Bradley County, Tennessee
Bradley County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,963, making it the thirteenth most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Cleveland. It is named for Colonel Edward Bradley of Shelby County, Tennessee, who was colonel of Hale's Regiment in the American Revolution and the 15th Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteers in the War of 1812.
The Bradley County courthouse in Cleveland
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 35°09′N 84°52′W|
|Founded||May 2, 1836|
|Named for||Edward Bradley, state legislator|
|• Total||331 sq mi (860 km2)|
|• Land||329 sq mi (850 km2)|
|• Water||2.7 sq mi (7 km2) 0.8%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||301/sq mi (116/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||3rd, 4th|
Bradley County was likely first seen by Europeans on June 2, 1540 by Hernando De Soto and his expedition while traveling through the North American continent. Until the early 19th century, the land that is now Bradley County was part of the Cherokee Nation. In anticipation of forced removal of the Cherokee, white settlers began to move rapidly into the area. In 1821, the Cherokee Agency, the official liaison between the U.S. Government and the Cherokee Nation, was moved to present day Charleston. Between 1832 and 1838, the Red Clay Council Grounds on the southern border of Bradley County with Georgia served as the capitol and the last council grounds of the eastern band of the Cherokee Nation. This is now a state park, Red Clay State Park. The Cherokee Removal began with the Treaty of New Echota, signed on December 29, 1835. General Winfield Scott was given the task of removing the Cherokee from the area, and set up the headquarters at Fort Cass in Charleston. Several internment camps were established in Bradley County in the valleys between Charleston and Cleveland where the Cherokee were held in preparation for the journey westward, which became known as the Trail of Tears. Two of the largest were located at Rattlesnake Springs.
Bradley County was established on February 10, 1836. It was named to honor Colonel Edward Bradley who served in the War of 1812. The first election in Bradley County took place on April 2, 1836. On January 20, 1838, Cleveland, a township with a population of 400, became the seat of Bradley County. Cleveland was incorporated on February 2, 1842.
Like most East Tennessee counties, Bradley County was largely opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, the county's residents voted against secession by a margin of 1,382 to 507. No major battles were fought in Bradley County, but several major skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops took place within the county, including a failed attempt by Confederate soldiers to destroy a Union train near the Tasso community that instead resulted in the destruction of a Confederate train. The bridge over the Hiwassee River was burned on November 8, 1861, by members of the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy led by Alfred Cate. On November 4, 1862 a train accident south of Cleveland near the Black Fox community killed 17 members of the 33rd Regiment Alabama Infantry who were being transported to Chattanooga. The city of Cleveland was occupied by the Confederate Army from 1861 to 1863.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 331 square miles (860 km2), of which 329 square miles (850 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.8%) is water. The county is situated on a series of paralleling ridges running north-northeasterly which are part of the Ridge and Valley Appalachians. The highest of these, Candies Creek Ridge, runs through the center of Cleveland. Located in between these ridges are creeks, and there are several springs in the county, which made the area favorable to early settlers. Chatata is the Cherokee name for a region in the northeastern portion of the county where the so-called Chatata Wall was found in the late 19th century. The highest point in the county is located on the Hamilton County line along White Oak Mountain. The majority of the county is located in the Tennessee Valley drainage basin, except for approximately the southeastern quadrant, which is located in the Mobile River basin and contains the Conasauga River. The county is bordered on the north by the Hiwassee River.
State protected areas
- Chickamauga Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Charlotte Anne Finnell Neal Wildlife Management Area
- Red Clay State Park
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 87,965 people, 34,281 households, and 24,648 families residing in the county. The population density was 268 people per square mile (103/km²). There were 36,820 housing units at an average density of 112 per square mile (43/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.98% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 2.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 34,281 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,034, and the median income for a family was $41,779. Males had a median income of $30,654 versus $21,407 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,108. About 9.00% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 98,963 people, 37,947 households, and 26,867 families residing in the county. The population density was 298.98 persons per square mile. There were 41,395 housing units at an average density of 125.06 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 92.10% White, 4.27% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.06% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos (of any race) were 4.71% of the population. The largest ancestral groups were Irish 14.27%, German 12.62%, English 8.91%, Italian 2.39%, and Dutch 2.18%. An estimated 3.90% of the population was foreign-born, and an estimated 7.54% were veterans.
Of all of the households, 29.07% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 53.58% were married couples living together, 4.78% had a male householder with no wife present, 12.44% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-family households, with 23.8% of householders living alone. 33.27% of all households had individuals under the age of 18 living in them, and 26.36% had individuals aged 65 and older living in them. The average household size was 2.54 persons, and the average family size was 2.98 persons.
The population was spread out with 22.97% under the age of 18, 62.88% ages 18 to 64, and 14.15% over the age of 65. The median age was 37.9 years. 51.32% of the population was female and 48.68% was male.
The median household income was $40,032, and the average per capita income was approximately $21,444. Males had a median income of $37,735 versus $28,585 for females. Approximately 11.6% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under the age of 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.
With thirteen Fortune 500 manufacturers, Cleveland has the fifth largest industrial economy in Tennessee. Cleveland is home to a variety of industries, including household cooking equipment, foodstuff, textiles, furniture, storage batteries, pharmaceuticals, industrial cleaning products, photographic processing, industrial and domestic chemicals, and automotive parts. Major employers include Whirlpool, Johnston Coca-Cola, Mars, Incorporated, Procter & Gamble, Duracell, Hardwick Clothes, and Cleveland Chair Company. Wacker Polysilicon, Olin Corporation, Amazon, and Arch Chemicals have factories and distribution centers in Charleston. Resolute Forest Products, formerly Bowater, has a plant across the river from Charleston in Calhoun.
