The Town of Whitakers was developed on land owned by Richard and Elizabeth Whitaker, who came into the area in 1740 and settled on Fishing Creek. One hundred years after the first Whitaker couple settled in the area, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad came through. A siding was needed in order for the engines to take on wood and water. A descendant of Richard Whitaker undertook this siding operation, and the stop became known as Whitaker's Turnout. A village soon developed around the siding.
While some sources say that Whitakers has also been known by the names of Depot and Ashland, a post office was set up in 1869 as Whitaker's Post Office. In 1886, the name was changed to Mayonia for approximately three months in order to honor Major J.M. Mayo. Whitakers, without the apostrophe, became the name again and has remained so until the present.
Although Bellamy's Mill is not within the Whitakers town limits, it was involved in the town's history. Bellamy's Mill was built on Fishing Creek around 1850 and operated at that time as a spinning mill. During the Civil War, uniforms for Confederate soldiers were made there. Following the war, the plant was converted to a grist mill. Although intact, the mill, still standing, is no longer used.