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Grover is a town in Cleveland Countymarker, North Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 698 at the 2000 census.


Grover is a small, colorful railroad based town thriving off the North Carolinamarker/South Carolinamarker State Line just off of Interstate 85. Grover was once named Whitaker, South Carolina but was changed to Grover in honor of President Grover Cleveland. Grover is a welcome spot for travelers to typically eat and purchase inexpensive gasoline. It holds an antique look to it, especially on Gingerbread row (Cleveland Avenue - NC 216) where many homes are restored.

Grover is a railroad dominated town with train whistles and bells - started when the Atlanta Charlotte Airline Railway placed a very expensive turntable in the town - for engines to be spun. They operated from the 1880s to the 1920s and Southern Railway continues to elate children and adults to this day (now known as Norfolk Southern). It was not uncommon to get mail several times per day in Grover - as the train stopped numerous times back then. Amtrak also operates on the line under permission and carries millions of people from the famed Atlanta station to Charlotte, Richmond and as far as New York City. President George Bush, Jr. stopped on this rail line, in Grover, during his Presidential campaign.

Grover is also home to international companies like Eaton, Commercial Vehicle Group, Southern Power, Cunningham Brick and the Presidential Culinary Museum and Library. Hatcher Hughes lived in and loved Grover and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1924 for his Broadway Play, "Hell-Bent Fer Heaven." He was a professor at the Ivy League rated - Columbia University. Previously, the Hambright (Hambrecht) family of Philadelphiamarker and Prussia lived in Grover and built the tallest and largest mansion there in 1879 under the guidance of Doctor Alfred Frederick Hambright (Hambrecht). Grover also hosts a former White Housemarker Chef and manager of Camp Davidmarker, Martin CJ Mongiello, who lives there.

The name of the County that Grover is a part of, is historic Cleveland County, North Carolinamarker. The County is named after Colonel Benjamin Cleveland (Cleaveland - Thorkil de Cleveland of Cleveland County York, England in the year 1066) - famed of the Kings Mountain battle - a friend of Colonel Frederick Hambright (originally known correctly in Germany as Hambrecht) (with his son John by his side) during the Revolutionary war. In 1887, the Legislature voted to change the name of Grover's County to the more popular used English word version of, "Cleveland," from its previous version of Cleaveland. President Grover Cleveland had been in office since 1885 (the first Democrat elected after the American Civil War).
Map of Cleveland County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

A train engine in Grover, NC ready to spin on the turn-table circa 1885 - antique postcard

This portion of history bears explanation and how it affected local matters. A bachelor, Grover Cleveland was ill at ease at first with all the comforts of the White Housemarker. "I must go to dinner," he wrote a friend, "but I wish it was to eat a pickled herring a Swiss cheese and a chop at Louis' instead of the French stuff I shall find." He gained intense publicity and coverage. Naturally, a town chosen to name itself after him followed suite. In June 1886, this predicament would be fixed for Grover - and Grover. President Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom; he was the only President ever married in the White Housemarker. Again, this historic event and the ensuing honeymoon took on unprecedented news attention and mention - in the papers and magazines. The name change of Grover's county took on epic proportions, likewise, shortly after this event. The town, White House and county historically affected each other in an unplanned manner. In 1887, Cleaveland County held a referendum and vote to forever change its name to the more popular spelling of, "Cleveland." The latest mistaken report of this was verified (July 2008) with a letter delivered by the US Postal Service, from the White House Historical Society to The Inn of the Patriots, 301 Cleveland Avenue, Grover Cleveland, NC 28073. No such town by this name exists in America.

Cleveland Avenue (Route 226) runs right through Grover - parallel to Main Street. Many Hambrights (Hambrechts), Hamricks and Herndons lived on Cleveland Avenue. Today, the Shiloh Presbyterian Church (built in 1905) remains next to Doctor Alfred Hambright's (Hambrecht) home that he built after the Civil War. A statue was dedicated to Colonel Frederick Hambright (Hambrecht Prussian family) and Corporal Clyde Furman Horton on July 1, 2008 at 301 Cleveland Avenue, Grover, NC.

Many other prominent names dominate the makeup of Grover and are listed repeatedly in reference level books of the Cleveland County Library System, families like Herndon, Hambright (Hambrecht), Hamrick, Rountree, Keeter, Graham, Cleaveland, Cleveland, Scruggs and Goforth, to name only a few. Within the history of Grover - it is often confused with President Grover Cleveland versus Benjamin Cleveland and where the names came from. Although each Cleveland are related going back to Amos Cleveland of Massachusetts.

Grover is in the process of restoring itself to a more picturesque town of a turn-of-the-century look and feel. Its train and spinning, engine turntable, and history - will show strongly in that. The current Mayor is Mr. Robert Sides. The town historian is Doctor Cobia Goforth.


Grover is located at (35.173354, -81.448199) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), of which, 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (2.94%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 698 people, 280 households, and 206 families residing in the town. The population density was 706.2 people per square mile (272.2/km²). There were 313 housing units at an average density of 316.7/sq mi (122.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.12% White, 7.16% African American, 0.72% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.

There were 280 households out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,083, and the median income for a family was $43,000. Males had a median income of $33,977 versus $25,769 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,132. About 13.5% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.

See also

Major Transportation Routes
  • I-85--Exits SC 106 & NC 2 serve the town. There is an SC Welcome Center at milemarker SC 103 and NC 3. Grover straddles the state line.
  • US 29--2 and 4 lanes. Runs through the downtown area and serves next to the CSX railroad tracks and alongside Main Street.

Schools:There is one public elementary school, Grover Elementary, located in the town. Numerous, public, middle and high schools are located nearby in Kings Mountain, NC. Kings Mountain High School is the largest in the region and listed in America's Top 100 High Schools.


  • Kings Mountain Mirror newspaper, Page 12 A, Wednesday, September 26 1973
  • The Charlotte Observer newspaper, Gaston Section, Page 1, Friday, December 13 1996
  • Shelby and Cleveland County, North Carolina - a book by U.L. Rusty Patterson and Barry E. Hambright, Arcadia Publishing, 2000
  • The Charlotte Observer newspaper, A Heaping Helping of History, by Joe DePriest - Sunday, July 6, Neighbors section
  • The Shelby Shopper newspaper, [19256] Unique, Grover's the Inn of the Patriots, by M. A. Andrews - June 26, 2008]
  • The Gaston Gazette newspaper & The Shelby Star newspaper, [19257] A Presidential Place, by Allison Flynn, July 11, 2008]
  • The Gaston Gazette newspaper as owned by Freedom Communications, Hail to the Chef, [19258] by Bernie Petite and Allison Flynn, July 13, 2009
  • Kings Mountain Herald newspaper as owned by Gemini Newspapers, Inn to History, by Rebecca Piscopo, July 3, 2008
  • Gaston Woman Magazine, August, 2008 issue
  • The Foothills Spotlight magazine as owned by Champion Communications, [19259] The Inn of the Patriots, by Crystal Champion, Summer issue, 2008
  • Norfolk Southern Railway. Retrieved February 22 2005.
  • Named Trains

External links

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