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Like many small towns, Oakboro experienced its development and growth because of the coming of the railroad. Called Five Roads for a time after the five intersecting trading paths, then Furr City after the store at the crossroads owned by C.C. Furr, the little community was the center of rural life. Oakboro and the surrounding area grew rapidly with the increase in rail commerce, and in 1915, the town was incorporated. Early landowners operated businesses and built stores, churches, and homes. Cotton gins, textile mills, roller mills, and lumber industries flourished soon afterward. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by fire or were demolished to make way for more modern structures, and few photographs from those early days remain. Oakboro preserves as much of the town's heritage as possible by showcasing its events and people in 20th-century photographs.