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Williamson County, Tennessee
Williamson county tennessee courthouse 2009.jpg
Williamson County Courthouse
Seal of Williamson County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Williamson County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1799
Seat Franklin
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

584 sq mi (1,513 km²)
583 sq mi (1,510 km²)
1 sq mi (3 km²), 0.16%
 - (2010)
 - Density

313.7/sq mi (121/km²)

Williamson County is a county in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010 US Census, the population was 183,182. The County's seat is Franklin[1], and it is part of the Nashville-DavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is named after Hugh Williamson, a North Carolina politician who signed the U.S. Constitution.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the census bureau, the county has a total area of 584 square miles (1,513 km2), of which 583 square miles (1,510 km2) is land and 1 square mile (2.6 km2) is water.

Adjacent Counties[edit | edit source]

National Protected Area[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Pre Civil War[edit | edit source]

Williamson County was originally inhabited by at least five prehistoric cultures, including tribes of Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Shawnees. White settlers had settled here by 1798, and on October 26, 1799, the Tennessee General Assembly created Franklin and Williamson County. In 1800 Abram Maury laid out Franklin, the county seat, which was carved out of part of a land grant he purchased from Major Anthony Sharp.[2] "The county was named in honor of Dr. Hugh Williamson of North Carolina who was a colonel in the North Carolina militia and served three terms in the Continental Congress."[3]

Many of the early inhabitants of the county were recipients of Revolutionary War land grants. Those veterans who chose not to settle here often sold large sections of their land grants to speculators, who in turn subdivided the land and sold off smaller lots. Prior to the Civil War, the county was the second wealthiest in the state; its resources of timber and rich soil (farmed for a diversity of crops including rye, corn, oats, tobacco, potatoes, wheat, peas, barley, and hay) provided a stable economy, as opposed to reliance on one cash crop.[3]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Williamson County was severely affected by the war. During the Civil War, Williamson County saw three battles: the Battle of Brentwood,[4] the Battle of Thompson's Station,[5] and one of the bloodiest battles in the war, the Battle of Franklin.[6] The large plantations that were part of the economic foundation of the county were ravaged, and many of the county's youth were killed during the war.[3] Many Confederate casualties of the battle of Franklin lie in the McGavock Confederate Cemetery near the Carnton plantation house. This cemetery, containing the bodies of 1,481 soldiers, is the largest private Confederate cemetery in America.[7]

Post Civil War[edit | edit source]

The agricultural and rural nature of the county remained much the same for the first part of the 1900s. "Most residents were farmers who raised corn, wheat, cotton and livestock."[3] One of the first manufacturers to come here was the Dortch Stove works in Franklin, which later became the Magic Chef factory, producing electric and gas ranges. After falling into disuse, this factory complex was restored in the late 1990s and is a "model historic preservation adaptive reuse project."[8]

Since the completion of the Interstate system and the growth of Nashville, Williamson County has seen tremendous growth. Between 1990 and 2000, the county's population grew at an of increase of 56.3 percent.[9]

Places listed on the National Register of Historic Places include Historic Downtown Franklin and the Factory at Franklin, as well as the Carter House and the Carnton Plantation.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of the census[10] of 2010, there were 183,182 people. In 2000 there were 44,725 households, and 35,780 families residing in the county. The population density was 217 per square mile (84 /km2). There were 47,005 housing units at an average density of 81 per square mile (31 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.55% White, 5.18% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

The largest ancestry groups in Williamson County are English American (19.5%), German American (16.6%), Irish American (15.2%), African American (5%), Scottish American (4%) and Scots-Irish American(4%).[11]

There were 44,725 households in 2000 out of which 43.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.80% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.00% were non-families. 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.18.

Age pyramid Williamson County[12]

The age distribution was 29.50% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.

In 2008, the median income for a household in the county was $88,316, and the median income for a family was $101,444.[13] Also in 2008, the per capita income for the county was $42,786. About 3.50% of families and 4.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.40% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.

