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Cities and Towns in Hertford County

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History of Hertford County


The first court was held at Cotton's Ferry on the side of the Chowan River. Winton, established in 1766, has been the county seat since it was founded.

Old deeds indicate that settlers lived on the site of Murfreesboro as early as 1710. William Murfree, an Irish immigrant, established a King's Landing where exports and imports were inspected by a representative of the English Crown. The site was known as Murfree's Landing. In 1787, William Murfree donated ninety-seven acres of land for the incorporation of the town, which was named for him - Murfreesborough.

Murfreesboro was the port of call for eighteenth and early sineteenth century sailing vessels that brought New England, West Indian, and European goods in trade for the naval stores and agricultural products of eastern North Carolina.

Hertford County is located in the northeastern region of North Carolina, bounded on the north by the Virginia state line. The county lies fifty-five miles southwest of Norfolk, 105 miles southeast of Richmond, and 120 miles northeast of the state capital of Raleigh. The area was first settled in the seventeenth century with land deeds dating back to 1710. Early settlers were principally European immigrants. North American Indians were also well represented in the colonial population.

The County of Hertford was formed by an act of the state legislature in 1759 and named in honor of the Marquis of Hertford, Francis Conway, a distinguished member of parliament and a soldier. Winton was established as the county seat in 1766. The first settlers from Southside Virginia had a difficult trek. They came to take advantage of the more productive Carolina soil which could harvest two crops a year, according to the folklore.

Land was taken from nearby Bertie, Northampton, and Chowan counties to form the new county in 1759. Originally a part of the British Empire and known as the Parish of Saint Barnabas, Hertford County was named in honor of a British nobleman, Francis Seymour Conway, the Marquis of Hertford.

The newly-arrived settlers readily recognized this area as a suitable place for farming. Agriculture is still the basis of Hertford County's economy, with tobacco, cotton, peanuts, corn, and soybeans as the staples. Located on the beautiful Chowan River, Winton was incorporated as a town in 1766, It replaced Cotton's Ferry as the county seat, and where the first court had been held. Later, Ahoskie was formed and became the center of business for Hertford County.

An abundance of crops and forests caused some local industries to develop. By the 1950s industrial development efforts brought in other manufacturers, but farming continued as the economic backbone of Hertford County. Hertford is fortunate to have an active waterway, the broad Chowan River, known for bass fishing, which flows through its land.

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


More Information

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 22,601 people, 8,953 households, and 6,240 families residing in the county. The population density was 64 people per square mile (25/km²). There were 9,724 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 37.45% White, 59.55% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,953 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.80% were married couples living together, 19.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.30% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,422, and the median income for a family was $32,002. Males had a median income of $26,730 versus $20,144 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,641. About 15.90% of families and 18.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.30% of those under age 18 and 21.00% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia