Dobbs County Court House

Wayne, Dobbs, Johnston Formed From Craven

Study of the history of Wayne County is often made difficult because an event may be recorded as occurring in Johnston, Dobbs or ever Craven County, when it actually did occur within the bounds of what is now Wayne.

For example, grants & deeds of Wayne's first settlers - the Whitfields, Coxes, Sassers & others - refer to the location of their lands as being in Johnston County.

In 1722, Craven County extended from the coast westward a distance of more than 200 miles. It was 100 miles wide.

Johnston, Dobbs & Wayne counties were formed from Craven. Craven was further reduced in size over the years by annexations to form Jones, Pitt, Lenoir & Greene counties.

In 1746, Johnston was formed from Craven. Its boundaries, according to a "Formation of the North Carolina Counties" published by the State Department of Archives & History were set as follows:

"...a line beginning at the mouth of Southeast Creek, on the South side of Neuse River, below Francis Strenger's Ferry, running up the said creek as far as the aforesaid county extends that way & running a north line from the mouth of the said Southwest Creek as far as the county extends northwardly & that the upper part of said county be erected into...Johnston County & St. Patrick's Parish..."

Then, in 1758, Dobbs County was formed from Johnston. The order annexing Dobbs, the state historical department's book states, is as follows:

"...That from & after the Tenth day of April next the said county be divided by the dividing line between the Parish of St. Patrick & the Parish of St. Stephen; & that part of the said county which is now the Parish of St. Stephen, remain, be called & known by the name of Johnston; & that part of the said county which is the Parish of St. Patrick, be thenceforth erected into a distinct county & called & known by the name of Dobbs."

Dobbs County remained intact until 1779 when Wayne County was formed from its western half.

State orders for the formation of Wayne record the following:

"...the said county of Dobbs be divided & that William Caswell, Charles Markland, William McKinne, Senior, Etheldred Ruffin & Benjamin Cobb, or a majority them be, & they are hereby appointed commissioners for running the dividing line, who are hereby directed to run the lines of the said county of Dobbs so that they ascertain the middle part of said county, which when discovered, they shall run a line a north & south course through the middle part of said county; & then all that part of said county which lies eastwardly of the dividing line, shall continue & remain a distinct county, by the name of Dobbs & that all the other part shall be a distinct county, by the name of Wayne."

A part of Wayne County was annexed in 1855 to form Wilson County.

The act establishing Wayne County provided that the first courthouse should be held at the home of Josiah Sasser at which time the justices would decide on a place for subsequent courts until a courthouse could be erected.

By 1782, the commissioners had failed to comply with the act & new commissions were named.

In 1787, an act was passed establishing Waynesborough on the west side of the Neuse on the land of Andrew Bass "where the courthouse now stands."

In 1845 & 1847 acts were passed moving the courhouse from Waynesborough to Goldsboro. A referendum in 1847 resulted in the change in county seats.

Wayne County was named in honor of Anthony Wayne, one of George Washington's most trusted generals.

Dobbs County has since disappeared, its area annexed to form Jones, Glasgow & Lenoir counties.

"Dobbs County Court House

Three Miles South Of This Spot
On Walnut Creek Is A Marker
Indicating The Exact Site Of
Dobbs County Court House
Erected By The North Carolina Society
Of The Colonial Dames Of America"

Directional Sign

"On This Spot Stood

Dobbs County Court House
The Following Counties
Were Formed From Dobbs
Greene (Formerly Glasgow) 1779
Wayne 1779
Lenoir 1791
Erected By The Wayne County
Colonial Dames of America

Old home on Dobbs Court House road

Notice the vultures on the chimneys

There is a small overgrown cemetery behind the Dobbs Court House Monument

Tombstones that can be seen:
In memory of Araminta H. - wife of Adam C. Dawson M.D.
Who Died Sept. 19th, 1852, Aged 27 yrs., 5 mos. & 27 days

Sacred to the Memory of Elizabeth Washington
Consort of Nicholson Washington
Who Departed This Life on Monday of May 10? 1888
Age 17 yr., 1 month & 8 days

Three unmarked graves

Grave with bricks over it with footstone: GGD

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