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Henderson City

Henderson City Hall is located at 134 Rose Avenue, Henderson, NC 27536; phone: 252-430-5700.

Beginnings [1]

The City of Henderson was named for Leonard Henderson, the first Supreme Court Justice in North Carolina. The first settlers of the area began in 1785 with the establishment of homesteads and farms. Henderson was chartered in 1841 and became the Vance County Seat in 1881. The growth of what is now the city centered on the development of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad in the late 1830s, which provided Henderson with convenient access to the surrounding area and new economic development opportunities.

Through the mid-to-late-1800s, businesses developed along what is now Garnett Street and warehouse and shipping facilities sited along the railroad. This established Henderson as an ideal location for a tobacco market, which was officially established in 1872.

By 1880, Henderson included a block of brick buildings, five tobacco factories, three warehouses, three cotton gins, approximately twenty mercantile stores and two newspapers. Despite devastating fires in 1870 and 1885, Henderson continued to thrive as a center for the tobacco and textile industries through the 1950s and 60s; and Henderson strength as a manufacturing center grew as plants continued to locate in the city. Over the last twenty years Henderson experienced a downturn in manufacturing with the closing of many plants that were once the engine for employment and economic growth in the city. However, other employment sectors have emerged and increased over the past two decades, including retail trade, education and health care services, and transportation and utilities.

  1. City of Henderson, North Carolina, The 2030 Comprehensive Development Plan, 2010, www.ci.henderson.nc.us, accessed November, 2013.
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