Iredell County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. According to US Census projections in 2018, the population was 178,435. Its county seat is Statesville, and its largest town is Mooresville. The county was formed in 1788, subtracted from Rowan County. It is named for James Iredell, one of the first justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Iredell County is included in the Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia, NC–SC Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined in 2013 by the Office of Management and Budget with data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Prior to colonization, three Siouan-speaking tribes associated with a culture group called the Eastern Siouans probably inhabited the area that is now Iredell County. Broken into several smaller tribes, they were the Catawba, the Waccamaw Siouan, the Cheraw, the Winyaw, the Wateree and the Sugaree. The following list shows significant events and firsts in the history of the area that is now called Iredell County, North Carolina.
1629–1712, Province of Carolina ruled by Lords Proprietors under British rule
1712–1776, Province of North Carolina and Province of South Carolina created from Province of Carolina
1734, Bladen County formed from New Hanover County
1730–1750 first Scots-Irish and German immigrants seeking good soil, game, and proximity to fresh water had settled the area of modern-day Iredell County
1750, Anson County formed from Bladen County
1750–1776, Lord Granville and later his son issued Granville Grants of land in the Granville District, which included the area that later became Iredell County but was then Anson and later Rowan Counties
1750, Fourth Creek Congregation established
1753, Rowan County created from a portion of Anson County
1754–1763, Fort Dobbs (named after Governor Arthur Dobbs) was erected as a defense facility during the French and Indian War (1754–63). Today, the location of Fort Dobbs is a North Carolina State Historic Site.
1761, Coddle Creek Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Session House and Cemetery established in what became Mooresville
1765, Centre Presbyterian Church established in what became Mooresville
1773, William Sharpe creates map of 4th Creek Congregation
1775, Bethany Presbyterian Church (north of Fourth Creek on Fifth Creek) and Concord Presbyterian Church (west of Fourth Creek) established as offshoots of the Fourth Creek Congregation
1775, Aug 1, Rowan County Regiment, North Carolina Militia established; most Iredell residents that saw service while in North Carolina, served in this Regiment; for a time in 1775 and 1782 the Regiment was divided into 1st and 2nd Rowan County Regiment
1775–1783, North Carolina contributed 30,000 to 36,000 men to the Revolutionary War, including the Continental Army, local North Carolina County Regiments of militia, and other State Troops
1776, Jul 4 United States Declaration of Independence
1777, State of North Carolina began issuing State Land Grants from land that came from Lord Granville estate in the Granville District
1778, Aug, Adlai Osborne compiles Tax List of Rowan County to raise money for the upcoming Revolutionary War, including Capt Caldwell's, Capt Nichols', Capt Falls', and Capt Purviance's Districts that would become part of Iredell County in 1788
1780, Jun 20, Battle of Ramsour's Mill nearby in what is today Lincolnton, North Carolina, many Rowan County soldiers were killed at this battle
1787, New Sterling ARP Church established in Buffalo Shoals area that would become New Sterling
1788, Nov 3, Iredell County was incorporated in 1788 when it was formed from adjacent Rowan County. It is named for Honorable James Iredell, Sr. (1751–1799), Attorney General of North Carolina during the Revolutionary War, Supreme Court Justice, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1788. Its county seat is Statesville.
1789, November 21, North Carolina admitted to the Union as the 12th state
1789, Fourth Creek Congregation location chosen by the legislature as county seat of Iredell County, named Statesville
1790s, McKendree United Methodist Church established in Mooresville
1790, Aug 13, first 26 lots sold in Statesville
1794, Grassy Knob Baptist Church established near what would become Union Grove in northern Iredell County
1800, US Census shows 11 heads of household, including 68 free white persons and 27 slaves in "States Ville"
1801, first post office established in Statesville
1805, Mount Mourne post office established
1819, 2nd County Courthouse built in Statesville
1847, The only major cession of Iredell territory to another county was that to Alexander County, created in early 1847 from Iredell, Burke, and Wilkes counties.
