Johnston County is home to eleven towns, listed alphabetically: Archer Lodge, Benson, Clayton, Four Oaks, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, Selma, Smithfield (county seat ca. 1771), and Wilson’s Mills. Our communities have many things in common — a relaxed atmosphere and friendly people — whether you are a visiting the largest areas of Clayton and Smithfield/Selma, strolling the picturesque main streets of Benson or stopping by our smallest town of Micro.
Archer Lodge: This historic community was recently incorporated in 2009, but has been a vital farming community in northwestern Johnston County for more than 150 years.
Benson: Chartered in 1887, Benson continues to grow as a booming farming and manufacturing community of 3,600. A thriving downtown commercial district is surrounded by historic neighborhoods and beautiful homes, and many professionals and retirees are calling Benson home.
Clayton: Incorporated in 1869, Clayton has more that a great location in the Triangle, there’s a ton of fun things to do for families. The town is booming with bike trails, river walks, sports and dog parks.
Four Oaks: The Town of Four Oaks is conveniently located along I-95, Exits 87 and 90. Just a few miles down US HWY 701, residents and visitors find the largest Civil War Battlefield in NC, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site and Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center for outdoor recreation activities.
Kenly: Johnston County’s most northern town was incorporated in 1887 and is known as “Friendly Kenly.” It is located along I-95 Exits 107, 106 and 105. Kenly offers many roadside services at several truck stops, great food, a place to rest, do some shopping then get back on the road.
Micro: Micro has remained the smallest incorporated town in the county with fewer than 600 residents. Micro has developed a community spirit that would enable its citizens to say the quality of a community is not determined by the number of its inhabitants.
Pine Level: By the end of the 1860s, the settlement of Pine Level, lying along the east-west railroad between Clayton and Boon Hill, seemed destined for incorporation. Pine Level became a municipality under state charter in 1874, and derived its name from its physical surroundings.
Princeton: Princeton welcomes you to this fast-growing community along US HWY 70 mid-way between Goldsboro and Raleigh. Homebuilders, businesses and families are discovering this convenient location between Seymour Johnston AFB and the Research Triangle Park works perfectly.
Selma: Selma invites you to explore the Antique Shops & Malls in Uptown Selma conveniently located off I-95, Exit 97. Selma marks the half-way point on a route that extends over 100 miles and 5 counties along Highway 301.
Smithfield: Chartered in 1777, Smithfield, the county seat, is the hub of business and government activity for Johnston County. Smithfield was named for John Smith who owned much of the land on both sides of the Neuse River on which he created the town commons as a public park.
Wilson’s Mills: Wilson’s Mills was named for a family and its manufacturing enterprise launched by John Marshall Wilson, a millwork operation of large proportions, which also included a grist mill, and a cotton gin. Wilson’s Mills welcome you to stop by for some award-winning White Swan BBQ or plan a visit for the annual Pumpkin Festival in late October.