his map. despite a counterpetition from the people of northwest Guilford, most of whom were Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) or English Quakers, the General Assembly granted the request of the first petition and authorized the establishing of the town or Greensborough, named for General Nathanael Greene, leader of the American forces in the southern campaign of the American Revolution climaxing at the decisive Battle of Guilford Court House, 15 March 1781, which led to Yorktown and American independence six months later.
Original Guilford, established in 1771 and named for Francis Forth, first Earl of Guilford,
in compliment to his son, frederick, british prime minister, who became the second Earl, included present Guilford, Rockingham and Randolph Counties and after the latter two were formed the county seat at Guilford Court House was noticeably offcenter for the reduced county, hence the petition to the legislature resulting the founding of Greensborough.
This spot being lowground and somewhat swampy, the commissioners named in the legislative act picked the more suitable higher ground centered around the crossing of what are now Elm and Market Streets for the location or the town. The new courthouse was located at this intersection, which became known as Courthouse Square. The village was laid out in 1808 on the 42 acres of land purchased by the commissioners for $98 from Ralph Gorrell of the Alamance Church area, a Scotch-Irish settler from Northern Ireland.