Hickory is a city in
Catawba County, North Carolina.
Hickory has the 162nd largest urban area in
the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a Metropolitan Statistical Area
341,851, making it the 4th largest metropolitan area in North
Carolina. The city's population was 37,222 at the 2000 census
. The MSA, which
includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba counties, is often
referred to as the "Unifour," although this name is largely unknown
outside the region.
In the 1850s, under a huge Hickory Tree, a man by the name of Henry
Robinson built a tavern of logs. The city of "Hickory Tavern" was
established in 1863 and the name was eventually changed to
"Hickory" in 1873.
The first train operated in the city of "Hickory Tavern" in 1859.
The first lot was sold to Henry Link for $45.00 in 1858. His house
is now known as "The 1859 Cafe." The community of Hickory was the
first for many things in North Carolina including the
council-manager form of government it adopted in 1913. Hickory was
also one of the first towns to install electric lights in 1888 and
a complete sewage system in 1904.
In 1868, Dr. Jeremiah Ingold, pastor of the German Reformed Grace
Charge, established Hickory's first school, the Free Academy.
In 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne
(then Highland Academy) was founded by four Lutheran
pastors with 12 initial students.
Hickory is also home to one of the oldest furniture manufacturers
in the United States that is still located and operated on the
original site. Hickory White, formerly known as Hickory
Manufacturing Company, was built in 1902 and has been in continuous
operation ever since. During World War
, the factory made ammunition boxes for the U.S. Military
instead of furniture.
Hickory was known in the years after World War II for the "Miracle
of Hickory." In 1944 the area around Hickory (the Catawba Valley)
became the center of one of the worst outbreaks of polio
ever recorded. Residents who were then children
recall summers of not being allowed to play outside or visit
friends for fear of contracting the disease. Since local facilities
were inadequate to treat the victims, the citizens of Hickory and
the March of Dimes
decided to build a
hospital to care for the children of the region. From the time the
decision was made until equipment, doctors, and patients were in a
new facility, took less than 54 hours. Several more buildings were
quickly added. A Red
Cross official on the scene praised the project "as the
most outstanding example of cooperative effort he has ever
(Hickory Daily Record, June 30, 1944) Although few
good references are available online, an interesting side to this
story is found here
Hickory is home to the Hickory
, an affiliate of baseball's Texas Rangers
, in the Class-A
South Atlantic League
Hickory is located at (35.737682, -81.328372) .
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of
28.1 square miles (72.7 km²), of which,
28.1 square miles (72.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04%
The Hickory area is home to many leading manufacturers of furniture
and fiber optic
cable. It is estimated
that 60% of the nation's furniture used to be produced within a
radius of Hickory. Forty percent of the world's fiber optic cable
is made in the Hickory area.
Awards and recognition
Hickory has been named an "All-America City" three times. The
All-America City Award is given annually to only ten cities in the
United States. It is a very prestigious award that represents a
community's ability to work together and achieve critical local
issues. Hickory won this award in 2007, as well as, 1967 and
The Hickory Metro area has also been named the 10th best place to
live and raise a family in the United States by Readers Digest
The MSA (Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton) has been named 3rd best MSA in
the country for business cost by Forbes
Colleges and universities
As of the census
of 2000, there were 37,222
people, 15,372 households, and 9,361 families residing in the city.
There were 16,571 housing units at an average density of
640.4/sq mi (227.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was
, 14.09% Black
, 0.19% Native American
, 0.06% Pacific Islander
, 3.08% from
, and 1.46%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 7.69% of the
There were 15,372 households out of which 27.9% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples
living together, 12.3% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families.
32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age
of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to
64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,236, and the
median income for a family was $47,522. Males had a median income
of $31,486 versus $23,666 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$23,263. About 8.4% of families and 11.3% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 14.8%
of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
364,759 people live within of Hickory; 1.8 million people within of
- Catawba Valley Citizen is an online news service,
based in Hickory.
- The Hickory Daily Record is
published 7 days a week.
Newspaper is a weekly publication that is distributed freely
and focuses on entertainment in the area.
- WHKY, 1290 AM, is a radio station that
features a news-talk format.
- WAIZ, "63 Big
Ways", 630 AM, is a radio station that features 50's and 60's
oldies and recreates the format of Charlotte Top 40 legend "61 Big
television station is WHKY-TV, channel
The following notable people are or have been residents of the
Western Piedmont region, including Hickory, is sister city to
- Our History
- http://www.lrc.edu/history.htm Lenoir-Rhyne University
- Hickory's Regional Role As Leader from
- City of
- Western Piedmont Sister Cities Association