Bradley County, Tennessee

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Bradley County, Tennessee
The Bradley County courthouse in Cleveland
Map of Tennessee highlighting Bradley County
Location in the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded May 2, 1836
Named for Edward Bradley, state legislator[1]
Seat Cleveland
Largest city Cleveland
 • Total 331 sq mi (857 km2)
 • Land 329 sq mi (852 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (7 km2), 0.8%
 • (2010) 98,963
 • Density 301/sq mi (116/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Bradley County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,963.[2] Its county seat is Cleveland.[3]

Bradley County is included in the Cleveland, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton, TN-GA-AL Combined Statistical Area.


Red Clay State Park, the site of the last Cherokee council before the tribe's removal via Trail of Tears, is located in Bradley County.

Like many 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.[4] 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.[5]


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.[6]

Adjacent counties

State protected areas

  • Chickamauga Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Charlotte Anne Finnel Neal Wildlife Management Area
  • Red Clay State Park


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 7,385
1850 12,259 66.0%
1860 11,701 −4.6%
1870 11,652 −0.4%
1880 12,124 4.1%
1890 13,607 12.2%
1900 15,759 15.8%
1910 16,336 3.7%
1920 18,652 14.2%
1930 22,870 22.6%
1940 28,498 24.6%
1950 32,338 13.5%
1960 38,324 18.5%
1970 50,686 32.3%
1980 67,547 33.3%
1990 73,712 9.1%
2000 87,965 19.3%
2010 98,963 12.5%
Est. 2014 102,975 [7] 4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2014[2]
Age pyramid Bradley County[12]

As of the census[13] 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.



Bradley County has a 14-member county commission, with two commissioners from each of seven districts. The county executive (or "County Mayor"), separately elected, is Republican D. Gary Davis.

Bradley County is considered one of the most heavily Republican counties in traditionally Republican East Tennessee. Virtually all local and state office holders in and from Bradley County are Republicans. On the federal level Bradley County has not voted for a Democratic President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the landslide 1936 Presidential election.

Health care

SkyRidge Medical Center, formed from the buyout of Bradley Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Community Hospital, are the two hospitals in Bradley County.[14]


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,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.

Public schools

Bradley County Schools

High schools
Middle schools
Elementary schools
  • Black Fox Elementary School
  • Charleston Elementary School
  • Hopewell Elementary School
  • Michigan Avenue Elementary School
  • North Lee Elementary School
  • Oak Grove Elementary School
  • Park View Elementary School
  • Prospect Elementary School
  • Taylor Elementary School
  • Valley View Elementary School
  • Waterville Community Elementary School

Cleveland City Schools

High schools
Middle school
Elementary schools
  • Arnold Memorial Elementary School
  • Ernest L. Ross Elementary School
  • Donald P. Yates Primary School
  • Mayfield Elementary School
  • Blythe Bower Elementary School
  • George R. Stuart Elementary School

Private schools

Higher education


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.

Principal highways

Other major roadways

  • Sgt. Paul B. Huff Parkway/Stuart Road
  • Blue Springs Road
  • Harrison Pike
  • Spring Place Road
  • Freewill Road
  • Eureka Road
  • Lauderdale Memorial Highway
  • Dry Valley Road/Michigan Avenue Road
  • Mouse Creek Road
  • Weatherly Switch Road
  • Ladd Springs Road



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. John C. Bowman, "Bradley County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 31 March 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (R. Clarke Company, 1899), p. 199.
  5. Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War, pp. 370-406.
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Based on 2000 census data
  13. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. SkyRidge Medical Center > About Us (accessed February 24, 2008)

External links

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