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Hickman County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Hickman County
Hickman County Courthouse in Centerville
Hickman County Courthouse in Centerville
Map of Tennessee highlighting Hickman 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 Edwin Hickman, explorer
Seat Centerville
Largest town Centerville
 • Total 613 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Land 612 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  0.02%%
 • Total 24,690
 • Density 40/sq mi (20/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th

Hickman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,690. Its county seat is Centerville.

Hickman County is part of the Nashville-DavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Centerville tennessee town square 2009
Town Square in Centerville

Hickman County was named for Edwin Hickman, an explorer and surveyor who was killed in an Indian attack at Defeated Creek in 1791. The county was established in 1807, and named for Hickman at the suggestion of Robert Weakley, a legislator who had been a member of Hickman's surveying party.

Hickman and the Duck River valley was originally claimed by the Chickasaw people of western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. Among its first white settlers was John Gordon, the famous "Captain of the Spies" who later fought at Horseshoe Bend and at Pensacola under Andrew Jackson. Gordon acquired land in Chickasaw territory in what is now Hickman County on the banks of the Duck River, where, in a partnership with Chief William "Chooshemataha" Colbert, he operated a ferry and Indian trading post for settlers traveling on the Natchez Trace. The trace was a war-path later made into a federal road for settlers moving from Tennessee to the lower Mississippi territory. The Chickasaw ceded the land to Tennessee in 1805 and Gordon kept the estate, moving his family there in 1812 and eventually amassing a plantation of over 1500 acres. The Gordon house still stands by the Duck River today, now maintained by the Natchez Trace National Parkway.

Throughout the 19th century, the county's industry revolved around iron furnaces, which made use of the county's natural supply of high-quality iron ore. Early furnaces included Napier's furnace near Aetna, which was destroyed by Union soldiers during the Civil War, and furnaces built by the Standard Coal Company in the 1880s.

Hickman natives include songwriter Beth Slater Whitson and Grand Ole Opry personality Minnie Pearl. William F. Lyell was a corporal in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 31, 1951.

The county is the subject of the Johnny Cash song "Saturday Night In Hickman County," and the Hickman community of Grinder's Switch is indirectly mentioned in the song, "The South's Gonna Do It Again," by the Charlie Daniels Band (one line refers to the band Grinderswitch, and their song "Right On Time").


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 613 square miles (1,590 km2), of which 612 square miles (1,590 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.02%) is water. The Duck River, the Piney River, and many creeks, large and small, run through Hickman County.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Natchez Trace Parkway (part)

State protected areas

  • Beaver Dam Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • MTSU Wildlife Management Area
  • John Noel State Natural Area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 2,583
1820 6,080 135.4%
1830 8,119 33.5%
1840 8,618 6.1%
1850 9,397 9.0%
1860 9,312 −0.9%
1870 9,856 5.8%
1880 12,095 22.7%
1890 14,499 19.9%
1900 16,367 12.9%
1910 16,527 1.0%
1920 16,216 −1.9%
1930 13,613 −16.1%
1940 14,873 9.3%
1950 13,353 −10.2%
1960 11,862 −11.2%
1970 12,096 2.0%
1980 15,151 25.3%
1990 16,754 10.6%
2000 22,295 33.1%
2010 24,690 10.7%
Est. 2015 24,363 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Hickman County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Hickman County

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,295 people, 8,081 households, and 5,955 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,904 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.71% White, 4.53% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,081 households out of which 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.30% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 112.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,013, and the median income for a family was $36,342. Males had a median income of $29,411 versus $21,185 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,446. About 11.60% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.90% of those under age 18 and 18.40% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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