Hoke County
Hoke County Courthouse in Raeford
Flag of Hoke County
Official seal of Hoke County
Official logo of Hoke County
"Where Quality Living Meets Quality of Life"
Map of North Carolina highlighting Hoke County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°01′02″N 79°14′31″W / 35.017233°N 79.241964°W / 35.017233; -79.241964
Country United States
State North Carolina
FoundedApril 1, 1911
Named forRobert F. Hoke
Largest communityRaeford
 • Total391.68 sq mi (1,014.4 km2)
 • Land390.15 sq mi (1,010.5 km2)
 • Water1.53 sq mi (4.0 km2)  0.39%
 • Total52,082
 • Estimate 
 • Density133.49/sq mi (51.54/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th

Hoke County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 52,082.[1] Its county seat is Raeford.[2]

The county is home to part of the Fort Liberty military reservation.


Early history

The original inhabitants of the region eventually constituting Hoke County were Tuscarora Native Americans.[3] Ancestors of the Lumbee Native Americans lived in the area in the early 1700s.[4] European settlers began establishing church congregations in the area in the mid-to-late 1700s.[3] The area was later placed under the jurisdiction of Cumberland and Robeson counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina.[5] The community of Raeford was formed in the 1890s and incorporated in 1901. In 1899, the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad became the first rail line laid through the area.[3]


The county was named for Robert F. Hoke.

In the early 1900s, some residents in the far reaches of Cumberland and Robeson began lobbying for the creation of a new county, complaining of long and dangerous travel to their county courthouses.[6] In 1907 and 1909 there were unsuccessful efforts to lobby the state government led by State Senator J. W. McLauchlin to create a new "Glenn County" out of portions of Cumberland and Robeson.[6][7] In 1911 a third attempt was made and conjoined with an effort to name a county in honor of Robert F. Hoke, a Confederate general in the American Civil War and railroad executive.[5]

On February 14, 1911, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to create the new Hoke County[8] effective April 1 of that year, with its first government to be appointed by the governor of North Carolina pending the holding of an election.[9] Raeford was designated the county seat,[5] and local officials served out of rented office space until a county courthouse was erected the following year.[10] At the time of its creation, Hoke County comprised about 268,000 acres of land. It had no paved roads and its economy was rooted in agriculture. Its approximately 10,000 residents were mostly white descendants of Scottish Highlanders and African Americans.[7]


About 400 Hoke County residents served in the U.S. Army during World War I.[11] Between 1918 and 1923, the American federal government acquired 92,000 acres of land in the county as part of its efforts to expand Camp Bragg into Fort Bragg (now Fort Liberty).[12] leaving about 150,000 acres leftover.[7] Over 160 Hoke residents served in the armed forces during World War II.[13] After the war, the county's Lumbee population increased.[7] An effort by the U.S. Army to acquire a further 49,000 acres in the county in 1952 for Fort Bragg was abandoned after intense lobbying by local residents. In 1958, Little River Township, a section of north Hoke which was cut off from the rest of the county due to the presence of the Fort Bragg Military Reservation, was moved into the jurisdiction of Moore County.[7] Public schools, which had been originally racially segregated for whites, blacks, and Native Americans, were integrated in the 1960s.[13]


Interactive map of Hoke County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 391.68 square miles (1,014.4 km2), of which 390.15 square miles (1,010.5 km2) is land and 1.53 square miles (4.0 km2) (0.39%) is water.[14] It is bordered by Moore, Cumberland, Robeson, Scotland, and Richmond counties.[15] Hoke lies within North Carolina's Sandhills region and Costal Plain region. It contains several Carolina bays.[3] It drains into the Lumber River basin and Cape Fear River basin.[16] Longleaf pine is native to the region.[17]

State and local protected areas

Major water bodies


2020 census

As of the 2020 census, there were 52,082 people residing in Hoke County, with Raeford recorded as the largest community.[28] It is a majority-minority county;[29] in the 2020 census, 40.4 percent of the community racially identified as white, 32.2 percent as black, 14.8 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 7 percent as Native American, 1.4 percent as Asian, and 0.4 percent as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.[28] Hoke County is part of the Fayetteville Metropolitan Statistical Area.[28][30]

