first court of Johnston County was held at the home of Francis Stringer at the Ferry of Neuse
River. Court was held at Hinton's Quarter on the south side of Neuse River,
1759-1760, and probably before that date. In August, 1771, it was held at
John Smith's. From 1771 to 1776 the county seat was called Johnston Court
House. In 1771 Smithfield was established "where the Court House, prison
and stocks now stand."