The town grew around John Cannon Cox and his cotton planter factory. This plant in 1887 became known as A.G. Cox Manufacturing Company. On May 20, 1891, a post office was established with the name of "Winterville." The town received its name from a similar town in Georgia. After receiving the post office, the town was incorporated on March 3, 1897. The town charter states that the town should remain dry until 2500 AD. In 1901, Winterville High School was established. Unfortunately, all the economic and population booms throughout Winterville's past could not prevent the high school from closing in 1971.