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 U.S. 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 264 sq mi (684 km2)
 • Land 260 sq mi (673 km2)
 • Water 3.7 sq mi (10 km2), 1.4%
Population
 • (2010) 37,198
 • Density 143/sq mi (55/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website alexandercountync.gov

Alexander County is a county in 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 in 1847 by the North Carolina General Assembly. It was formed from portions of what were 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] This Piedmont area was settled primarily by farmers, many of Scots-Irish descent.

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 county built the first courthouse on the present site. When the American Civil War began, Alexander County was fourteen years old. The 1860 population was 5,837; yet Alexander County ranked high per capita in the number of Confederate soldiers it sent to the war. Taylorsville is the namesake of either John Louis Taylor, Carolina agriculturist and political philosopher, or General Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 264 square miles (680 km2), of which 260 square miles (670 km2) is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) (1.4%) 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, a controlled-access roadway connecting Taylorsville with Lenoir and Statesville. NC Highways 90, 16, and 127 also serve the county. Interstate 40 and 77 are 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.

Adjacent counties[edit]

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. 2016 37,428 [6] 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2014[1]

As of the census[11] 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

Town[edit]

Townships[edit]

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

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Alexander County.[12]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Bethlehem CDP 4,214
2 Taylorsville Town 2,098
3 Stony Point (partially in Iredell County) CDP 1,317
4 Hiddenite CDP 536

Politics, law and government[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 76.0% 13,893 20.6% 3,767 3.3% 611
2012 71.3% 12,253 26.8% 4,611 1.9% 332
2008 68.3% 11,790 30.0% 5,167 1.7% 297
2004 70.1% 10,928 29.6% 4,618 0.4% 54
2000 68.5% 9,242 30.9% 4,166 0.6% 84
1996 57.5% 6,748 33.7% 3,955 8.8% 1,027
1992 49.6% 6,764 35.6% 4,849 14.8% 2,013
1988 65.6% 7,968 34.1% 4,148 0.3% 38
1984 70.2% 8,502 29.6% 3,581 0.2% 24
1980 57.4% 6,376 40.9% 4,546 1.7% 187
1976 46.7% 4,661 53.0% 5,287 0.3% 27
1972 69.0% 5,865 29.0% 2,468 2.0% 173
1968 52.0% 4,379 21.8% 1,834 26.2% 2,203
1964 50.3% 3,760 49.8% 3,722
1960 51.4% 4,175 48.7% 3,956
1956 58.2% 3,767 41.8% 2,710
1952 57.4% 3,597 42.6% 2,665
1948 48.0% 2,314 42.7% 2,057 9.4% 452
1944 56.6% 2,971 43.4% 2,282
1940 44.7% 2,217 55.3% 2,739
1936 42.9% 2,451 57.1% 3,262
1932 39.6% 1,952 59.9% 2,953 0.6% 28
1928 60.2% 2,605 39.8% 1,722
1924 51.3% 2,437 48.3% 2,291 0.4% 20
1920 56.4% 2,643 43.6% 2,045
1916 55.4% 1,187 44.6% 954
1912 27.9% 523 45.5% 852 26.6% 497

Alexander is currently a powerfully Republican county in Presidential elections. The only Democrat to carry the county in the past nineteen Presidential contests has been Jimmy Carter in 1976, although Barry Goldwater won the county be a mere thirty-eight votes in 1964 – in contrast Hillary Clinton in 2016 obtained barely twenty percent of the county’s vote. The county did vote mainly Democratic during the Third Party System, but Populist sentiments in the 1890s have meant the county has supported that party only five times since 1896.

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

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Railroads[edit]

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

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. 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. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ http://www.census.gov/2010census/
  13. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS

External links[edit]

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