1854, fire burns 2nd County Courthouse and court house records
1858, The arrival of the Western North Carolina Railroad in 1858, soon followed by the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio Railroad
1861–1865, US Civil War
1866, Freedom United Presbyterian Church and Logan Presbyterian Church, first free black churches, established in Statesville
1868, May 1, Tom Dooley hung in Statesville
1891, Aug 27, The railway accident on the Bostian Bridge killed 23 people on August 27, 1891, west of Statesville, North Carolina, when a Richmond & Danville Railroad train derailed.
1891 third U.S. Post Office and County Courthouse built in Statesville
1899, fourth Iredell County Courthouse built in Statesville
1900s, Industries producing tobacco, liquor, and herbs (Statesville's Wallace Herbarium was one of the largest such facilities in the world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries) were later supplemented by the production of livestock, dairy products, and breeder chickens, of which the county remains a leading producer.
1924, Ole Time Fiddlers' Convention in Union Grove started by H.P. VanHoy to benefit local school
1974, about, National Balloon Rally/Fest in Troutman
The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville (known as "Race City USA")
1954, cowboy town of Love Valley created by Jeter Andrew Barker
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (3.9%) is water.
Iredell County is located within the Piedmont Region of central North Carolina. The northwestern section of the county contains the Brushy Mountains, a deeply eroded spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains far to the west. The highest point in Iredell County, Fox Mountain, is in the Brushies; it rises to 1,760 feet. Although the "Brushies", as they are often called locally, are not high in the normal sense, they do rise prominently above the surrounding countryside. The remainder of Iredell County consists of gently rolling countryside occasionally broken by low hills and small river valleys. The county's largest river, the Catawba, forms much of its western border. Lake Norman, North Carolina's largest manmade lake, is the most prominent geographic feature of southern Iredell County; it is often called North Carolina's "inland sea".
Iredell County is an important transportation center for the state, as Interstate 77 and Interstate 40 cross in northeast Statesville. This has given birth to the county's slogan "Crossroads for the Future." Residents have easy access going south on I-77 to Charlotte; north on I-77 to Elkin, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia; east on I-40 to Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh; and west along I-40 to Hickory, North Carolina and Asheville.
The northern third of Iredell county is highly rural and contains no large towns. Due to the thinly populated nature of this portion of the state, it is one of the select places in North Carolina where the speed limit on Interstate Highways exceeds 65 mph, as Interstate 77 north of Statesville has a speed limit of 70 mph.
Iredell County is one of the longest counties in the state and stretches for nearly fifty miles north to south from Yadkin County in the north to Mecklenburg in the south.
Yadkin County – north (created from Surry County in 1850)
Davie County – east (created from Rowan County in 1836)
Rowan County – east (created from Anson County in 1753)
Cabarrus County – southeast (created from Mecklenburg County in 1792)
Mecklenburg County – south (created from Anson County in 1762)
Lincoln County – southwest (created from Tryon County in 1779)
Catawba County – southwest (created from Lincoln County in 1842)
Alexander County – west (created from Caldwell, Iredell, and Wilkes Counties in 1847)
Wilkes County – north (created from Surry County and parts of Washington District in 1777)
Statesville (county seat, established in 1789)
Davidson (established in 1837, mostly in Mecklenburg County)
Harmony (Post Office established in 1883)
Love Valley (established in 1954)
Mooresville (Post Office established in 1871)
Troutman (Post Office established in 1872)
Lake Norman of Iredell
Stony Point (town in both Alexander and Iredell Counties, Post Office established in 1826)
As of 2019, the unincorporated communities in the county include:
Amity Hill (Post Office established in 1851)
Barium Springs (Post Office established in 1889)
Houstonville (Post Office established in 1813)
Mount Mourne (Post Office established in 1805)
Olin (Post Office established in 1856)
Scotts (Post Office established in 1894, called Scott's Crossroads in 1873)
Turnersburg (Post Office established in 1858, originally called Turnersburgh)
Union Grove (established in 1867)
By the requirements of the North Carolina Constitution of 1868, the county was divided into townships. Previous to that time, the subdivisions were Captain's Districts. While the Captain's Districts referred primarily to the militia, it served also for the election precinct, the tax listing and tax collecting district. The following townships were created in 1868:
Historical populated places
In the 1700s and 1800s, before there were many towns in what became Iredell County, property was identified by stream, rivers, or adjacent landowners. The following is a list of the streams, rivers, and creeks in Iredell County.
