The town of Princeville (until 1885, Freedom Hill) was a self-segregated black town in Edgecombe County that experienced a good degree of growth and economic prosperity between 1865 and 1915. During Reconstruction, Princeville residents found economic success through a blend of agricultural and non-agricultural employment. During the agricultural depression of the 1880s, the town benefited from the surrounding area's industrial industry. A high percentage of Princeville residents were employed in service and labor jobs in nearby industrial centers. This steady employment for its citizens helped grow Princeville's government, schools, and churches.