Cleveland was formed in 1841 from Rutherford and Lincoln. It was named in honor of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a noted partisan leader of the western Carolina frontier and one of the heroes at Kings Mountain. It is in the southwestern section of the State and is bounded by the state of South Carolina and Rutherford, Burke, Lincoln, and Gaston counties. The present area is 466 square miles and the population is 58,055. The first court was ordered to be held at the home of William Weathers. At this court the justices were to obtain a place to hold future courts until a courthouse was erected. Commissioners were named to acquire land and lay out a town by the name of Shelby where the courthouse and jail were to be located. In 1887 an act was passed changing the spelling of Cleveland from "Cleave-land county" to "Cleveland county." Shelby was incorporated in 1843 and is the county seat.
. . . , beginning at a point in the South Carolina line, and running a North course so as to pass within fourteen miles, East of Rutherfordton, until it strikes the Burke County-line, thence with the dividing-line of Burke and Rutherford, to the Lincoln-line, thence to the thirteen mile-post, on the Lucas Ford Road, thence to the twelve mile-post, on the new Post-Road, leading from Rutherford to Lincolnton, thence to the twelve mile-post, leading from Lincolnton to Qwinn's Ferry, thence to the twelve mile-post, leading from Morganton to Yorkville, South Carolina, thence with the Road passing Abernathy's Store, by the Gold Mine, at King's Mountain, to the South Carolina line, then with it to the beginning.
Part of Rutherford was annexed to Cleveland in 1842.
. . , That all that portion of Rutherford County lying between the Counties of Lincoln and Cleaveland, be ceded to, and made a part of the county of Cleaveland.
Part of Rutherford was annexed to Cleveland in 1845.
. . . , commencing at a point on the South Carolina line, three miles west of where the Rutherford and Cleaveland line intersects said line, and running thence a direct course to the junction of Main and Second Broad Rivers; thence a direct course to a point on the dividing line between Rutherford and Cleaveland, two miles north of where Drury Dobbins now resides, be ceded to and made a part of the county of Cleaveland.
Part of Gaston was annexed to Cleveland in 1915, provided the qualified voters approved the transfer.
. . . . Beginning at a stone on the county line road from Kings Mountain to Cherryville, the corner of number four and number five townships in Cleveland County, near Ebenezer Church, and running thence S. 67 E. 156.50 chains to a stone near James Payne's residence in Gaston County; thence S. 5. W. 444.00 chains to a stone on top of mountain; thence S. 10 W. 110.00 chains to a stone where the present county line between Gaston and Cleveland counties intersects the South Carolina line near John Wells's residence; thence N. 25 3/4 W. 315 chains to a stone near Mrs. Dovie Weir's residence in Cleveland County; thence N. 17 W. 125.50 chains to a post oak on south side of sand-clay road leading from Kings Mountain to Shelby; thence N. 24 E. 213.00 chains to the beginning; . . .
Part of Gaston was annexed to Cleveland in 1917.
. . . : Beginning at a stone on the county-line road leading from Kings Mountain to Cherryville, the corner of Number Four and Number Five townships of Cleveland County near Ebenezer Church, and running thence S. 67 E. 156.50 chains to a stone near James Payne's residence in Gaston County, thence S. 5 W. 444.00 chains to a stone on top of mountain, thence S. 10 W. 110.00 chains to a stone where the former, or old, county line between Gaston and Cleveland counties intersected the South Carolina line near John Well's residence; and all that portion of the territory of Gaston county which was formerly between the above described line in Gaston
County and the old county line between the counties of Cleveland and Gaston is transferred to Cleveland County, and is hereby declared to belong to and be a part of Cleveland County.
Part of Gaston was annexed to Cleveland in 1921.
. . . : Beginning at a stone, the corner of No. 4 and No. 5 townships in Cleveland County at Ebenezer Church, and running thence a straight line south 56 degrees 18 minutes east 9650 feet to west end of Southern Railway culvert east of L. A. Riser's residence; then through culvert and down meanders of branch, to wit, south 71 degrees east 663 feet; south 47 1/4 degrees east 1,128 feet to an iron stake in branch at first poplar on west bank of branch, thence a straight line south 6 degrees 38 minutes W. 6,020 feet to an iron stake in north edge of King's Mountain and Dallas old Road, west of Sylvanus Mauney's residence and east of Sylvanus Weaver's residence; thence a straight line south 1/2 degree east 17,990 feet to an iron pin in rock, on top of first mountain southwest of the pinnacle of King's Mountain, with old pointers; thence a straight line south 9 degrees west 9,575 feet to an iron pin in the public road in the North and South Carolina line, the former corner between Gaston and Cleveland counties; and all that portion of the territory of Gaston County which was formerly between the above described line and the old county line between the counties of Cleveland and Gaston is declared to belong to and be a part of Cleveland County.
[Source: The Formation of North Carolina Counties 1663-1943, Division of Archives and History,
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1950, pages 69-71]
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