The Town of Dobson was founded in 1850 as a consequence of a geographical division of Surry County by the North Carolina General Assembly. A central site was needed for a new county seat. A courthouse was therefore completed in 1853. The Town appears to have been named in honor of William Polk Dobson, a State Senator from Surry County, who died in 1846.
The Town was incorporated in 1891 and, since that year, has had a municipal government. A second courthouse was built on the site of the old one in 1918; the second courthouse was remodeled in 1971. The development of Surry Community College in the 1960′s and the construction of new public schools in the 1960′s and 1980′s have helped Dobson to maintain its status as a governmental service center. Surry county government offices are also located within
the corporal limits of the Town of Dobson.
William Polk Dobson – Family History
William Dobson came to North Carolina circa 1770 and lived in the present-day town of Kernersville. Dobson had at least two children, William Polk Dobson and Henry Baker Dobson. William Polk Dobson left the Kernersville area and purchased a plantation near Rockford (Surry County), North Carolina, around 1810. W.P. Dobson married Mary Hughes in 1802 and had twelve children. Their descendants live throughout the United States. Family legend connects
William P. Dobson’s mother to the family of President James Polk.
1. Tabitha Ann Holten – first licensed female lawyer in the southern United States; licensed in 1878 and practiced law in Dobson from 1878 – 1886.
2. Roy H. Park – famous broadcaster and entrepreneur who graduated from Dobson High School; Park owned several companies and made Forbes list of the top 40 (1993) wealthiest people in the United States.