The County seal first appeared around 1942 or 1943 as a logo designed by
County Planning Administrator W.B. Wilkins. It was first used on the cover of
the Biennial County Manager’s Report. The logo did not reappear in the manager’s report until 1955.
In 1957, Ruth Starke, a draftsperson in the County Engineer’s Office, was asked
to update the logo. She drew a new logo and a historical map of the county for a brochure entitled, “While in Virginia, See Henrico County.”
Starke’s adaptation was used intermittently with a revised Wilkins logo in annual reports until 1973. The revised Wilkins design was officially designated as the County seal in a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors on December 12, 1984. The seal was described as “a circle containing the right profile of Pocahontas, Indian corn, and tobacco plants with the following words: City 1611, Shire 1634, Manager 1934, County of Henrico, Virginia.”
Pocahontas is a prominent figure in early American history. Her marriage to
John Rolfe, who developed Virginia tobacco, bridged the gap between the English and Indian cultures.
For a brief biography and more pictures of Pocahontas, click here.
The tobacco on the seal represents Rolfe’s new strain of tobacco, which gave the New World its first cash crop and brought prosperity to Henrico and Virginia. The Indian corn on the seal represents the nurturing soil of Henrico and the gift of corn the Indians gave to the early settlers.
Pocahontas remains on the Henrico County seal as a symbol of County government’s on-going efforts to unify the diversity within this community, the on-going process of drawing together varied resources to strengthen the whole. As Ruth Starke said in her 1957 brochure, “A pioneer spirit has always prevailed in Henrico County.”