“What’s in a name?” is hailed as one of Shakespeare’s famous lines from his collection of plays and poses a good question when considering ones’ heritage; especially when considering the naming of counties.
Wilson County was named after Major David Wilson, the first Speaker of the Territorial Assembly who lived in Sumner County while it was still a part of North Carolina. When Sumner County split in 1799, Wilson County was named in the accomplished statesman’s honor.
Recently, the General Jethro Sumner Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution held a ceremony to honor Major David Wilson and his contributions to both Sumner and Wilson Counties. The ceremony was held on Oct. 27, 2019, at The Grand Inheritance in Gallatin, Tennessee. Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto along with Wilson County Commissioners Jerry McFarland and Diane Weathers attended the ceremony, which included a tribute to David Wilson, laying of wreaths and firing salute.
The reverent and inspiring ceremony took place just one day after Wilson County celebrated its 220th birthday. Originally established by an act of the Third General Assembly of the State of Tennessee on Oct. 26, 1799, Wilson County has since grown to be the fastest growing county in the state.
With deep agricultural ties and a close proximity to Nashville, the county, in short, is booming. Wilson County boasts a competitive education system, safe communities and a vibrant quality of life. It would be easy to assume that the county’s success is “overnight” or simply as a result of good luck, but Mayor Hutto argues that simply isn’t the case.
“We are incredibly proud of our 220-year heritage here in Wilson County,” he said. “Not every part of our history is good, as there have been challenges over the course of those 220 years in our nation and our county, but good has come from our dedication to overcoming obstacles as a community — as a family — and our constant reverence for our history. Wilson County as a whole has stayed rooted despite the ebbs and flows of success that has come our way and I think that’s why we have continued to excel and grow.”
Wilson County has celebrated its 220-year history in a variety of ways this past year including being an inspiration in part for the 2019 Wilson County Fair theme “A Grand Celebration” and adopting an official county flag.
Mayor Hutto is excited about the future of Wilson County and is taking steps to ensure the next generation takes pride in their community.
“Our office is diligently working on a campaign to establish and promote Wilson County’s identity,” he said. “We have so much to offer as a community and have so many incredible citizens that make our county what it is today. We are working to identify and narrow down a mission statement, vision, just adopted the county flag and have several other projects in the works. I think if David Wilson knew what our county has blossomed into today he would be very proud.”