During the Legislative session of 1935, it became apparent that many sections of the State were dissatisfied with North Carolina’s then existing prohibition law known as the Turlington Act.

Sensing a widespread demand for some change in the law, the 1935 Legislature, in its closing days, authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to study the question of control of alcoholic beverages and to make a report to the 1937 General Assembly.

After repeal of the Federal Prohibition Act (Eighteenth Amendment), South Carolina, bordering North Carolina on the south for 324 miles, had legalized the sale of liquor under what is known as the State Licensing system. Virginia, bounding North Carolina on the north for 312 miles had also legalized the sale of liquor under what was known as the State Monopoly system.  Thus, had North Carolina had no control stores at all, South Carolina and Virginia would have provided stores where liquor could be purchased legally within fifty miles of approximately two-thirds of the population of North Carolina.  Only a small percentage of the people of North Carolina, probably fewer than fifteen percent, were living more than fifty miles from a store in which whiskey could be purchased legally.  It became obvious to many people that effective prohibition of alcoholic beverages in North Carolina was a thing of the past.

It was felt that the Monopoly system more nearly tended to eliminate liquor control from politics and to emphasize social welfare rather than revenue or profits.  On May 11, 1935 House Bill 1491 was ratified by the General Assembly of North Carolina. This Bill allowed County Commissioners to call an election to let voters express themselves on whether the sale of spirituous liquor would be authorized in the county. May 20 and May 24, 1935, Lenoir County Commissioners declined to call for an election. The Commissioners of Lenoir County on June 3, 1935, resolved to call for an election to be held July 6, 1935. The Vote was 2997 for the sale of liquor and 1028 against.

The following men were appointed by the county commissioners on July 12, 1935, to serve on the first Lenoir County ABC Board; Thomas Mewborn Jr. of Kinston, Daily Brothers, of LaGrange, and Joe Jones of Pink Hill.  S.C. Sitterson was appointed disbursing agent.  Miss Katie Cobb, County Auditor was appointed to audit the books. One hundred and fifty cases of liquor arrived in Kinston on July 20, 1935, to help furnish the first store.


The Lenoir County ABC Board is comprised of three board members appointed by the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners. Persons are appointed to serve on the Lenoir County ABC Board for rotating three year terms. The Lenoir County ABC Board employs a full-time General Manager who oversees the day to day operations of the ABC Board. The Lenoir County ABC Board meets on the Second Friday of each month at 10:00am.

Chapter 18-B of the North Carolina General Statutes is intended to establish a uniform system of control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages in our state, and to provide procedures to insure the proper administration of the ABC laws under a uniform system throughout North Carolina. Also, Title 4, Chapter 2 of the North Carolina Administrative Code provides additional regulations and control of alcoholic beverages to serve the public welfare. It is the objective of the North Carolina ABC Commission and the Lenoir County ABC Board to conform to that purpose at all times.

The Lenoir County A B C Board has the authority, by law, to buy, sell, transport, and possess alcoholic beverages as necessary for the operation of its ABC stores. In addition, the ABC Board adopts its own policies and procedures, determines the opening and closing hours of its stores, provides for management of each store in Lenoir County, and ensures the distribution of its profits, all in accordance with the rules of the North Carolina ABC Commission.

Current Members

  • Wiley Dawson, Chairman
  • Emmette Clyde Sutton, Member
  • Edward Mills, Member
  • Brantley Uzzell, General Manager
  • Angela Melton, Finance Officer

North Carolina General Statute Chapter 18-B requires that an ABC Board expend at least 5% of its profits for ABC law enforcement.  Each board has an option to hire an ABC Law Enforcement Officer or contract for ABC Law Enforcement with a local law enforcement agency. Lenoir County ABC Board contracts with The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Department, The City of Kinston, and The Town of Pink Hill. If you witness a crime or infraction at a Lenoir County ABC Board store please dial 911.