Catawba County, North Carolina
Historic Catawba County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Catawba tribe|
|• Total||413 sq mi (1,070 km2)|
|• Land||399 sq mi (1,030 km2)|
|• Water||15 sq mi (40 km2) 3.6%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||387/sq mi (149/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||5th, 10th|
Catawba County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 154,810. Its county seat is Newton, and its largest city is Hickory. The county is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The county, formed in 1842 from Lincoln County, was named for the Catawba River. The word "catawba" is rooted in the Choctaw sound kat'a pa, loosely translated as "to divide or separate, to break." However, scholars are fairly certain that this word was imposed from outside. The Native Americans known as the Catawba people, a tribe of indigenous people who once inhabited the region, were once considered one of the most powerful Southeastern Siouan-speaking tribes in the Carolina Piedmont. They now live along the border of North Carolina near the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. German and Scots-Irish colonial immigrants first settled in the Catawba River valley in the mid-18th century. An official history of the German and Scots-Irish settlement was documented in 1954 by Charles J. Preslar, Jr. and more recently by a series of three books by Gary Freeze, called The Catawbans.
Catawba County is part of the "North Carolina Data Center Corridor" in western North Carolina. The town of Maiden is home to the Apple iCloud data center and is the largest privately owned solar farm in the United States (operated by Apple). As of 2017, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation controls a 55-acre business park in Conover designed for data centers and office use. CommScope, Inc., and Corning Corp., manufacturers of fiber optic cabling, became the region’s largest employers in the late 1990s. The city of Hickory is home to Lenoir–Rhyne University, the Hickory Motor Speedway, and the minor league baseball team the Hickory Crawdads. The town of Conover is home to the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
Government, law, and public safety
Catawba County is a member of the regional Western Piedmont Council of Governments. The county has been represented primarily by Republicans since World War II: no Democratic Presidential candidate has won Catawba County since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.
Board of Commissioners
|County Commissioner (Chairman)||Randy Isenhower||Republican||2022|
|County Commissioner (Vice Chair)||Barbara Beatty||Republican||2020|
|County Commissioner||Kitty Barnes||Republican||2022|
|County Commissioner||Sherry Butler||Republican||2022|
|County Commissioner||Dan Hunsucker||Republican||2020|
Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors
|Susie Devine||Appointed (2020)|
|Steve Killian||Appointed (2022)|
Superior Court Judges
|Senior Resident Superior Court Judge||Nathaniel J. Poovey||Republican||2026|
|Resident Superior Court Judge||Greg R. Hayes||Republican||2022|
District Court Judges
|Chief District Court Judge||Burford A. Cherry||Republican||2020|
|District Court Judge||David W. Aycock||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Wes W. Barkley||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Sherri W. Elliot||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Richard S. Holloway||Republican||2020|
|District Court Judge||Mark L. Killian||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Robert A. Mullinax, Jr.||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Clifton H. Smith||Republican||2022|
|District Court Judge||Amy Sigmon Walker||Republican||2022|
Catawba County Sheriff
The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office consists of 198 Deputies and Employees. It provides court protection, jail administration, patrol and detective services for all unincorporated county areas, serves civil process and criminal papers, provides School Resource Officers at County High and Middle Schools and CV Community College, and narcotics crime investigation. Newton, Hickory, Conover, and Maiden have municipal police departments. The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, the SBI, provides investigative assistance to local law enforcement agencies when requested by the sheriff, local police departments, the district attorney, or judges.
|Register of Deeds||Donna Spencer||Republican||2020|
|District Attorney||Scott Reilly||Republican||2022|
|Clerk of Superior Court||Kim Sigmon||Republican||2022|
North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina House of Representatives
North Carolina Senate
House of Representatives
- Alexander County, North Carolina (north)
- Iredell County, North Carolina (east)
- Lincoln County, North Carolina (south)
- Caldwell County, North Carolina (northwest)
- Burke County, North Carolina (west)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 154,358 people, 55,533 households, and 39,095 families residing in the county. The population density was 354 people per square mile (137/km2). There were 59,919 housing units at an average density of 150 per square mile (58/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.1% White, 8.5% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 1.14% from two or more races, 9.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 55,533 households, out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,536, and the median income for a family was $47,474. Males had a median income of $30,822 versus $23,352 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,358. About 6.50% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.50% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.
- Most of the county is served by Catawba County Schools.
- Newton and Conover are served by Newton-Conover City Schools.
- Most of Hickory is served by the Hickory City School System.
- Lenoir–Rhyne University
- Catawba Valley Community College
- Appalachian Center at Hickory
- NC Center for Engineering Technologies
- The Catawba County Library System serves the residents of Catawba County. The library system operates 7 libraries throughout the county.
- The Hickory Public Library System serves the residents of Hickory. The library system operates 2 libraries: The Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and the Ridgeview Library.
Points of Interest
Museums and historical sites
- Catawba County Firefighters Museum
- Catawba County Museum of History
- Hickory Aviation Museum
- Hickory Museum of Art
- Catawba Science Center
- Murrays Mill
- Bunker Hill Covered Bridge
- Piedmont Wagon Company
Sports and entertainment
Music and performing arts
- Newton-Conover Auditorium
- The Green-Room Theatre
- Western Piedmont Symphony
- Hickory Community Theatre
The county's primary general aviation airport is Hickory Regional Airport.
With approximately twenty freight trains a day, Catawba County is a freight railroad transportation center. This is largely due to the areas strong manufacturing based economy, and its placement along the Norfolk Southern Railway line. The Caldwell County Railroad also serves the county and interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Hickory.
- Jacobs Fork
- Mountain Creek
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Freeze, Gary (1995). The Catawbans: Crafters of a North Carolina County. Catawba County Historical Association. pp. 11–13.
- Preslar, Charles J. , Jr (1954). A History of Catawba County (First ed.). Rowan Publishing Co.
- "North Carolina's Data Center Corridor: From Fiber to Servers | Data Center Knowledge". Data Center Knowledge. 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "ncDataCampus - Catawba EDC". www.catawbaedc.org. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "26 Nov 1948, Page 27 - Asheville Citizen-Times at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Hickory PD, Maiden PD, Newton PD, Conover PD, SBI websites.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Infrastructure, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission (retrieved 16 June 2014)
- Freeze, Gary R. The Catawbans: Crafters of a North Carolina County, 1747-1900 Catawba County Historical Association, 1995. ISBN 0-9702776-2-8.
- Freeze, Gary R. The Catawbans: Pioneers in Progress, Vol. 2. Catawba County Historical Association, 2002.
- Geographic data related to Catawba County, North Carolina at OpenStreetMap
- Official website
- Catawba County Chamber of Commerce