Jefferson County, Tennessee

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Jefferson County
County of Jefferson
Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge
Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge
Official seal of Jefferson County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Jefferson County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°03′N 83°27′W / 36.05°N 83.45°W / 36.05; -83.45
Country United States
State Tennessee
FoundedJune 11, 1792
Named forThomas Jefferson[1]
SeatDandridge
Largest cityJefferson City
Government
 • MayorMark Potts (R)[2][3]
Area
 • Total314 sq mi (810 km2)
 • Land274 sq mi (710 km2)
 • Water40 sq mi (100 km2)  13%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total54,683 Increase
 • Density195/sq mi (75/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
37725, 37760, 37820, 37871, 37890
Area code865
Congressional districts1st, 2nd
Websitejeffersoncountytn.gov

Jefferson County is an exurban[4] county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 54,683.[5] Its county seat is Dandridge.[6] Jefferson County is part of the Morristown Metropolitan Statistical Area with neighboring Grainger and Hamblen counties. The county, along with the Morristown MSA, is included in the Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville Combined Statistical Area.[7]

History[edit]

Jefferson County was established on June 11, 1792, by William Blount, Governor of the Southwest Territory.[8] It had been a part of Caswell County during the State of Franklin period (1784–1789). Its county seat, Dandridge, was settled in 1783.[8]

On the eve of the Civil War, Jefferson County, like most other counties in mountainous East Tennessee, was opposed to secession. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Jefferson County voters rejected secession by a margin of 1,987 to 603.[9] A railroad bridge at Strawberry Plains was among those targeted by the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy in November 1861.[10] This led to internal conflict in the area throughout the war, with men from the county enlisting in both of the rival armies.

On October 2, 2013, on I-40 in Jefferson County near the I-40 and I-81 split, a multi-vehicle collision involving a church bus, a tractor-trailer, and a SUV occurred at mile marker 423.[11] Tennessee Highway Patrol officials discovered that the church bus had blown a tire, leading it to merge into oncoming traffic, clipping the SUV and colliding with the semi-truck, causing it to burst into flames.[11] The accident resulted in 8 fatalities and 14 injuries.[11]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 314 square miles (810 km2), of which 274 square miles (710 km2) is land and 40 square miles (100 km2) (13%) is water.[12] The county is affected by two artificial lakes: Douglas Lake, created by the damming of the French Broad River in the south, and Cherokee Lake, created by the damming of the Holston River in the north.

Adjacent counties[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

  • Henderson Island Refuge

Transportation[edit]

Principal highways[edit]

Major surface routes[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18107,309
18208,95322.5%
183011,80131.8%
184012,0762.3%
185013,2049.3%
186016,04321.5%
187019,47621.4%
188015,846−18.6%
189016,4784.0%
190018,59012.8%
191017,755−4.5%
192017,677−0.4%
193017,9141.3%
194018,6213.9%
195019,6675.6%
196021,4939.3%
197024,94016.0%
198031,28425.4%
199033,0165.5%
200044,29434.2%
201051,40716.1%
202054,6836.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2014[5]
Age pyramid Jefferson County[17]

2020 census[edit]

Jefferson County racial composition[18]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 48,975 89.56%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 787 1.44%
Native American 159 0.29%
Asian 257 0.47%
Pacific Islander 20 0.04%
Other/Mixed 2,093 3.83%
Hispanic or Latino 2,392 4.37%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 54,683 people, 20,154 households, and 13,998 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 44,294 people, 17,155 households, and 12,608 families residing in the county. The population density was 162 people per square mile (62/km2). There were 19,319 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (27/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.66% White, 2.32% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.33% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,155 households, out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.90% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 22.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.90% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males. However, the last statistic is somewhat misleading because of female longevity, and if adults 18-65 were considered, the numbers would be very close to equal.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,824, and the median income for a family was $38,537. Males had a median income of $29,123 versus $20,269 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,841. About 9.60% of families and 13.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.90% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

According to a data profile produced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in 2018,[20] the top employers in the county are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Jefferson County Board of Education 1,100
2 Bush Brothers and Company 500
3 Nyrstar 450
4 Carson–Newman University 320
5 Walmart (Jefferson City) 300
6 Jefferson County Government 300
7 Jefferson Memorial Hospital 205
8 Jefferson County Nursing Home 200
9 Matsuo Industries 180
10 Nashua Corporation 180

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Jefferson County, Tennessee[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 18,651 78.98% 4,654 19.71% 311 1.32%
2016 14,776 77.47% 3,494 18.32% 802 4.21%
2012 13,038 74.25% 4,232 24.10% 289 1.65%
2008 13,092 70.65% 5,178 27.94% 262 1.41%
2004 11,625 67.53% 5,469 31.77% 121 0.70%
2000 8,657 61.45% 5,226 37.10% 204 1.45%
1996 6,446 53.03% 4,688 38.57% 1,021 8.40%
1992 6,184 50.02% 4,740 38.34% 1,438 11.63%
1988 6,832 67.85% 3,168 31.46% 69 0.69%
1984 7,721 70.35% 3,185 29.02% 69 0.63%
1980 6,944 66.82% 3,180 30.60% 268 2.58%
1976 5,459 57.23% 3,995 41.89% 84 0.88%
1972 5,925 80.26% 1,357 18.38% 100 1.35%
1968 5,494 67.11% 1,494 18.25% 1,199 14.65%
1964 4,923 65.44% 2,600 34.56% 0 0.00%
1960 6,141 78.79% 1,620 20.79% 33 0.42%
1956 4,870 77.63% 1,338 21.33% 65 1.04%
1952 4,622 78.87% 1,228 20.96% 10 0.17%
1948 2,979 74.12% 900 22.39% 140 3.48%
1944 3,159 76.25% 966 23.32% 18 0.43%
1940 1,921 63.95% 1,062 35.35% 21 0.70%
1936 2,356 68.33% 1,079 31.29% 13 0.38%
1932 2,275 68.59% 975 29.39% 67 2.02%
1928 2,582 85.55% 436 14.45% 0 0.00%
1924 2,699 78.39% 712 20.68% 32 0.93%
1920 3,583 81.58% 741 16.87% 68 1.55%
1916 1,648 75.84% 520 23.93% 5 0.23%
1912 540 26.96% 514 25.66% 949 47.38%


Like all of Unionist East Tennessee, Jefferson County has been overwhelmingly Republican ever since the Civil War. No Democrat has carried the county in the century and a half since that time, and indeed only Southern Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976 has managed to reach forty percent of Jefferson County's vote.

Education[edit]

K-12 public education in the county is conducted by Jefferson County Public Schools.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Origins Of Tennessee County Names, Tennessee Blue Book 2005-2006, pages 508-513
  2. ^ "Jefferson". County Technical Assistance Service. University of Tennessee. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "Results: County mayor races in 10 East Tenn. counties". WBIR-TV. May 1, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "The United States: By Rural, Urban and Exurban Counties". The Daily Yonder. March 17, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2014 – via National Archives.
  8. ^ a b Estle Muncy, "Jefferson County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 18 October 2013.
  9. ^ Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (R. Clarke Company, 1899), p. 199.
  10. ^ Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War, pp. 370-406.
  11. ^ a b c Winter, Michael (October 2, 2013). "8 dead in church bus crash on I-40 in Tennessee". USA Today. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  15. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  17. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "Jefferson County: County Profile Tool". Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. State of Tennessee. 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  21. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 11, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°03′N 83°27′W / 36.05°N 83.45°W / 36.05; -83.45