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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,[4] making it the thirteen most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Cleveland.[5] 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.[2]

Bradley County, Tennessee
The Bradley County courthouse in Cleveland
Seal of Bradley County, Tennessee
Motto: "Agriculture and Industry"[1]
Map of Tennessee highlighting Bradley County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
FoundedMay 2, 1836
Named forEdward Bradley, state legislator[2]
Largest cityCleveland
 • Total331 sq mi (857 km2)
 • Land329 sq mi (852 km2)
 • Water2.7 sq mi (7 km2), 0.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)106,727
 • Density301/sq mi (116/km2)
ZIP Code(s)37310, 37311, 37312, 37320, 37323, 37353, 37364[3]
Congressional districts3rd, 4th
Time zoneEastern: UTC−5/−4

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



Meeleny Bell, located on the former Bradley County Courthouse from 1893 to 1963.

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.[6] Bradley County was established on February 10, 1836. It was named to honor Colonel Edward Bradley who served in the War of 1812.[6] On January 20, 1838, Cleveland, a township with a population of 400, became the seat of Bradley County.[6] 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 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.[7] 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.[8]


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.[9] 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 county is bordered on the north by the Hiwassee River.[10][11]

Adjacent countiesEdit

State protected areasEdit

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


Census Pop.
Est. 2018106,727[12]7.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2014[4]
Age pyramid Bradley County[17]

As of the census[18] 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.


With thirteen Fortune 500 manufacturers, Cleveland has the fifth largest industrial economy in Tennessee.[19] 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.[20] Major employers include Whirlpool, Johnston Coca-Cola, Mars, Incorporated, Procter & Gamble, Duracell, Hardwick Clothes, and Cleveland Chair Company.[20] Wacker Polysilicon, Olin Corporation, Amazon, and Arch Chemicals have factories and distribution centers in Charleston.[21] Resolute Forest Products, formerly Bowater, has a plant across the river from Charleston in Calhoun.[22]

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.[23]


Presidential election results
Presidential Elections Results[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 77.0% 29,768 18.3% 7,070 4.7% 1,828
2012 76.0% 27,422 22.3% 8,037 1.8% 637
2008 74.2% 28,333 24.5% 9,357 1.3% 501
2004 72.8% 25,951 26.5% 9,431 0.7% 255
2000 68.5% 20,167 29.8% 8,768 1.7% 508
1996 58.1% 15,478 34.2% 9,095 7.7% 2,055
1992 55.7% 16,528 33.3% 9,889 11.1% 3,279
1988 71.9% 15,829 27.8% 6,122 0.4% 80
1984 72.5% 16,322 27.0% 6,085 0.4% 95
1980 59.6% 11,869 38.4% 7,638 2.0% 398
1976 50.6% 9,136 48.6% 8,776 0.8% 139
1972 77.3% 10,440 20.8% 2,804 2.0% 269
1968 50.0% 6,924 20.0% 2,762 30.0% 4,159
1964 54.1% 6,717 45.9% 5,693
1960 69.7% 7,865 29.3% 3,307 1.0% 113
1956 65.0% 6,247 33.6% 3,225 1.5% 139
1952 63.4% 4,606 36.4% 2,646 0.2% 17
1948 57.1% 2,942 39.5% 2,036 3.4% 174
1944 66.2% 2,616 33.2% 1,312 0.6% 23
1940 56.7% 2,617 42.8% 1,976 0.5% 22
1936 47.6% 2,561 52.2% 2,806 0.2% 9
1932 54.1% 1,570 44.6% 1,295 1.3% 37
1928 75.7% 2,854 24.2% 913 0.1% 3
1924 63.1% 1,779 35.5% 999 1.4% 40
1920 67.3% 2,255 31.6% 1,058 1.1% 36
1916 64.7% 1,482 34.2% 784 1.1% 24
1912 28.7% 485 38.2% 645 33.1% 558

Bradley County has a 14-member county commission form of government, with two commissioners from each of seven districts.[25] 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 vice chairman is Jeff Yarber from District 5.[25] Each district is also assigned a constable, also elected.[26] The county executive (or "county mayor") separately elected, is Republican D. Gary Davis.[27] 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.[citation needed]

District[25] Seat A[25] Seat B[25]
District 1 Dennis Epperson Mike Hughes
District 2 Louie Alford Thomas Crye
District 3 Milan Blake Johnny Mull
District 4 Charlotte Peak Howard Thompson
District 5 Bobby Goins Jeff Yarber
District 6 Tim Mason Erica Davis
District 7 Kevin Raper Bill Winters

Bradley County is located in the 4th congressional district of Tennessee for the U.S. House of Representatives, represented by Republican Scott DesJarlais,[28] and the 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Chuck Fleischmann.[29] For the Tennessee House of Representatives, Bradley County is part of both District 22, represented by Republican Dan Howell,[30] and District 24, represented by Republican Mark Hall.[31] Bradley County is part of district 9 for the Tennessee Senate, represented by Republican Mike Bell,[32] and District 10, represented by Republican Todd Gardenhire.[33]

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.[34] 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.


