North Carolina-Gaston County-April 30

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-April 30

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

Gaston County is one of North Carolina ten most populated counties ranking 7th after 2010 census with over 200,000 residents. Map of Gaston County is located below outlined in red.


The county was formed in 1846 during a three year industrial boom between 1845-1848 when a number of cotton mills were built in the county. For 65 years the county seat was Dallas, NC but in 1911 the county seat became Gastonia. The name Gaston comes from a member of the North Carolina Supreme Court William Gaston. One of the interesting things about Gaston is he was Roman Catholic and won elections in the state of North Carolina. What made this more interesting apparently the Constitution of North Carolina before 1835 seemed to prohibit Catholics from being eligible to run for office.

William Gaston (September 19, 1778 – January 23, 1844) depicted below.


As a former college basketball coach Gastonia produced two legendary NBA players in James Worthy and Sleepy Floyd. Floyd and Worthy grew up playing against each other and went to rival high schools. Although he was a year older, it seemed that Floyd was always playing in Worthy’s shadow.

Found a great blog post by Ben Steele on the two of them

Great picture below (l-r) Worthy, Floyd, and UNC Basketball Coach Dean Smith after 1982 NCAA Championship game

James Worthy Sleepy Floyd




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