A History of Louisburg, North Carolina


Barrow-Wilson House - Louisburg, North Carolina
(now a bed and breakfast house)

Louisburg, the county seat and largest town (pop. 3,111) in Franklin County is located in the geographical center of the county and was founded in 1779 when Franklin County was established. Louisburg is governed by a mayor and six-member town council with a town administrator overseeing general government operations. Current issues (2007) being dealt with by the town are: Highway US-401 South improvements and four-lane expansion, implementing an updated land use plan, annexation, quality water supplies, economic development and orderly overall development plans. The annual budget for the town of Louisburg is nine million dollars and the town provides its own electric supply system.


Historic Louisburg is nestled along a bend of the Tar River. The rolling terrain is dominated by abundant creeks and granite rock outcroppings.
With a legacy of 215 years, Louisburg College had its beginning in the period that witnessed the emergence of America as an independent nation, the birth of the Methodist Church in America, and the establishment of Franklin County, North Carolina, and the town of Louisburg. Having evolved from three earlier institutions, Franklin Male Academy, Louisburg Female Academy, and Louisburg Female College, Louisburg College is the oldest chartered two-year, church-related, co-educational college in the nation.
The Act of 1779 creating the town spelled it Lewisburg. This may have been a transcription error, but many maps of the era also spelled the town as Lewisburg. However, most contemporaries in Franklin County insisted that the correct spelling was/should have been Louisburg. The US Postal Service always had it identified as Louisburgh from 1795 to 1890, when the final "h" was dropped. Apparently no one bothered to challenge the USPS until around 1890.
A Revolutionary War veteran, William Ferrell (S3355), asserted in 1833 that Louisburg was formerly known as Massey's Bridge.
Louisburgh was granted a US Post Office on April 1, 1795, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Thomas Rowlett. It has been in continuous operation ever since.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved