Morristown, Tennessee

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Morristown, Tennessee
City
Downtown Morristown's "Skymart"
Downtown Morristown's "Skymart"
Location in Tennessee
Location in Tennessee
Coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611Coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Hamblen, Jefferson
Settled ca. 1787
Incorporated 1855[1]
Named for Gideon Morris
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Danny Thomas (R)
 • Vice Mayor Gary Chesney
 • City Council
Area
 • Total 20.9 sq mi (54.1 km2)
 • Land 20.9 sq mi (54.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)  0.0%
Elevation 1,350 ft (397 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 29,137
 • Density 1,394.1/sq mi (538.6/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 37813-37816
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-50280[2]
GNIS feature ID 1269815[3]
Website http://www.mymorristown.com

Morristown is a city in and the county seat of Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States.[4] The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census. It is the principal city of the Morristown, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson counties. The Morristown metropolitan area is also a part of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Early settlement[edit]

The first European settler of what eventually became Morristown was farmer Gideon Morris. It is recorded in Goodspeed's "History of Tennessee" that Gideon, along with an unspecified number of his siblings, arrived in the area of present-day Morristown from the Watauga Settlement, a short-lived semi-autonomous settlement located in northeast Tennessee that was originally leased from the resident Cherokee tribes during the 1770s.

Records in North Carolina indicate that a Morris family moved to the Watauga Settlement from North Carolina. According to Cora Davis Brooks, author of "History of Morristown 1787 - 1936":

"Gideon Morris was listed as one of the signers of the petition to annex Watauga to North Carolina in 1775, and in the Fall of the same year he served in Colonel Christian's expedition against the Indians. (N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. 10, p. 708) ( King's Mountain Men by Miss Kate White.)"
"In 1778 Gideon Morris appeared in court and swore allegiance ('History of South-west Virginia', by Summers). Lands were granted by the State of North Carolina to Gideon Morris in Washington, Greene and Hawkins counties. He probably settled on portions of these grants either in 1787 or 1791, which was included in Jefferson county and now in Hamblen county."

The settlement founded by Gideon has, as far as is known, always been called Morristown. No known records exist demonstrating land grants in the area to anyone aside from Gideon and his extended family. Jefferson County, located southwest of Hamblen County, possesses a record in the Jefferson County Court House of the results of the execution of Gideon Morris' will, which includes property deeded to John Morris in 1817 for a 400-acre (160 ha) tract of land originally granted to Gideon by the State of North Carolina, and presumably comprising only a portion of the original grant due to the known size of the Morris family at that time. Gideon Morris lived on that tract of land until his death.

The Skymart[edit]

Morristown’s Main Street area, with an approximate area of a square mile, grew up around a waterway known as Turkey Creek and the intersection of two railroad lines. In 1962, the creek flooded, nearly wiping out the downtown commercial district. At the same time, a suburban shopping mall on the city's west side was draining the vitality of the historic downtown district, and the city developed a plan to modernize Main Street by creating an "overhead sidewalk" that would turn the second floor of the existing buildings into a new "street" while serving as a canopy for the sidewalks below. Building owners spent nearly $2 million upgrading their properties and linking them to the ramp, while the government contributed over $5 million to build the elevated walkways and to enlarge and reroute the underground channel carrying Turkey Creek. The project was completed in 1967, and the city fathers hoped it would turn the dilapidated central business district into a bright and enticing commercial haven and aesthetically place the downtown on par with any shopping center. In the end, however, the Skymart was no match for air-conditioned and enclosed suburban shopping malls, and it has served as little more than a roof over the sidewalk and a remnant of the idealism of 1960s urban renewal. However, the overhead sidewalks still stand.

Morristown is embarking on a resurrection of the Skymart as a social and commercial hub. A newly accessible ramp has been built up to the walkway, and it has been made a key element in a greenway master plan for the region. In an effort to renew public interest, city officials, the Downtown Morristown Association and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce hold events in the city's downtown or the "Skymart District" throughout the year, mainly during the warmer months of May to September.

Geography[edit]

Morristown is located at coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611 (36.210615, −83.296141)[5].

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 20.9 square miles (54.1 km²). Some of the area is covered with water, specifically Cherokee Lake, an artificial reservoir built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s.

