Bladen County History
Bladen County was founded in 1734 and named for Martin Bladen, a member of the Board of Trade. Bladen County was formed as Bladen Precinct of Bath County. With the abolition of Bath County in 1739, all of its constituent precincts became counties.
Originally, Bladen was a vast territory with indefinite northern and western boundaries. Reductions in its extent began in 1750, when its western part became Anson County. In 1792 the northern part of Bladen County was combined with Granville County and Johnston County to form Orange County. In 1754 the northern part of what was left of Bladen County became Cumberland County.
In 1764 the southern part of what remained of Bladen County was combined with part of New Hanover County to form Brunswick County. In 1787 the western part of the now much smaller county became Robeson County. Finally, in 1808 the southern part of Bladen County was combined with part of Brunswick County to form Columbus County.
Bladen County is considered the “mother county” of North Carolina because of the 100 counties in North Carolina, 55 of them at one point belonged to Bladen County.
The county consist of 887 square miles. Included are 874 square miles of land and 13 square miles of water. There are about 40 people per square mile in Bladen County, the fourth largest county in North Carolina by land area.
Elizabethtown is the county seat and was named for Queen Elizabeth I. Other incorporated towns in the county include Bladenboro (1903), Clarkton, Dublin, East Arcadia, Tar Heel and White Lake.