Lincolnton, North Carolina

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Lincolnton, North Carolina
"History, Arts, Culture...They All Find A Home In Lincolnton!"
Location of Lincolnton, North Carolina
Location of Lincolnton, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°28′25″N 81°15′16″W / 35.47361°N 81.25444°W / 35.47361; -81.25444Coordinates: 35°28′25″N 81°15′16″W / 35.47361°N 81.25444°W / 35.47361; -81.25444[1]
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Named forBenjamin Lincoln
 • MayorEd Hatley
 • Total8.2 sq mi (21.2 km2)
 • Land8.2 sq mi (21.2 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation833 ft (254 m)
 • Total10,486
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)704
FIPS code37-38320[3]
WebsiteLincolnton, North Carolina

Lincolnton is a small city in Lincoln County, North Carolina, United States, within the Charlotte metropolitan area. The population was 10,683 at the 2010 census. Lincolnton is northwest of Charlotte, on the South Fork of the Catawba River. The junction of State Highway 27 and U.S. Route 321 is located nearby. The city is the county seat of Lincoln County,[4] and is the only legally incorporated municipality wholly within the rural county.


Lincoln Cotton Mills, built 1813.
10-year-old factory worker in Lincolnton, 1908

This area was long occupied by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. It was not settled extensively by European Americans until after the American Revolutionary War of the late 18th century.

In June 1780 during the war, the future site of Lincolnton was the site of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, a small engagement in which local Loyalists were defeated by pro-independence forces among the British colonists. Some historians[who?] consider the battle significant because it disrupted Loyalist organizing in the region at a crucial time.

After the Revolution, the legislature organized a new county by splitting this area from old Tryon County (named in the colonial era for a royally appointed governor). The 1780 battle site was chosen for the seat of Lincoln County. The new city and the county were named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.[5]

The Piedmont area was developed for industry, based on using the water power of the fall line. With the advantage of the Catawba River, Lincolnton was the site of the first textile mill built in North Carolina, constructed by Michael Schenck in 1813.[6] It was the first cotton mill built south of the Potomac River.[citation needed] Cotton processing became a major industry in the area. St. Luke's Episcopal Church was founded in 1841.[7]

Most of the Civil War battles took place elsewhere but Lincoln County men fought for the Confederacy. Among them was Confederate Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the final year of the Civil War. He came from Lincolnton and his body was returned there for burial. Confederate Missionary Bishop Henry C. Lay spent the final months of the Civil War in the town. In the closing months of the war, Union forces occupied Lincoln County on Easter Monday, 1865.[7]

As county seat and a center of the textile industry, city residents prospered on the returns from cotton cultivation. The city has numerous properties, including churches, which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the late 20th century. It has three recognized historic districts: Lincolnton Commercial Historic District, South Aspen Street Historic District, and West Main Street Historic District. These were centers of the earliest businesses and retail activities. There was much activity around the Lincoln County Courthouse on court days, when farmers typically came to town to trade and sell their goods.

Residences, churches and other notable buildings marked the development of the city; they include the Caldwell-Cobb-Love House, Emanuel United Church of Christ, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Eureka Manufacturing Company Cotton Mill, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Methodist Church Cemetery, Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center, Loretz House, Old White Church Cemetery, Pleasant Retreat Academy, Shadow Lawn, St. Luke's Church and Cemetery, and Woodside.[8][9]

In 1986, Lincolnton expanded by annexing the town of Boger City.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.2 square miles (21 km2), of which, 8.2 square miles (21 km2) of it is land and 0.12% is water.

Government and politics[edit]

Lincolnton is governed by a mayor and four-member city council, who hire a city manager to oversee day-to-day governance. City council members serve four-year terms and the mayor serves for two years. They are elected in partisan elections in odd years. Council members represent city wards in which they must reside, but are elected at-large. The mayor conducts city meetings, normally the first Thursday of each month, and votes only in case of a tie.

Lincolnton government has traditionally been run solely by Democrats, but currently has a bipartisan government for the first time in its history.[citation needed] The city electorate narrowly backed Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. The rest of Lincoln County has generally leaned Republican, and heavily favored Republican John McCain in the 2008 election.

Edward L. Hatley (D) was elected as mayor in 2015. Hatley previously served as a member of the Lincoln County Board of Education. Lincolnton's City Council Members are Tim Smith(R) of Ward 1, David M. Black (D) of Ward 2, Dr. Martin A. Eaddy (D) of Ward 3, and Roby Jetton (R) of Ward 4. Council Members Smith, Black and Dr. Eaddy have their terms expire in 2017. The term of Council Member Jetton expires in 2019.

In 2018, Mary Frances White (D) became the first black elected official in Lincoln County's history.[11]


Lincolnton is home to one print newspaper and one radio station, plus a range of online news sites and blogs. The Lincoln Times-News was formed in the early 1960s by a merger between two much older publications. Based in historic downtown Lincolnton, the family-owned newspaper prints Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and covers all of Lincoln County, for which it is the legal paper of record. WLON radio went on the air in the late 1950s or early 1960s and provides coverage of Lincolnton High School football every Friday night, as well as Atlanta Braves, NC State Wolfpack, and UNC Tar Heels sports events. The online Lincoln Tribune was founded about six years ago with a print edition, but has since become an exclusively online publication.[citation needed]. Another news Web site, The Carolina Scoop, was founded in April 2008 and is no longer in existence. Two free-distribution weekly papers—News@Norman and Denver Weekly—operate only in the eastern portion of Lincoln County. An on-line web paper, Lincoln Herald, began publishing in August 2012 (


The city has grown since 1980, as part of the Charlotte metropolitan area expansion, and as a destination for immigrants.

Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201810,945[2]4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 10,683 people, 3,878 households, and 2,943 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,219.4 people per square mile (470.9/km²). There were 4,146 housing units at an average density of 507.4 per square mile (195.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.98% White, 24.49% African American, 0.41% Asian, 0.33% Native American, 4.15% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.87% of the population.

There were 3,878 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,684, and the median income for a family was $39,949. Males had a median income of $29,615 versus $21,768 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,667. About 14.4% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.


High schools:

Middle schools:

  • Lincoln Charter School
  • Lincolnton Middle School
  • North Lincoln Middle School
  • West Lincoln Middle School
  • East Lincoln Middle School

Elementary schools:

  • Lincoln Charter School
  • Battleground Elementary School
  • GE Massey Elementary School
  • S Ray Lowder Elementary School
  • Love Memorial Elementary School
  • Norris S. Childers Elementary School
  • Pumpkin Center Elementary School
  • Pumpkin Center Intermediate School
  • Rock Springs Elementary School
  • Catawba Springs Elementary School

Charter schools:

  • Lincoln Charter School


Notable people[edit]


Parts of the erotic thriller film, Careful What You Wish For, was filmed in several parts of Lincolnton in May 2013.

Lifetime movie My Stepson, My Lover (also known as Love, Murder and Deceit) was partly filmed in Lincolnton onsite at the Alda Crowe mansion.


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lincolnton, North Carolina
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 187.
  6. ^ Michael Schenck Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine,
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 12/16/13 through 12/20/13. National Park Service. 2013-12-27.
  10. ^ Harrison, Jenna-Ley. "New City Fire Station Opened in Boger City". Lincoln Times-News. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "M. Basketball: Barclay Radebaugh ::". Archived from CSU Biography the original Check |url= value (help) on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010.

External links[edit]