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Ten months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Town of Smithfield officially was chartered. However, the origins of the community date back to 1759 when John Smith, one of the area’s earliest settlers, petitioned to operate a ferry where the Neuse River cut through land he owned. The site became known as Smith’s Ferry.

In 1762, Smith’s son, John Smith, Jr., purchased 228 acres of his father’s tract, including the ferry. The younger Smith was 26 years old. In 1771, Smith and his wife took up residency on the land, building a home on a rise overlooking the river and the ferry. The home became a public house, providing overnight accommodations for travelers.


In that year, construction began on Johnston County’s third courthouse not far from Smith’s residence and soon the name Smith’s Ferry was replaced by Johnston County Courthouse. The Town of Smithfield came into being with the inaugural session of the General Assembly of the newly proclaimed State of North Carolina in 1777. Smith had agreed to provide 100 acres for the town and an additional 50 acres for a “commons” along the Neuse River south and west of his riverside home. Today, the tree-shaded Commons is still preserved as a public park and is part of the Mountains to Sea Trail with a 3-mile greenway.

Growth did not come quickly for Smithfield. Its population remained around 500 until long after the Civil War. Although considered, it did not become the State Capital, so businesses that might have opened in the town went instead to Raleigh. Railroad builders of the mid-19th century bypassed the community, further impeding growth.

Smithfield's destiny seems to be increased urbanization, although agriculture will continue to be a basic means of economic livelihood. With two interstate highways and its proximity to the Research Triangle area, Smithfield is poised for quality economic growth well into the twenty-first century.

For Town of Smithfield information, contact:
Michael Scott, City Manager
350 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577


Formed in 1746 from Craven County; named in honor of Gabriel Johnston, Royal Governor of North Carolina 1734-1752.

795 square miles, North Carolina's eleventh largest county

County Seat
Smithfield, NC

Famous Johnstonians

  • Ava Gardner - Hollywood movie actress
  • Barry Foote - Major league baseball player for the New York Yankees and Montreal Expos
  • Edward Pou - Congressman in U.S. House of Representatives from 1901 to 1934
  • Lunsford Richardson - inventor of Vicks Vapo-Rub, Selma, NC
  • Neal Lancaster - PGA golfer at the Johnston County Country Club
  • Gregory Helms - professional wrestler, entertainer
  • Chris Archer - professional baseball pitcher in the organization of the Tampa Bay Rays of MLB
  • Jerry Sands - professional baseball outfielder and first baseman for the Boston Red Sox of MLB

Highest Elevation
370 feet, near Clayton History

East-central part of North Carolina; bounded by Wilson, Wayne, Sampson, Harnett, Wake and Nash counties.

Archer Lodge, Benson, Clayton, Four Oaks, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, Selma, Smithfield and·Wilson's Mills

Oldest Town
Smithfield, formed in 1777

172, 595 (2011); fastest growing county in North Carolina in the last ten years; in top 100 fastest growing counties in United States during same period.

Neuse River, Little River

American Legion Post #132
Meets: 2nd Thursday of each month, 6:30pm
100 Pitchi St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Ed Greer, 919-989-4938
Building, 919-989-1067

American Legion Post #132 Auxiliary
Meets: 3rd Thursday of each month, 6:30pm
100 Pitchi St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Margaret Tyo, 919-936-3199

American Legion Post #141
Meets: 4th Tuesday of each month (except Nov. and Dec.), 6:30pm
300 N. Webb St.
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Mark Peterson, 919-975-0371

Central Johnston County Rotary Club
Meets: Every Thursday at 12 noon in Room 1404 at Johnston Medical Mall
PO Box 1843
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Carlton Pernell, 919-934-0153

Friends of the Library (Smithfield)
Meets: 1st Tuesday of each month, 1pm
305 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Anita Liverman, 919-934-2004

Progressive Men's Club
Meets: 1st Sunday of each month, 5pm
1208 Old Goldsboro Rd.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: James Danley, 910-892-1540

Progressive Women's Club

Selma Lion's Club
Meets: 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, 6:30pm
Robbin's Nest Restaurant
Contact: Dr. Dicky Parrish, 919-965-8660

Selma Women's Club
Meets: 2nd Wendesday of each month, 12 noon
Locations vary
Contact: Peggy Earp, 919-965-5165

Smithfield Civitan Club
Meets: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, 7pm
Holt Lake Barbecue
Contact: Nolan Hinson, 919-934-0947

Smithfield Kiwanis Club
Meets: Every Tuesday, 6:15pm
Becky's Lob Cabin Restaurant
Contact: Paul Dorman, 919-390-4619

Smithfield Lions Club
Meets: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6:15pm
Becky's Log Cabin Restaurant
Contact: Mr. Shirley Black, 919-934-4386

Smithfield-Selma High School Band Backers
Contact: Angela Piper, 919-965-3448

Veterans of Foreign Wars - Selma Chapter
Meets: 1st Monday of each month 7pm
Contact: Wade Miller, 919-965-8739

Veterans of Foreign Wars - Stevens Barbour Chapter
111 W. Rose Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

Country Club of Johnston County
694 Country Club Rd.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Jay Taylor, 919-934-4166

Eastern Star #121
Meets: 2nd and 4th Thursday, 7:30pm
Masonic Lodge
Contact: Linda Jones, 919-934-4461