Demographic change

Hoke County's population has risen in recent decades, largely driven by expansions of Fort Liberty.[36][37] Between 1990 and 2000, the county's population expanded by 47 percent.[38] From 2000 to 2010, the population grew from about 34,000 to over 45,000 residents.[13] Between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, the county grew by 17.8 percent, adding 5,130 residents. Proportionately, the white population shrank by 4.9 percent, while the Hispanic/Latino population expanded by 2.4 percent.[28] From 2020 to 2021, the population rose faster than the average state rate of demographic growth.[39]

Law and government


Hoke County's government is seated in Raeford[5] and led by a five-person county commission.[40]

Hoke County is a member of the Lumber River Council of Governments, a regional planning board representing five counties.[41] The county also has its own Soil and Water Conservation District led by two elected supervisors.[42] The northern third of the county is a part of the Fort Liberty Military Reservation.[5] It is located in the North Carolina Senate's 24th district, and the North Carolina House of Representatives' 48th district.[42] Hoke is one of the four counties within the jurisdiction of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and tribal members within the county elect some members of the tribal council.[43]

Judicial system

Hoke County lies within the bounds of North Carolina's 29th Prosecutorial District, the 19D Superior Court District, and the 19D District Court District.[44] County voters elect a county sheriff and a clerk of Superior Court.[42]


Hoke County is politically dominated by the Democratic Party.[46][47] Democratic candidates won all county elections in November 2022.[42]


Turkeys in a Hoke poultry processing facility

Hoke County's economy was originally rooted in the lumber and turpentine industries, and over the course of the 20th century expanded to cover the cultivation of cotton and grain crops and eventually the rearing of livestock.[48] Poultry production and processing in particular grew after World War II.[49] The county has experienced economic growth in recent decades due to its proximity to Fort Liberty.[37] Poultry production remains a key part of the local economy.[36]


County government supports a public transport bus service, the Hoke Area Transit Service.[50] Local rail transport is provided by the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad.[36]

Major highways


Most of the county is under the public educational jurisdiction of Hoke County Schools,[52] which is governed by an elected school board.[42] A partnership with Sandhills Community College and the county created the SandHoke Early College program, which uses the community college as well as multiple middle and high schools in the county.[53] Sections in Fort Liberty are served by schools in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA),[52] for grades K-8. High school-level students living on Fort Liberty attend the local public high schools operated by the respective county they live in.[54] According to the 2021 American Community Survey, an estimated 19.8 percent of county residents have attained a bachelor's degree or higher level of education.[15]


Hoke County is served by two hospitals,[55] Hoke Hospital and the Hoke Campus of Moore Regional Hospital, both located in the eastern half of the county.[56] County government supports a public health department, which experienced an expanding caseload between the 2010s and early 2020s due to Hoke's demographic growth.[38]


In 1984 the county began hosting an annual festival, the Hoke Heritage Hobnob.[5] Overtime, this transformed into the North Carolina Turkey Festival and then the North Carolina Fall Festival, which celebrates turkey production in the state.[5][57] Several area buildings and sites have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[58]