Agriculture in Bradley County has an annual market value of over $115 million. Bradley County is home to farms which raise beef cattle, poultry, dairy, and crops, such as corn, soybeans, and fruits and vegetables.
Bradley County has a 14-member county commission form of government, with two commissioners from each of seven districts. The commission is headed by a chairman and vice chairman, who are chosen by fellow commissioners. The current chairman is Johnny Mull from District 3 and the current vice chairman is Thomas Crye from District 2. Each district is also assigned a constable, also elected. The county executive (or "county mayor") separately elected, is Republican D. Gary Davis. Other elected officials include county clerk, circuit and criminal court clerk, register of deeds, assessor of property, trustee, and road superintendent. Elections take place every even year, with primaries in the first week of May and general elections in the first week of August, along with the state primary.
Bradley County is located in the 4th congressional district of Tennessee for the U.S. House of Representatives, represented by Republican Scott DesJarlais, and the 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Chuck Fleischmann. For the Tennessee House of Representatives, Bradley County is part of both District 22, represented by Republican Dan Howell, and District 24, represented by Republican Mark Hall. Bradley County is part of district 9 for the Tennessee Senate, represented by Republican Mike Bell, and District 10, represented by Republican Todd Gardenhire.
Cleveland and Bradley County have always been majority-Republican, as has most of East Tennessee, even when Tennessee was part of the Solid South. Since the Republican Party's founding, only two Democratic Presidential Candidates have won Bradley County; Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. In both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, the Republican candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote in Bradley County out of all of Tennessee's counties.
Hardwick Field, also known as Cleveland Municipal Airport, was the county's principal airport from 1955 to 2013. Cleveland Regional Jetport, located approximately two miles east of Hardwick Field opened on January 25, 2013, replacing Hardwick Field. It consists of a 6,200-by-100-foot (1,890 by 30 m) runway.
The county is served by the Norfolk Southern Railway, which forks in Cleveland and provides logistics for industries.
Interstate 75 traverses the county from the southwest to the north, passing through the western edge of Cleveland. There are four exits on I-75 in Bradley County: three in Cleveland and one in Charleston. U.S. Route 11 and U.S. Route 64 intersect in downtown Cleveland. U.S. 11 connects to Chattanooga to the southwest and Athens to the north. U.S. 64 connects to Murphy, North Carolina to the east. S.R. 60 connects Cleveland to Dayton to the northwest and Dalton, Georgia to the south. APD-40, made up of the U.S. 64 Bypass and a section of S.R. 60 forms a beltway and bypass route around the business district of Cleveland. The U.S. 11 Bypass bypasses downtown Cleveland to the west.
Cleveland Utilities is a city-owned corporation which provides electricity, water, and sewer service to the city of Cleveland and surrounding areas. The Calhoun-Charleston Utilities District provides water to Charleston. Volunteer Electric Cooperative (VEC) provides electricity to Charleston and the rest of Bradley County, except for a small portion in the southwestern part of the county along U.S. 11/64, which receives its electricity from Chattanooga-based EPB. The rest of the county is provided water by the Hiwassee Utilities Commission, Ocoee Utility District, Eastside Utility District, and Savannah Valley Utility District. Cleveland Utilities, VEC, and EPB all purchase their power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which also provides power directly to heavy industries Olin, United Hydrogen, and Wacker. Chattanooga Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company, provides natural gas to Cleveland and surrounding areas.
The county's two main hospitals are Bradley Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Community Hospital. Prior to 2008, the two hospitals operated independently, when they were both purchased by SkyRidge Medical Center. In 2015, the two hospitals were purchased by Tennova Healthcare. Bradley Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center is a nursing home that serves the county. Bradley County Emergency Medical Services is an emergency medical service (EMS) agency of the county government that was established in 1972 and consists of three stations, eleven ambulances, and six ancillary vehicles, along with more than 60 full-time employees and more than 25 part-time employees.
Cleveland State Community College and Lee University are located in Bradley County. Public schools in the county are managed by the Bradley County Schools school district or the Cleveland City Schools school district. The county district has four public high schools: Bradley Central High School, Walker Valley High School, GOAL Academy, and REACH Adult High school. Cleveland High School is operated by the city school district. There is one State-accredited private Christian college preparatory school: Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.
Bradley County Schools
- Lake Forest Middle School
- Ocoee Middle School
Cleveland City Schools
- Cleveland High School
- Teen Learning Center
- Cleveland Middle School
The Cleveland Daily Banner is the county's primary newspaper. The paper was first published in 1854, making it one of the oldest in the state. Additionally, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, a paper based in Chattanooga, also serves as a primary source of news for Bradley County residents.
Several radio stations located within Chattanooga and neighboring cities serve Bradley County, along with others licensed to Cleveland, which are listed below:
|W207C1 (WAYW)||89.3 FM||Contemporary Christian|
|WSAA||93.1 FM||Air 1, Contemporary Christian|
|WCLE-FM||104.1 FM||Adult contemporary|
|W290CA (WTSE)||105.9 FM||Contemporary Christian|
- Seal of Bradley County, Tennessee
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- Bradley County, Tennessee. Zipcodes.com
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