Wayne was established in 1842, by the same act of the Virginia General Assembly that created Wayne County. The county was named for General "Mad Anthony" Wayne. The town was initially known by the name "Trout's Hill," after Abraham Trout, who donated the land upon which the county's courthouse was built. The Wayne Courthouse Post Office was established in 1842 also. The town was known simultaneously as Trout's Hill and Wayne Courthouse for many years. The town was incorporated in 1882 as Fairview, but was still commonly known as Wayne Courthouse. The population in 1882 was 157. In 1891, the Norfolk & Western Railroad was constructed up Twelve Pole Creek. The railroad placed the name "Wayne" on its schedule and the name caught on. The name was officially changed to Wayne in 1911.