Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Yanceyville Town

Caswell County, North Carolina

Yanceyville Town Hall is located at 158 East Church Street, Yanceyville, NC 27379.
Phone: 336‑694‑5431.

Beginnings [1]

In 1833 the nameless county seat was designated Yanceyville, in honor of the Yancey family. Dr. Allen Gunn, Thomas D. Johnston, John C. Harvey, Paul A. Haralson, and Colonel Thomas Graves were appointed town commissioners. In 1832 the first church in town, the Presbyterian Church was erected. By 1840 a weekly newspaper, The Rubicon, a debating club, a milliner, a coach maker, a dry goods and grocery store, and even an industry — the Yanceyville Silk Growing and Manufacturing Company — had appeared. The tobacco plantation owners in the vicinity gradually acquired "town" land, and nearly every taxpayer in the 1850 tax lists in the Richmond District, in which Yanceyville was located, owned both a large rural tract and lots in Yanceyville. Certain citizens were becoming wealthy. Dr. Allen Gunn, in town by 1830 practicing medicine and engaging in various business ventures, listed 211 slaves in the 1838-1839 tax lists. Thomas D. Johnston, who had come to Yanceyville by 1828, became a prominent merchant, president of the Bank of Yanceyville, and civic leader. His property was valued at $161,000 in the 1860 census, making him the richest man in town and second most wealthy in the county; the census listed 84 slaves at his plantation and 32 slaves elsewhere, presumably at his places of business. Captain James Poteat, a planter, listed 105 slaves valued at over $43,000 in the 1863 tax lists. The 1850 census listed five coachmakers, two coachpainters, and three cabinetmakers in Yanceyville. Two hotels, the Village Hotel and Poteat's Hotel, rivaled one another for guests.

  1. North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Yanceyville Historic District, Caswell County, NC, nomination document, 1973, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.