Rutledge, Tennessee

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Rutledge, Tennessee
Grainger County Courthouse in Rutledge
Grainger County Courthouse in Rutledge
Location of Rutledge in Grainger County, Tennessee.
Location of Rutledge in Grainger County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°16′48″N 83°31′5″W / 36.28000°N 83.51806°W / 36.28000; -83.51806Coordinates: 36°16′48″N 83°31′5″W / 36.28000°N 83.51806°W / 36.28000; -83.51806
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Grainger
Incorporated 1797[1]
Named for George Rutledge
 • Total 4.7 sq mi (12.1 km2)
 • Land 4.7 sq mi (12.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,017 ft (310 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,122
 • Estimate (2016)[2] 1,189
 • Density 240/sq mi (93/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code 37861
Area code(s) 865
FIPS code 47-65820[3]
GNIS feature ID 1269919[4]

Rutledge is a town in Grainger County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of Grainger County.[5] It is part of the Morristown, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 1,122, a decrease of 65 from 2000.


Rutledge was established in 1797 and named for General George Rutledge, a prominent citizen in nearby Sullivan County. In 1801, Rutledge became the official county seat of Grainger County, a distinction that had been shared by several communities since the county's formation in 1796. Rutledge prospered in the early 19th century in part due to its situation along the Federal Road (now US-11W), which connected New Orleans and Virginia. The road intersected the Old Kentucky Road (now US-25E) at Bean Station, just east of Rutledge.[6]

Replica of Andrew Johnson's tailor shop.

In the 1820s, future president Andrew Johnson, who worked as a tailor in Greeneville, briefly operated a tailor shop in Rutledge.[7] In 1976, a replica of Johnson's tailor shop was erected on the Grainger County Courthouse lawn.

During the U.S. Civil War, guerilla warfare largely paralyzed Grainger County. In December 1863, Confederate General James Longstreet, who had earlier failed to wrest Knoxville from Union forces, passed through Rutledge en route to winter quarters at Russellville. On December 14, in what became known as the Battle of Bean's Station, Longstreet attacked a Union detachment that had been pursuing him. The Confederates failed to exploit the element of surprise, and the Union forces were able to hold out until reinforcements arrived. While Longstreet was victorious, Union forces were able to retreat to fortifications at Blaine, and Longstreet subsequently abandoned the assault and continued eastward to Russellville.[8]

Cherokee Lake, created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1941 with the completion of Cherokee Dam, is located just south of Rutledge.


Rutledge is located at 36°16′48″N 83°31′5″W / 36.28000°N 83.51806°W / 36.28000; -83.51806 (36.279991, -83.518008).[9] The town is situated near the center of Richland Valley, a narrow valley that stretches for some 35 miles (56 km) along the southern base of Clinch Mountain between Blaine and Bean Station. Richland Creek traverses most of the valley en route to its confluence along the Cherokee Lake impoundment of the Holston River, approximately 20 miles (32 km) downstream from Rutledge. Cherokee Lake's Ray Creek embayment is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Rutledge.

Rutledge is centered around the junction of U.S. Route 11W, which connects the town to Kingsport to the east and Knoxville to the west, and State Route 92, which connects the town to Jefferson County and Interstate 40 to the south. U.S. Route 25, which traverses Clinch Mountain, intersects US-11W approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of Rutledge.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20161,189[2]6.0%
Rutledge Pike (US-11) in Rutledge. The Nance Building is at center.

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,187 people, 475 households, and 298 families residing in the town. The population density was 253.1 people per square mile (97.7/km²). There were 530 housing units at an average density of 113.0 per square mile (43.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.88% White, 2.02% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 475 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the town, the population was spread out with 19.0% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 25.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,276, and the median income for a family was $33,571. Males had a median income of $26,151 versus $20,677 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,477. About 11.8% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under the age of 18 and 31.9% of those 65 and older.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ Kevin Collins, "Grainger County." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002. Retrieved: 19 February 2008.
  7. ^ Tennessee Historical Commission Marker 1B 43 in Rutledge, Tennessee. Information accessed: 17 February 2008.
  8. ^ The National Park Service, "Battle Summary: Bean's Station, Tennessee." Retrieved: 19 February 2008.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ University of Tennessee All-Americans Archived 2015-03-31 at the Wayback Machine.