Cleveland County, North Carolina
"Live, Work and Play in Cleveland County"
|Coordinates: 35°20′N 81°34′W / 35.34°N 81.56°W|
|Named for||Benjamin Cleveland|
|• Total||468 sq mi (1,210 km2)|
|• Land||464 sq mi (1,200 km2)|
|• Water||4.0 sq mi (10 km2) 0.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||214.5/sq mi (82.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Cleveland County is a county located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the western Piedmont, on the southern border of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 99,519. Its county seat is Shelby. Cleveland County comprises the Shelby, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is included in the Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC Combined Statistical Area.
The county was formed in 1841 from parts of Lincoln and Rutherford counties. It was named for Benjamin Cleveland, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who took part in Patriot victory at the Battle of King's Mountain. From 1841 to 1887 "Cleaveland" was the spelling used; the present spelling was adopted in 1887.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 468 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 464 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2) (0.9%) is water.
Cleveland County is part of the South Mountains, a sub-range of the Blueridge Mountains that runs through the county's northwest corner. In the south east corner of the county is Crowders & Kings Mountains, part of a small narrow ridge that sits above the very near surrounding area. They are part of a very old remnant of The Appalachians and used to be much larger. Overall Cleveland County is very hilly, and even mountainous in certain parts, though not to the extreme as counties to the west or north.
State and local protected areas
- Broad River Greenway
- City of Shelby Hanna Park
- Fallen Heroes Memorial at Raper-Roark Park
- John H. Moss Lake Recreation Park
- Kings Mountain Gateway Trail
- South Mountains Game Lands (part)
Major water bodies
- Benson Creek
- Broad River
- Buffalo Creek
- Hickory Creek
- Hilton Creek
- Kings Mountain Reservoir
- Little Buffalo Creek
- Little Persimmon Creek
- Persimmon Creek
- Suck Creek
- Burke County - north
- Lincoln County - east
- Gaston County - east
- York County, South Carolina - south
- Cherokee County, South Carolina - south
- Rutherford County - west
- US 29
- US 74
US 74 Bus. (Kings Mountain)
US 74 Bus. (Shelby)
US 74 Bus. (to Rutherford County)
US 74 Byp. (Shelby Bypass)
- NC 10
- NC 18
- NC 27
- NC 150
- NC 161
- NC 180
- NC 182
- NC 198
- NC 216
- NC 226
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||20,034||20.13%|
|Hispanic or Latino||4,039||4.06%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 99,519 people, 30,599 households, and 21,410 families residing in the county.
As of the census of 2010, there were 98,078 people, 37,046 households, and 27,006 families residing in the county. The population density was 207 people per square mile (80 people/km2). There were 40,317 housing units at an average density of 87 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74% White, 21% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Of any race, 3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino.
There were 37,046 households, out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 13.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 23.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 25.20% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,283, and the median income for a family was $41,733. Males had a median income of $30,882 versus $21,995 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,395. About 10.10% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.90% of those under age 18 and 14.00% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
Cleveland is a typical "Solid South" county in its voting patterns. It was Democratic until 1968 when a majority voted for George Wallace. In 1972 the county voted overwhelmingly for Richard Nixon, and since then Cleveland has become strongly Republican. The last Democrat to carry Cleveland County was Jimmy Carter in 1980.
|Historical presidential election returns|
Cleveland County is a member of the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission regional council of governments.
Cleveland County Schools
Cleveland County Schools has 29 schools ranging from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade, comprising five high schools, two alternative schools, four middle schools, two intermediate schools (grades 5 and 6), and sixteen elementary schools. It was formed from the 2004 merger of Kings Mountain City Schools, Shelby City Schools and the former Cleveland County Schools.
- Ambassador Bible College in Lattimore, North Carolina
- Cleveland Community College
- Gardner–Webb University
- Kings Mountain (small section in Gaston County)
- Shelby (county seat and largest city)
- Double Shoals
By the requirement of the North Carolina Constitution of 1868, Cleveland County was divided into 11 townships. However, the county later dissolved all townships and is now a single nonfunctioning, nongovernmental county subdivision called Cleveland. The townships that previously existed in the county were:
- Township 1, River
- Township 2, Boiling Springs
- Township 3, Rippys
- Township 4, Kings Mountain
- Township 5, Warlick
- Township 6, Shelby
- Township 7, Sandy Run
- Township 8, Polkville
- Township 9, Double Shoals
- Township 10, Knob Creek
- Township 11, Casar
In popular culture
The 2000 disappearance of Asha Degree, a Shelby girl, was discussed on television shows including America's Most Wanted, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and The Montel Williams Show.
