Reidsville's Rich History
The early roots of Reidsville, incorporated in 1873 by the State Legislature, date back to the early 1800s when William Wright of the Little Troublesome Creek area owned a tavern and store on the road connecting Danville, Va. and Salem. This outpost, called Wright’s Cross Roads, was the earliest settlement in the present-day City and was overseen by Wright’s son, Nathan, and then Nathan Wright’s son-in-law, Robert Payne Richardson. Richardson’s home, built in 1842 on a knoll overlooking Little Troublesome Creek, still remains on Richardson Drive and has the distinction of being the oldest standing house in the city.
Reuben Reid of the Hogan’s Creek area would move his family, including wife, Elizabeth Williams Settle, and son, David Settle Reid, to a 700-acre farm on the ridge between Wolf Island and Little Troublesome creeks in May, 1814. Reuben Reid became a successful farmer, operated a store and a public inn maintained in a private home and served the county as a constable and justice of the peace. When the family secured a post office, aptly named Reidsville, in 1829, 16-year-old David Reid was appointed its first postmaster. He would later become a State Senator (1835-42), a U.S. Congressman (1843-47), Governor of North Carolina (1850) and a U.S. Senator (1854).
On Nov. 26, 1858, William Lindsey of Pittsylvania County, Va., was high bidder for a 384-acre tract of land known as Reidsville. He and his bride, Sarah Holderby, a daughter of Joseph Holderby of the northern part of the county, moved into the frame house Reuben Reid had built across from his store. It is now a landmark in Reidsville, the first frame house built in the village.
Reidsville is located near the center of Rockingham County. The Southern Railroad passes through the center of the City from north to south. The town was incorporated in 1873 by the Legislature. Tobacco was a mainstay of the local economy for many years, with the history of the City tightly woven with that of American Tobacco Company. With the sale of American Tobacco in 1994, leaders here diversified the local economy and established Reidsville as a small town with big plans for the future, a City where residents "Live Simply. Think Big."
To learn more about the City's current population, size, etc., check out the Statistics page