Prominent Residents

Gibsonville is a community of driven, talented people.  Current and past members of this community have included:

  • J.W. Burke (1879-1961): Prominent business man, town Alderman, Board of Trustees member / treasurer for the Alice Freeman Palmer Memorial Institute, and Guilford County Commissioner (1930 – 1942).  Mr. Burke’s efforts with the county allowed it to weather the effects of the Great Depression and become the wealthiest county in the state by 1933.
  • Etta ‘P.T.’ Burke (1884 – 1968): J.W. Burke’s wife also made a significant impact.  This school teacher organized the PTA into a statewide organization in 1918.  P.T. spent her life as a leader of the NC Congress of Parents & Teachers.  She even donated this group its headquarter space in downtown Gibsonville for over 40 years.  For her many efforts, Mrs. Burke was honored by 1) turning the first shovel full of dirt for this group’s newly built Raleigh headquarters (@ 3501 Glenwood Avenue) around 1959 and 2) with a room dedicated in her name at this building.
  • The Davidson Family: The Davidson family is one of Gibsonville’s founding families.  In the late 1880’s, Berry Davidson joined the Gibsonville community and transformed it from a small crossroad community to a thriving textile center.  His construction of Minneola Mill brought an anchor to our downtown and employment in textiles after he sold this to Cone in .  Berry was mayor from 1907 – 1913 until he lost this position to his son, D.M. Davison.  D.M. became the longest serving Mayor in Gibsonville’s history.  The Davidson family’s Engineered Plastics business was founded in 1947 and is still active.
  • Hursey: The first retail outlet for Hursey’s Bar-B-Q was in downtown Gibsonville in the late 1940’s.  Though there is no longer a Hursey’s location in Gibsonville, the Hursey’s do own and operate Six Scoops, an ice cream shop at 113 East Main Street.
  • Torry Holt:  A son of Gibsonville who went on to fame in professional sports.  Torry was the sixth overall pick by the St. Louis Rams in the 1999 NFL Draft, winning the Super Bowl in his rookie year. He is the only receiver in NFL history to record 1,300 or more yards in six consecutive seasons.  He is also a seven time NFL Pro-Bowler.
  • Terrence Holt: Younger brother to Torry and also an NC State grad. Terrence was drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Lions in 2003, where he played for four years as a defensive back before joining the Arizona Cardinals. He also played stints with the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints before his retirement from the NFL in 2008.
  • Sandra Kay Yow (March 14, 1942 – January 24, 2009): This daughter of Gibsonville was the head coach of the NC State Wolfpack women’s basketball team from 1975 to 2009. A member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, she had more than 700 career wins.  She also coached the U.S. women’s basketball team to an Olympic gold medal in 1988 despite having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987.   Today her name lives on via the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

The above list is in alphabetical order and covers only the more well known names of our community.

If you are interested in additional, detailed information about this town’s character(s) and history, see the Gibsonville Museum & Historical Society website or visit its Museum.