Williamson County is ranked among the wealthiest counties in the country. In 2006 it was the 11th wealthiest county in the country according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but the Council for Community and Economic Research ranked Williamson County as America's wealthiest county (1st) when the local cost of living was factored into the equation with median household income.[14] In 2010, Williamson County is listed 17th on the Forbes list of the 25 wealthiest counties in America. [15]

By 2006 Williamson County had a population of 160,781 representing 27.0% population growth since 2000. The census bureau lists Williamson as one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the United States for the period 2000-2005.[16]

In the 2004 presidential election, Williamson County voted 72 percent in favor of George W. Bush, 27 percent in favor of Senator John Kerry, and 1 percent in favor of Ralph Nader. In 2008, John McCain took the county with 69% to Barack Obama's 30%.[17]

Government[edit | edit source]

The chief executive officer of Williamson County's government is the County Mayor, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, and is responsible for the County's fiscal management and its day-to-day business. Rogers C. Anderson has served in this capacity since 2002.

The County Mayor is assisted by directors of the Agricultural Exposition Park, Animal Control, Budget & Purchasing, Community Development, County Archives, Emergency Communications, Economic Development, Emergency Management, Employee Benefits, Human Resources, Information Technology, Property Management, Risk Management, and Solid Waste Management.

The Mayor works closely with the 24 member Board of County Commissioners, two representing each of the 12 voting districts, and whom are popularly elected by each district for a four-year term. A Chairman conducts the meetings of the Board, who is elected by the membership, annually. In addition for approval and oversight of the fiscal budget, the Board of Commissioners appoints the members of the Planning Commission, Highway Commission, Beer Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, Building Board of Adjustments, County Records Committee, Library Board and others.

Dist. Commissioner Dist. Commissioner Dist. Commissioner
1 Dwight Jones 5 Lewis W. Green Jr. 9 Mary Brockman
1 Ricky D. Jones 5 Thomas W. "Tommy" Little 9 Ernie Williams
2 Elizabeth C. "Betsy" Hester 6 Arlene Cooke 10 Bob Barnwell
2 John Hancock 6 Jeff Ford 10 Travis Hawkins
3 Judy Herbert 7 Bert Chalfant 11 Brandon Ryan
3 Judy Hayes 7 Tom Bain 11 Brian Bethard
4 Kathy Danner 8 Greg Davis 12 Doug Langston
4 Cheryl Wilson 8 Jack Walton 12 Steve Smith

The County's Assessor of Property, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Juvenile Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, Trustee and two judges of the General Sessions Court are popularly elected for four-year terms. Other officials including the Chancery Court Clerk, Election Administrator, and Highway Superintendent are appointed for four year terms. The latter two are appointed respectively by the Election Commission and Highway Commission, and the Chancery Court Clerk is appointed by the elected judges of Tennessee's 21st Judicial District.

Office Office Holder Office Office Holder
Chancery Court Clerk Elaine Beeler Highway Superintendent Eddie Hood
Circuit Court Clerk Debbie Barrett Juvenile Court Clerk Brenda Hyden
County Clerk Elaine Anderson Property Assessor Dennis Anglin
Election Administrator Ann Beard Register of Deeds Sadie Wade
General Sessions Judge Al Nations Sheriff Jeff Long
General Sessions Judge Denise Andre Trustee Walter "Joey" Davis

Education[edit | edit source]

K-12 public education in the county is under the jurisdiction of Williamson County Schools, which operates 38 schools.

Cities & Towns[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture accessed July 20, 2011
  3. ^ a b c d Thomason Associates and Tennessee Historical Commission (February, 1988). "Historic Resources of Williamson County (Partial Inventory of Historic and Architectural Properties), National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination". National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "Battle Summary: Brentwood, TN". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  5. ^ "Battle Summary: Thompson's Station, TN". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  6. ^ "Battle Summary: Franklin, TN". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  7. ^ The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture accessed July 20, 2011
  8. ^ The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture accessed July 20, 2011
  9. ^ The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture accessed July 20, 2011
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  13. ^ "Williamson County, Tennessee - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  14. ^ Cost of Living Can Significantly Affect “Real” Median Household Income, Council for Community and Economic Research website . Retrieved December 9, 2007.
  15. ^ "Forbes: Williamson 17th richest county - Nashville Business Journal". 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  16. ^ Estimates for the 100 Fastest Growing U.S. Counties in 2004: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004
  17. ^ CNN Election Center: America Votes 2004

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Holladay, Robert, “‘Dangerous Doctrines’: The Rise and Fall of Jacksonian Support in Williamson County, Tennessee,” Southern Studies, 16 (Spring–Summer 2009), 90–121.

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 35°53′N 86°54′W / 35.89, -86.90

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