Perry County, Tennessee
|Founded||November 14, 1819|
|Named for||Oliver Hazard Perry|
|• Total||423 sq mi (1,100 km2)|
|• Land||415 sq mi (1,070 km2)|
|• Water||8.1 sq mi (21 km2) 1.9%%|
|• Density||19/sq mi (7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,915. Its county seat is Linden. The county was named after the War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry.
Perry County was formed in 1819 from parts of Humphreys and Hickman counties. It is named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819), American War of 1812 naval officer who, after his flagship was severely damaged, continued the fight from another ship and forced the surrender of the British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. Decatur County was formed from the portions of Perry County west of the Tennessee River. The first settlements in the county were along Toms Creek near the Tennessee River, with the first known birth in the area occurring in 1818. This is the first written date involving the area that would become Perry County, but it is evident that the area had some European permanent settlement prior to this. The seat of government and courts were originally located in a small town known as Harrisburg approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the current seat of Linden. The county seat was transferred to its current location in Linden in 1848, where the current courthouse stands today. Harrisburg no longer exists as a municipal entity or recognized location.
Perry County was severely impacted by the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. Unemployment reached 27%, making it the highest in the state of Tennessee, and one of the highest in the United States. The massive amount of unemployment was due to the closure of a major automotive parts plant that employed a significant portion of the county's residents.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 423 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 415 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 8.1 square miles (21 km2) (1.9%) is water. Perry County is bordered on the west by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), and is bisected (north-south) by the Buffalo River. The eastern portion of Perry County is entirely drained by the Buffalo River and the western portion by the Tennessee River.
- Humphreys County (north)
- Hickman County (northeast)
- Lewis County (southeast)
- Wayne County (south)
- Decatur County (west)
- Benton County (northwest)
State protected areas
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,915 people, and 2,977 households residing in the county. The average household size was 2.55. The population density was 19.1 people per square mile. There were 4,599 housing units. The racial makeup of the county was 95.8% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. 1.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 52.9% from 18 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. 49.8% of the population was female. The median age for the county was 41.7 years.
Perry County has the lowest population density of any county in Tennessee.
- Linden (county seat)
Historically, like most of Middle Tennessee, Perry County was overwhelmingly Democratic. It did vote for Warren G. Harding in his record popular vote landslide of 1920, but otherwise no Republican presidential candidate managed to carry the county up to 2004. It did, though, give a plurality to segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968, but became one of only six Wallace counties[a] to vote for George McGovern against Richard Nixon’s 3,000-plus-county landslide of 1972.
Since 2000, Perry County has seen a very rapid trend towards the Republican Party. In 2016, indeed, this historically Democratic county was only marginally less Republican than traditional Unionist Republican bastions of East Tennessee.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Perry County, Tennessee
- Perry County Courthouse (Tennessee)
- Gus Steele, "Perry County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 18 March 2013.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Perry County Historical Society, "Perry County History, Perry County Chamber of Commerce website. Retrieved: 30 October 2013.
- Michael Cooper, "In Tennessee Corner, Stimulus Meets New Deal," New York Times, 27 July 2009. Retrieved: 30 October 2013.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Tennessee Population Density County Rank, USA.com. Retrieved: 30 October 2013.
- Cohn, Nate; ‘Demographic Shift: Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats’, New York Times, April 24, 2014
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Perry County, Tennessee.|
- Perry County Chamber of Commerce
- Perry County, TNGenWeb - free genealogy resources for the county
- Perry County at Curlie