Formerly comprising parts of Cumberland and Robeson counties and named after a famous North Carolinian and former Confederate general, Hoke County was established in 1911. Two previous attempts had failed.
People living in what would become Hoke County had complained about traveling long distances to either Cumberland County or Robeson County courthouses. The travel for some lasted two days in one direction and four days overall. Residents also complained that criminals roamed the pine forests without fear of law enforcement. Others who were building banks and stores in the young incorporated town of Raeford, also lobbied for a new county to be drawn from parts of Cumberland and Robeson counties.
The name was originally going to be Glenn County, and the idea was defeated in the legislature in 1907 and 1909.
Senator William McLaughlin (Cumberland County), a longtime proponent of the new county, changed the proposed name to Hoke County, and the third time was a charm, as they say. The county is named after a Confederate Major General, Robert F. Hoke. He had served in the Confederate Army and later lived in Raleigh and worked as a railroad president. The county was established in 1911.
The county seat is Raeford, the largest town. Approximately one-third of the county, the northern part, is an area of Fort Bragg.
Hoke County is known primarily for its agricultural production. North Carolina is a leader in national turkey production, and Hoke County commemorates that fact with the annual North Carolina Turkey Festival.
David Leroy Corbitt, The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943 (Raleigh, reprint, 1969); North Carolina Visitor Center, “Hoke County” http://www.ncvisitorcenter.com/Hoke_County.html (accessed June 12, 2011); Williams S. Powell, Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, 2006).