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Cities and Towns in Durham County

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City of Durham
Lowe's Grove

History of Durham County

Durham was formed in 1881 from Orange and Wake counties. It was named for the city of Durham which was named in honor of Dr. Bartlett Snipes Durham who donated the land on which the railroad station was located. The building of the railroad station was the beginning of the town of Durham. It is in the central section of the state and bounded by Wake, Chatham, Orange, Person, and Granville counties. The present land area is 290.32 square miles and the population in 2000 was 223,314. Durham, incorporated in 1866 as the town of Durham in Orange County, is the county seat.

In 1881, Durham officials sought to become an autonomous political subdivision and decided to separate from Orange County. Durham County was formed on April 17, 1881 from portions of land transferred into the county from Wake and Orange counties. In 1911, an additional portion of land was transferred into the county from Wake County.

The first Board of Commissioners convened its initial meeting May 2, 1881. Durham County operated under the Commission form of government, with the chairman serving as chief administrator until 1930. The Manager form of government was then adopted and D. W. Newsome became the first manager of Durham County serving until his death in 1949. E. S. Swindell, Jr. succeeded him on April 11, 1949 and served until his retirement in December, 1984.

As early as colonial days, the area known as Durham County was important to North Carolina history. English, Scots, and Irish settled along the waterways of the present northeast corner of the county on land given to the Earl of Granville by the British Crown. As a result of the hard work of those early settlers, the area soon became a progressive and prosperous section of the state.

- Source: J.D. Lewis - Little River, SC


More Information

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 223,314 people, 89,015 households, and 54,032 families residing in the county. The population density was 769 people per square mile (297/km²). There were 95,452 housing units at an average density of 329 per square mile (127/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 50.91% White, 39.46% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.29% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.21% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. 7.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 89,015 households out of which 29.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.00% were married couples living together, 14.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.30% were non-families. 30.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.90% under the age of 18, 12.80% from 18 to 24, 34.80% from 25 to 44, 19.80% from 45 to 64, and 9.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,337, and the median income for a family was $53,223. Males had a median income of $35,939 versus $30,683 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,156. About 9.80% of families and 13.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.20% of those under age 18 and 12.30% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia