Located in the east-west corridor between Raleigh to the west and the Outer Banks coastal region to the east, Wayne County is one of the leading agricultural areas of the coastal plains of North Carolina. The City of Goldsboro, the county seat, is the center of population, serving a major economic function as the trade and service center for Wayne County. The population of Goldsboro and Wayne County is more than 123,000.
Wayne County, formed in 1770, was named for the great Continental Army General, Anthony Wayne. Almost a century later, in 1865, the last battle of the American Civil War was fought at Bentonville, 18 miles west of Goldsboro.
Since the mid-1960s, industrial growth led Wayne County to a more balanced industrial-agricultural economy. Agriculture continues to be the major source of income for Wayne County residents. Principal crops include tobacco, corn, cotton, grains, and soybeans. Livestock and poultry are major sources of income for Wayne County farmers. Numerous manufacturing companies are located throughout the area. Manufacturing is diversified in Wayne County, including cabinets, metal fabricating, electrical components, transformers, replacement automotive parts, aviation-related cargo systems, mass transit power systems, packaging, and food stuffs such as tortillas, bread, pickles, and pork products.
Five local newspapers, four radio stations, and a modern 316-bed hospital serve Wayne County. There are more than 170 churches which represent various religious faiths. Varied recreational facilities include swimming pools, parks, public and private golf courses, a Family YMCA and a state park. The county is home to several historic sites, museums, and arts and cultural organizations. Numerous festivals provide year round activities and entertainment.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, one of the most important and modern bases in the United States, is located at Goldsboro. It is the home of the Air Combat Command’s 4th Fighter Wing, the 916th Air Refueling Wing, an Air Force Reserve Command Unit, and several other squadrons and detachments.