Sampson County, located in the Coastal Plain region of North Carolina, was formed in 1784 from Duplin County and was named for Col. John Sampson, a member of the North Carolina House of Commons. Early inhabitants of the area included the Coharie Indians, followed by English, Welsh, and Scottish settlers. Clinton, the county seat, was incorporated in 1852 and was named after Richard Clinton, the foster son of John Sampson, the original owner of the land on which the town was built. Other communities in the county include Newton Grove, Suttontown, Turkey, Elliott, Harrells, Tomahawk, Parkersburg, Garland, and Keener. The Black River, Warrens Pond, Mingo and Starling Swamps, Dismal Bay, and Turkey and Wild Cat Creeks are a few of the county’s significant physical features.
Sampson County is the second-largest county in the State of North Carolina by area