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Vance County Townships


Vance County consists of 8 townships, a list of which follows below



DABNEY - Named for Charles William Dabney, Jr. (1855-1945) who served as North Carolina's Director of Agricultural Experiment Station from 1880 to 1887, as well as the official State Chemist responsible for analyzing chemical fertilizers to combat fraud. During his time in those positions in North Carolina and later at the University of Tennessee where he became their president, Dabney revolutionized agricultural studies in the South by moving education from the classics to science, and agriculture toward a reliance on university-directed programs of farm management conducive to modern agribusiness.


HENDERSON - Located 40 minutes north of the capital city of Raleigh, Henderson, North Carolina is a rural town rich with history. The first settlers' residence was built in what is now Henderson in 1785 by Samuel Reavis, Sr. Reavis called his farm "Lonesome Valley" which likely described the area at that time. Reavis' son, Lewis Reavis, opened a store close to the stagecoach road in 1811 where he began to see an influx of settlers and the awakening of a city that was named after the illustrious family that had included both the founder of the State of Kentucky, Colonel Richard Henderson and his son, Judge Leonard Henderson, one of the first chief justices of the State of North Carolina.


KITTRELL -  The city of Kittrell was chartered in 1885 with the first mayor David Outlaw, a merchant and bachelor. In 1860, Kittrell's Depot comprised one census district in Granville County, the primary of the three parent counties  for Vance County; it was a railroad depot named for George Kittrell and wife Elizabeth Boswell Kittrell, who donated land for a Raleigh & Gaston Railroad station. The first post office for the Kittrell area with Elisha Overton as first postmaster was established in 1854, replacing the one in neighboring Stanton in the Epping Forest area which evidently lacked direct railroad access, this establishment occurring presumably shortly after Kittrell's Depot became operational. By act of the legislature, in 1868 county governments were required to divide their counties into smaller units of townships. Kittrell Township, including this depot station which is the likely basis for choice of the name, was one of these for Granville County. George Kittrell was a grandson of Capt. Jonathan Kittrell, commander of a  company of Granville County colonial militia during the 1760s and early 1770s and was a large landholder in Granville County with his holdings including the land upon which Kittrell Springs Hotel was located. His grandfather Capt. Kittrell was also one of the justices or magistrates for this county, and was an early Granville pioneer who had immigrated as a young adult to that area attracted by its cheap, abundant and readily available land for settlers, along with two younger brothers Samuel and Isaac, from northeastern North Carolina. Their elder brothers George and John remained in their home area on farms in what is now known as Bertie and Gates County.


MIDDLEBURG - Located 2.6 miles from the city of Henderson, Middleburg is centered around the small town of the same name which, according to the 2000 Census, consists of a population of 162 people in 54 households. The Township's western border is the Kerr Reservoir, which it shares with Williamsboro and Townsville Townships.  Also according to that Census, there were 54 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.0% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.26.  In the town the population was spread out with 30.9% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.6 males.


SANDY CREEK - Located in the south-eastern section Vance County, Sandy Creek borders Warren County to the east, and Franklin County to the south.  Both Warren and Franklin County also have townships named Sandy Creek, which are adjacent or nearly adjacent to the the one in current day Vance County. Sandy Creek was in Granville County prior to 1881, and early records show that many of the same family names that lived in the Sandy Creeks of Warren, Granville and Franklin Counties, all were originally part of the much larger Granville County that existed before the formation of Bute County, from which Warren and Franklin were taken.   


TOWNSVILLE - Located in northern Vance County, Townsville is bordered by Granville County to the west, and by Mecklenburg County, Virginia to the north. It occupies 33.2 square miles of Vance County with a population of 1065 individuals, all living in rural areas.  While Townsville first appeared in the Granville census in 1870 as a Township in the district previously known as Nutbush Township, not to be confused with the town of the same name. Townsville town in N Vance County between Little Island Creek and SE prong of Kerr Lake. Alt. 421. James Lyne operated a store there about 1780, and the surrounding community was named Lynesville, the name by which it appears on the MacRae map, 1833. Incorporated in 1857 and named for Edmund Towne, who donated land for a railway station. Served by post office since 1855.     Today, much of Townsville is covered by the Kerr Reservoir which cuts through the area all the way to Henderson Township.


WATKINS - The smallest of the Vance County townships, Watkins lies in the southwestern part of the county covering 10.8 square miles.  With a population of 639, the area is an all rural community with no large cities located within its limits, it has 187 farms located within its borders. It is about 4.5 miles from the city of Henderson and 4.9 miles from Kittrell Township, which lies directly to the east of Watkins.


WILLIAMSBORO - Named for the 18th century Williams family headed by John Williams (1731-1799) who donated the land and laid out the town that became Williamsboro. Williams started out in life to become a carpenter, but somewhere along the way began to study law and became one of the most well-known and well respected judges in the Country, including serving as one of the first Supreme Court judges under the new State Constitution in 1777 until his death in 1799.  Among some of the other accomplishments of Judge John Williams was that he was one of the founders of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1778 and 1779, and he was one the investors in the Transylvania Company started by his cousin, Colonel Richard Henderson, in their venture which resulted in the purchase of the land that became the State of Kentucky. John Williams was buried in the family cemetery at his plantation called Montpelier, in Williamsboro.


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