Although a native of Creedmoor and Granville County, when Eric Medlin was inspired by a professor at NC State to write a book on a local North Carolina county it wasn’t Granville that he chose to write about but Franklin County. His book, A History of Franklin County North Carolina, has recently been published by Acadia Publishing.
Medlin’s interest in history didn’t begin at the local level. He studied European history at both UNC and NC State. His interest in that particular area of history, however, would change. “Coming out of grad school I decided European History was not where I wanted to go,” Medlin said. He began to take weekend trips throughout North Carolina to visit county courthouses and became interested in the history of North Carolina’s counties. Medlin noted several reasons to write about Franklin County. One reason was because it had been forty years since a book on the county had been written, the beautiful churches in Louisburg and Laurel Mill. According to Medlin, “Franklin County captured my imagination.”
Medlin said the process of writing the first word to the moment it was submitted to the publisher took about a year. With access to the Franklin Times, diaries of families, and access to previous books Medlin was able to pull the book together fairly quickly. Weekends were used to take photographs and he spent numerous days at the state archives office gathering material for this book. “I have no writer’s block,” Medlin said about the writing process.
Medlin said the most difficult decision in writing the book was what to include and what not to include. Earlier books by E. H. Davis and T. H. Pearce focused on different areas of the country history and Medlin wanted to update those earlier works to include more about the post-World War II era including Civil Rights and county’s evolution through the 20th century. He also felt it important to talk about Louisburg writer and poet Edwin Wiley Fuller and Franklin County being the site of the last battle of the Tuscarora war.
When not writing Eric is a Professor of History at Wake Tech. Medlin’s next book project will focus on the history of the North Carolina Furniture industry.
“A History of Franklin County, North Carolina” can be purchased from any local bookseller and online.
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