kids encyclopedia robot

Franklin County, Tennessee facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Franklin County
Franklin County Courthouse in Winchester
Franklin County Courthouse in Winchester
Map of Tennessee highlighting Franklin 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 1807
Named for Benjamin Franklin
Seat Winchester
Largest city Winchester
 • Total 576 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Land 555 sq mi (1,440 km2)
 • Water 21 sq mi (50 km2)  3.7%%
 • Total 42,774 Increase
 • Density 74/sq mi (29/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Franklin County is a county in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is located on the eastern boundary of Middle Tennessee in the southern part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,052. Its county seat is Winchester. Franklin County is part of the Tullahoma-Manchester, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Euro-American settlement began around 1800, and the county was formally organized in 1807 and named for Benjamin Franklin. During the next several decades, the size of the county was reduced several times by reorganizations which created the neighboring counties of Coffee County, Moore County, and Grundy County. One of the most notable early settlers was frontiersman Davy Crockett, who came about 1812 but is not thought to have remained long.

The University of the South, founded by the Episcopal Church, was organized just before the Civil War. It began full operations shortly after hostilities ceased. It encompasses a full university and theological seminary. The University of Tennessee Space Institute is also located in the county.

The area became strongly secessionist before the war. Franklin County formally threatened to secede from Tennessee and join Alabama if Tennessee did not leave the union, which it shortly did. This contrasted sharply with the situation in nearby Winston County, Alabama, which was pro-Union and discussed seceding from Alabama. The two illustrate the often divided and confused state of loyalties in the central South during this period.

During 1863, the Army of Tennessee retreated through the county, leaving it to Union control thereafter. Isham G. Harris, Confederate governor of Tennessee, was from Franklin County. After being restored to political rights after the war, he was elected to represent the state in the United States Senate.

During the temperance (anti-liquor) agitations of the late 19th century, residents discovered that by a quirk of state law, liquor could be sold only in incorporated towns. As a consequence, all of the county's towns abolished their charters in order to prohibit liquor sales.

In the 20th century, Franklin County benefited from the flood control and power generation activities of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), built by the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression. The TVA helped bring new industry to the area. It also created opportunities for water recreation by making new lakes, but many county residents were displaced from their homes in the massive public works project. The establishment of the federal Arnold Engineering Development Center, which lies partly in the county, also helped spur economic growth and technical development. Although the interstate highway system barely touched the county, it did provide valuable access via Interstate 24 to nearby Chattanooga.

Two notable figures who were born in the county early in the twentieth century were singer/entertainer Dinah Shore and entrepreneur/philanthropist John Templeton. He later became a British subject and was awarded a knighthood.

During the last decades of the 19th and the first of the 20th, Tennessee, like other southern states, passed laws and constitutional amendments establishing Jim Crow: racial segregation in public facilities, restrictions of voting for blacks, and similar measures. There were few violent disturbances compared to many localities, but it was not until the mid-1960s, a decade after the historic Brown v. Board of Education court decision, that the county's schools were desegregated in 1964 after a lawsuit was won in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Considerable industrial growth occurred in the county in the last decades of the 20th century, including the construction of a large automobile engine plant by the Nissan corporation in Decherd. An emphasis on tourism also developed, based on Civil War history and local scenic attractions such as the dogwood forests, for which an annual festival is held.


US 41A approaching the Cumberland Plateau near Cowan

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 576 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 555 square miles (1,440 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (3.7%) is water.

Franklin is one of Tennessee's southern tier of counties and abuts the Alabama border. It has a varied geography, extending from the southeast corner of the Nashville Basin over the Highland Rim and up onto the Cumberland Plateau, for a difference in elevation of about 1,300 feet (400 m). The county is well watered and forested, and except for the steeper areas of the plateau is well suited for agriculture, having a long growing season and mild winters.

Sewanee Natural Bridge is a 25 feet (7.6 m) high natural sandstone arch with a span of 50 feet (15 m).

Lost Cove Cave, located near Sherwood, is in the Carter State Natural Area. One of its entrances is known as the Buggytop Cave Entrance and another entrance is known as the Peter Cave Entrance. The Buggytop Entrance is 100 feet (30 m) wide and 80 feet (24 m) high and opens at the base of an overhanging bluff 150 feet (46 m) high. The cave stream cascades down from the mouth and drops 40 feet (12 m) in less than 100 yards (91 m).

Adjacent counties

State protected areas

  • Bear Hollow Wildlife Management Area
  • Carter State Natural Area
  • Franklin State Forest (part)
  • Hawkins Cove State Natural Area
  • Mingo Swamp Wildlife Management Area
  • Natural Bridge State Natural Area
  • Owl Hollow Mill Wildlife Management Area
  • South Cumberland State Park (part)
  • Tims Ford State Park
  • Walls of Jericho State Natural Area

Other protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 5,730
1820 16,571 189.2%
1830 15,620 −5.7%
1840 12,033 −23.0%
1850 13,768 14.4%
1860 13,848 0.6%
1870 14,970 8.1%
1880 17,178 14.7%
1890 18,929 10.2%
1900 20,392 7.7%
1910 20,491 0.5%
1920 20,641 0.7%
1930 21,796 5.6%
1940 23,892 9.6%
1950 25,431 6.4%
1960 25,528 0.4%
1970 27,244 6.7%
1980 31,983 17.4%
1990 34,725 8.6%
2000 39,270 13.1%
2010 41,052 4.5%
2020 42,774 4.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Franklin County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Franklin County

2020 census

Franklin County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 36,864 86.18%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,962 4.59%
Native American 117 0.27%
Asian 348 0.81%
Pacific Islander 17 0.04%
Other/Mixed 1,964 4.59%
Hispanic or Latino 1,502 3.51%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 42,774 people, 16,326 households, and 11,197 families residing in the county.





Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • Sorris Sims Jr (1924 - 1995), 1st Black & Civilian employee hired at AEDC (Arnold Engineering Development Center, 1949); 1st Black City Commissioner in Decherd TN. During the Civil Rights Era, Mr. Sims worked tirelessly with Athel Estill to register Black voters in Decherd
  • Stephen Adams (1807–1857), United States Senator and Representative
  • James Patton Anderson, (1822–1873), born in Franklin County, Confederate Army general
  • Jimmy Bedford (1940–2009), sixth master distiller at Jack Daniel's.
  • Phillip Fulmer (b. 1950), former head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers football team
  • Bernie Moore (1895–1967), commissioner of the Southeastern Conference
  • Dinah Shore (1916–1994), singer, actress, and television celebrity
  • John Templeton (1912–2008), investor and philanthropist

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Franklin (Tennessee) para niños

kids search engine
Franklin County, Tennessee Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.