Established in 1857 and incorporated as a town on August 18, 1870, Cleveland is the county seat of White County.
The White County Museum houses the local Historical Society. This historical museum features a number of exhibits and displays that reflect on southern struggles during the Civil War. The county courthouse, built between 1859 and 1860, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cleveland is the home of Babyland General Hospital, where visitors can watch the delivery of Cabbage Patch Kids.
Truett-McConnell College, a private four-year Baptist college, is also located in Cleveland.