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Claiborne County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Claiborne County
County of Claiborne
Claiborne County Courthouse in Tazewell
Claiborne County Courthouse in Tazewell
Official seal of Claiborne County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Claiborne 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 October 29, 1801
Named for William C. C. Claiborne
Seat Tazewell
Largest city Harrogate
 • Total 442 sq mi (1,140 km2)
 • Land 435,043 sq mi (1,126,760 km2)
 • Water 7.0 sq mi (18 km2)  1.6%%
 • Total 32,043 Decrease
 • Density 74/sq mi (29/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Claiborne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,213. Its county seat is Tazewell.


Claiborne County was established on October 29, 1801, created from Grainger and Hawkins counties and extended the southern boundary to Anderson County. It was named for Virginia tidewater aristocrat William C. C. Claiborne, one of the first judges of the Tennessee Superior Court and one of the first representatives in U.S. Congress from Tennessee.

Like many East Tennessee counties, Claiborne County was largely opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, the county's residents voted against secession by a margin of 1,243 to 250.

The Four Seasons Hotel was built on the location of present-day Lincoln Memorial University in 1892 by an English land company, the American Association Limited, which was led locally by flamboyant businessman Alexander Arthur. At the time, it was reported by its promoters to be the largest hotel in the United States. The main building was four stories high with a lobby 75 feet square and a dining room 50 feet by 160 feet. It was reported to contain 700 rooms. Also included in the complex were a hospital, an inn, a sanitarium, and other smaller buildings. The hotel was not a success and was demolished in 1895. During its operation, the Four Seasons Hotel offered buggy rides to nearby English Cave, which had been improved with wooden stairways, walkways, and bridges. The rotting remains of these wooden structures can still be seen in the cave.

Notable people from Claiborne County include State Representative Boyd C. Fugate (1884-1967).


Farmlands near Speedwell

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 442 square miles (1,140 km2), of which 435 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 7.0 square miles (18 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected areas

  • Cumberland Trail (part)
  • Powell River Preserve State Natural Area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 4,798
1820 5,508 14.8%
1830 8,470 53.8%
1840 9,474 11.9%
1850 9,369 −1.1%
1860 9,643 2.9%
1870 9,321 −3.3%
1880 13,373 43.5%
1890 15,103 12.9%
1900 20,696 37.0%
1910 23,504 13.6%
1920 23,286 −0.9%
1930 24,313 4.4%
1940 24,657 1.4%
1950 24,788 0.5%
1960 19,067 −23.1%
1970 19,420 1.9%
1980 24,595 26.6%
1990 26,137 6.3%
2000 29,862 14.3%
2010 32,213 7.9%
2020 32,043 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Claiborne County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Claiborne County

2020 census

Claiborne County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 29,966 93.52%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 314 0.98%
Native American 58 0.18%
Asian 148 0.46%
Pacific Islander 11 0.03%
Other/Mixed 1,056 3.3%
Hispanic or Latino 490 1.53%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 32,043 people, 13,281 households, and 8,683 families residing in the county.




Unincorporated communities



2017-06-12 15 41 00 Panorama of Cumberland Gap on the border of Kentucky and Virginia from the junction of U.S. Route 25E and U.S. Route 58 in the town of Cumberland Gap, Claiborne County, Tennessee
U.S. Route 25E near the Cumberland Gap

U.S. Routes 25E, and State Route 63 are the major arterial roadways in the county. US 25E, established as the East Tennessee Crossing Byway and Appalachian Development Corridor S, provides four-lane expressway north-south access to Grainger County and the Kentucky-Tennessee state-line. SR 63, provides two-lane access from the city of Harrogate to Campbell County.

Notable people

from Claiborne County include State Representative Boyd C. Fugate (1884-1967). Claiborne County's musical heritage includes musicians Rodney Atkins, Cindy Morgan and Michael McMeel as well as bluegrass musicians Steve Gulley, Milton Estes, CF Bailey and Shadow Ridge, Vic Graves, Scott and Alan Powers, The Honeycutt Brothers, Buster Turner and the Turner Brothers, Bryan Turner, Patrick Beeler, Larry Carter, Randall Massengill, and Jerry Cole. Lincoln Memorial University's literary heritage includes authors Silas House, James Still, and Jesse Stuart.

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