Well, before there was a Lenoir County its area was the southern part of Dobbs. But the history didn't begin there.
Dobbs' area had been the eastern part of Johnston County. And before that, part of Craven County which had earlier been in Bath Precinct of North Carolina. Craven, when founded, had no defined western border; it presumably extended to the Pacific Ocean.
So, when did European-origin settlers first begin moving onto this land? And, who were they? A good question, perhaps the excellent historian Victor Jones could answer. Or, one could look at old deeds and land patents for Southwest Creek and adjoining areas.
I can't say my Taylor ancestors were the first, but one of them (an Abraham Taylor) was in Johnston County at the time of his 1751 death.