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Chester County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Chester County
Chester County Courthouse in Henderson, 2003
Chester County Courthouse in Henderson, 2003
Map of Tennessee highlighting Chester County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Tennessee
Founded 1882
Named for Robert Chester
Seat Henderson
Largest city Henderson
 • Total 286 sq mi (740 km2)
 • Land 286 sq mi (740 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)  0.08%%
 • Total 17,131
 • Density 60/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th

Chester County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,131. Its county seat is Henderson. The county was created in 1879 and organized in 1882.

Chester County is included in the Jackson, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Chester County was the last county formed in Tennessee, created by the General Assembly in 1875 from adjacent parts of neighboring Hardeman, Henderson, McNairy, and Madison counties. This land was used to create a county named Wisdom County, but "Wisdom County" was never organized, and in March 1879 the Assembly repealed this and created Chester County out of the same land. Lawsuits by opponents of the creation of the new county delayed actual organization until 1882. Chester County was named for Colonel Robert I. Chester, a quartermaster in the War of 1812, an early postmaster in Jackson, and a federal marshal.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 286 square miles (740 km2), of which 286 square miles (740 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (0.08%) is water.

Adjacent Counties

State protected areas

  • Chickasaw State Park
  • Chickasaw State Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 9,069
1900 9,869 8.8%
1910 9,090 −7.9%
1920 9,669 6.4%
1930 10,603 9.7%
1940 11,124 4.9%
1950 11,149 0.2%
1960 9,569 −14.2%
1970 9,927 3.7%
1980 12,727 28.2%
1990 12,819 0.7%
2000 15,540 21.2%
2010 17,131 10.2%
Est. 2015 17,471 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Chester County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Chester County

As of the census of 2000, there were 15,540 people, 5,660 households, and 4,199 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 6,178 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.13% White(non-Hispanic), 10.03% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of 2000 there were 5,660 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.00% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 14.40% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,349, and the median income for a family was $41,127. Males had a median income of $31,378 versus $21,615 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,756. About 11.10% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 15.30% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities

In popular culture

  • Country musician Eddy Arnold, a native of Henderson, titled his 1969 autobiography It's A Long Way From Chester County.
  • The 1973 movie Walking Tall was filmed in Henderson and elsewhere in Chester County, including important scenes filmed in the county courthouse; many local residents served as extras or played bit parts.
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