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Cities and Towns in Bertie County

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Merry Hill

History of Bertie County

Bertie Courthouse - In 1741, when Northampton was carved out of Bertie County and Hertford County was formed in 1754 the courthouse of 1724 was outside the boundaries of Bertie County.

In 1743, a lease was signed for one acre of land for the old courthouse. In 1744, preparations began to move the courthouse May 10, James Castelow (originally Barneycastle) bought one acre of land on the north side of the Cashie River and south side of Will's Quarter swamp where the courthouse, prison, and stocks were to be built. For twenty-four years this was the second courthouse of Bertie County.

In 1768, the third courthouse was built and used for 111 years. On December 13, 1886, the county commissioners asked for a bill to be drawn
up for the General Assembly and bonds were issued. The members of the board were chairman W.A. Capehart, Peter Rascoe, A.J. Dunning, J.B. Stokes appointed a building committee consisting of L. Thrower, J.E. Mitchell, J.B. Martin, James Bond, A.S. Rascoe.

Theo Ralph contracted to build courthouse. Aaron Rascoe bought five $100 bonds, J.P. Johnson bought the remainder, the old coach shop was used while the court house was being built.

Bertie County is one of the largest counties in North Carolina, spanning 741 square miles. It was originally part of Albemarle County, established in 1660. In 1670, Chowan County, including Bertie Precinct, was cut from Albemarle County. Bertie Precinct was finally given status of county in 1722 when it separated from Chowan County. Initially, Bertie County was comprised of present Bertie County, Tyrrell County, Edgecombe County, Northampton County and Hertford County. By 1780, Bertie County had been divided to resemble its current shape.

Bertie County was named for James and Henry Bertie, who had purchased land from the original Lord Proprietors. Bertie County’s county seat is Windsor, which was established in 1766 and was made county seat in 1774. The County includes the eight incorporated townships of Askewville, Aulander, Colerain, Kelford, Lewiston-Woodville, Powellsville, Roxobel and Windsor.

Agriculture plays a key role in the lives of Bertie County citizens. The primary crops for Bertie County are cotton, tobacco, peanuts, corn and soybeans. Bertie County is comprised of fertile uplands and lowlands, with some large swamps called pocosins, making Bertie County ideal for agriculture. In addition, the timber industry is key to the area. Livestock and the growing poultry industry, which focuses on broiler production, are major contributors to Bertie County’s agriculture base.

- Source: J.D. Lewis - Little River, SC


More Information

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 19,773 people, 7,743 households, and 5,427 families residing in the county. The population density was 28 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 9,050 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 36.30% White, 62.34% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, 0.48% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,743 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.00% were married couples living together, 20.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 87.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,177, and the median income for a family was $30,186. Males had a median income of $26,866 versus $18,318 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,096. About 19.30% of families and 26% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.70% of those under age 18 and 28.30% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia