Harnett County
Harnett County Courthouse
Harnett County Courthouse
Flag of Harnett County
Official seal of Harnett County
Official logo of Harnett County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Harnett County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°22′N 78°52′W / 35.37°N 78.87°W / 35.37; -78.87
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1855
Named forCornelius Harnett
SeatLillington
Largest communityAnderson Creek
Area
 • Total601.22 sq mi (1,557.2 km2)
 • Land594.93 sq mi (1,540.9 km2)
 • Water6.29 sq mi (16.3 km2)  1.05%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total133,568
 • Estimate 
(2022)
138,832
 • Density224.51/sq mi (86.68/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts9th, 13th
Websitewww.harnett.org

Harnett County (/ˈhɑːrnɪt/ HAR-nit)[1] is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 133,568.[2] Its county seat is Lillington;[3] its largest community is Anderson Creek.[4] Harnett County is part of the Anderson Creek, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area.[5]

History

Harnett County was formed in 1855 from land given by Cumberland County. It was named for American Revolutionary war soldier Cornelius Harnett,[6] who was also a delegate to the Continental Congress. The first settlers came to the region in the mid-1720s, and were followed by Highland Scots immigrants. The Scots settled in the foothills, where land was more affordable, rather than in the rich alluvial soil area of the coastal plain. After the defeat by the British of Bonny Prince Charles at Culloden, Scots immigrants came up the Cape Fear River in ever increasing numbers and settled in western Harnett County. British immigrants had settled primarily along the banks of the Cape Fear River in the coastal area, generally from Erwin to Wilmington.

During the American Revolutionary War, many of the Scots were Loyalists. In their defeat in Scotland, they had been forced to take ironclad vows that prohibited taking up arms against the British.[7] Some Rebels considered them traitors to the cause of Independence. Public executions of suspected spies occurred. One site near Lillington was the scene of a mass execution of "Scots traitors".[8]

Though Harnett County was not a site of warfare during the Civil War, one of the last battles took place near Averasborough, which was once the third-most populated town in North Carolina, but is no longer in existence. During the Carolinas Campaign, the Left Wing of General William Sherman's army under the command of Major General Henry W. Slocum defeated the army of General William Hardee in the Battle of Averasborough and proceeded eastward. A centennial celebration of the event was held in 1965 at the site of the battlefield.

Geography

Map
Interactive map of Harnett County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 601.22 square miles (1,557.2 km2), of which 594.93 square miles (1,540.9 km2) is land and 6.29 square miles (16.3 km2) (1.05%) is water.[9]

State and local protected areas/sites

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

2020 census

Harnett County racial composition[13]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 77,876 58.3%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 26,769 20.04%
Native American 978 0.73%
Asian 1,408 1.05%
Pacific Islander 242 0.18%
Other/mixed 7,396 5.54%
Hispanic or Latino 18,899 14.15%

As of the 2020 census, 133,568 people resided in the county, making it the 23rd most populous county in North Carolina. Anderson Creek was recorded as the largest community.[14][4]

Demographic change

Between 2010 and 2020, the population in Harnett County grew by 18,890 people, or 18.6 percent, though the largest city of Dunn (at the time) shrank by 4.8 percent during the same interval. Proportionately, the white population decreased by 6.7 percent, while the Hispanic/Latino population grew by 3.3 percent and the Asian population grew by 0.2 percent. The black and Native American populations remained about the same.[14]

Government and politics

Harnett is a typical "Solid South" county in its political history. Apart from the 1928 election when it defected to Herbert Hoover because of opposition to the Catholicism of Al Smith,[20] Harnett voted rock-solid Democratic until the 1960s when opposition to increasing liberalism on racial policies turned the electorate toward the segregationist candidacy of George Wallace. Since then apart from when carried twice by native Southerner Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980, Harnett has been a solidly Republican county.

United States presidential election results for Harnett County, North Carolina[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 35,177 60.35% 22,093 37.90% 1,023 1.75%
2016 27,614 59.95% 16,737 36.33% 1,714 3.72%
2012 25,565 58.89% 17,331 39.92% 519 1.20%
2008 23,579 57.93% 16,785 41.24% 341 0.84%
2004 20,922 64.24% 11,563 35.50% 86 0.26%
2000 14,762 61.08% 9,155 37.88% 250 1.03%
1996 11,596 53.34% 8,767 40.33% 1,376 6.33%
1992 9,751 46.58% 8,473 40.48% 2,708 12.94%
1988 9,749 57.25% 7,259 42.63% 21 0.12%
1984 11,198 61.11% 7,106 38.78% 19 0.10%
1980 7,284 44.70% 8,791 53.95% 220 1.35%
1976 5,935 39.61% 8,992 60.01% 58 0.39%
1972 10,259 74.64% 3,347 24.35% 138 1.00%
1968 5,184 32.97% 4,007 25.49% 6,531 41.54%
1964 5,883 44.03% 7,477 55.97% 0 0.00%
1960 5,301 40.18% 7,892 59.82% 0 0.00%
1956 3,998 35.01% 7,421 64.99% 0 0.00%
1952 4,306 36.18% 7,595 63.82% 0 0.00%
1948 1,985 22.26% 6,608 74.11% 323 3.62%
1944 3,191 32.66% 6,579 67.34% 0 0.00%
1940 2,280 25.67% 6,602 74.33% 0 0.00%
1936 2,264 22.02% 8,018 77.98% 0 0.00%
1932 2,617 29.04% 6,346 70.42% 49 0.54%
1928 4,740 57.15% 3,554 42.85% 0 0.00%
1924 2,895 46.68% 3,296 53.14% 11 0.18%
1920 3,311 45.80% 3,919 54.20% 0 0.00%
1916 1,603 44.49% 1,992 55.29% 8 0.22%
1912 148 5.80% 1,364 53.43% 1,041 40.78%
1908 1,047 41.01% 1,501 58.79% 5 0.20%
1904 723 37.60% 1,169 60.79% 31 1.61%
1900 1,199 47.17% 1,342 52.79% 1 0.04%
1896 1,042 37.95% 1,676 61.03% 28 1.02%
1892 650 25.87% 1,222 48.63% 641 25.51%
1888 1,100 42.34% 1,498 57.66% 0 0.00%
1884 744 37.24% 1,254 62.76% 0 0.00%
1880 704 40.65% 1,028 59.35% 0 0.00%

Harnett County is a member of the regional Mid-Carolina Council of Governments.

Education

Harnett County is home to Campbell University and to 27 other different schools: 4 primary schools, 13 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, 4 high schools, and 1 alternative school.[22][23]

Harnett County Schools is the local public school district.

Schools in the county include:

The Linden Oaks housing development, of Fort Liberty, has some Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, including Gary Ivan Gordon Elementary School,[24] Randall David Shughart Elementary School,[25] and Shugart Middle School.[26] High school students living in Linden Oaks are assigned to Harnett County Schools' Overhills High School.[27]

The county is served by the Harnett County Library System, based in Lillington with branches at Angier, Coats, Dunn, Erwin, Anderson Creek Primary School, and Boone Trail Community Center and Library.[28]

Communities

Map of Harnett County with municipal and township labels

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Townships

Other unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ Talk Like a Tarheel Archived 2013-06-22 at the Wayback Machine, from the North Carolina Collection website at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2023-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Harnett County, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Anderson Creek CDP, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. April 1, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2023.
  5. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 23-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). United States Office of Management and Budget. July 21, 2023. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 150.
  7. ^ "Harnett County". NCpedia. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  8. ^ "Harnett County North Carolina History". Harnett County, North Carolina. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  10. ^ "Harnett Country-Parks and Recreation-Anderson Creek County Park". Harnett County, North Carolina. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "NCWRC Game Lands". www.ncpaws.org. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  12. ^ "Black River Near Dunn, NC". waterdata.usgs.gov. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d Johnson, Kristen (August 16, 2021). "Hoke, Harnett counties experienced major population growth since 2010, Census results show". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  19. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  20. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 213, 215 ISBN 1400852293
  21. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "School Profiles". Harnett County Schools. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  23. ^ Alternative school#United States
  24. ^ "Gordon ES: About Our School". Department of Defense Education Activity. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  25. ^ "Shughart ES: About Our School". Department of Defense Education Activity. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  26. ^ "Albritton MS: About Our School". Department of Defense Education Activity. Retrieved July 5, 2022. With the addition of Shughart Middle School in the Linden Oaks community,[...]
  27. ^ "Finding A School Local School Districts" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  28. ^ "Harnett County Public Library". Harnett County, North Carolina. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  29. ^ "GNIS Anderson Creek CDP". GNIS.
  30. ^ "GNIS Spout Springs CDP". GNIS.