Four Oaks was named by Colonel R. R. Bridgers in 1886 for an unusual sight that graced the land upon which he found himself. In 1850, thirty-seven years before there was a town of Four Oaks, Aaron Wallace went hunting. He "treed a possum" and as was the protocol of the day, he "felled the tree" to secure the possum.
Years later Kinchen Barbour purchased that land and built a nice house, nestled in a beautiful grove of oaks. None of the oaks were more appreciated or admired than the one closest to the house. This oak was actually four huge trees, which had grown from the stump left by Wallace the possum hunter. It was the same oak so strongly admired by Col. Bridgers that he named his town in its honor.
Col. Bridgers had come to the area as the President of Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The site, the size, and even the name of the town were determined by the railroad. In completing the track from Benson, NC to Smithfield, NC the company set up a worksite on high ground between the two towns. The worksite brought an increase in activity to the area. Col. Bridgers purchased the right of way for the immediate site. He then added additional acres with a purchase from Isaac Evans, a black man whose family had been free since the 1700's. His final plot was 40 acres. Thirteen blocks were to be the town. Seven blocks would be developed on the south side of the tracks, and six would be developed on the north. The railroad, and its accompanying depot, split the town down the center. Today, the business center of town remains housed in these thirteen blocks.
Four Oaks was established in 1887 and chartered in 1889. Its population then was around 60 people.
The town served as a retail center for farming for many years.
The town had to be fenced-in in 1912 to keep wandering cows and pigs off the streets.
The town received its first police car in 1965.
The first real schoolhouse in Four Oaks was built in 1907, replacing a home in town which had served as the school. It was often referred to as the "Sandhill School." The cost was $2205.11, for which $750 was borrowed at 4% interest. The school served the residents of Four Oaks from 1907 until 1923. The town's second school, was opened in 1923. It earned the distinction of being the world's largest rural consolidated high school. In 1956, the school graduated its largest class to that point - 88 students. On December 25, 1987, this school burned at the hands of an arsonist. This was a very sad time in the history of Four Oaks. In April of 1991, students entered the third school which is pictured on the Home page of this site.
Visit Four Oaks, North Carolina to learn current information about the Town of Four Oaks.