Lincolnton, North Carolina

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Lincolnton, North Carolina
Nickname(s): L-Town
Motto: "History, Arts, Culture...They All Find A Home In Lincolnton!"
Location of Lincolnton, North Carolina
Location of Lincolnton, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°28′27″N 81°14′34″W / 35.47417°N 81.24278°W / 35.47417; -81.24278Coordinates: 35°28′27″N 81°14′34″W / 35.47417°N 81.24278°W / 35.47417; -81.24278
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Lincoln
Named for Benjamin Lincoln
 • Mayor John O. Gilleland, Jr.
 • Total 8.2 sq mi (21.2 km2)
 • Land 8.2 sq mi (21.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 856 ft (261 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,683
 • Density 1,219.4/sq mi (470.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 28092-28093
Area code(s) 704
FIPS code 37-38320[1]
GNIS feature ID 1021154[2]

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, and near the junction of State Highway 27 and U.S. Route 321. It is the county seat of Lincoln County,[3] and is also the only legally incorporated municipality wholly within the county.


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

In June 1780, 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. Some historians[who?] consider the battle significant because it disrupted Loyalist organizing in the region at a crucial time. The battle site was chosen for the seat of Lincoln County after it split off from old Tryon County, (named for a hated royally-appointed governor). The new city and the county were named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.[4]

Lincolnton was the site of the first textile mill built in North Carolina, constructed by Michael Schenck in 1813.[5] It was the first cotton mill built south of the Potomac River.[citation needed] St. Luke's Episcopal Church was founded in 1841.[6]

Confederate Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the final year of the Civil War, came from and was buried in Lincolnton. Confederate Missionary Bishop Henry C. Lay spent the final months of the Civil War in the town. Union forces occupied Lincoln County on Easter Monday, 1865.[6]

In the 1990s, the city expanded eastward by annexing Boger City, a formerly independent town.

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, Lincoln County Courthouse, Lincolnton Commercial Historic District, Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center, Loretz House, Methodist Church Cemetery, Old White Church Cemetery, Pleasant Retreat Academy, Shadow Lawn, South Aspen Street Historic District, St. Luke's Church and Cemetery, West Main Street Historic District, and Woodside are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7][8]


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 Devin Rhyne (R) of Ward 1, Dr. John Cloninger (D) of Ward 2, Dr. Martin A. Eaddy (D) of Ward 3, and Roby Jetton (R) of Ward 4. Council Members Rhyne and Dr. Eaddy have their terms expire in 2017. Council Members Dr. Cloninger and Jetton have their terms expire in 2019.


Lincolnton, North Carolina, is home to one print newspaper and one radio station, plus a range of online news sites and blogs. The Lincoln Times-News dates to a merger between two much older publications in the early 1960s. 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, 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 Web site, The Carolina Scoop,[dead link] was founded in April 2008. Two free-distribution weekly papers—News@Norman and Denver Weekly—operate only in the eastern portion of Lincoln County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 848
1870 886 4.5%
1880 708 −20.1%
1890 957 35.2%
1900 828 −13.5%
1910 2,413 191.4%
1920 3,300 36.8%
1930 3,781 14.6%
1940 4,525 19.7%
1950 5,423 19.8%
1960 5,699 5.1%
1970 5,293 −7.1%
1980 4,879 −7.8%
1990 6,847 40.3%
2000 9,965 45.5%
2010 10,486 5.2%
Est. 2014 10,732 [9] 2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 10,683 people, 3,8948 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 include: Lincolnton High School, North Lincoln High School and West Lincoln High School

Middle schools include: Lincoln Charter School, Lincolnton Middle School, North Lincoln Middle School and West Lincoln Middle School

Elementary Schools include: Lincoln Charter School, Battleground Elementary School, GE Massey Primary School, S Ray Lowder Elementary School, Love Memorial Elementary School, FD Jack Kiser Intermediate School, Norris S. Childers Elementary School, Pumpkin Center Elementary School and Pumpkin Center Intermediate School

Colleges include: Gaston College: Lincolnton Campus

Notable people[edit]


Parts of the Nick Jonas film, Careful What You Wish For, were filmed in downtown Lincolnton in May 2013.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 187. 
  5. ^ Michael Schenck,
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ CSU Biography "M. Basketball: Barclay Radebaugh ::" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 15 February 2010. 

External links[edit]