LAND AREA: 470.71 square miles
2013 POPULATION ESTIMATE: 10,215
Black/African American: 31.5%
American Indian: 0.8%
Pacific Islander: <0.1%
Two or more races: 1.7%
Hispanic/Latino: 4.2% (of any race)
From State & County QuickFacts, US Census Bureau, 2014.
Jones County, located in North Carolina's Coastal Plain region, was formed from Craven County in 1779, taking its name from radical Revolutionary War leader and Anti-Federalist Willie Jones. Trenton (originally known as Trent Bridge) was established as the county seat in 1784. Other Jones County communities include Maysville, Pollacksville, Comfort, Pleasant Hill, and Wyse Fork. Large portions of the county are part of the Great Dover Swamp, White Oak Pocosin, Croatan National Forest, and Hofmann Forest, the nation's largest forest laboratory.
Originally inhabited by Tuscarora Indians, the area of modern Jones County was first settled by Europeans in the early eighteenth century; but the early communities formed by German and Swiss immigrants were soon disturbed by Cary's Rebellion and the Tuscarora War (1711-13). Nevertheless, in the wake of the Tuscarora War a thriving agricultural economy soon developed, with the Trent River serving as a source of irrigation and the primary means of transportation. During the following century and a half, the burgeoning county became dominated by plantation life, and on the eve of the Civil War the abundance of slaves and fertile farmland had made Jones County one of the most prosperous in the nation. The devastation of the war and the end of slavery brought the county's prominence to an end, however. Through the end of the twentieth century the economy of the county remained heavily dependent upon crops (principally tobacco) from its farms and lumber from its extensive forest lands. In 2004 the estimated population of Jones County was slightly more than 10,000.
Julia Pollack Harriett, History and Genealogy of Jones County, North Carolina (1987).
Jones County Government: http://www.jonescountync.gov/
Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.
1 January 2006 | Vocci, Robert Blair