Nash County was formed in 1777 from the western part of Edgecombe County. Located in the northeast section of the state, it is bounded by Edgecombe, Wilson, Johnston, Franklin, and Halifax counties. It was named for General Francis Nash (1742-1777), of Hillsborough. General Nash was a soldier who was mortally wounded while fighting under General George Washington at Germantown during the American Revolution. Nashville, the county seat, was settled in 1780 and chartered in 1815. First land grants in the area date back to 1743.
After the Revolution, which touched the county only lightly, Nash County settled down to a pace that made it one of the state's leading farm areas. Since the Civil War, it has been known primarily as a leading agricultural county, but it has experienced steady industrial growth since that time.