Smyrna, Tennessee

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Smyrna, Tennessee
Smyrna town hall, July 2014.
Smyrna town hall, July 2014.
Location of Smyrna in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Location of Smyrna in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 35°58′46″N 86°31′16″W / 35.97944°N 86.52111°W / 35.97944; -86.52111Coordinates: 35°58′46″N 86°31′16″W / 35.97944°N 86.52111°W / 35.97944; -86.52111
CountryUnited States
Named forAncient Smyrna[1]
 • Total23.0 sq mi (59.5 km2)
 • Land22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
545 ft (166 m)
 • Total39,974
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,119.8/sq mi (432.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)615
FIPS code47-69420
GNIS feature ID1270735[5]
WebsiteTown of Smyrna

Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Smyrna's population was 39,974 at the 2010 census and 43,063 in 2013.[6] In 2007, U.S. News & World Report listed Smyrna as one of the best places in the United States to retire.[7] On June 2nd 2016 Blue Angels #6 crashed in Smyrna when practising for the Great Tennesse Air show, killing pilot capt Jeff Kuss. [8]


Sam Davis House

The town of Smyrna has its European-American roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. It was important during the Civil War because its railroad station lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis, who, after being charged with spying, gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured November 20, 1863, and was hanged by Union forces on November 27 of that year.[9] The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland, is the town's most important historical site.[10][11]

Smyrna was originally incorporated in 1869 but its charter was rescinded by the state several years later. In 1915, the town re-incorporated and adopted a commission-mayor form of government.

In 1941 during World War II, Sewart Air Force Base was established here and served as a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. On its portion, the state opened and operates a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was developed as the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.[11]

During the 1970s, many new industries moved to the area. The city began a period of growth stimulated by production of such companies as Better Built Aluminum, Cumberland Swan (currently known as Vi-Jon, Inc.), and Square D building plants. In the early 1980s, planning began to build a Nissan Motors manufacturing plant and, in 1983, the first vehicle was produced.[12] The Nissan plant now employs around 8,400 workers,[13] has a production capacity of 640,000 vehicles annually,[13] and covers an area of 5,200,000 sq ft (480,000 m2).[14] In 2012, Smyrna began manufacturing Nissan's electric car, the Nissan Leaf.[15]

On March 14, 2000, the mayor and board of commissioners adopted a new charter. The city now operates under the city manager form of government, whereby the commissioners hire a city manager for daily operations.[11]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.0 square miles (60 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.61%) is water.

Portions of the Percy Priest Lake reservoir lies within the town limits. The two main waterways are Stones River and Stewarts Creek.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201648,596[4]21.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
2013 Estimate[17]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 25,569 people, 9,608 households, and 7,061 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,119.8 people per square mile (432.4/km²). There were 10,016 housing units at an average density of 438.6 per square mile (169.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.23% White, 7.82% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.31% of the population.

There were 9,608 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,405, and the median income for a family was $51,550. Males had a median income of $37,130 versus $27,325 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,704. About 6.7% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.


The Nissan Smyrna assembly plant is the biggest in USA, making 640,000 cars per year. It began in 1983, and has made more than 10 million cars since then. Batteries for the Leaf began in 2012.[19][20][21] Smyrna serves as the US production site for the Nissan Leaf. Nissan's goal is that the plant in Smyrna will eventually produce 150,000 cars, and 200,000 electric car batteries per year.[22]

The top employers in the city are:[23]

  • Nissan (automobile manufacturing): 8,400[13]
  • Asurion (communications): 1,165
  • Vi-Jon (personal care products): 737
  • Stonecrest Medical Center (hospital): 550
  • Taylor Farms (produce): 550
  • Square D/Schneider Electric (electrical products): 474

Prior to their dissolution, RegionsAir (formerly Corporate Airlines) and Capitol Air were headquartered in Smyrna.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Smyrna has 10 parks, a public golf course, 7 miles of greenway trails and an outdoor water park.[7] A public fitness center located in Town Center includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool.


Smyrna is served by the Rutherford County Schools school district.[24]

Public schools[edit]

  • Cedar Grove Elementary
  • David Youree Elementary School (Eagles)
  • John Colemon Elementary School
  • Smyrna Elementary School
  • Smyrna Primary School (Huskies)
  • Stewartsboro Elementary School (Stallions)
  • Stewarts Creek Elementary School
  • Rock Springs Middle School (Knights)
  • Rocky Fork Middle School (Storms)
  • Smyrna Middle School (Panthers)
  • Stewarts Creek Middle School
  • Smyrna High School (Bulldogs)
  • Stewarts Creek High School (Redhawks)
  • Smyrna West Alternative School
  • Thurman Francis Arts Academy (Rams)

Private schools[edit]

  • Summit Christian Academy
  • Lancaster Christian Academy

Notable people[edit]


Past mayors[edit]

  • Joseph Engles, Smyrna’s very first mayor Dec. 20, 1869-1875[25]
  • Albert Wilkes Page, Mayor of Smyrna when Charter was lost in 1881.[26]
  • J.W. Engles 1915-[27]
  • Sam Ridley and Knox Ridley, twins who are both former Mayors of Smyrna, born in Smyrna, June 23, 1919, Sam in 1980 was believed to be the longest serving city official in Tennessee. He was first elected to the Smyrna city commission in 1947. [1947-1987][28][29]
  • Paul Johns[29]
  • Bob Spivey, served as Mayor for the Town of Smyrna from 2001 until 2009[30]
  • Tony D.Dover, 2009-2013[31]
  • Mary Esther Reed, 2013–present[32]


  1. ^ a b Walter Hoover, "Footprints in the Mud and Dust at Smyrna, Tennessee," 1982. Retrieved: 7 February 2013.
  2. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-03-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b Emily Brandon (September 20, 2007). "Best Places to Retire: Smyrna, Tennessee". US News & World Report. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "History" Archived 2013-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, Sam Davis website
  10. ^ Sam Davis website
  11. ^ a b c "History" Archived 2004-01-04 at, Town of Smyrna website
  12. ^ Peter J. Boyer (April 27, 2009), "The Road Ahead: Smyrna, Tennessee, vs. Detroit", The New Yorker
  13. ^ a b c "INFOGRAPHIC: Nissan Manufacturing in Tennessee - Nissan Smyrna Manufacturing and Assembly Plant". Nissan Smyrna Manufacturing and Assembly Plant. 2016-10-06. Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  14. ^ "About: Careers" Archived 2010-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Nissan USA
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  19. ^ "FACT SHEET: Vehicle Assembly Plant and Battery Plant - Smyrna, Tennessee - Nissan Smyrna Manufacturing and Assembly Plant". Nissan. April 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-10-27. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  20. ^ "About Nissan - Nissan Smyrna Manufacturing and Assembly Plant (Videos)". Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  21. ^ Top10 US car factories Bloomberg
  22. ^ "US Department of Energy on Nissan Leaf plans in Smyrna". Archived from the original on 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  23. ^[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ [2] Archived 2012-11-15 at the Wayback Machine, Rutherford County Schools
  25. ^ Joseph Engles
  26. ^ Albert Wilkes Page
  27. ^ J.W. Engles
  28. ^ Sam Ridley
  29. ^ a b Paul Johns
  30. ^ Bob Spivey
  31. ^ Tony D.Dover
  32. ^ Mary Esther Reed

External links[edit]