Climate[edit]

Morristown falls in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), although it is not quite as hot as areas to the south and west of Tennessee due to the higher elevations. Summers are hot and humid, with July highs averaging 85 °F (29 °C), lows averaging 66 °F (19 °C), and an average of eight days per year with temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C).[6] Winters are generally cool, with occasional small amounts of snow. January averages a high of around 45 °F (7 °C) and a low of around 28 °F (−2 °C), although low temperatures in the single digits and teens are not uncommon. The record high for Morristown, since 1991, is 103 °F (39 °C), while the record low is −2 °F (−19 °C). Annual precipitation averages around 44.3 in (1,125 mm), and average winter snowfall is 11.7 inches (30 cm). The average monthly relative humidity is around 70 percent.

Climate data for Morristown, TN (December 2012 - December 2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
(25)
75
(24)
86
(30)
92
(33)
93
(34)
102
(39)
103
(39)
102
(39)
103
(39)
91
(33)
84
(29)
77
(25)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 45
(7)
50
(10)
60
(16)
68
(20)
75
(24)
82
(28)
85
(29)
85
(29)
79
(26)
69
(21)
58
(14)
48
(9)
67
(19.4)
Daily mean °F (°C) 37
(3)
41
(5)
49
(9)
57
(14)
65
(18)
73
(23)
76
(24)
75
(24)
69
(21)
59
(15)
48
(9)
39
(4)
57.3
(14.1)
Average low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
32
(0)
38
(3)
47
(8)
54
(12)
63
(17)
66
(19)
66
(19)
59
(15)
49
(9)
39
(4)
31
(−1)
47.7
(8.6)
Record low °F (°C) 1
(−17)
−2
(−19)
6
(−14)
26
(−3)
36
(2)
43
(6)
51
(11)
49
(9)
37
(3)
25
(−4)
5
(−15)
4
(−16)
−2
(−19)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.2
(107)
3.9
(99)
4
(100)
4
(100)
4.2
(107)
3.7
(94)
5
(130)
3.5
(89)
3.1
(79)
2.2
(56)
3.5
(89)
4
(100)
44.3
(1,125)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.9
(9.9)
3.6
(9.1)
1.5
(3.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
2.4
(6.1)
11.7
(29.7)
 % humidity 77 69 65 62 67 70 72 72 69 70 69 72 69.5
Source: Weatherbase.com[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,350
1890 1,999 48.1%
1900 2,973 48.7%
1910 4,007 34.8%
1920 5,875 46.6%
1930 7,305 24.3%
1940 8,050 10.2%
1950 13,019 61.7%
1960 21,267 63.4%
1970 20,318 −4.5%
1980 19,570 −3.7%
1990 21,385 9.3%
2000 24,965 16.7%
2010 29,137 16.7%
Est. 2012 29,269 0.5%
Sources:[7][8]

The 2010 census[2] listed the following: 29,137 people, 11,412 households, and 7,278 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,194.7 people per square mile (461.2/km²). There were 12,705 housing units at an average density of 528.1 per square mile (203.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.5% White, 15.8% Hispanic or Latino, 6.4% African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.3% of other races.

There were 11,412 households out of which 22.5% had children under 17 years of age living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.85% under 17 years of age, 9.45% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 16% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,005, and the median income for a family was $33,391. Males had a median income of $26,724 versus $20,515 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,894. About 14.6% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.

Usage in popular culture[edit]

  • The 1981 film The Evil Dead was filmed in Morristown off of Kidwell's Ridge Road. The cabin featured in the film has since burned down, though the chimney remains.
  • The 2005 film Five Across the Eyes was filmed in Morristown.

Sports[edit]

  • In 1985 and 1987, Morristown had teams qualify for the Little League World Series; the 1985 team finished third. The two Morristown teams, the team from Nashville (1970), the team from the city of Jackson (1974), and the team from the city of Goodlettsville (2012), are the only Tennessee teams to advance to the series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
  • In 2006, Morristown placed fourth in the Little League Softball World Series.[9]
  • In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.[10]

Notable people[edit]

Attractions[edit]

Education[edit]

Public schools in Morristown are operated by Hamblen County Schools.

Morristown has two high schools, Morristown-Hamblen High School East and Morristown-Hamblen High School West.

The Main campus of Walters State Community College is located in Morristown.

Satellite campuses of King University and Tusculum College are located in Morristown

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morristown website. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b Average Number of Days With Maximum Temperature 90 Degrees F or Higher
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  8. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ 2006 Southern Region Champions. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  10. ^ LLSWS Past World Champions. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Terry Morrow, Local 'Idol' teen nabs major deal, Knoxville News Sentinel, July 3, 2008

Further reading[edit]

  • Brooks, Cora Davis. "History of Morristown 1787 - 1936" 1936.
  • Hill, Howard. "The Morristown-Hamblen Library"
  • Hobby, Larry. "Morristown" Arcadia Publishing 2013

External links[edit]