Anson County was formed from Bladen County in 1750 and named for Lord George Anson, a British admiral. Wadesboro is the county seat. The county is home to an active historical society. A number of historic homes as well as 500 cemeteries are found throughout the area. The Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge attracts 35,000 visitors annually, and educational and historical groups study around 150 prehistoric and historic sites, many along the Pee Dee River. A number of famous people were born in Anson County, including Leonidas Polk, state agricultural leader; John Kiker, NASA scientist; and Samuel Spencer, N.C. Supreme Court Justice.