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Caswell County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Caswell County
Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville
Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville
Official seal of Caswell County
Seal
Map of North Carolina highlighting Caswell County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
Founded 1777
Named for Richard Caswell
Seat Yanceyville
Largest town Yanceyville
Area
 • Total 428 sq mi (1,110 km2)
 • Land 425 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Water 3.3 sq mi (9 km2)  0.8%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
22,714
 • Density 53.4/sq mi (20.6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 4th, 6th

Caswell County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is located in the Piedmont Triad region of the state. At the 2020 census, the population was 22,736. The county seat is Yanceyville.

History

Irwin House Milton Caswell County
Irwin House, Milton, Caswell County, 1940

Caswell County was formed from a northern portion of Orange County, in 1777. The newly formed county was named for Richard Caswell, Governor of North Carolina from 1776 to 1780. Leasburg was the first county seat. In 1792, roughly the eastern half of Caswell County became Person County. After the division, the Caswell County center of government was moved to a more central location: the community of the new county seat first was called Caswell Court House. Later, the name was changed to Yanceyville.

Caswell County produced many political leaders, including Bartlett Yancey, Jr., Archibald Debow Murphey, Romulus Mitchell Saunders, Bedford Brown, Calvin Graves, John Kerr, Jacob Thompson, and others. At one time it was stated that all successful North Carolina legislation had to make its way through the Caswell County legislators. As an example, Bartlett Yancey, Jr., was Speaker of the North Carolina Senate 1817-1827, and during part of this time Romulus Mitchell Saunders was Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons.

It was in Caswell County that the Slade family discovered the bright-leaf tobacco curing process that revolutionized the tobacco industry and brought great wealth to the region.

The local paper "The Caswell Messenger" is more than eighty-five years old and now has an on-line presence.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 428 square miles (1,110 km2), of which 425 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (0.8%) is water.

Adjacent counties and independent cities

Major highways

  • US 29
  • US 158
  • NC 49
  • NC 57
  • NC 62
  • NC 86
  • NC 87
  • NC 119
  • NC 150
  • NC 700

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 10,096
1800 8,701 −13.8%
1810 11,757 35.1%
1820 13,253 12.7%
1830 15,185 14.6%
1840 14,693 −3.2%
1850 15,269 3.9%
1860 16,215 6.2%
1870 16,081 −0.8%
1880 17,825 10.8%
1890 16,028 −10.1%
1900 15,028 −6.2%
1910 14,858 −1.1%
1920 15,759 6.1%
1930 18,214 15.6%
1940 20,032 10.0%
1950 20,870 4.2%
1960 19,912 −4.6%
1970 19,055 −4.3%
1980 20,705 8.7%
1990 20,693 −0.1%
2000 23,501 13.6%
2010 23,719 0.9%
Est. 2021 22,714 −4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Caswell County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 14,036 61.73%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 6,804 29.93%
Native American 65 0.29%
Asian 61 0.27%
Pacific Islander 13 0.06%
Other/Mixed 755 3.32%
Hispanic or Latino 1,002 4.41%

As of the 2020 census, there were 22,736 people, 9,145 households, and 6,570 families residing in the county.

Culture

The county seat, Yanceyville, features an antebellum courthouse designed by William Percival, and 23 other buildings, most built between 1830 and the Civil War, including a history museum and Yancey House. The county hosts two major festivals a year: the "Bright Leaf Hoedown" and the "Spring Fling". The "Hoedown" is a one-day outdoor festival held in late September in downtown Yanceyville. It features local food vendors, live entertainment, crafts and non-profit organizations, usually drawing more than 5,000 guests. The "Spring Fling" is a two-day event and is held on a weekend in late April or early May on the grounds of the Providence Volunteer Fire Department.

Yanceyville hosts the Caswell County Parks and Recreation Department which features a variety of sports and activities, especially for children. Every May, the Caswell County Historical Association hosts its annual Heritage Festival celebrating the county's history through living history reenactments, tours, games, vendors and live music. The Cherokee Scout Reservation is south of Yanceyville near Farmer's Lake.

Caswell County was briefly referenced in the 1977 television mini series "Roots". It was cited as the location of champion cock fighter Tom Moore's (Chuck Connors) plantation.

Communities

Map of Caswell County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Caswell County, North Carolina with municipal and township labels

Towns

Unincorporated communities

Townships

  • Anderson
  • Hightowers
  • Leasburg
  • Locust Hill
  • Providence
  • Milton
  • Pelham
  • Stoney Creek
  • Yanceyville

Economy

The economy of Caswell County is rooted in agriculture, which continues to modernize and experience growth away from traditional tobacco. The area's location, commercial properties, relatively low property tax rate, and land primed for development have contributed to an increase in business and entrepreneurship.

Caswell County's agricultural sector produces hemp, tobacco, soybeans, corn, wheat, oats, barley, hay, alfalfa, beef cattle, sheep, swine, and chickens. The county also produces minerals such as soapstone, graphite, mica, corundum, microcline, and beryl. Manufactured goods include textiles, clothing, and electronics.

NC Cooperative Extension in Yanceyville connects local agribusinesses and farmers with crucial research-based information and technology. The Caswell County Local Foods Council manages the Caswell Farmers' Market in Yanceyville and initiates community-driven projects.

The county is home to two industrial parks: Pelham Industrial Park in Pelham and Caswell County Industrial Park in Yanceyville. CoSquare, a coworking space that offers several business possibilities for entrepreneurs, is located in Yanceyville's downtown historic district. The largest industries in Yanceyville are accommodation & food services, health care & social assistance, and manufacturing.