Back Creek (R)
Beaver Dam Creek (R)
Buffalo Shoals Creek/aka 8 Miles Shoals Creek
Coddle Creek (R)
Davidson's Creek (M)
Drop Off Creek
Elk Shoal's Creek
Fifth Creek (R)
Five Mile Branch
Fourth Creek (R)
Little Dutchman's Creek
Little Rocky Branch
North Fork of the Yadkin River
Oil Mill Branch
Old Camp Creek
Old House Creek
Olin Creek, aka Middle Fork of Rocky Creek
Rock Cut, Deep Cut
Rocky River (M)
South Fork of Grassy Creek, aka Yadkin River
South Yadkin River (A)
Third Creek (R)
Turkey Foot Branch
West Rocky River (M)
Withrow's Creek (R)
Yadkin River (R) (D)
:(R)--Portions in Rowan County
:(D)--Portions in Davie County
:(M)--Portions in Mecklenburg County
:(A)--Portions in Alexander County
The table below lists towns and post offices (PO) that no longer exist or that were once in Iredell County but are now in another county:
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 186,693 people, 68,145 households, and 49,635 families residing in the county.
As of the census of 2010, there were 159,437 people, and 59,593 households in the county. The population density was 277.8 people per square mile (82/km2). there were 69,325 housing units at an average density of 90 per square mile (35/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.3% White, 12.3% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 7.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
According to the 2000 census data, there were 47,360 households, out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
, the median income for a household in the county was $50,058. Males had a median income of $34,590 versus $24,031 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,348. About 6.2% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
Current politics, law and government
Iredell County is governed by the Board of Commissioners, consisting of five commissioners elected at-large, which requires each to attract a majority of the votes.
The Iredell County Commissioners (2016–present) are James Mallory (Chairman), Marvin Norman, Tommy Bowles, Jeff McNeely and Gene Houpe, all Republicans.
Iredell County is a member of the Centralina Council of Governments.
The Sheriff of Iredell County is Darren E. Campbell (Republican), elected in December 2014. He succeeded Phillip Redmond, who was first elected in 1994.
The Register of Deeds of Iredell County is Ronald "Duck" Wyatt (Republican), appointed in 2016. The Register of Deeds serves as custodian and manager of a large number of land records and vital records.
Iredell County is part of prosecutorial District 22A with Alexander County. The Iredell County Courthouse is located in the county seat of Statesville, North Carolina. The District Attorney is Sarah Kirkman.
The Senior Resident Superior Court Judge is Joe Crosswhite. The Chief District Court Judge is Dale Graham. James Lee (Jim) Mixson III has served as Iredell County's Clerk of Superior Court since 2012. Clerks of Superior Court in North Carolina also serve as Probate Judges in addition to their administrative duties.
Since 1952, Iredell county voting records show a strong Republican majority. Before 1952, however, Iredell was part of the Democratic "Solid South" and voted for no Republican presidential candidate after Reconstruction except Herbert Hoover in 1928. In 1964, the year that national civil rights legislation was passed, it was one of 13 North Carolina counties to vote for Barry Goldwater. In the past 17 elections, the only Democrat to carry Iredell County was Jimmy Carter in 1976, who was a native son of Georgia and the South.
Farming is still a major source of income for many Iredell County residents. Dairy farming has been particularly popular in Iredell County since the early 1800s, in both the northern and southern sections of the county. However, the rapid population growth and development in southern Iredell County is putting increasing pressure on farmlands, and many farms in this section are giving way to shopping centers, housing developments, and large corporate office parks.
Iredell County is a major hub of NASCAR racing, with many race shops located in the county (mostly around Mooresville). Universal Technical Institute operates NASCAR Technical Institute under licensing agreements. The school offers racing-related instruction to prepare the student for their job search in the racing industry. Many NASCAR drivers live around Mooresville and Lake Norman. Although northern Iredell County has retained much of its rural character, the southern half of the county is experiencing rapid suburbanization and population growth, largely due to the immense popularity of the Lake Norman area for residents of nearby Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city.
Lowe's has its corporate headquarters in Mooresville.
