Henderson, NC

Henderson, situated in Vance County, is a city made up of 8.3 square miles.

2018 Best Guide to Henderson, NC

September 13, 2018

Henderson was named after Supreme County Chief Justice Leonard Henderson. The city was originally a part of Granville County prior to the establishment of Vance County. The city was chartered in 1841.  

Henderson NC is a small town situated within rolling hills about 35 miles north of Raleigh near the Virginia/North Carolina state line. Wake Forest and Kerr Lake are within a few minutes drive. And, the main interstate 85 runs past town.  Today Henderson is known as the "Gateway City" or "Triangle North".  

Perhaps known as the town where 20th century soul singer Ben E. King hails, Henderson was built upon a farm first owned by a man named Samuel Reavis, Sr. Reavis fondly referred to his late 1700s homestead as the Lonesome Valley. By the early 1800s, Lewis Reavis (son) ran a small store near the stagecoach road. Incorporation of Henderson happened in 1841. The name for the town was chosen in honor of Lewis's friend and Judge Leonard Henderson. 

An African American secondary school was built in 1887 by Presbyterian church members. The school remained open until the 1970s, when integration of America's students became law. Today, the school houses the Henderson Institute Historical Museum.

The first fire station was built in Henderson in 1882, housing two hand-operated fire trucks capable of shooting a stream of water about 100 feet. It later became known as the "Nelson Hose Company", in honor of the man who developed Henderson's water supply network. By the early 1900s the fire department had expanded to include a number of volunteer firefighters and a horse-drawn fire truck. And, in 1908 a more significant fire station was built on North Garnett Street - a clock tower building that held mounted hooks for drying the fire hoses.

After taking on a $10,000 investment in 1915 the fire department purchased a new fire truck. Today, Henderson features a second fire station, built in 1974.

In 1924, the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library opened doors, following a generous $40,000 grant from the family of Henry Leslie Perry, a Henderson NC lawyer, and wife Janie Hall Perry.


The median resident age in Henderson is 37 years. The median estimated household income is about $24,000 making it about $24,000 less than the North Carolina average. The estimated per capita is about $18,000. The average price for a home in Henderson is about $104,000 (2015) which is $56,000 less than the North Carolina Average. Expect to pay about $640 a month for rent.

The racial makeup of Henderson is 63% Black, 28% White, 1% Two or more races, and 8% other.

70% of the population are high school graduates, with 13% holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher.

30% are married, 13% are divorced, 4% are separated, 9% are widowed, leaving 44% that have never been married.

Towns Nearby

South Henderson, NC
Oxford, NC
Stovall, NC
Norlina, NC
Warrenton, NC
Franklinton, NC

Vance County

Henderson belongs to Vance County in the northern part of North Carolina.

The County, named after Zebulon Baird Vance, and the county was a victim of gerrymandering in the 1880's, is a part of the Henderson, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Combined Statistical Area, has a population of 2,000,000.

Vance County borders Granville, Warren, Franklin, and Mecklenburg (VA) counties.

Vance County is made up of 270 square miles. 254 of which is land with the remaining 16 as water.


The population of Henderson, NC is about 15,300. The population has been steadily increasing since its founding.


The elevation of Henderson, NC is 505 feet above sea level.

Zip Code

The zip codes for Henderson, NC are 27536 and 27537.

Area Code

The area code for Henderson, NC is 252.

Politics and Religion

Historically speaking Henderson and Vance County have voted mostly Democrat, with 64% going to Barrack Obama during the 2012 Presidential Election. This represents the trend for the previous four or five elections.

As of 2010, 51% of the population are religiously unafiliated (Nones). About 46% are Protestants with Catholics and Other making up around 3%.


The unemployment rate for Henderson is about 8% (2015), making it higher than the state average of around 5%.

Maintenance, construction, production, and office administration make nearly 50% of the most common industries in the town.

Newspaper & Obituaries

The Henderson Daily Dispatch is the primary newspapers that covers the Vance County area.