Town of Dudley

A History of Dudley

Reprinted with permission of the Mt. Olive Tribune and cannot be reproduced without permission.

"Our Heritage" - by Claude Moore

The first Dudley, located at Genoa, a few miles south of Goldsboro, was named for Dudley Lewis. The name was changed to Everettsville, named for the well known Everett family who owned large grants of land south of the Neuse. When the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad was built between 1836-40, the present village of Dudley, nine miles south of Goldsboro, came into being as a labor camp for the railroad.

It was named for Governor Edward B. Dudley, the founder of the railroad. Governor Dudley's sister, Anne, had married General William Lanier Hill of Warsaw, a brother of Dr. Buckner L. Hill of Warsaw who lived at Vernon Plantation near Dudley.

A depot was built at Dudley with a passenger station & a post office was established. There is still a post office in Dudley serving more than 9,000 patrons even though the village is not incorporated at the present time & therefore, has no municipal officials.

There were a large number of free persons of color living in & around Dudley & some of them owned small farms & others worked for the railroad. Many of their descendants still live in this area. Dudley was in the center of a flourshing trade in naval stores, lumber & cotton. These heavy stands of long leaf timber were on the sand ridges, running east & west.

Captian & Mrs. Ezekial Slocumb lived on a plantation south of Dudley. She is believed to have made a famous ride to the site of the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776. Both were originally buried on their plantation & their remains were reintered at Moore's Creek in 1927.

In December, 1862, during the Battle of the Neuse Bridge, a number of buildings & railroad cars were destroyed in Dudley by the Union Army under General Foster. According to a tradition, there was a small Confederate training camp near Dudley called Camp David. This is not mentioned in the official records.

During the Reconstruction period, a black man by the name of John F. Baker of Dudley was elected as a member of Congress, but he was mysteriously killed as he boarded the train at Dudley enroute to Washington to be sworn in. The black postmaster by the name of Will was later assassinated.

Dudley was incorporated in 1897 & J. W. Hatch was elected the first Mayor. The first town commissioners were: Charles Winn, R. B. Rhodes & Andrew Hargrove. The town government was active for many years & finally no town officials were elected & the incorporation became inactive.

There were several churches in Dudley: First Congregational (founded by northern missionaries), Dudley Christian, St. Zion A.M.E., St. Matthews, Emmaus Baptist, Brogden Chapel & May's Chapel.

Brogden School is located in the old town limits & Southern Wayne High School is just south of the town limits. Dudley had a devastating fire in the 1920s which just about wiped out the business area.

The Georgia Pacific Corporation located at Dudley in 1973 & it now employs 625 persons. Many residents also have jobs in Goldsboro & Mount Olive.

With urbanizing of the area from Goldsboro to Mount Olive, Dudley could become a flourishing town again.

Water Tower

Post Office

Former Post Office

Old Store

Former Smith Brothers Store

Southern Wayne High School

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