Union County, Tennessee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Union County
County of Union
Union County Courthouse in Maynardville
Union County Courthouse in Maynardville
Flag of Union County
Official logo of Union County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Union County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°17′N 83°50′W / 36.28°N 83.84°W / 36.28; -83.84
Country United States
State Tennessee
FoundedJanuary 23, 1856
Named forEither its creation from parts of five other counties or its support for the Union during the Civil War[1]
SeatMaynardville
Largest cityMaynardville
Government
 • MayorJason Bailey
Area
 • Total247 sq mi (640 km2)
 • Land224 sq mi (580 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (60 km2)  9.5%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total19,802 Increase
 • Density85/sq mi (33/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
37721, 37779, 37807, 37866, 37705
Area code865
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.unioncountytn.com

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, its population was 19,109.[2] Its county seat is Maynardville.[3] Union County is included in the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area.

History[edit]

Union County was created from the union of parts of five adjacent counties.

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 and during the Civil War.[4] 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.[1]

In the 1930s, the damming of the Clinch River by the construction of Norris Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to form Norris Lake inundated a large part of the county,[5] including the community of Loyston, and displaced many residents. "The Move," what many displaced families called the forced relocation by TVA, would encounter criticism, as the promise of electrification of Union County would not come after the completion of Norris Dam, but two decades later in the mid-1950s.[6] 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.[7]

Geography[edit]

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.[8] 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.

Norris Lake, near Big Ridge State Park

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.[9]

Adjacent counties[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18606,117
18707,60524.3%
188010,26034.9%
189011,45911.7%
190012,89412.5%
191011,414−11.5%
192011,6151.8%
193011,371−2.1%
19409,030−20.6%
19508,670−4.0%
19608,498−2.0%
19709,0726.8%
198011,70729.0%
199013,69417.0%
200017,80830.0%
201019,1097.3%
202019,8023.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2014[2]
Age pyramid Union County[14]

2020 census[edit]

Union County racial composition[15]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 18,642 94.14%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 53 0.27%
Native American 33 0.17%
Asian 36 0.18%
Pacific Islander 5 0.03%
Other/Mixed 629 3.18%
Hispanic or Latino 404 2.04%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 19,802 people, 7,405 households, and 5,471 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

At the 2000 census,[16] 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.

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to a data profile produced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in 2018,[17] the top employers in the county are:

Employer Employees
1 Union County School District 350
2 Clayton Homes (Maynardville) 350
3 Union County 150
4 Food City 100
5 O-N Minerals Company 100

Education[edit]

  • 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

Attractions[edit]

  • Roy Acuff Museum
  • Big Ridge State Park

Communities[edit]

The old Hamilton-Lay store at Hamilton Crossroads, east of Maynardville

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Union County, Tennessee[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 6,803 83.75% 1,249 15.38% 71 0.87%
2016 5,053 80.89% 1,012 16.20% 182 2.91%
2012 4,282 73.35% 1,478 25.32% 78 1.34%
2008 4,467 69.81% 1,829 28.58% 103 1.61%
2004 4,145 61.77% 2,524 37.62% 41 0.61%
2000 3,199 54.96% 2,564 44.05% 58 1.00%
1996 2,253 44.08% 2,421 47.37% 437 8.55%
1992 2,274 42.47% 2,478 46.28% 602 11.24%
1988 2,110 59.20% 1,431 40.15% 23 0.65%
1984 2,447 61.51% 1,495 37.58% 36 0.90%
1980 2,453 62.09% 1,435 36.32% 63 1.59%
1976 1,801 52.10% 1,631 47.18% 25 0.72%
1972 1,927 76.26% 570 22.56% 30 1.19%
1968 1,956 66.71% 527 17.97% 449 15.31%
1964 1,770 61.87% 1,091 38.13% 0 0.00%
1960 2,082 75.63% 652 23.68% 19 0.69%
1956 2,154 79.69% 535 19.79% 14 0.52%
1952 2,087 75.78% 667 24.22% 0 0.00%
1948 1,603 74.35% 513 23.79% 40 1.86%
1944 1,768 73.73% 627 26.15% 3 0.13%
1940 1,143 62.66% 673 36.90% 8 0.44%
1936 1,785 64.70% 963 34.90% 11 0.40%
1932 1,169 58.95% 802 40.44% 12 0.61%
1928 1,826 83.30% 360 16.42% 6 0.27%
1924 1,540 78.37% 368 18.73% 57 2.90%
1920 2,607 85.98% 423 13.95% 2 0.07%
1916 1,490 79.09% 389 20.65% 5 0.27%
1912 307 16.05% 404 21.12% 1,202 62.83%


Union County's current mayor is Jason Bailey. The county has 17 commissioners, with two-to-three from each of its seven districts.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bonnie Heiskell Peters, "Union County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 19 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Origins Of Tennessee County Names, Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, page 513
  5. ^ History Archived 2010-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, Union County Chamber of Commerce website, accessed December 5, 2009
  6. ^ Stephens, Joseph. "Forced Relocations Presented More of an Ordeal than an Opportunity for Norris Reservoir Families". Historic Union County. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  7. ^ America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945, LC-USW33- 015718-C
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Michelle Gibson, "Waterside at Norris Lake," Knoxnews.com, 16 May 2008. Retrieved: 7 November 2013.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  12. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  14. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  17. ^ "Union County: County Profile Tool". Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. State of Tennessee. 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 12, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°17′N 83°50′W / 36.28°N 83.84°W / 36.28; -83.84