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City of Jacksonville
—  City  —
The 1904 Onslow County Courthouse on the corner of Old Bridge and Court Streets.

Nickname(s): Action-ville
Location of Jacksonville within North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°45′35″N 77°24′35″W / 34.75972°N 77.40972°W / 34.75972; -77.40972
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Onslow
Founded 1757
Incorporated 1842
 - Mayor Sammy Phillips
 - City 45.2 sq mi (117 km2)
 - Land 44.5 sq mi (115.2 km2)
 - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)  1.51%
 - Urban 64 sq mi (103 km2)
 - Metro 909 sq mi (2,353 km2)
Elevation 15 ft (4.6 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 81,863
 - Density 1,500.0/sq mi (579.2/km2)
 - Metro 150,355
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 28540,28541,28542,28543,28544,28545,28546
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-34200[1]
GNIS feature ID 0987502[2]

Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a city in Onslow County, North Carolina, United States. The 2008 estimated population was 81,863.[3] It is the principal city of and is included in the Jacksonville, North Carolina metropolitan area. Jacksonville is the youngest city in the United States with an average age of 22.9 years old. The low age can be attributed to the large military presence.[4]

It is the county seat of Onslow County,[5] and the home of the United States Marine Corps' Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River. Jacksonville is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region. The City is about 45 minutes away from the Port City Wilmington.



The early history of Jacksonville starts with the end of the Tuscarora wars in 1713. The pacification of hostile Native American tribes allowed for permanent settlement of the regions between New Bern and Wilmington. The headwaters of the New River became a center of production for naval stores, particularly turpentine. The downtown waterfront park is built on the site of Wantland's Ferry, with bridges being constructed on either side of the original ferry site.

In 1752, a devastating hurricane destroyed the county seat of Johnston, and Wantlands Ferry, located further up the New River at the present site of Jacksonville was chosen as the site of the new county courthouse. The area was later known as Onslow Courthouse. In 1842 the town was incorporated and renamed Jacksonville in honor of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson.

Jacksonville and Onslow County continued to rely on naval stores, lumber, and tobacco crops for industry. In 1939, Colonel George W. Gillette of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveyed and mapped the area from Fort Monroe, Virginia to Fort Sumter, South Carolina which included the Onslow County coastline and the New River. The map is believed to have fostered the interest of the War and Navy Departments in establishing an amphibious training base in the area. Congressman Graham Arthur Barden of New Bern lobbied Congress to appropriate funds for the purchase of approximately 100,000 acres (400 km²) along the eastern bank of the New River. The establishment in 1941 of Marine Barracks, New River, later renamed Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base led to the relocation of 700 families. While the landowners were compensated, many of the families displaced were sharecroppers who did not own the land their houses were built on, and did not receive compensation for their structures. Some African American families were able to purchase property from Raymond Kellum and established the community of Kellumtown. Other displaced families established communities in Georgetown, Pickettown, Bell Fork, and Sandy Run. The latter communities have since been absorbed by Jacksonville. Colonel Gillette had planned to retire near the small village of Marine, ironically named after a local family whose surname was Marine, but lost his land to the acquisition as well.

Construction of Camp Lejeune caused a population explosion in the small town of about 800 inhabitants as new workers migrated to the area. Growth continued to be fueled by both young Marine families and military retirees. Today, Jacksonville's primary industry is retail sales and services. The primary migration draw continues to be the U.S. Marine Corps.


Jacksonville is located at 34°45′35″N 77°24′35″W / 34.75972°N 77.40972°W / 34.75972; -77.40972 (34.759630, -77.409765).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.2 square miles (117.0 km²), of which, 44.5 square miles (115.2 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²) of it (1.51%) is water.

It is approximately 40 minutes from Wilmington and 15 minutes from the Intra Coastal Waterway.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 66,715 people, 17,175 households, and 13,533 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,500.0 people per square mile (579.1/km²). There were 18,312 housing units at an average density of 411.7/sq mi (159.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.94% White, 23.96% African American, 0.75% Native American, 2.07% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 5.42% from other races, and 3.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.05% of the population. As of 2006 72,234 people live withn city limits.

There were 17,175 households out of which 49.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 16.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 36.3% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 8.8% from 45 to 64, and 4.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. Jacksonville has been named the youngest city in the nation (lowest median age) on various lists. For every 100 females there were 156.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 178.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,544, and the median income for a family was $33,763. Males had a median income of $17,121 versus $19,931 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,237. About 12.5% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

Law and Government

The current mayor of Jacksonville is Sammy Phillips.

City Council

  • Jerome Willingham (Ward 1)
  • Reva R. Sullivan (Ward 2)
  • Michael Lazzara (Ward 3 and Mayor Pro Tem)
  • Fannie K. Coleman (Ward 4)
  • Randy Thomas (Representative At-Large)
  • Alva M. Williams (Representative At-Large)


Public schools

Elementary Schools

  • Bell Fork Elementary School
  • Blue Creek Elementary School
  • Carolina Forest Elementary School
  • Clyde Erwin Elementary School
  • Hunters Creek Elementary School
  • Jacksonville Commons Elementary School
  • Morton Elementary School
  • Northwoods Elementary School
  • Parkwood Elementary School
  • Southwest Elementary School
  • Stateside Elementary School
  • Sumersill Elementary School
  • Thompson Elementary School
  • Dixon Elementary School

Middle Schools

  • Hunters Creek Middle School
  • Dixon Middle school
  • Jacksonville Commons Middle School
  • Northwoods Park Middle School
  • Southwest Middle School

High Schools

  • Jacksonville High School
  • Northside High School
  • Southwest High School
  • White Oak High School
  • Dixon High school

Private schools

  • Fellowship Christian Academy
  • Grace Baptist School
  • Infant Of Prague Catholic School
  • Jacksonville Christian Academy
  • Living Water Christian School
  • Montessori Children's School
  • St. Anne's Day School
  • Shiloh Institute of Learning

Magnet schools

  • Clyde Erwin Elementary School
  • New Bridge Middle School

Higher learning

Notable people from Jacksonville


  • Murrell, Stratton C. and Billie Jean. Images of America: Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune, Arcadia Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0738513563
  • Watson, Alan D. Onslow County: A Brief History Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, 1995. ISBN 0865262632

External links

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