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Oxford, North Carolina
—  City  —
Location of Oxford, North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°18′43″N 78°35′27″W / 36.31194°N 78.59083°W / 36.31194; -78.59083
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Granville
 - Total 4.5 sq mi (11.6 km2)
 - Land 4.5 sq mi (11.6 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 479 ft (146 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 8,338
 - Density 1,862.8/sq mi (719.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 27565
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-49800[1]
GNIS feature ID 1021773[2]

Oxford is a city in Granville County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 8,338 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Granville County[3].



The town's history dates to 1761, when local legislator Samuel Benton built a plantation home and called it Oxford. The legislature ordered the area around his plantation to be the seat of Granville County. The city was not incorporated until 1816. [1]

The first Masonic orphanage for children in the United States was built in Oxford. It was originally established as St. John's College in 1858. The college floundered however, and in 1872 it was suggested that the property be used to educate the less fortunate. In December 1873 the first residents were admitted to the Oxford Orphans Asylum which is today known as the Masonic Home for Children. [2]

Oxford has a long history of excellence in education. In 1851 James H. Horner established Horner Military Academy which served many young men from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and many other states. Many of the students went on to become leaders in the United States government such as James Crawford Biggs, Solicitor General under President Roosevelt at the inception of the New Deal. The Oxford Female College was also established in 1851 by the North Carolina Baptists. After suffering financial difficulties the college was sold and it became a private educational institution renamed Oxford Female Seminary. In 1880 F. P. Hobgood took over leadership of the school and the school grew in reputation and excellence until his death in 1924. The school closed the following year.

In 1970, Henry Marrow was murdered in Oxford in a racial hate crime. The murder resulted in a racial rebellion. The events were chronicled by Timothy Tyson in the book Blood Done Sign My Name.

Today Oxford is the world headquarters for IDEAL Fastener Corporation, the second largest zipper manufacturer in the world. It is also home to Revlon, the largest cosmetics production site in the world and to Certainteed which is the largest roofing plant in the world. In Oxford you will also find the largest retreading plant in the world - Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions.


Oxford is located at 36°18′43″N 78°35′27″W / 36.31194°N 78.59083°W / 36.31194; -78.59083 (36.311903, -78.590762)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 8,338 people, 3,188 households, and 2,088 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,862.8 people per square mile (718.6/km²). There were 3,395 housing units at an average density of 758.5/sq mi (292.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.43% African American, 43.79% White, 0.20% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.39% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.56% of the population.

There were 3,188 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 81.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,707, and the median income for a family was $39,131. Males had a median income of $28,912 versus $23,703 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,696. About 17.0% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.0% of those under age 18 and 19.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable former residents

  • Henry Lee "Specs" Meadows - famous baseball pitcher for Pittsburgh Pirates, and still ranked 6th in winning percentages
  • Georgia Ann "Tiny" Broadwick - aviation pioneer who was born in Oxford in 1893 before moving to Henderson, NC
  • Benjamin Chavis - civil rights activist
  • James E. Webb - Administrator of NASA who guided the USA lunar landing thrust
  • Jeff Gravely - sports anchor and reporter for WRAL-TV, Raleigh.
  • Timothy Tyson - writer and historian
  • Richard Moore - North Carolina State Treasurer
  • Franklin Wills Hancock, Jr.- Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives


  • JF Webb High School
  • Granville Central High School
  • Northern Granville Middle School
  • Mary Potter Middle School
  • Joe Toler-Oak Hill Elementary School
  • CG Creadle Elementary School
  • West Oxford Elementary School
  • Mariano Arista School


External links



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