Franklinton is a town in Franklin County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,745 at the 2000 census. It is home to a plant operated by Novozymes. Novozymes North America Inc. employs approximately 480 people and is the largest multi-purpose enzyme manufacturing plant in the United States.
Franklinton was established as Franklin Depot in 1839 on land owned by Shemuel Kearney. His home, built in 1759, was originally located south of town and is currently the oldest residence in Franklin County. The house was recently purchased and is being moved to nearby Louisburg for restoration. Franklin Depot changed its name to Franklinton in 1842 when the town was incorporated.
According to many locals, Trinity College, originally located near Greensboro, was initially planned and approved to be moved to Franklinton in 1889. Generous offers though by local businessmen Washington Duke and Julian S. Carr brought the college to the city of Durham instead in 1892. This well known school is now called Duke University. A source from the University Archives states that nearby Raleigh was actually the initial approved bidder. This does not mean Franklinton wasn't included as a possible site even though no other bidding communities are mentioned. The citizens of Raleigh offered land now occupied by North Carolina State University and pledged $35,000.00 for a new building which was quickly approved by the Methodist Conference for Trinity College. It eventually lost to a higher bid of $85,000.00 plus donations in 1890.