Whiteville, North Carolina

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Whiteville, North Carolina
Columbus County Courthouse
Whiteville is located in North Carolina
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°19′48″N 78°42′16″W / 34.33000°N 78.70444°W / 34.33000; -78.70444Coordinates: 34°19′48″N 78°42′16″W / 34.33000°N 78.70444°W / 34.33000; -78.70444
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Columbus
 • Total 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 • Land 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 101 ft (30 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,394
 • Estimate (2016)[1] 5,509
 • Density 990/sq mi (380/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28472
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-73660[2]
GNIS feature ID 1025798[3]
Website www.whitevillecity.com

Whiteville is a city in Columbus County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 5,394 at the 2010 census.[4] It is the largest city in Columbus County and is the county seat.[5]


The city was named in 1810 for James B. White, the original owner of the town site.[6] A post office called Whiteville has been in operation since 1821.[7]

In 1950, Whiteville fielded a professional minor league baseball team in the Class D Tobacco State League. Named the Tobs, the club lasted only one season before disbanding with the entire league.[8]

The Columbus County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[9]


Whiteville is located in north-central Columbus County at 34°19′48″N 78°42′16″W / 34.33000°N 78.70444°W / 34.33000; -78.70444 (34.330096, -78.704533).[10] Combined U.S. Routes 74 and 76 bypass the city on its north side and lead east 46 miles (74 km) to Wilmington. US 74 leads northwest 32 miles (51 km) to Lumberton, and US 76 leads west 67 miles (108 km) to Florence, South Carolina. U.S. Route 701 passes through the west side of Whiteville, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Elizabethtown and southwest 44 miles (71 km) to Conway, South Carolina.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Whiteville has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14.1 km2), all of it land.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,509[1]2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 5,148 people, 2,191 households, and 1,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 957.5 people per square mile (369.5/km²). There were 2,450 housing units at an average density of 455.7 per square mile (175.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.51% White, 36.67% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 2,191 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 20.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 77.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,455, and the median income for a family was $34,128. Males had a median income of $35,074 versus $23,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,337. About 19.0% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.0% of those under age 18 and 33.7% of those age 65 or over.


The Whiteville City School system includes the following schools:

Whiteville High School, home of the Wolfpack, competes in division 2A NCHSAA sports and has won 19 state championships: nine in baseball (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018), four individual track championships, one in team golf (1986), two in football (1965 and 1987), and three in basketball (1969, 1999, and 2000).

Columbus Christian Academy is a private K-12 school in Whiteville. Waccamaw Academy, which opened in 1968, closed in 2012.

Southeastern Community College is located a few miles to the west of Whiteville.

Arts and culture[edit]

The city is the site of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville, a satellite museum of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Annual events include the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival. In addition, the state-recognized Waccamaw Siouan tribe holds an annual powwow in October with numerous public events.

The News Reporter, the official newspaper that serves Columbus County, is based in Whiteville. It has been published since 1896.

The stretch of U.S. Route 701 through Columbus County is named for Whiteville's founder, James B. White, who was elected as Columbus County's first state senator. (State senators originally represented the geographic jurisdictions of counties. The state legislature was long biased in favor of rural counties with less population as a result. In the late 20th century reapportionment was required in order to reflect population and the one man, one vote principle of fair representation.)

Representation in other media[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Public Figure[edit]

Chinaka A. Barbour birthplace of the first African American Fiscal Administrator for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.


William Roger Soles Born September 16, 1920, in Columbus County NC. Graduated from Whiteville High School at age 14. Graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1947 Died October 20, 2004 Served as Chairman and CEO of Jefferson Pilot Corporation for 26 years. [12]



  • A. R. Ammons, one of the most highly lauded American poets of the late twentieth century. He often mentioned his growing up in Whiteville in several interviews and essays, and occasionally used Columbus County as the setting for his poetry.


  • Ida Stephens Owens birthplace of the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physiology from Duke University in 1967.[13]


Although the railroad tracks leading from west of town toward Lake Waccamaw have long been disconnected, Whiteville is served by the Columbus County Municipal Airport and several highways, which include U.S. Route 74, U.S. Route 76, U.S. Route 701, North Carolina Highway 130, and North Carolina Highway 131.


  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Whiteville city, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ Proffitt, Martie (Apr 17, 1983). "Local history offers tasty tidbits". Star-News. pp. 1C. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Columbus County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Holaday, Chris (2016). "The Tobacco State League; A North Carolina Baseball History, 1946–1950". . Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-6670-9.
  9. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "OBITUARIES". 
  13. ^ "Ida Stephens Owens at the Bouchet Society". 

External links[edit]