Caldwell County, North Carolina
Seal of Caldwell County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Caldwell County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded information needed
Seat Lenoir
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

474 sq mi (1,228 km²)
472 sq mi (1,222 km²)
3 sq mi (8 km²), 0.57%
 - (2000)
 - Density

163/sq mi (63/km²)

Caldwell County is a county located in the state of North Carolina, USA. As of 2000, the population was 77,415. Its county seat is Lenoir.[1]

Caldwell County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The county was formed in 1841 from parts of Burke County and Wilkes County. It was named for Joseph Caldwell, presiding professor (1796–1797, 1799–1804) and the first president (1804–1812, 1816–1835) of the University of North Carolina.

A series of reductions in the county's territory followed. In 1847 parts of Caldwell County, Iredell County, and Wilkes County were combined to form Alexander County. In 1849 parts of Caldwell County, Ashe County, Wilkes County, and Yancey County were combined to form Watauga County. In 1861, parts of Caldwell County, Burke County, McDowell County, Watauga County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County. Finally, in 1911 parts of Caldwell County, Mitchell County, and Watauga County were combined to form Avery County.

Law and government[]

The county is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, who appoint a County Manager. The members of the Board of Commissioners are Clay Bollinger, Don Barrier, Ron Beane, Rob Bratcher, and Ben Griffin. Ben Griffin is the Chair.

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


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,227.7 km2), of which 472 square miles (1,222.5 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.57%) is water. Caldwell County is divided into three distinct geographic sections: the Blue Ridge Mountains, which dominate the northern and western parts of the county; the gently rolling Piedmont country in the middle and southern parts of the county; and the Brushy Mountains, an isolated remnant of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The "Brushies", as they are often called, run across much of Caldwell County's eastern section. Hibriten Mountain, located within the city limits of Lenoir, the county's largest city, marks the western end of the Brushy Mountain range. In the western part of the county is the Wilson Creek area .

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Blue Ridge Parkway (part)
  • Pisgah National Forest (part)


The rocky outcropping of Blowing Rock in the town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 77,415 people, 30,768 households, and 22,399 families residing in the county. The population density was 164 people per square mile (63/km²). There were 33,430 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.74% White, 5.46% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 2.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 30,768 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,739, and the median income for a family was $41,665. Males had a median income of $28,820 versus $21,850 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,353. About 7.60% of families and 10.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.10% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

Map of Caldwell County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

  • Blowing Rock
  • Cajah's Mountain
  • Cedar Rock
  • Collettsville
  • Gamewell
  • Granite Falls
  • Hudson
  • Lenoir
  • Sawmills
  • Northlakes
  • Rhodhiss

Notable Natives or Residents[]

  • Claude Baker, composer
  • Etta Baker, musician
  • William Horton Bower, US Congressman
  • Jim Broyhill, US Congressman and US Senator
  • Claudia Church, country music artist
  • Eric Church, country music artist
  • Clinton A. Cilley, mayor of Lenoir and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Dr. Linda Combs, U.S. government official
  • Rick Hendrix, Grammy Award winning producer, writer
  • William Lenoir, soldier and statesman
  • Kary Mullis, scientist and Nobel laureate
  • William C. Newland, NC Lt. Governor
  • George W. Petrie Jr., Major, United States Army (Retired), a Green Beret, first man on the ground on the Son Tay Raid to rescue prisoners of war held in North Vietnam in 1970; Caldwell County's most decorated soldier of the Vietnam war; planned and coordinated the Evacuation of Saigon, last U.S. Army Special Forces Officer to leave South Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon, April 30, 1975; two time recipient of the Silver Star.[3]
  • James Pritchett, actor
  • Larry Smith, NASCAR driver
  • Dr. Vaughn Starnes, Considered the foremost pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon in the world, he made history performing the first successful 'living related' lung transplant.[4]
  • Four Major League Baseball players:
    • Johnny Allen
    • Lindsay Deal
    • Charlie Cozart
    • Rube Walker
  • Madison Bumgarner, drafted 10th by the San Francisco Giants in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, graduate of South Caldwell High School and a member of the Caldwell County Post 29 American Legion baseball team.
  • Eric Church, Musician

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Caldwell County, North Carolina


External links[]

Coordinates: 35°57′N 81°33′W / 35.95, -81.55

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Caldwell County, North Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.