Map of Hoke County with municipal and township labels


Census-designated places


Hoke County townships include:[59]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Hoke County, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Monroe 2011, p. 7.
  4. ^ Monroe 2011, p. 13.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Vocci, Robert Blair (2006). "Hoke County". NCPedia. North Carolina Government & Heritage Library. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Hoke County (1911)". North Carolina History Project. John Locke Foundation. 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e Monroe 2011, p. 8.
  8. ^ Hale, E. J. (February 22, 1911). "How Hoke County Won". Fayetteville Observer (weekly ed.). p. 4.
  9. ^ "Hoke County April 1". Fayetteville Observer (weekly ed.). February 22, 1911. p. 4.
  10. ^ Monroe 2011, pp. 8, 36.
  11. ^ Monroe 2011, pp. 8–9.
  12. ^ "They Fought Uncle Sam for us ... and won" (PDF). The News-Journal (Hoke Centennial ed.). 2011. p. 63.
  13. ^ a b c Monroe 2011, p. 9.
  14. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  15. ^ a b "Hoke County, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  16. ^ Bonham 2010, p. 12.
  17. ^ Goldsmith, Thomas (August 8, 2014). "Nature, food and culture from Wake south to the other Carolina". Star-News Online. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  18. ^ "Calloway Forest Preserve". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  19. ^ "Hoke Community Forest". The Conservation Fund. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  20. ^ "NCWRC Game Lands". www.ncpaws.org. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  21. ^ "Stop 13: Rockfish Creek Game Land". www.visitfayettevillenc.com. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Center, Richmond Country Tourism Development Authority/ Richmond County Visitor's. "Sandhills Game Land". Richmond Country Tourism Development Authority/ Richmond County Visitor's Center. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  23. ^ "Army proposes to alter training simulations on Sandhills Game Land". The Laurinburg Exchange. May 21, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g "Final Hoke County CTP Report" (PDF). connect.ncdot.gov. April 20, 2017. p. 11. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  25. ^ Watson, Addison (September 7, 2022). "Trust conserves 272 acres in Hoke County". The Robesonian. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  26. ^ "Fishing in Little Rockfish Creek". Fishbrain. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  27. ^ "McArthur Lake". www.visitfayettevillenc.com. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  28. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Kristen (August 16, 2021). "Hoke, Harnett counties experienced major population growth since 2010, Census results show". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  29. ^ Tiberii, Jeff (August 29, 2022). "North Carolina's Leandro case: Everything you need to know". WUNC 91.5. WUNC North Carolina Public Radio. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  30. ^ "Demographics". Hoke County, North Carolina. Hoke County Government. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  31. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  32. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  33. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  34. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  35. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  36. ^ a b c "Economic Development". Hoke County North Carolina. Hoke County Government. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  37. ^ a b Barnes, Greg (March 4, 2017). "Mishandling money not new in Hoke County". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  38. ^ a b "52 Shades of Success: His Cary tech company aims to create millionaires". Triangle Business Journal. March 18, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  39. ^ Tippett, Rebecca (March 24, 2022). "County estimates show more deaths than births, pandemic migration". Carolina Demography. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  40. ^ Rash, Mebane (May 25, 2015). "The Hoke County Way: No excuses". EdNC. EducationNC. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  41. ^ "Richardson explains role of LRCOG to Rotary Club". The Laurinburg Exchange. January 28, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  42. ^ a b c d e Shepard, Catherine (November 9, 2022). "Incumbents return to commission, sheriff's office, newcomers join school board". The News-Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  43. ^ Lowery 2018, p. 222.
  44. ^ "Hoke County". North Carolina Judicial Branch. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  45. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  46. ^ Campbell, Colin (July 7, 2018). "GOP leaders: Voters who support House candidate not racist, just uninformed". The Herald-Sun. pp. 3A, 4A.
  47. ^ Woolverton, Paul (January 10, 2023). "Lynnette 'Diamond' Hardaway, of Diamond and Silk, dead at 51". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  48. ^ Monroe 2011, pp. 7–9.
  49. ^ Futch, Michael (July 28, 2013). "House of Raeford shut down marks end of era for Raeford". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  50. ^ "Hoke Area Transit Service". Hoke County, North Carolina. Hoke County Government. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  51. ^ a b Shepard, Catharin (August 10, 2022). "Three big road projects for Hoke in state draft plan". The News-Journal. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  52. ^ a b "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Hoke County, NC" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 5, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022. - Text list - "Fort Bragg Schools" refers to the DoDEA schools.
  53. ^ "SandHoke Early College High School". Sandhills Community College. April 25, 2023. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  54. ^ "Fort Bragg/Cuba Community". Department of Defense Education Activity. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  55. ^ Shepard, Catharin (May 26, 2021). "County commissioners in budget talks this week". The News-Journal. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  56. ^ Rentz, Paige (July 11, 2015). "Hospitals have Hoke County poised for economic growth". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on April 16, 2023. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  57. ^ "Attractions". Hoke County, North Carolina. Hoke County Government. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  58. ^ "NC Listings in the National Register of Historic Places". North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  59. ^ Powell 1976, p. 231.

Works cited