Franklin County, North Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2020)



Benjamin Franklin


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1750s / From Granville and Edgecombe Counties

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Historical Post Offices

American Revolution

American Civil War

Significant Education Events

Alphabetical / Date Started



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Airports in Franklin County

Maps of Franklin County

Books About Franklin County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Franklin County

Franklin County Court House

The Act establishing Franklin County authorized that the first court be held at the home of Benjamin Seawell. The justices were to determine where subsequent courts were to be held until the court house could be erected. In 1779, Lewisburg was established on land purchased by the commissioners for the erection of the court house, and the town's name was quickly respelled as Louisburgh. It has been the county seat ever since.
January 29, 1779, the General Assembly passed a bill dividing Bute County into two new counties: Warren and Franklin. The size of Franklin County is about 494 square miles. Louisburg, being centrally located, was chartered also in 1779. Franklin County was created in the midst of the American Revolution and named for Benjamin Franklin, and the town of Louisburgh was named in honor of America's friend, King Louis XVI of France.

Franklin County is located at the eastern edge of the piedmont in the north central part of North Carolina. The county's terrain is characterized by red clay, granite boulders, and an abundant water supply. Throughout most of its history, Franklin County has been considered a rural county, with its main income coming from agriculture.

The county seat is home to Louisburg College, which was founded in 1787 making it the oldest junior college in the United States. Vance-Granville Community College offers technical, vocational, college-transfer, and continuing education programs.
The second largest municipality, Franklinton (pop. 1,806) is a growing community located on U.S. Highway 1 which is a four-lane highway, in the western part of the county, fifteen minutes north of Raleigh city limits. Franklinton's lifestyle is centered on continual improvement. Franklinton's real success is its ability to offer responsive, personalized town services and utilities. The modified mayor-council form of government includes a five-member Board of Commissioners, mayor, and a town administrator.
Just a few miles south of U.S. Highway 1, the town of Youngsville (pop. 1,117) is in the center of exploding industrial and residential growth. Youngsville is governed by a mayor and a five member Board of Commissioners. Youngsville's location on the Wake/Franklin border has attracted new development. Several new subdivisions have been built and there are approximately 80 subdivisions in the surrounding area. People are attracted to Youngsville because of the short commute to the Research Triangle Park (RTP), but they can still enjoy the small town way of life. Youngsville is an attractive site for industry and features two industrial parks. The town has been recognized by the Governor's Community of Excellence award five consecutive years.
In the southeastern portion of the county along NC-39, the Town of Bunn (pop. 357) is also seeing area growth. The town is governed by a mayor and four-member Board of Commissioners. Nearby is Lake Royale, a beautiful, private resort featuring an 18-hole golf course and a new country club.
The town of Centerville (pop. 99) was incorporated in 1965 and is located at the junction of NC-561 and NC-58 in the northeastern corner of Franklin County. A three-member council and mayor oversee municipal government.
Lake Royale is a gated community just twenty-eight miles northeast of Raleigh, NC. The community is built on the shores of a 345 acre man-made lake with 3.25 miles of shoreline, and offers year round recreation programs, dances, dinners, sports, children's activities and socials. A beautiful lodge located on the waterfront serves the community as a recreation center, complete with a fully equipped exercise gym, beach, dock and picnic area. Presently over 600 permanent residents are scattered over more than 6,000 residential, camping, and golf course lots.

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