A History of Duplin Court House, North Carolina

In 1784, Sampson County was carved out of Duplin County and the "Old Court House" was no longer at the geographical center of the newly-configured Duplin County. Consequently, everyone agreed to establishing a new Duplin Court House south of Grove Swamp, very near the new center of the reconfigured county.

In 1816, Kenansville was laid out alongside the old hamlet called Duplin Court House and a new court house was constructed, with the first court held in Kenansville in 1819. It was years before map-makers finally got around to using the new name for essentially the same location. Some maps made after 1820 identify the County Seat as Duplin C.H., while others properly called it Kenansville.

One could argue that both "towns" were simply one and the same - just a renaming of the "old" with the "new." This is precisely what the US Post Office Department determined - On April 1, 1795 Mr. James James was appointed as the first Postmaster for Duplin C.H. On March 31, 1825, Mr. William K. Frederick was appointed as the first Postmaster for Kenansville - with a note that the new Kenansville was simply a name change for Duplin C.H. So, even if there was a new court house only a few hundred yards from the old one, there apparently was not a new Post Office. Your call on this one - two separate towns or just a renaming of an old one?

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved