Alexander County, North Carolina

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Alexander County, North Carolina
Brushy Mountains-27527-1.jpg
The Brushy Mountains in Alexander County
Seal of Alexander County, North Carolina
Seal
Map of North Carolina highlighting Alexander County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1847
Named for William Julius Alexander
Seat Taylorsville
Largest town Taylorsville
Area
 • Total 263 sq mi (681 km2)
 • Land 260 sq mi (673 km2)
 • Water 3 sq mi (8 km2), 1.12%
Population
 • (2010) 37,198
 • Density 143/sq mi (55.3/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.co.alexander.nc.us

Alexander County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,198.[1] Its county seat is Taylorsville.[2]

Alexander County is part of the HickoryLenoirMorganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Alexander County was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1847. It was formed from portions of what was then Iredell, Caldwell, Wilkes counties.[3] The county was named for William Julius Alexander who was a Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons.[4]

Alexander County was established in 1847, the year of the first sale of land in the county seat (Taylorsville). With the proceeds from the sale, the first courthouse was built on the present site. When the Civil War began, Alexander County was 14 years old. The 1860 population was 5,837; yet Alexander County ranked high per capita in the number of Confederate soldiers serving in the war.The county is named in honor of the Alexander family who were leaders in Colonial North Carolina. Taylorsville is the namesake of either John Louis Taylor, Carolina agriculturist and political philosopher, or General Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States.

Law and government[edit]

Alexander County is a member of the regional Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 263 square miles (680 km2), of which 260 square miles (670 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) of it (1.12%) is water.[5]

Alexander County is located within the Piedmont region of western North Carolina. The county's main geographic feature is the Brushy Mountains, a deeply eroded spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west. The "Brushies," as they are called locally, rise from 300 to 1,000 feet (300 m) above the surrounding countryside, and dominate the county's northern horizon. The highest point in Alexander County is Hickory Knob in the Brushies, it has an elevation of 2,560 feet (780 m) above sea level. Barrett Mountain, an isolated mountain ridge, is in the western part of the county. The remainder of Alexander County's terrain consists of gently rolling countryside. The county's largest river, the Catawba, forms its southern border.

Within Alexander County is the unincorporated town of Hiddenite, the location of a mine that yields emeralds, sapphires, and its namesake stone "hiddenite," a variety of spodumene.

The county is served by US Highway 64, which is controlled access roadway connecting Taylorsville with Lenoir and Statesville. NC Highways 90, 16, and 127 also serve the county. Interstate 40 and 77 are just 30 minutes from the majority of county residents. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is an hour's drive from most parts of the county. The area is also served by the Hickory Regional Airport (30 minutes) and the Statesville Airport (20 minutes). The Alexander Railroad Company is an active short line rail system operating between Taylorsville and Statesville and connecting with Norfolk Southern.

Townships[edit]

The county is divided into eight townships: Bethelehem, Ellendale, Gwaltney, Little River, Sugar Loaf, Taylorsville, Wittenburg, and Stony Point.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Railroads[edit]

The county is served by one railroad, the Alexander Railroad Company.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 5,220
1860 6,022 15.4%
1870 6,868 14.0%
1880 8,355 21.7%
1890 9,430 12.9%
1900 10,960 16.2%
1910 11,592 5.8%
1920 12,212 5.3%
1930 12,922 5.8%
1940 13,454 4.1%
1950 14,554 8.2%
1960 15,625 7.4%
1970 19,466 24.6%
1980 24,999 28.4%
1990 27,544 10.2%
2000 33,603 22.0%
2010 37,198 10.7%
Est. 2013 36,930 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2013 Estimate[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 33,603 people, 13,137 households, and 9,747 families residing in the county. The population density was 129 people per square mile (50/km²). There were 14,098 housing units at an average density of 54 per square mile (21/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.00% White, 4.63% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 1.34% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 2.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,137 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 21.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.50% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,684, and the median income for a family was $45,691. Males had a median income of $29,857 versus $21,868 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,507. About 5.90% of families and 8.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.20% of those under age 18 and 14.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Map of Alexander County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Unincorporated places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Crouse, A. L. (1905). Historical Sketches of Alexander County. Hickory, North Carolina. 
  4. ^ Martin, Jonathan. "Alexander County (1847)". North Carolina History Project. John Locke Foundation. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Census.gov. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°55′N 81°11′W / 35.92°N 81.18°W / 35.92; -81.18