McNairy County, Tennessee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

McNairy County
McNairy County Courthouse in Selmer
McNairy County Courthouse in Selmer
Map of Tennessee highlighting McNairy County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°11′N 88°34′W / 35.18°N 88.56°W / 35.18; -88.56
Country United States
State Tennessee
FoundedOctober 8, 1823
Named forJohn McNairy[1]
SeatSelmer
Largest townSelmer
Government
 • MayorLarry Smith [2]
Area
 • Total564 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Land563 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Water0.8 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total25,866 Decrease
 • Density46/sq mi (18/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district7th
Websitewww.mcnairycountytn.com

McNairy County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,075.[3] Its county seat is Selmer.[4] McNairy County is located along Tennessee's border with the state of Mississippi.

Sheriff Buford Pusser, whose story was told in the Walking Tall series of movies, was the sheriff of McNairy County from 1964 to 1970.[5]

McNairy County is the location of the Coon Creek Science Center, a notable fossil site that preserves Late Cretaceous marine shells and vertebrate remains (such as mosasaurs).

The postwar musical environment of the county played a pivotal role in the development of popular music. Influential disc jockey Dewey Phillips hailed from Adamsville, Tennessee. Carl Perkins made the first recordings of his career in the home studio of Stanton Littlejohn at Eastview, Tennessee.[6] Perkins and Elvis Presley had their first meeting at one of Presley's earliest road performances in Bethel Springs, Tennessee.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Purdy was the county seat of McNairy County until 1890. Graves in the Purdy cemetery date back to the early 1800s. (2007)

McNairy County was formed in 1823 from parts of Hardin County, and was named for Judge John McNairy.[1]

County seat[edit]

Purdy was the county seat of McNairy County until 1890.[7] Since then, Selmer has been the county seat.

Sheriff Buford Pusser[edit]

Buford Pusser served as the sheriff of McNairy County from 1964 to 1970. The courthouse and jail in Selmer were his base of operations. He gained prominence for his fight against illegal distilleries, bootleggers, gambling establishments, and corruption in the county. His story has been made famous in the Walking Tall series of movies starring Joe Don Baker, Bo Svenson, Brian Dennehy, Dwayne Johnson, and in numerous documentaries and books.[5][8]

Newspapers[edit]

The oldest existing business in McNairy County is its newspaper, the Independent Appeal, which was founded in 1902. It is located in Selmer.[citation needed]

In 2009, Tom Evans, a former reporter and photographer for the Independent Appeal, formed his own weekly newspaper, The McNairy County News.[citation needed]

School District[edit]

The schools fall under the McNairy County School District. The superintendent is Greg Martin[9] The district is a public school district, serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It serves over 4,000 student with 8 schools.[10]

Schools[edit]

Elementary Schools
  • Adamsville Elementary School[11]
    • Mr. Danny Combs, Principal
  • Bethel Springs Elementary School[12]
    • Mr. Terry Moore, Principal
  • Michie Elementary School[13]
    • Dr. Matt Alred, Principal
  • Ramer Elementary School[14]
    • Dr. Sondra Kiser, Principal
  • Selmer Elementary School[15]
    • Mrs. Pamela Simon, Principal
Middle Schools
  • Selmer Middle School[16]
    • Dr. Brenda Armstrong, Principal
High Schools
  • Adamsville High School[17]
    • Mr. Steve Killingsworth, Principal
  • McNairy Central High School[18]
    • Dr. Jerry Pyron, Principal

Board of education[edit]

The district's board of education has 7 members elected from each of the 7 districts that make up McNairy County.[19]

Controversies[edit]

The Selmer Elementary School principal failed to report abuse claims after evidence revealed Principal Simon was notified of abuse allegations on numerous occasions between October 2021 and December 2021.The report states that Simon did not notify the Department of Children Services of these claims, which as a school employee is a violation of Tennessee law as a mandatory reporter.[20][21]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 564 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 563 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (0.1%) is water.[22]

The major highways U.S. Route 64 (east-west) and U.S. Route 45 (north-south) pass through McNairy County and intersect in Selmer. Between the late 1990s and mid 2010s, both highways were upgraded to four lane divided highways, giving the county quicker access to the surrounding areas. McNairy County's position on Route 64 places it on the historic Lee Highway, which stretches from New York to San Francisco.

State Highways 22 and 57 also pass through the county. SR 22 along the eastern portion intersecting with US 64 in Adamsville, and SR 57 through the southern portion intersecting with US 45 in Eastview.

