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Montgomery County was created from Frederick County in 1776. It was the first county established by elected representatives. The county was named for Revolutionary War General Richard Montgomery (1738-1775). Gen. Richard Montgomery, born in Dublin, Ireland, December 2, 1736, was an officer of distinction in the British Army. He resigned and settled in New York State in 1773. In 1775 he was appointed one of the eight generals to command the revolutionary army. He was killed in the attack on Quebec [Canada], December 31, 1775, shouting, "Death or Liberty!"
Since Montgomery County lies next to Washington DC, many people who live in the county work for the federal government. The federal government also has agencies in Montgomery County. Some of those are the National Institutes of Health, the National Bureal of Standards and the Department of Energy. Many private businesses specialize in space and computer science and technology.
About one-third of the land is rural farmland. With a high percentage of part-time farmers, there is a large horse population and a growing fresh produce industry.
General Montgomery never spent a minute in the county that was named for him. In fact, he was dead by the time Montgomery County was established. The county was the first one in Maryland named after someone who was not a European prince, duke, or lord. It was the first county in the United States to be named after a high-ranking officer who died in the American Revolution.
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The county motto, Gardez Bien, means Guard Well . The county seat is Rockville.