History

HISTORY

Town Seal

The Town of Independence came into being in 1850 as the settlement of a dispute about where to locate the county seat. At that time, a controversy arose between the people of Old Town and people of the Elk Creek area. Each group wanted the County seat in its area. The final decision, made by three commissioners from adjacent counties, was to locate on the site favored by a group of "independents" and to call the town Independence. These commissioners hiked to the top of Point Lookout Mountain and looked down into a grove of trees where 5 streams met and decided that would be the site for the new town. Independence is located 15 miles west of Galax, 40 miles east of Marion, 29 miles south of Wytheville, and 10 miles north of Sparta, North Carolina. The town provides water, sewer, police, and garbage services. 

The population in 2000 was 971. Independence is an incorporated town with a Mayor/Council form of government. Town Council meets the 2nd Tuesday 7pm of every month at the Independence Fire Department, 329 Davis Street.

Facts

Population (year 2000): 971

Estimated population (July 2002): 944 (-2.8% change)
Males: 436 (44.9%)
Females: 535 (55.1%)
Elevation: 2698 feet

County: Grayson

Land area: 2.3 square miles

Zip code: 24348

Median resident age: 51.3 years 
Median household income: $18,264 (year 2000)
Median house value: $70,200 (year 2000)

Races in Independence
White Non-Hispanic: 89.6% 
Black: 6.8% 
Hispanic: 2.7% 
Other race: 1.2% 
Two or more races: 1.2% 
American India: 0.5% 

Ancestries
English: 16.5%
United States: 12.3%
Irish: 9.0%
German: 5.9%
Scotch-Irish: 3.1%

For population 25 years and over
High school or higher: 61.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 11.7%
Graduate or professional degree: 3.9%
Unemployed: 2.3%
Mean travel time to work: 21.4 minutes 

For population 15 years and over
Never married: 16.6%
Now married: 51.1%
Separated: 4.0%
Widowed: 16.9%
Divorced: 11.4%

3.0% Foreign born (3.0% Latin America)

Nearest city with pop. 50,000+: Winston-Salem, NC (71.0 miles, pop. 185,776).

Nearest city with pop. 200,000+: Greensboro, NC (98.9 miles, pop. 223,891).

Nearest city with pop. 1,000,000+: Philadelphia, PA (474.2 miles, pop. 1,517,550).

Nearest towns: Sparta, NC (8.4 miles), Fries, VA (13.7 miles), Galax, VA (16.2 miles), Troutdale, VA (20.8 miles), Rural Retreat, VA (20.9 miles), Wytheville, VA (22.9 miles), Atkins, VA (24.6 miles).

Area code: 276

Industries providing employment
Manufacturing: 33.2%
Retail trade: 18.7%
Educational,health, and social services: 16.3%

Crime in Independence (2001)
0 murders: 0.0 per 100,000
0 rapes: 0.0 per 100,000 
0 robberies: 0.0 per 100,000 
0 assaults: 0.0 per 100,000 
0 burglaries: 0.0 per 100,000 
3 larceny counts: 304.3 per 100,000 
0 auto thefts: 0.0 per 100,000 
City-data.com crime index = 12.4 (higher means more crime)

Hospitals/medical centers near Independence:
Alleghany County Memorial (about 9 miles; Sparta, NC) 
Twin County Regional (about 16 miles; Galax, VA) 
Wythe County Community (about 23 miles; Wytheville, VA) 

Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Independence:
Hickory Regional (about 64 miles; Hickory, NC; ID: HKY) 
Smith Reynolds (about 73 miles; Winston-Salem, NC; ID: INT) 
Raleigh County Memorial (about 80 miles; Beckley, WV; ID: BKW) 

Other public-use airports nearest to Independence:
Mountain Empire (about 22 miles; Marion/Wytheville, VA; ID: MKJ) 
Ashe County (about 24 miles; Jefferson, NC; ID: GEV) 
Twin County (about 25 miles; Galax/Hillsville, VA; ID: HLX) 

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Independence:
Bluefield State College (about 46 miles; Bluefield, WV; Full-time enrollment: 2,096) 
New River Community College (about 47 miles; Dublin, VA; FT enrollment: 2,262) 
Appalachian State University (about 48 miles; Boone, NC; FT enrollment: 12,245) 
Radford University (about 55 miles; Radford, VA; FT enrollment: 8,034) 
Southwest Virginia Community College (about 56 miles; Richlands, VA; FT enrollment: 2,412) 
Concord College (about 58 miles; Athens, WV; FT enrollment: 2,723) 
Catawba Valley Community College (about 65 miles; Hickory, NC; FT enrollment: 2,052) 

Public high school in Independence:
Grayson County High (Students: 624; Location: 110 Blue Devil Drive) 
Grayson County High Career & Tech Ed (Location: 110 Blue Devil Drive) 

Public primary/middle schools in Independence:
Independence Middle (Students: 358; Location: 100 Blue Devil Drive) 
Independence Elem. (Students: 241; Location: 915 E Main St) 
Briddle Creek Elem. (Students: 110; Location: 77 Bridle Creek Rd) 

Library in Independence:
Wythe-Grayson Regional Library (Operating income: $750,083; Location: 147 S. Independence Ave.; 121,544 books; 5,027 audio materials; 4,426 video materials; 287 serial subscriptions)

Average weather in Independence

Based on data reported by over 4,000 weather stations

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temp. (°F) 30.3 33.2 40.8 49.0 57.9 65.3 69.5 68.0 61.8 50.7 41.6 33.6
High temperature (°F) 40.8 44.8 53.2 62.2 70.5 77.1 81.1 79.7 73.7 64.2 53.8 44.5
Low temperature (°F) 19.8 21.6 28.4 35.7 45.4 53.5 57.8 56.2 49.8 37.2 29.4 22.7
Precipitation (in) 3.9 3.6 4.9 4.3 5.1 4.3 4.2 3.8 4.0 3.8 4.1 3.2


Normal climate around Independence
Based on data reported by main weather stations
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Days with precip. 12 11 12 10 11 11 12 10 8 8 9 11
Wind speed (mph) 7.5 7.7 8.2 8.0 6.4 5.7 5.3 5.0 5.3 5.7 6.5 6.9
Morning humidity (%) 78 77 77 79 85 87 89 91 91 88 83 79
Afternoon humidity (%) 59 55 51 49 54 57 59 59 58 53 54 59
Sunshine (%) 52 57 60 64 63 64 63 60 61 64 57 54
Days clear of clouds 7 7 8 9 7 6 6 7 10 12 9 8
Partly cloudy days 7 7 8 9 11 13 13 13 10 8 7 7
Cloudy days 17 15 16 13 13 11 12 11 11 11 13 16
Snowfall (in) 5.1 4.3 2.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 2.6