Cleveland County, North Carolina
Old Cleveland County Courthouse 2009.JPG
The west side of the old Cleveland County Courthouse, Shelby
Seal of Cleveland County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Cleveland 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 1841
Seat Shelby
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

469 sq mi (1,215 km²)
465 sq mi (1,204 km²)
4 sq mi (10 km²), 0.85%
 - (2000)
 - Density

207/sq mi (80/km²)

Cleveland County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 96,287. Its county seat is Shelby[1].


The county was formed in 1841 from parts of Lincoln County and Rutherford County. It was named for Benjamin Cleveland, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who took part in the Battle of King's Mountain. From 1841 to 1887 "Cleaveland" was the spelling used; the present spelling was adopted in 1887.[2]

Law and government[]

Cleveland County is a member of the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission regional council of governments.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 469 square miles (1,214.7 km2), of which 465 square miles (1,204.3 km2) is land and 4 square miles (10.4 km2) (0.85%) is water.


The county is divided into eleven townships, which are both numbered and named: 1 (River), 2 (Boiling Springs), 3 (Rippy), 4 (Kings Mountain), 5 (Warlick), 6 (Shelby), 7 (Sandy Run), 8 (Polkville), 9 (Double Shoals), 10 (Knob Creek), and 11 (Casar).

Adjacent counties[]


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 96,287 people, 37,046 households, and 27,006 families residing in the county. The population density was 207 people per square mile (80/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 76.81% White, 20.93% 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. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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 population was spread out with 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.

Local Schools[]

Cities and towns[]

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

  • Belwood
  • Boiling Springs
  • Casar
  • Earl
  • Fallston
  • Grover
  • Kings Mountain (part also in Gaston County)
  • Kingstown
  • Lattimore
  • Lawndale
  • Light Oak
  • Mooresboro
  • Patterson Springs
  • Polkville
  • Shelby
  • Waco

In Popular Culture[]

The mysterious disappearance of Asha Degree, a Cleveland County child missing since February 14, 2000, has been profiled on several television shows, including; America’s Most Wanted, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and The Montel Williams Show [4]

Notable People from Cleveland County[]

  • Bobby Bell, NFL Hall of Famer
  • Alicia Bridges, disco singer
  • W. J. Cash, Author of The Mind of the South
  • Bill Champion, MLB player.[5]
  • Morris Davis, Colonel in US Air Force
  • Thomas Dixon, Jr., minister, author
  • Manny Fernandez, "The Raging Bull", professional wrestler, former NFL player
  • David Flair, Professional Wrestler
  • Alvin Gentry, National Basketball Association NBA Coach
  • Don Gibson, Country Music Hall of Famer
  • Kay Hagan, current junior Senator from North Carolina.[6]
  • Robert Harrill, The Fort Fisher Hermit
  • Keith E. Haynes, Maryland Statesman, Lawyer
  • Trey Hill, Grammy-nominated Guitarist, Songwriter and Producer. See SONICFLOOd.
  • 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
  • Nick Maddox, NFL running back
  • Scottie Montgomery, NFL wide receiver, Oakland Raiders, Arena Football League player
  • Travis Padgett, Olympic athlete in Track & Field
  • Floyd Patterson, heavyweight boxing champion, Boxing Hall Of Famer
  • Omar Porter, Actor
  • Rodney Allen Rippy, former child actor
  • Earl Scruggs, banjo player and composer on Hollywood Walk Of Fame
  • Isaac Shelby, soldier, governor
  • Charlotte Smith, WNBA basketball player
  • Brandon Spikes, Florida Gators Linebacker
  • Billy Standridge, NASCAR driver
  • Tim Steele, 3-time ARCA champion, NASCAR driver
  • David Thompson, NBA Hall of Famer
  • Cliff Washburn, NFL offensive tackle, Houston Texans
  • Tim Peeler, Corn liquor enthusiast, Bigfoot whisperer
  • Tim Wilkison, Tennis
  • Tom Wright, MLB player.[7]

See also[]

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


External links[]

Coordinates: 35°20′N 81°34′W / 35.34, -81.56

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Cleveland 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.