William Lewis Connelly was the first settler in the area of whom there is a written record. In c. 1838 William Lewis and his wife, Elizabeth Moore Connelly, began a pioneer settlement called Happy Home.
William Lewis Connelly was a Captain in the NC State Militia and received orders from General Winfield Scott of the United States Army to assemble his Regiment and march to Asheville. Here they would execute the treaty for the removal of the Cherokee Indians from the western North Carolina Mountains to Oklahoma. Their route westward became known as “The Trail of Tears.” During this time Captain Connelly was promoted to Colonel.
After the military campaign was completed, Colonel Connelly built a log home and operated a way station where fresh horses could be acquired by the stage coach line which ran from Salisbury to Asheville. The Connelly home was located halfway between Salisbury and Asheville. Mrs. Connelly welcomed boarders who wished to spend the night during the long and tiresome journey. During this time a post office was opened and the mail arrived by stagecoach to settlers residing in Happy Home.
With the threat of Indian attacks now subdued, other pioneers began to settle at Happy Home. These hearty pioneer families included Fin-Cannon, Cook, Morgan, Southerland, Aiken, Ballew, Glass, McGalliard, Huffman, Winter, Houck, Warlick, Lowman, Stewart, and Hilderbran.