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Scotland Neck Town

Scotland Neck Town Hall is located at 1310 Main Street, Scotland Neck, NC 27874; phone: 252-826-3152.

Beginnings [1]

Located in the southeastern section of Halifax County, Scotland Neck developed during the second half of the nineteenth century from the earlier communities of Clarksville and Greenwood. Largely through the efforts of John Hyman, who before the Civil War purchased from Napoleon B. Josey Sr. the land that lay between the two towns, streets (including a 1-1/2-mile-long main street) were laid off. The legislature incorporated Scotland Neck on February 21, 1867, and appointed John Nichols, Eli C. Biggs, and Napoleon B. Josey Sr. as commissioners.

Like many towns and cities in North Carolina, Scotland Neck grew rapidly during the late nineteenth century as a center of commerce and manufacturing for the surrounding agricultural region. In 1880, the village of 482 residents supported some 16 merchants, 18 store clerks, 7 carpenters, 4 lawyers, 3 coach makers, 2 physicians, 2 grocers, a sawmill operator, and a variety of other professionals, merchants, and tradesmen. The Commonwealth, a newly founded local newspaper, stated early in 1883 " ... that our town is given up entirely to mercantile interest, and the surrounding country to agricultural pursuits." As in other parts of eastern North Carolina, "agricultural pursuits" represented homage to cotton's value as a cash crop.

Completion during the period 1881-1883 of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad's branch to Scotland Neck and its commodious brick warehouse there, fostered the town's economic development. Area farmers, as well as Scotland Neck's business community, benefitted from this new transportation outlet. Between November, 1882, and February 8, 1883, farmers shipped about 3,000 bales of cotton from Scotland Neck on the new railroad. When prominent local investors incorporated the Scotland Neck Cotton Mills in 1889, they wisely chose a building site adjacent to the railroad. This company, in turn, stimulated economic development and population growth. By 1900 the population had soared to 1,348. Although Scotland Neck continued to thrive during the early twentieth century as a commercial center, lack of significant improvements in transportation facilities eventually retarded its growth. A variety of new commercial ventures, including banks, insurance companies, peanut markets, a brick mill, hardware stores, oil companies, and motor car dealerships, served the public. The population of Scotland Neck surpassed 2,000 during the 1920s, but the Great Depression of the 1930s curtailed the town's growth. Scotland Neck's population did not approach 3,000 until 1960.

  1. Lauren-Brook Taves, preservation consultant and Maurice C. York, historian, Hoffman-Bowers-Josey-Riddick House, Scotland Neck, Halifax County, N.C., nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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