Adjacent counties[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18305,697
18409,38564.7%
185012,86437.1%
186014,73214.5%
187012,726−13.6%
188017,27135.7%
189015,510−10.2%
190017,76014.5%
191016,536−6.9%
192018,35011.0%
193019,9018.5%
194020,4242.6%
195020,390−0.2%
196018,085−11.3%
197018,3691.6%
198022,52522.6%
199022,422−0.5%
200024,65310.0%
201026,0755.8%
202025,866−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
1790-1960[24] 1900-1990[25]
1990-2000[26] 2010-2014[3]
Age pyramid McNairy County[27]

2020 census[edit]

McNairy County racial composition[28]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 22,847 88.33%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,545 5.97%
Native American 55 0.21%
Asian 78 0.3%
Other/Mixed 903 3.49%
Hispanic or Latino 438 1.69%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 25,866 people, 10,022 households, and 6,724 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[29] of 2000, there were 24,653 people, 9,980 households, and 7,135 families residing in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 11,219 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.22% White, 6.23% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 0.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,980 households, out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.00% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 25.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.60% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,154, and the median income for a family was $36,045. Males had a median income of $30,028 versus $21,450 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,385. About 11.80% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.00% of those under age 18 and 20.80% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and attractions[edit]

McNairy County is the site of 5,000-acre (20 km2) Big Hill Pond State Park, which is forested with timberland and hardwood bottomland. The county is also the location of the Coon Creek Science Center,[30] a notable fossil site, located in Leapwood over the Coon Creek Formation, which preserves Late Cretaceous marine shells and vertebrate remains (such as mosasaurs) left there 70 million years ago.

Communities[edit]

Purdy

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for McNairy County, Tennessee[31]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,093 80.65% 1,943 17.23% 239 2.12%
2016 7,841 78.11% 1,848 18.41% 349 3.48%
2012 7,015 71.57% 2,645 26.98% 142 1.45%
2008 7,135 68.46% 3,131 30.04% 156 1.50%
2004 5,787 58.31% 4,101 41.32% 36 0.36%
2000 4,897 54.48% 4,003 44.53% 89 0.99%
1996 3,960 46.18% 4,050 47.22% 566 6.60%
1992 4,093 42.66% 4,691 48.89% 811 8.45%
1988 4,625 56.46% 3,510 42.85% 56 0.68%
1984 4,776 55.34% 3,825 44.32% 30 0.35%
1980 4,603 54.06% 3,801 44.64% 110 1.29%
1976 3,388 43.80% 4,293 55.49% 55 0.71%
1972 4,774 73.23% 1,610 24.70% 135 2.07%
1968 2,979 41.21% 1,377 19.05% 2,872 39.73%
1964 3,109 50.94% 2,994 49.06% 0 0.00%
1960 3,310 59.15% 2,173 38.83% 113 2.02%
1956 3,349 57.37% 2,403 41.16% 86 1.47%
1952 3,426 55.94% 2,698 44.06% 0 0.00%
1948 2,390 48.10% 2,267 45.62% 312 6.28%
1944 2,697 61.17% 1,712 38.83% 0 0.00%
1940 2,550 50.66% 2,484 49.34% 0 0.00%
1936 1,613 47.40% 1,742 51.19% 48 1.41%
1932 1,350 40.63% 1,961 59.01% 12 0.36%
1928 2,326 65.80% 1,209 34.20% 0 0.00%
1924 1,625 58.54% 1,125 40.53% 26 0.94%
1920 3,212 63.29% 1,863 36.71% 0 0.00%
1916 1,616 52.50% 1,461 47.47% 1 0.03%
1912 616 22.22% 1,155 41.67% 1,001 36.11%


McNairy County is currently overwhelmingly Republican. Even before the rapid trend of the upland South away from the Democratic Party, McNairy County – though not to the same extent as nearby Wayne, Henderson and Hardin Counties – was a Unionist Republican enclave in historically Democratic West Tennessee. This is due to the shallow, humus-poor and easily erodible Highland Rim soils, which were much less suitable for plantation farming than the rest of Middle and West Tennessee.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bill Wagoner, "McNairy County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 11 March 2013
  2. ^ "Mayor's Office".
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Buford Pusser, the Man, his Career, and Tragedies Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine, Buford Pusser Museum website; retrieved October 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Discovering Carl".
  7. ^ The Death Song of Purdy, by Nancy Wardlow Kennedy
  8. ^ Janet Rail, "A Man Who 'Walked Tall' in McNairy County," Archived 2010-05-23 at the Wayback Machine SheriffBufordPusser.com. Accessed via Archive.org: 23 October 2013.
  9. ^ "McNairy County Schools". McNairy County Schools.
  10. ^ https://www.usnews.com/education/k12/tennessee/districts/mcnairy-county-111591[bare URL]
  11. ^ "Administration". ADAMSVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
  12. ^ "BETHEL SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL". BETHEL SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
  13. ^ "MES Faculty & Staff".
  14. ^ "RAMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL". RAMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
  15. ^ "SELMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL". SELMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
  16. ^ "SELMER MIDDLE SCHOOL". SELMER MIDDLE SCHOOL.
  17. ^ "ADAMSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL". ADAMSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL.
  18. ^ "Home". mchscats.org.
  19. ^ "McNairy County Schools". McNairy County, Tennessee.
  20. ^ "Police: Selmer Elementary principal failed to report abuse claims". February 23, 2022.
  21. ^ Latham, Angele. "Selmer parents file official complaints in Selmer Elementary child abuse case". The Jackson Sun.
  22. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  24. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  25. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  27. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  28. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  29. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  30. ^ Coon Creek Science Center
  31. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  32. ^ Wright, John K.; ‘Voting Habits in the United States: A Note on Two Maps’; Geographical Review, vol. 22, no. 4 (October 1932), pp. 666-672

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°11′N 88°34′W / 35.18°N 88.56°W / 35.18; -88.56