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Lenoir, North Carolina
—  City  —
Main Street in downtown Lenoir.
Location of Lenoir, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°54′30″N 81°31′48″W / 35.90833°N 81.53°W / 35.90833; -81.53Coordinates: 35°54′30″N 81°31′48″W / 35.90833°N 81.53°W / 35.90833; -81.53
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Caldwell
 - Total 16.6 sq mi (42.9 km2)
 - Land 16.6 sq mi (42.9 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,168 ft (356 m)
Population (2006)
 - Total 18,588
 Density 1,013.7/sq mi (391.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 28633, 28645
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-37760[1]
GNIS feature ID 1021132[2]

Lenoir is a city in Caldwell County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 16,793 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Caldwell County.[3] Lenoir is located in the Blue Ridge foothills. The city also contains the Brushy Mountains, a spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hibriten Mountain, located within the city limits of Lenoir, marks the western end of the Brushy Mountains range. The city was named for Revolutionary War figure and early North Carolina statesman General William Lenoir, who lived nearby. His restored home is a tourist attraction.[4]

Lenoir is one of the principal cities in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Lenoir was one of the recipients of the 2008 All-America City Award.[5]



The Broyhill Furniture company, one of the largest furniture companies in the United States and part of Furniture Brands International, has its headquarters in Lenoir and has historically been one of the town's largest employers. The Bernhardt and Fairfield furniture companies are also located in Lenoir. However, in the 1990s, these companies began outsourcing their work overseas, and they have closed many of Lenoir's furniture factories and laid off workers, causing many local businesses either to close or move to other cities. This has harmed the economy in Lenoir, leaving many households living below the poverty line.

Google, Inc. has commenced construction of and opened a server farm in Lenoir. There has been a lot of controversy about the nature and amount of economic development incentives the City, Caldwell County and the State of North Carolina gave Google to induce them to build the server farm. The move, it is hoped, will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs for the area, which has been harmed by outsourcing of furniture manufacturing jobs overseas.[6]


Lenoir is located at 35°54′30″N 81°31′48″W / 35.90833°N 81.53°W / 35.90833; -81.53 (35.908438, -81.530012).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (42.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,793 people, 6,913 households, and 4,569 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,013.7 people per square mile (391.3/km²). There were 7,461 housing units at an average density of 450.4/sq mi (173.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.88% White, 14.71% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.25% of the population.

There were 6,913 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,369, and the median income for a family was $37,280. Males had a median income of $26,122 versus $21,895 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,697. About 10.4% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.


The Presbyterian Layman, a publication of the Presbyterian Lay Committee independent of the denomination, is published in Lenoir.

Confederate memorial in the Lenoir town square.

Notable residents and natives

  • Claude Baker, composer (born in Lenoir, 1948).
  • Claudia Church, country music artist.
  • Larry Smith, noted NASCAR driver.
  • David Abernethy, RCA Music group Puddingstone founder.
  • James T. Broyhill, Heir to the Broyhill family fortune; United States Congressman from North Carolina from 1962 to 1986 and a United States Senator from July 1986 to November 1986.
  • 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; 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 Inducted as a Distinguished member of the Special Forces Regiment 01/13/2010.[8]
  • Jan Karon, New York Times-bestselling author of the Mitford Series and the Father Tim novels (born in Lenoir).
  • Kary Banks Mullis, Ph.D., American biochemist and Nobel laureate.
  • Parker T. Williamson, minister and author.
  • David Wall, author, philanthropist.
  • Lisa Stiles Nance, founder/executive director, North Carolina Transplant Foundation; owner of Harrisburg Music & Trading Company; author of Life In Limbo, Waiting for a Heart Transplant.[9]
  • James M. Hickerson Captain USN (RET) Naval Aviator, Vietnam POW, Silver Star recipent.
  • William C. Newland, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

Baseball players


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Fort Defiance
  5. ^ All-America City award winners announced
  6. ^ News & Observer: Google breaks may top $100M
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ Son Tay Awards for Valor
  9. ^ NC Transplant Foundation

External links


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