LAND AREA: 491.68 square miles
2016 POPULATION ESTIMATE: 64,705
Black/African American: 26.6%
American Indian: 0.9%
Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or more races: 1.8%
Hispanic/Latino: 8.1% (of any race)
Franklin County, located in the Piedmont region of northeastern North Carolina, was formed from the southern half of no-longer-extant Bute County in the midst of the American Revolution, in 1779, and named for Benjamin Franklin. Tuscarora Indians were the earliest inhabitants of the Franklin County area, followed by English, Irish, and German settlers. The county seat, Louisburg, originally spelled "Lewisburg," is located in the center of the county. It is home to the oldest junior college in the United States, Louisburg College, first founded as Franklin Academy in 1805. The Person Place, adjacent to the campus, is a restored eighteenth-century home open to the public. Other communities in the county include Bunn, Centerville, Franklinton, and Youngsville.
Franklin has historically been a rural county, and its economy is today based on agriculture, lumber, and textiles. Its growth in recent years is largely attributed to the large number of people who work in the Triangle area but choose to live in more rural settings. The population of Franklin County in 2004 was estimated to be 53,000.
Annotated history of Franklin County's formation:
For an annotated history of the county's formation, with the laws affecting the county, boundary lines and changes, and other origin information, visit these references in The Formation of the North Carolina Counties (Corbitt, 2000), available online at North Carolina Digital Collections (note, there may be additional items of interest for the county not listed here):
County formation history: http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p16062coll9/id/289875
Index entry for the county: http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p16062coll9/id/290081
T. H. Pearce, Franklin County, 1779-1979 (1979).
Corbitt, David Leroy. 2000. The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p16062coll9/id/290103 (accessed June 20, 2017).
Frankllin County Government: http://www.franklincountync.us/
Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.franklin-chamber.org/
DigitalNC, Franklin County: http://digitalnc.org/counties/franklin-county
North Carolina Digital Collections (explore by place, time period, format): http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/home/browse
Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.
1 January 2006 | Criner, Allyson C.