Public safetyEdit

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) is the primary law enforcement agency for residents living outside the city limits of Cleveland and Charleston. The current sheriff is Steve Lawson, who has held that post since September 2018. The current chief deputy is Mark Smith.[35] Bradley County Fire-Rescue (BCFR) is the primary fire department for residents living outside of Cleveland and Charleston and outlying areas. It consists of ten stations and more than 120 employees and volunteers. The current chief is Troy Maney.[36]



Hardwick Field, also known as Cleveland Municipal Airport, was the county's principal airport from 1955 to 2013.[37][38] Cleveland Regional Jetport, located approximately two miles east of Hardwick Field opened on January 25, 2013, replacing Hardwick Field.[39] It consists of a 6,200-by-100-foot (1,890 by 30 m) runway.[39]


The county is served by the Norfolk Southern Railway, which forks in Cleveland and provides logistics for industries.[40]


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.[40]

Principal highwaysEdit
Historic U.S. Route 11 in Charleston.
Aerial view of the cloverleaf interchange of APD-40 (U.S. 64 Byp./S.R. 60) and U.S. Route 64 (Inman Street/Waterlevel Highway).
Secondary highwaysEdit


Cleveland Utilities is a city-owned corporation which provides electricity, water, and sewer service to the city of Cleveland and surrounding areas.[41] The Calhoun-Charleston Utilities District provides water to Charleston.[42] 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.[42] The rest of the county is provided water by the Hiwassee Utilities Commission, Ocoee Utility District, Eastside Utility District, and Savannah Valley Utility District.[42] 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.[43]


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.[44] In 2015, the two hospitals were purchased by Tennova Healthcare.[45] 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.[46]


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.

Public schoolsEdit

Bradley County SchoolsEdit

High schoolsEdit
Middle schoolsEdit
  • Lake Forest Middle School
  • Ocoee Middle School

Cleveland City SchoolsEdit

High schoolsEdit
Middle schoolEdit
  • Cleveland Middle School

Private schoolsEdit

Higher educationEdit



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.[47] 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:[48]

Call sign Frequency Format
W207C1 (WAYW) 89.3 FM Contemporary Christian
WSAA 93.1 FM Air 1, Contemporary Christian
WOOP-LP 99.9 FM Country
WUSY 100.7 FM Country
W267BI 101.3 FM Talk
WCLE-FM 104.1 FM Adult contemporary
W290CA (WTSE) 105.9 FM Contemporary Christian
WBAC 1340 AM News/Talk
WCLE-AM 1570 AM Talk


Bradley County is served by several TV stations licensed both in the county and in neighboring counties. Stations licensed in Cleveland include:

Call sign[49] Channel Network
WPDP-LP 25 ABC, Fox, My Network TV
WTNB-CD 27 Heartland
WFLI-TV 42, 53 The CW, Me-TV




Census-designated placesEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Seal of Bradley County, Tennessee
  2. ^ a b John C. Bowman, "Bradley County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: March 31, 2013.
  3. ^ Bradley County, Tennessee.
  4. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c G., Lillard, Roy (1980). Bradley County. Dunn, Joy Bailey., Crawford, Charles Wann, 1931-. Memphis, Tenn.: Memphis State University Press. ISBN 0878700994. OCLC 6934932.
  7. ^ Temple, Oliver Perry (1899). East Tennessee and the Civil War. R. Clarke Company. p. 199.
  8. ^ Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War, pp. 370-406.
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  10. ^ US Geological Survey (1965). Charleston, Tenn (Map). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  11. ^ East Cleveland, Tennessee (Map). US Geological Survey. 1976. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  15. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  19. ^ "Welcome to Cleveland, Tennessee!". November 2, 2012. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 23, 2006. Retrieved December 29, 2005.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Cleveland Chamber of Commerce
  21. ^ Pare, Mike (June 2, 2017). "Wacker starts work on $150 million plant expansion in Bradley County". Chattanooga Times-Free Press. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  22. ^ Flessner, Dave (March 13, 2013). "Paper mill in Calhoun, Tenn., once known as Bowater, idles its last newsprint machine". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  23. ^ "County Profile: Bradley County, Tennessee" (PDF). U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d e County Commission - County Commissioners
  26. ^ Constables by District
  27. ^ County Mayor, Gary Davis
  28. ^ "Congressman Scott DesJarlais". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  29. ^ "Congressman Chuck Fleischmann". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  30. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2017). State House District 22 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  31. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2017). State House District 24 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  32. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2017). State Senate District 9 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  33. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2017). State Senate District 10 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  34. ^ Lilliard, Roy G. (1980). Bradley County. Memphis State University Press. p. 24. ISBN 0-87870-099-4.
  35. ^ "Chief Deputy Brian Smith -". Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  36. ^ Bradley County Fire-Rescue
  37. ^ Love, Joyanna (December 29, 2013). "Cleveland's Hardwick Field officially closes Tuesday closes Tuesday". Cleveland Daily Banner. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  38. ^ Leach, Paul (December 27, 2013). "Cleveland's oldest airport, Hardwick Field, to close at year's end". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  39. ^ a b "FAA Information, Cleveland Regional Jetport". Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  40. ^ a b Official Transportation Map (back) (PDF) (Map). TDOT. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  41. ^ "About CU". Cleveland Utilities. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  42. ^ a b c "Bradley County Comprehensive Plan" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  43. ^ "Chattanooga Gas". Southern Company. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  44. ^ "Community forms Sky Ridge Medical Center". Medical News. Medical News. 2008. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  45. ^ Report, Staff (September 30, 2015). "SkyRidge hospital renamed Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  46. ^ "Bradley County EMS". Bradley County, TN. 2014.
  47. ^ "Cleveland Daily Banner - Bradley County News Online Magazine". Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2007.
  48. ^ "Radio Stations in Cleveland, Tennessee". Radio Locator. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  49. ^ Pro Content and Design. "Television station listings in Cleveland, Tennessee". Pro Content and Design. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2013.

External linksEdit