Union County, Tennessee
|County of Union|
Union County Courthouse in Maynardville
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Either its creation from parts of five other counties or its support for the Union during the Civil War|
|• Mayor||Jason Bailey|
|• Total||247 sq mi (640 km2)|
|• Land||224 sq mi (580 km2)|
|• Water||24 sq mi (60 km2) 9.5%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||85/sq mi (33/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
37721, 37779, 37807, 37866
Union County was formed in 1850 from portions of Grainger, Claiborne, Campbell, Anderson, and Knox Counties. At least two theories are given on the source of its name. The name may commemorate the "union" of sections of five counties, or it may reflect East Tennessee's support for the preservation of the Union in the years before the Civil War. The enabling legislation was initially passed January 3, 1850, but due to legal challenges and complications, the county was not formally created until January 23, 1856. The county seat was originally named "Liberty", but renamed "Maynardville" in honor of attorney and congressman Horace Maynard, who had defended the county in a court case that sought to block its formation.
In the 1930s, the damming of the Clinch River by the construction of Norris Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority to form Norris Lake inundated a large part of the county, including the community of Loyston, and displaced many residents. With assistance from the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps, the TVA developed Big Ridge State Park as a demonstration park on the shore of Norris Lake in Union County. The park's recreational facilities opened in May 1934.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 247 sq mi (640 km2), of which 224 sq mi (580 km2) are land and 24 sq mi (62 km2) (9.5%) are covered by water. The county is situated in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, a range characterized by long, narrow ridges alternating with similarly shaped valleys. Prominent ridges in Union County include Copper Ridge, Hinds Ridge, and Lone Mountain. The southern end of Clinch Mountain forms part of the county's border with Grainger County to the east.
The Clinch River, Union County's primary stream, flows through the northern part of the county. This section of the river is part of Norris Lake. Big Ridge Dam, a small, nongenerating dam, impounds an inlet of Norris Lake, creating Big Ridge Lake at Big Ridge State Park. The "Loyston Sea", one of the widest sections of Norris Lake, is located in Union County just north of the state park.
- Claiborne County (north)
- Grainger County (east)
- Knox County (south)
- Anderson County (southwest)
- Campbell County (northwest)
State protected areas
- Big Ridge State Park
- Chuck Swan State Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2000 census, 17,808 people, 6,742 households and 5,191 families were residing in the county. The population density was 80 per square mile (31/km2). The 7,916 housing units averaged 35 per sq mi (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.46% White, 0.10% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. About 0.79% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.
Of the 6,742 households, 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.00% were not families. About 19.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.40% 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 2.99.
The age distribution was 25.70% under 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.60 males.
The median household income was $27,335 and the median family income was $31,843. Males had a median income of $26,436 versus $18,665 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,375. About 16.80% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.10% of those under age 18 and 27.80% of those age 65 or over.
According to a data profile produced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in 2018, the top employers in the county are:
|1||Union County School District||350|
|2||Clayton Homes (Maynardville)||350|
|5||O-N Minerals Company||100|
- Big Ridge Elementary School
- Horace Maynard Middle School (previously Horace Maynard High School until 1997)
- Luttrell Elementary School
- Maynardville Elementary School
- Paulette Elementary School
- Sharps Chapel Elementary School
- Tennessee Virtual Academy
- Union County Alternative Center, grades 6-12
- Union County High School
- Roy Acuff Museum
- Big Ridge State Park
- Roy Acuff, entertainer
- Chet Atkins, entertainer
- Jake Butcher, former banker and politician, convicted of fraud
- Kenny Chesney, entertainer
- John Rice Irwin, historian and founder of Museum of Appalachia
- Florence Reece, who wrote the song "Which Side Are You On?", was born in Sharps Chapel in 1900.
- Carl Smith, entertainer
Government and politics
Union County's current mayor is Jason Bailey. The county has 17 commissioners, with two-to-three from each of its seven districts.
- Bonnie Heiskell Peters, "Union County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 19 April 2013.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Origins Of Tennessee County Names, Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, page 513
- History Archived 2010-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, Union County Chamber of Commerce website, accessed December 5, 2009
- America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945, LC-USW33- 015718-C
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Michelle Gibson, "Waterside at Norris Lake," Knoxnews.com, 16 May 2008. Retrieved: 7 November 2013.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Union County: County Profile Tool". Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. State of Tennessee. 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Union County, Tennessee.|
- Official site
- Union County Chamber of Commerce
- Union County Public Schools
- Union County at Curlie