The county is served by two traditional public school districts: Iredell-Statesville Schools (ISS) and Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD). The county is also served by several public charter schools
Iredell Statesville School District
The following schools were in the Iredell—Statesville School District as of 2018:
High Schools: Collaborative College for Technology and Leadership at Mitchell Community College, Career Academy and Technical School, Lake Norman High School, Monticello (combined elementary, middle, and high school, 4–12), North Iredell High School, Pressly (combined elementary, middle, and high school, K–12), South Iredell High School, Statesville Senior High School, Visual and Performing Arts Center at Statesville High at Statesville High School, West Iredell High School, Mount Mourne IB (combined middle and high schools, 6–8, 9–12 is at South Iredell High School), Northview IB (combined middle and high schools, 6–8, 9–12 is at South Iredell High School)
Middle Schools: Woodland Heights, East Iredell, Lakeshore, North Iredell, Statesville, Troutman, West Iredell
Elementary Schools: Celeste Henkel, Central, Cloverleaf, Coddle Creek, Cool Spring, East Iredell, Harmony, Lake Norman, Lakeshore, N. B. Mills, Scotts, Sharon, Shepherd, Third Creek, Troutman, Union Grove, Woodland Heights
Mooresville Graded School District
The following schools were in the Mooresville Graded School District, as of 2018:
High Schools: Mooresville Senior High, N.F. Woods Advanced Technology and Arts Center
Middle Schools: Mooresville Intermediate, East Mooresville Intermediate, Mooresville Middle
Elementary Schools: Park View Elementary, South Elementary, Rocky River Elementary
Public charter schools
The following public charter schools existed in 2018:
Pine Lake Preparatory
Langtree Charter Academy
American Renaissance School
Iredell Charter Academy
Statesville Christian School
The following current and historical institutions of higher education were located in Iredell County:
Clio's Nursery of Arts and Sciences (1778)
Concord Female Seminary, Female Seminary in Statesville (1832)
Crowfield Academy (operated from 1760–1788)
Ebenezer Academy (1821)
Mitchell College, Statesville: Mitchell Community College was originally founded in 1856 in Statesville, North Carolina, as Concord Female College. The school was purchased by Robert and Roxanna Simonton around 1872 and renamed Simonton Female College. It became Mitchell College in 1917.
Olin High School (1857)
Snow Creek Academy (1849)
Statesville/Clio Academy, Muschat's Academy (1814)
Iredell County is served by two railroads, Alexander Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway.
Jeter Andrew Barker, Jr. (1924–2011), military veteran, contractor, philanthropist, and founder of the old-west town Love Valley
Hutchins Gordon Burton (aft. 1774–1836), 22nd Governor of North Carolina, died while visiting relatives in Iredell County
Thomas C. "Tom" Dula aka Dooley (1848–1868), tried, convicted, and hanged for murder in Statesville, North Carolina
Bobby Dale Earnhardt (b. 1987), NASCAR racing driver
Rev. James Hall, D.D. (1744–1826), Presbyterian minister
Edward Harris (1763–1813), lawyer, politician and judge
Daisy Hendley Gold (1893–1975), author and journalist
James Iredell, Sr. (1750–1799), County namesake
Mildred Maxine (Jenkins) Miller (1932–2011), local historian, author, and President of the Genealogical Society of Iredell County
Homer Maxwell Keever (1905–1979), local teacher, historian and author
Rev. Mussenden Ebenezer Matthews (abt. 1751–1830), revolutionary Lieutenant, Presbyterian minister, and politician
Anderson Mitchell (1800–1876), US Congressman from North Carolina
Col Adlai Osborne (1744–1814), lawyer, public official, plantation owner, educational leader, Revolutionary War officer of the 2nd Rowan County Regiment
Rufus Reid (planter) (1797–1854), planter and builder of Mount Mourne plantation, politician
William Sharpe (1742–1818), Revolutionary War patriot, lawyer, politician, author of the Fourth Creek Congregation map in 1773
Adam Torrence, Sr. (1732–1780), Revolutionary War patriot killed at the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, owner of Torrence Tavern where the Battle of Torrence's Tavern took place
Wilfred D. Turner (1855–1933), ninth Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
Zebulon Baird Vance (1830–1894), Governor of North Carolina, lived and owned a home in Statesville (currently, a museum run by the DAR)