Although Clover celebrated its centennial in 1987, the town’s history goes back to the mid-1870s, when the Chester and Lenoir Railroad placed a five-thousand-gallon water tank at the site of the future town.
York County; 2020 pop. 6,800). Although Clover celebrated its centennial in 1987, the town’s history goes back to the mid-1870s, when the Chester and Lenoir Railroad placed a five-thousand-gallon water tank at the site of the future town. According to local legend, water spilling from the tank yielded a patch of clover on the ground, giving the town its earlier name of Clover Patch. One of Clover’s earliest boosters was William Beaty Smith, who, along with his sons, constructed some of the first retail establishments in town. The town’s first congregation, the Clover Presbyterian Church, was established in 1881, and a post office opened three years later. Clover was chartered by the General Assembly on December 24, 1887, with around one hundred residents, most of them migrants from western York County. Early businesses included a blacksmith shop, general merchandise stores, a grocery, several boardinghouses, a furniture store, and a funeral service. The town was rechartered by the secretary of state on December 9, 1904. In 1890 Smith built the town’s first textile mill, the Clover Spinning Mill. Additional mills followed in the early twentieth century: Hawthorne Mill in 1917 and Hampshire Mill in 1923. With this business growth came population expansion, and the population neared three thousand by the 1930s. In 1985 Duke Energy constructed the Catawba Nuclear Power Plant near Clover. Although the railroad line that helped give birth to Clover was abandoned in the early 1980s, textiles and manufacturing have remained important to Clover’s economy. In 1999 the junction of Main and Kings Mountain Streets was designated a historic district.