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Town of Elm City

Elm City Town Hall is located at 117 South Railroad Street, Elm City, NC 27882; phone: 252-236-4917.

Beginnings [1]

Elm City, Wilson County's second largest town, had its origins in a community known as Joyner's Depot which was established about 1846 as a direct result of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad which, when completed in 1840, was the longest rail line in the world. The Depot was surrounded by some of the richest land in the area, and was near some of the largest farms in eastern Wilson County. The community grew and prospered, supporting several mercantile establishments, a post office, a brick hotel and numerous houses. By the early 1870s citizens in every part of the county were struggling to recover from the devastation of the Civil War.

Judge George Howard, a prominent Tarboro citizen, acquired a site on the railroad tracks about a mile southwest of the Depot from Thomas Dixon and Jacob Barnes. He elected to act as a developer for the new town. The railroad president assured him that if he would clear the land and lay out streets that the depot would be moved to the new site. In the spring of 1873 lots in the new town were sold at auction with Howard retaining certain parcels which he donated for religious, educational and fraternal uses. The town was incorporated in 1873 with the name Toisnot, an Indian named used to identify a swamp located to the west of town. After several intervening name changes the town was permanently christened Elm City in 1913.

  1. Kate Ohno, Preservation Consultant to Wilson County, Elm City Municipal Historic District, nomination document, 1981, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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