Johnston County Shrine Club
Meets: 1st Friday of every month, 6:30pm
Shrine Club
E. Preston St. Extension
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Keith Brinson, 919-936-0023

Selma Masonic Lodge #320
Meets: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:30pm
405 N. Pollock Street
Selma, NC 27577
Contact: Anthony Jones, 919-965-9102 or 919-631-3555

Smithfield Masonic Lodge #84
Meets: 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:30pm
913 S. Bright Leaf Blvd.
PO Box 2134
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Grover Dees, 919-631-0513

Smithfield Moose Lodge #1796
Meets: 1st and 2nd Tuesday of each month, 8pm
Moose Lodge
402 JR Road
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Franklin Woodard, 919-965-5207 or 919-524-6789

American Business Women's Association, Johnston Charter Chapter
Meets: 2nd Monday of each month, 6:30pm
Smithfield Chamber Office
PO Box 651
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Molly Parker, 919-934-1877

Home Builders Association of Johnston County
Meets: 4th Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm
Johnston County Agricultural Center
Contact: Sherry Phillips, 919-989-5380

Johnston County Agribusiness Council
Meets: 1st Thursday of every month, 7:30pm
Parkside Cafe in Pine Level
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Eric Spaulding, 919-936-0023

Johnston County Association of Realtors
Meets: 3rd Tuesday of each month (except July & Nov), 11:30am
Johnston Medical Mall, Room 1404
Contact: Dana Wooten, 919-989-9797

Legal Support Staff of Johnston County
Meets: 4th Monday of each month, 7pm
Various Locations
PO Box 1567
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Jean H. High, 919-934-1575

Benson Foundation For The Arts
303 E. Church St.
Benson, NC 27504

Ava Gardner Museum
325 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Todd Johnson, 919-934-5830

Johnston County Arts Council
312 South Third Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Johnston County Genealogical and Historical Society
Meets: 1st Saturday of each month except Feb., May,
Aug. & Nov at 7:00 pm
Johnston County Heritage Center
Contact: Joyce Mitchell, 919-934-2836

Johnston County Heritage Center
241 E. Market Street
PO Box 2709
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Wingate Lassiter, 919-934-2836

Neuse Little Theatre
PO Box 1832
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Ruth Mills, 919-934-1873

Daughters of the Revolution- Smith Bryan Chapter
Contact: Kelly Luther, 919-934-4470

United Daughters of the Confederacy
709 S. Vermont St.
Smithfield, NC 27577

Boy Scouts of America, Tuscarora Council
316 E. Walnut Street
Goldsboro, NC, 27530
Phone: 919-734-1714
Neusiok District (Johnston County)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Johnston County
609 N. Pollock Street
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Mamie Moore, 919-965-5240

Community & Senior Services of Johnston County
1363 W. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: 919-934-6066

Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines
6901 Pinecrest Road
PO Box 52294
Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: 919-782-3021
Johnston County Contact: Christin Murphy, 919-989-6030

Habitat for Humanity of Johnston County
PO Box 2057
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: JoAnne Steward, 919-934-9331

Harbor, Inc.
Shelter for domestic violence
PO Box 1903
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Keri Christensen, 919-938-3566

Johnston Community College Foundation
PO Box 2350
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Twyla Wells, 919-934-3051 or 919-209-2119

Johnston County Animal Protection League
PO Box 607
Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: 919-989-7601

Johnston County Community Foundation
Northern Piedmont Regional Associate
4601 Six Forks Road, Suite 524
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-256-6906

Johnston County Ducks Unlimited
Meets: As needed
Contact: Ken Mitchell, 919-934-3468 or 919-524-9937

Johnston County Education Foundation
PO Box 1075
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Lorine Davis, 919-934-7977

Johnston County Industries
1100 E. Preston Street
Selma, NC 27576
Contact: Vicki Shore, 919-743-8700

Johnston County Mental Health Association
26 Noble Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Kathy Daughtry, 919-934-0311

Johnston County Relay For Life
Meets: As needed
Contact: Pat Penny, 919-553-5390

Johnston County Special Olympics
102 Rynal Drive
Garner, NC 27529
Contact: Carol Stafford, 919-550-4838

Johnston County SPCA
720 Durham Street
Clayton, NC 27520
Phone: 919-553-3749

Johnston County YMCA
488 NC Hwy 42 West
PO Box 1447
Clayton, NC 27520
Contact: Melissa Oliver, 919-359-9622

Johnston Medical Center Foundation
PO Box 1336
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Hector Perez, 919-934-8171

Keep Johnston County Beautiful
2736 NC Hwy. 210
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Susan Woodard, 919-934-7156, ext. 3

Partnership for Children of Johnston County
226 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Dwight Morris, 919-938-2411

Salvation Army Board
Meets: 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon
Salvation Army
Contact: 919-934-9102

Smithfield Rescue Mission
523 Glenn Street
PO Box 681
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Rev. Paul Olsen, 919-989-5160 or 919-934-9257

United Way of Johnston County
201-2 S. Bright Leaf Boulevard
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Molly Parker, 919-934-1877

Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation
200 S. Front St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Contact: Sarah Edwards, 919-934-0887


235-A East Market Street
Smithfield, North Carolina 27577

tel 919.989.8687  |  fax 919.989.6295
toll free 1.800.441.7829


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