Polk County was founded November 28, 1839 and formed from Bradley and McMinn counties. It was named in honor of James Knox Polk, then Governor of Tennessee and later the 11th President of the United States.
It is bounded on the north by McMinn and Monroe counties, on the east by North Carolina, on the south by Georgia, and on the west by Bradley County.
The greater part of Polk County is mountainous, and unfit for agricultural purposes. There are copper mines found in this county. They were developed many years ago, and have been worked with success.They are known as the Ducktown mines and are situated about forty miles from Cleveland, Tennessee. The mines are about two miles from the Ocoee River, in the midst of hills, surrounded by high mountains in the distance.
The principal ranges of these mountains lie between the copper mines and Benton, and traverse the county in a northeasterly and southwesterly direction, occupying, perhaps, more than half its area. Communities in Polk County include Benton, Copperhill, Delano, Ducktown, Ocoee, and Turtletown. Benton is the town seat. Ducktown and Turtletown were originally Cherokee settlements.