PART has members from a five-county area that includes Alamance, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, and Randolph Counties. The Quaker meeting also played an important role in the county's European settlement. Numerous Quakers still live in the county. New Garden Friends Meeting, established in 1754 and affiliated for the first time to a Pennsylvania meeting, still operates in Greensboro.
In 1808, the city of Greensboro replaced the village of Guilford Court House as the county seat. It had a more central location, so it was a better location for travelers of the time. The county was the site of the first industrial developments, namely Mt. Hecla Cotton Mill, established in 1818 as one of the first cotton mills in the state.
Initially operated by hydraulic power, the mill was reconditioned to run on steam, and was one of the first examples in the state of the use of steam energy for manufacturing. In 1873, Bennett College was founded in the basement of the Warnersville Methodist Episcopal Church (now St. Matthew Methodist Church) with 70 African American students of both sexes. In 1926, the school became a women-only university, as it is today.
In 1891, Greensboro was selected to host a land-grant institution for African Americans, the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race, now known as North Carolina State Agricultural and Technical University. It was the second university in the country established under the Federal Morrill Act of 1890 and was the first state-backed school for people of color in North Carolina. A darker racial incident in 1979 was called the Greensboro massacre. In this incident, the predominantly African-American Communist Workers Party (CWP) led a protest march against the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups through a black neighborhood in southeastern Greensboro.
They were attacked and shot by members of the KKK and the American Nazi Party; five of the Communist Party protesters were killed and seven injured in the attack. In 1980, the case attracted renewed national attention when the six defendants accused of shooting were found innocent by a white jury. None of the people involved in this shooting, from either party, were citizens of Guilford County; they simply chose the county seat of Greensboro as their meeting point. In 1985, families and friends of victims won a civil case for damages against the city police department and other officials for failing to protect African Americans; money was paid to the Greensboro Justice Center.
In the US, the county has a total area of 658 square miles (1,700 km), of which 646 square miles (1,670 km) is land and 12 square miles (31 km (1.8%) is water. The county is partly drained by the Deep and Haw Rivers. In the county, the population was distributed, with 23.70% under the age of 18, 11.00% from 18 to 24 years, 31.40% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64 and 11.80% aged 65 or over. The average age was 35 years.
For every 100 females, there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 88.60 males. Guilford County Sheriff elected every four years by countywide vote. Funded by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the county government provides some administrative support.
Guilford County is a member of the Regional Council of Governments of the Piedmont Triad. In the early 1840s, the state government designated Greensboro as one of the stops for a new railway line, at the request of Governor John Motley Morehead, whose home, Blandwood, was in Greensboro. Greensboro has two major public research universities, North Carolina A%26T State University, a historically black university established in the late 19th century, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Later known as the Greensboro Four, the four young men sat at a white-only lunch counter at the Woolworth's store in downtown Greensboro and asked to be served after buying items from the store.