Caswell County benefits from its proximity to the greater Piedmont Triad area, Danville, Virginia, and the Research Triangle. Residents have access to a host of goods, services, attractions, and employment in the region. The county receives economic activity in kind from these neighboring areas.

Education

Primary and secondary education

The Caswell County public school system has six schools ranging from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. The school district operates one high school, one middle school, and four elementary schools:

  • Bartlett Yancey High School
  • N.L. Dillard Middle School
  • Oakwood Elementary School
  • South Elementary School
  • Stoney Creek Elementary School
  • North Elementary School

Higher education

Piedmont Community College

Infrastructure

Transportation

2017-06-26 10 29 04 View south along U.S. Route 29 Business (Main Street) entering Caswell County, North Carolina from Danville, Virginia
Entering Caswell County from Danville, Virginia on US 29

Major highways


  • Future I-785 (concurrency with US 29)
  • US 29

  • US 29 Bus.
  • US 58
  • US 158
  • NC 49
  • NC 57
  • NC 62
  • NC 86
  • NC 87
  • NC 119
  • NC 150
  • NC 700

Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 are the closest interstate highways to the county, located 14 miles (22.5 km) south in Graham.

Airports

  • Yanceyville Municipal Airport
  • Danville Regional Airport, located 15.3 miles (25 km) north of Yanceyville
  • Person County Airport, located 26.2 miles (42 km) southeast of Yanceyville
  • Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, located 29.4 miles (47 km) southwest of Yanceyville
  • Piedmont Triad International Airport, located 46.5 miles (75 km) southwest of Yanceyville
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport, located 56 miles (90 km) southeast of Yanceyville

Railroad

Danville Amtrak station, located 13.9 miles (22 km) north of Yanceyville

Public transit

  • Caswell County Area Transportation System (CATS)

Utilities

  • Caswell County's electric system is maintained by Duke Energy and Piedmont Electric Cooperative.
  • Telephone network: CenturyLink
  • Wireless networks: AT&T Mobility, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless
  • Broadband internet: CenturyLink and Comcast
  • Cable television: Comcast

Notable people

Academia:

  • A. Oveta Fuller (born 1955), associate professor of microbiology at University of Michigan Medical School
  • William Louis Poteat (1856–1938), professor of biology and president of Wake Forest University, public intellectual, early advocate of Darwinian evolution
  • Henry Lee Graves (1813–1881), president of Baylor University
  • Henry Roland Totten (1892–1974), botanist

Art, literature, and music:

  • Moses Roper (1815–1891), African American abolitionist, author, and orator
  • Maud Gatewood (1934–2004), artist
  • Ida Isabella Poteat (1858–1940), artist and instructor
  • Hazel Smith (1934–2018), country music journalist, publicist, singer-songwriter, television and radio show host, and cookbook author
  • The Badgett Sisters, folk and gospel group composed of sisters Celester, Connie, and Cleonia Badgett
  • Carolina Slim (1923–1953), Piedmont blues guitarist and singer
  • Max Drake (born 1952), musician
  • Mel Melton, musician
  • Ray Scott (born 1969), country music artist

Athletes:

  • Mic'hael Brooks (born 1991), former NFL player who attended high school in Yanceyville
  • Neal Watlington (1922–2019), Major League Baseball player
  • Carl Willis (born 1960), former Major League Baseball player and current pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians
  • John Gunn (1939–2010), race car driver
  • Lee Pulliam (born 1988), stock car racing driver and team owner

Business:

  • Thomas Day (1801–1861), free Black furniture craftsman and cabinetmaker
  • Samuel Simeon Fels (1860–1950), businessman and philanthropist
  • Edmund Richardson (1818–1886), entrepreneur who produced and marketed cotton

Government and law:

  • Donna Edwards (born 1958), former U.S. Representative
  • Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1785–1828), Democrat-Republican U.S. congressman
  • John H. Kerr (1873–1958), jurist and politician
  • John Kerr Jr. (1811–1879), congressional representative and jurist
  • John Kerr (1782–1842), member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Bedford Brown (1795–1870), U.S. Senator
  • Archibald Dixon (1802–1876), U.S. Senator
  • John Kerr Hendrick (1849–1921), U.S. Representative
  • Anderson Mitchell (1800–1876), U.S. Representative
  • Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791–1867), U.S. Representative
  • Marmaduke Williams (1774–1850), Democratic-Republican U.S. congressman
  • Jacob Thompson (1810–1885), U.S. Secretary of the Interior
  • Richard Caswell (1729–1789), first governor of North Carolina
  • Jacob E. Long (1880–1955), 15th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1925 to 1929 serving under Governor Angus W. McLean
  • Archibald Debow Murphey (1777–1832), attorney, jurist, and politician who was known as the "Father of Education" in North Carolina
  • John W. Stephens (1834–1870), North Carolina state senator, agent for the Freedmen's Bureau
  • Calvin Graves (1804–1877), house member of the North Carolina General Assembly and member of the North Carolina Senate
  • Hugh Webster (1943–2022), North Carolina state senator
  • George “Royal George” Williamson (1788–1856), member of the North Carolina Senate
  • Giles Mebane (1809–1899), Speaker of the North Carolina Senate during most of the Civil War
  • Benjamin J. Lea (1833–1894), lawyer and politician who served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court

Miscellaneous:

  • Henrietta Phelps Jeffries (1857–1926), African American midwife and a founding member of the Macedonia A.M.E. Church in Milton
  • Oscar Penn Fitzgerald (1829–1911), Methodist clergyman, journalist, and educator
  • Peter U. Murphey (–), naval officer and captain of the CSS Selma during the Civil War

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