Carthage, North Carolina
Moore County Courthouse in Carthage
Moore County Courthouse in Carthage
Location in Moore County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Moore County and the state of North Carolina.
Coordinates: 35°7′54.3″N 79°25′37.3″W / 35.131750°N 79.427028°W / 35.131750; -79.427028Coordinates: 35°7′54.3″N 79°25′37.3″W / 35.131750°N 79.427028°W / 35.131750; -79.427028
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • Typecouncil-manager
 • MayorJimmy Chaffinch
 • Total6.68 sq mi (17.31 km2)
 • Land6.64 sq mi (17.21 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)
617 ft (188 m)
 • Total2,635
 • Estimate 
 • Density384.20/sq mi (148.35/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)910
FIPS code37-00160[3]
GNIS feature ID1018757[4]

Carthage is the county seat of Moore County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,635 at the 2020 Census.


Carthage is located at 35°19′46″N 79°24′31″W / 35.32944°N 79.40861°W / 35.32944; -79.40861 (35.329441, -79.408475).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), of which, 5.8 square miles (15 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.68%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)2,553[2]15.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

2020 census

Carthage racial composition[7]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,897 68.36%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 415 14.95%
Native American 31 1.12%
Asian 10 0.36%
Pacific Islander 1 0.04%
Other/Mixed 158 5.69%
Hispanic or Latino 263 9.48%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,775 people, 967 households, and 497 families residing in the town. Carthage is currently growing at a rate of 1.58% annually and its population has increased by 19.50% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 2,205 in 2010. Carthage reached its highest population of in. Spanning over 7 miles, Carthage has a population density of 397 people per square mile.

The average household income in Carthage is $59,183 with a poverty rate of 11.67%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $727 per month, and the median house value is $173,900. The median age in Carthage is 43.3 years, 37.5 years for males, and 47.5 years for females.


According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Carthage was:


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Union Presbyterian Church
Union Presbyterian Church

The town was the home of the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company, a predominant cart and buggy manufacturer in the late 1800s. A common local story is that after the closing of the Tyson Buggy Company, Henry Ford was interested in buying the old plant and converting it into a car assembly line. According to the legend, the owners refused to let Ford buy the plant. He moved on and built his first plant in Detroit, making it the center of auto manufacturing. This story is often repeated despite a lack of evidence, and it does not fit runs contrary to the life of Ford, who was born and raised in Detroit and started his businesses there. A few years after being closed, the former Tyson Buggy plant burned down.

Another common local story is that the town was originally selected as the site for the University of North Carolina. But supposedly city leaders did not want the university built there. City leaders purportedly told the State that Carthage was on too steep of a hill for locomotives to climb and that access to the University would be limited if built there. This often-repeated story does not account for the fact that locomotives were not invented until two decades after the university had been built in Chapel Hill.

The town has an annual event in spring called the Buggy Festival. This event is used to showcase the history of the town and feature music, hot rods, old tractors, old buggies made by the Tyson Buggy Company, and crafts from potteries in the surrounding areas. This event is held in the town square around the Old Court House, recognized as an historic landmark.

Tyson & Jones buggy factory partner, William T. Jones was born the son of a slave and her white owner in 1833. By the time of his death in 1910, William T. Jones was one of the prominent business owners in Carthage. He rubbed elbows with the elite, white, upper class in Moore County during the 1880s, dined with them, threw elaborate holiday parties where most of the guests were white, and even attended church with them. Both of his wives, Sophia Isabella McLean and Florence Dockery were white. Dockery was the daughter of a well-to-do Apex family.

James Rogers McConnell, a resident of Carthage (14 March 1887 – 19 March 1917) flew as an aviator during World War I in the Lafayette Escadrille and authored Flying for France. He was the first of sixty-four University of Virginia students to die in battle during that War.[1] McConnell was flying in the area of St.-Quentin when two German planes shot him down on March 19, 1917. He was the last American pilot of the squadron to die under French colors before America entered the war in April 1917. Both the plane and his body were found by the French, and he was buried at the site of his death at the edge of the village of Jussy, and was later reinterred at the Lafayette Escadrille memorial near Paris upon his father's wishes. McConnell was commemorated with a plaque by the French Government and a statue by Gutzon Borglum at the University of Virginia, as well as an obelisk on the court square of his home town of Carthage, North Carolina.

The J.F. Cole House in the Carthage Historic District, J.C. Black House, Daniel Blue House, Bruce-Dowd-Kennedy House, Carthage Historic District, Alexander Kelly House, and Moore County Courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

Notable people

2009 shooting

Main article: Carthage nursing home shooting

On March 29, 2009, a man named Robert Stewart shot and killed eight people and wounded two others at the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center of Carthage.[9] Seven of the victims were elderly patients, with ages ranging from 75 to 98 years old. The eighth was a 39-year-old registered nurse who worked at the facility. The gunman, Robert Stewart, traded gunfire with a local police officer, wounding him in the leg before he himself was wounded and taken to a nearby medical facility.[10] Authorities identified the victims as Pinelake residents Tessie Garner, 75; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jesse Musser, 88; Bessie Hedrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; Louise DeKler, 98; and nurse Jerry Avant, 39.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Gunman kills six at US care home BBC - Sunday, 29 March 2009
  10. ^ Eight dead in Carthage nursing-home shooting -, March 29, 2009.