The state's official bird, the cardinal, is also the state bird of six other states.
Lenoir County, located in the eastern part of North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally populated by indigenous tribes, including the Tuscarora and Neusiok tribes, who relied on the fertile land and abundant natural resources for their livelihoods.

European settlers arrived in the 1700s, primarily of English and Scottish descent, establishing plantations and bringing enslaved Africans to work in agriculture. Lenoir County was officially formed in 1791 and named in honor of William Lenoir, a prominent North Carolina politician and military officer during the American Revolutionary War.

During the Civil War, Lenoir County saw significant military action as it was strategically located between major Union and Confederate forces. The Battle of Kinston in 1862 resulted in a temporary Union occupation of the area, leading to various skirmishes and conflicts throughout the war. The county's economy suffered during this time as the agricultural infrastructure was disrupted and many young men were conscripted into the Confederate Army.

Following the war, Lenoir County experienced a period of reconstruction and economic growth. The expansion of the railroad in the late 19th century helped boost the area's agricultural industry, particularly tobacco and cotton production. Industries such as textiles, lumber, and manufacturing also developed, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the county's prosperity.

Today, Lenoir County is home to a vibrant and diverse community. Its rich history is evident in its many historic sites, including battlefields, plantations, and museums. The county continues to evolve and adapt to changing times while preserving its cultural heritage and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Lenoir County, North Carolina.

  • Lenoir County was established in 1791.
  • In 1860, Lenoir County was heavily impacted by the American Civil War.
  • The Battle of Kinston took place in 1862.
  • During the Reconstruction Era, Lenoir County faced challenges in rebuilding its economy and society.
  • In 1884, the town of Kinston was officially incorporated.
  • In 1928, the first bridge across the Neuse River was completed, connecting Kinston to other parts of the county.
  • In the mid-20th century, Lenoir County experienced significant growth in industries such as textiles and tobacco.
  • In 1957, Neuse Correctional Institution was established as the first state prison in Lenoir County.
  • In 1996, Hurricane Fran caused significant damage to Lenoir County and the surrounding area.
  • In recent years, Lenoir County has focused on revitalizing its downtown areas and promoting economic development.