Wendell, North Carolina

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Wendell (pronounded 'WHEN-dell', not 'windle' as in the male name) is a town in Wake County, North Carolina United States. It is a satellite town of Raleigh, the state capital. The population was 4,247 at the 2000 census

Contents

History

Wendell was first settled in the 1850s when farmers in Granville County were hit with what came to be known as the Granville County Wilt. Their tobacco crops had failed and they needed to move to a location with more fertile land to plant their crops.

As the area grew, a small village began to form. The people in the area needed a name for the town. They asked their schoolteacher, M.A. Griffin, to come up with a name. In honor of Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of his favorite poets, Griffin suggested they call their town Wendell. However, the pronunciation of the town is different from the way one normally pronounces Oliver Wendell Holmes; the townspeople pronounced each syllable with emphasis, and it continues to this day.

The first post office was built in 1891, which has been restored by the Wendell Historical Society. It presently sits at the corner of Oakwood and 4th Streets. The oldest institution in Wendell is Hephzibah Baptist Church, founded in 1809. The first newspaper for the town was the Wendell Clarion, founded in 1911, and was succeeded by the Gold Leaf Farmer and now the Eastern Wake News. Wendell was incorporated in 1903.[3]

Wendell contains four buildings and one district that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are the Dr. Thomas H. Avera House, Harmony Plantation, Riley Hill School, Sunnyside, and the Wendell Commercial Historic District.

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