Parts of the 2012 movie The Hunger Games were filmed in Cleveland County.
- Tamara P. Barringer, former state legislator and Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
- Bobby Bell, NFL Hall of Fame inductee
- Alicia Bridges, disco singer
- Jonathan Bullard, NFL DE, Minnesota Vikings. Former Crest High School and the University of Florida football great.
- W. J. Cash, author of The Mind of the South
- Bill Champion, MLB player.
- Morris Davis, Colonel in US Air Force
- Thomas Dixon Jr., minister, author
- Manny Fernandez, "The Raging Bull", professional wrestler
- David Flair, professional wrestler
- Alvin Gentry, NBA Coach
- Don Gibson, Country Music Hall of Fame inductee
- Pleasant Daniel Gold, American publisher and Baptist minister
- Kay Hagan, Senator from North Carolina.
- Robert Harrill, The Fort Fisher Hermit
- Keith E. Haynes, Maryland statesman, lawyer
- Norris Hopper, MLB player
- Hatcher Hughes, Pulitzer Prize winner
- Charlie Justice, NFL player, two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up
- Doug Limerick, ABC radio newscaster
- Patty Loveless, country music singer
- Leroy McAfee – Confederate soldier, Ku Klux Klan organizer, and member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (1870–73).
- Manteo Mitchell, Olympic Silver Medalist, World Champion, US Champion, International Icon in Track & Field
- Scottie Montgomery, NFL wide receiver, Oakland Raiders, Arena Football League player
- Tim Moore (North Carolina politician), member of the General Assembly since 2003 and elected Speaker of the North Carolina State House in 2015, has lived in the county since 1997 and has his law practice there.
- Travis Padgett, Olympic athlete in track and field
- Floyd Patterson, heavyweight boxing champion, Boxing Hall Of Fame inductee
- Rodney Allen Rippy, former child actor
- Earl Scruggs, banjo player and composer, included on Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Isaac Shelby, soldier, governor
- Charlotte Smith, WNBA basketball player
- Brandon Spikes, professional football linebacker
- Billy Standridge, NASCAR driver
- Tim Steele, 3-time ARCA champion, NASCAR driver
- David Thompson, Hall of Fame college and professional basketball player
- Cliff Washburn, NFL offensive tackle, Houston Texans
- Tim Wilkison, tennis player
- Tom Wright, MLB player.
- List of counties in North Carolina
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Cleveland County, North Carolina
- ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Cleveland County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- ^ "Cleveland County history". www.ncgenweb.us. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
- ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- ^ "South Mountains State Park: Home | NC State Parks". www.ncparks.gov. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
- ^ "There And Back: Crowders Mountain And Kings Mountain". WFAE 90.7 - Charlotte's NPR News Source. July 2, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
- ^ "NCWRC Game Lands". www.ncpaws.org. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
- ^ "Carolina Thread Trail Masterplan For Cleveland County Communities" (PDF). Carolina Thread Trail. January 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
- ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Cleveland County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
- ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Cleveland County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
- ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
- ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- ^ "Isothermal Planning and Development Commission (regional council)". Archived from the original on July 7, 2014.
- ^ Isothermal Planning and Development Commission (NC Tomorrow) Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Schools". Cleveland County Schools. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- ^ "Court affirms school merger approved by the State Board of Education". University of North Carolina School of Government. Summer 2003. Archived from the original on February 23, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- ^ "Moore Will Head Merged Schools, Parents Await First Changes to Cleveland County School System". The Charlotte Observer. January 14, 2004. p. 2B.
- ^ "Contact ABC". Ambassador Bible College. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- ^ EndPlay (September 9, 2010). "'Good Morning America' Profiles Local Girl's Disappearance". WSOC. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- ^ Pickens, Jessica. "Cleveland County, NC, a popular spot for filming movies, TV shows". Halifax Media Group. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- ^ "Bill Champion's career statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- ^ "About Kay Hagan". United States Senate. Archived from the original on May 27, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- ^ "Tom Wright's career statistics". retrosheet.org. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
- Geographic data related to Cleveland County, North Carolina at OpenStreetMap
- Official website