New Tazewell, Tennessee

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New Tazewell, Tennessee
City Hall, New Tazewell
City Hall, New Tazewell
Location of New Tazewell, Tennessee
Location of New Tazewell, Tennessee
Coordinates: 36°26′16″N 83°36′27″W / 36.43778°N 83.60750°W / 36.43778; -83.60750Coordinates: 36°26′16″N 83°36′27″W / 36.43778°N 83.60750°W / 36.43778; -83.60750
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Claiborne
Established 1880s[1]
Incorporated 1954[1]
 • Mayor Jerry Beeler
 • Total 5.3 sq mi (13.7 km2)
 • Land 5.3 sq mi (13.7 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,463 ft (446 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,037
 • Density 570/sq mi (220/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 37824-37825
Area code(s) 423 Exchanges: 562,626,851
FIPS code 47-53140[2]
GNIS feature ID 1295652[3]

New Tazewell is a town in Claiborne County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,037 at the 2010 census.


New Tazewell is located at 36°26′16″N 83°36′27″W / 36.43778°N 83.60750°W / 36.43778; -83.60750 (36.437838, -83.607613).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 768
1970 1,192 55.2%
1980 1,677 40.7%
1990 1,864 11.2%
2000 2,871 54.0%
2010 3,037 5.8%
Est. 2016 2,767 [5] −8.9%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 2,871 people, 1,200 households, and 753 families residing in the town. The population density was 542.2 people per square mile (209.2/km²). There were 1,414 housing units at an average density of 267.0 per square mile (103.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.20% White, 1.46% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.77% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population. There were 1,200 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,875, and the median income for a family was $31,458. Males had a median income of $22,181 versus $18,472 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,619. About 24.2% of families and 29.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.1% of those under age 18 and 32.1% of those age 65 or over.


Tobacco warehouse in New Tazewell.

When the railroad line was built from Knoxville through Cumberland Gap in the late 1880s, it bypassed the town of Tazewell. It is uncertain whether the railroad was unable to obtain right of way, or whether the decision was made because of topography, but the railroad depot was built about two miles to the west of Tazewell. A new community sprang up around the depot, called Cowan City on old survey maps. The town was incorporated as New Tazewell in the 1920s, but the charter was voted down about fifteen years later. It was reincorporated in 1954.[1] The town of New Tazewell was soon a thriving commercial location. Entrepreneur John L. Buis built a two-story brick building across from the train depot where he opened the Cherokee Hotel. The building also housed the first post office and a general store, and was served by a livery stable just down the street. Buis also bought farms in the area and opened a cannery in Tazewell where he produced canned goods to ship north by railroad.

Claiborne Junior High School in New Tazewell, 1938, with Soldier's Memorial Elementary School to the left

Burley tobacco production in the area provided a cash crop, and warehouses were built in the town for tobacco auctions in the late fall and early winter. Tobacco buyers came in by train and stayed at the hotel, with easy access to the warehouses by walking or by horse and buggy from the livery stable.

As burley tobacco production declined in the United States, the warehouses were abandoned, and the local economy shifted from farming to manufacturing. Today, the railroad carries freight from New Tazewell, mostly timber.


New Tazewell city government includes a mayor and six aldermen. The Town has a police department and a fire department shared with the town of Tazewell. It also features a small airport with a 5,200-foot runway.


New Tazewell is Home to a Satellite Campus of Walters State Community College.

Local economy[edit]

New Tazewell is home to a number of factories, including furniture manufacturer England Furniture Incorporated now a division of La-Z-Boy, DeRoyal Industries, Bushline Furniture, King Business Forms, Giles Industries, Homesteader Cargo Trailers, Volunteer Knit Apparel, Inc. and others.