Harnett County


Named after Revolutionary War Patriot Cornelius Harnett, the county was founded in 1855 as a land grant from Cumberland County. It began with roughly 8,000 residents. First settled by Highland “Scots” back in the 1700s, Harnett County enjoyed moderate rural and agricultural success until the mid-19th century.

After railroads were constructed throughout the area around 1900, the county’s population and economy began to boom. Denim was the product of choice, and by 1943 the mass production earned Harnett County the nickname “The Denim Capital of the World.”

Politically, Harnett County has followed the trend of many Eastern NC rural counties – once a Democrat stronghold but now reliably Republican. Only Harnett is now growing again at a rapid clip – its proximity to Wake County makes it a desirable and more affordable bedroom community. It’s also growing more diverse, with an increasing percentage of Hispanic, Asian, and Native American voters.


County Seat: Lillington
Biggest Cities:

Dunn, Coats, Lillington, Erwin, Buies Creek, Angier, Spout Springs, Anderson, Creek

Media Market: Raleigh-Durham

Elected Officials

County Data