r\ I rv f f,v i- 4'=»:-. ‘ {f ,.v.; Wj.-'S ;'! 0MK;i i ? i fe-' " ss®s>-K January, 1960 Page 7 CHURCHES in Shelby number 25, represent ing all leading Protestant groups and the Roman Catholic faith. The city is well known for the high percentage of population who are active members of religious groups. Firestone people who live here belong to such churches as Shelby Presbyterian (above), and many other congre gations of the area. EMPLOYEES’ HOMETOWN COURTHOUSE is in the heart of this thriving community at the western edge of the "Prosper ous Piedmont". Near main entrance is a monu ment to the 2,033 who served from Cleveland County in the War Between the States. Bronze marker on west side of building honors Cleve land patriots of World War I; another, those who served in WW II. Shelby: Mark of the New South HERE industry prospers and pleas ant living pre vails.” This is the description by which Shelby is known throughout North Carolina. Firestone Textiles employees who live there think of her as the county seat of Cleve land—a good, well-balanced hometown of friendly peo ple. Located some 20 miles north west of Gastonia, Shelby is the largest community in the North State between Gastonia and Asheville. The 1960 estimated population of more than 20,000 places Shelby 20th in size among cities of the state. Its location on a network of Federal and State highways puts this “em ployees’ hometown” near the crossroads of the New South. Shelby’s citizens cherish their town’s illustrious past, but even more so they appreciate her present and future as a dynamic center of industry and trade for a several-county area. County and Town Named For Patriot Heroes The county was formed in 1841 from portions of Ruther ford and Lincoln, and named to honor the memory of Col. Ben jamin Cleveland, hero of the crucial Battle of Kings Moun tain of the Revolutionary War. Shelby, begun on 147 acres from which lots were auctioned, became the county seat in 1842. It was named for Col. Isaac Shelby, another hero of Kings Mountain, who later served two terms as governor of Kentucky. The Cleveland county area was settled by peoples from Germany, England, Holland and other European countries. Several hundred Firestone Textile employees travel to their work in Gastonia from outside communities in both Carolinas. Of these outlying hometowns, several have been chosen as subjects of feature stories in the plant newspaper. This article on Shelby is fifth in a series. Today, the county is primari ly agricultural. Cotton was es tablished as the leading cash crop as early as 1815, but in later years, agriculture became diversified—with poultry, dairy ing, livestock and small grain becoming major sources of in come. Textile manufacturing pre dominates in Shelby and Cleve land county, with some 57 plants employing almost 8,000 on an annual payroll of close to $23 million. This industry has play ed a leading part in area prog ress. A textile mill above Slice’s Shoal on the Broad River fur nished the town with its first electricity from water power. Many Factors Promote Industrial Growth Suitable climate, access to raw materials and convenience to markets, abundance of power, water, and native American labor have all contributed to the industrial development of this section. Besides textiles, industry in cludes a variety of manufactur ing operations turning out such products as fiberglass, plate glass, wire and cables. The city’s aldermanic form of government, with a mayor and four elected councilmen, admin isters an outstanding program of education, recreation and pub lic welfare. Shelby’s educational system includes five elementary schools, one junior high school, and one senior high school for white pupils; and two elementary and one high school for Negro pupils —a total of ten units in the sys tem. Total school enrollment ap proaches 4,250. In addition to the public schools, commercial courses are offered in a modern business college, with some 250 students enrolled. The Public Library offers a county-wide service. A bookmo bile circulates upwards of 90,000 volumes a month. The George Washington Carver Library for Negroes contains more than 5,- 000 volumes, and also operates a bookmobile service. There are other factors which go to make Shelby a good home town. The more than 25 church es have, a membership of some 12,000. There are around 20 civic, professional and fraternal organizations. Shelby is known for its lovely homes, and their residents’ pride in property up keep. New homes and housing developments add about 100 new homes per year. Shelby Has Outstanding Recreation Advantages In listing advantages of their hometown, residents would have you remember Shelby’s recrea tional facilities. The Communi ty Center is a memorial to soldiers from the county in World Wars I and II. It was financed entirely by gifts from citizens and corporations, with exception of the swimming pool and bath house which were fi nanced from bond monies. The —more on page 8 TOWN HOUSE is an unusual combination building of Colonial design. Center portion (above) is city hall. The fire department and city library of almost 25.000 volumes are each in separate wings, portions of which are in this picture. 3 HANDICRAFTS—Mr. and Mrs. David McGinnis at home on Washington street. Mr. McGinnis, who works in Spinning, holds a hand-type lacing loom on which his wife fashions interesting de signs of such handwork as the coverlet she is exhibiting. This is one of many pieces she creates primarily "for the joy of doing it". LAFAYETTE STREET is Shelby's main business thoroughfare. Other principal North- South streets are Morgan, Washington, and DeCalb—all honoring the memory of Revolution ary War heroes.

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