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Maury County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Maury County
County of Maury
Maury County Courthouse in Columbia
Maury County Courthouse in Columbia
Official seal of Maury County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Maury 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 Abram Poindexter Maury, Sr.
Seat Columbia
Largest city Spring Hill
 • Total 616 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land 613 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Water 2.4 sq mi (6 km2)  0.4%%
 • Total 100,974 Increase
 • Density 164.72/sq mi (63.60/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 4th, 7th
Enterprise Community Center
Enterprise Community Center 2/1//22

Maury County ( MURR-ee) is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee, in the Middle Tennessee region. As of the 2020 census, the population was 100,974. Its county seat is Columbia. Maury County is part of the Nashville-DavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The county was formed in 1807 from Williamson County and Indian lands. Maury County was named in honor of Major Abram Poindexter Maury of Williamson County, who was a member of the Tennessee legislature, and an uncle of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury.

The rich soil of Maury County led to a thriving agricultural sector, starting in the 19th century. The county was part of a 41-county region that became known and legally defined as Middle Tennessee. The area contains the majority of population in the state. Planters in Maury County formerly relied on the labor of African-American slaves to raise and process cotton, tobacco, and livestock (especially dairy cattle).

With the mechanization of agriculture, particularly from the 1930s, the need for farm labor in the county was reduced. Also, many African Americans moved to northern and midwestern industrial cities in the 20th century for the employment opportunities, particularly during the Great Migration. This movement out of the county continued after World War II. Other changes have led to increased population since the late 20th century, and the county has led the state in beef cattle production.

Columbia Race Riot of 1946

On the night of February 26–27, 1946, a disturbance known as the "Columbia Race Riot" took place in Columbia, the county seat. It was the first time in Tennessee that blacks Americans had fought to defend themselves from a white attack, and the national press called it the first "major racial confrontation" after the Second World War. It marked a new spirit of resistance by African American veterans and others following their participation in World War II, by which they believed they had earned their full rights as citizens, even in the Jim Crow South. It began when James Stephenson, an African-American Navy veteran, was in a store when his mother complained about being overcharged for poor repairs. A white repair apprentice, Billy Fleming struck the woman. Stephenson had been a welterweight on the Navy boxing team and promptly sent Fleming through a glass window. Both Stephenson and his mother were arrested, and Fleming's father convinced the sheriff to charge them with attempted murder. When they learned that Fleming had gone to a hospital, a white mob gathered and it was feared the Stephensons would be lynched.

Julius Blair, a 76-year-old store owner in the black community, arranged to have the Stephensons released to his custody. He drove them out of town for their protection. The mob did not disperse, but about one hundred black men patrolled their neighborhood, determined to resist. Four police officers were ambushed while walking in "Mink Slide", the name for the African-American business district, also known as "The Bottom". After this attack on the police, state troopers were sent as reinforcements, soon outnumbering the black patrollers. The state troopers began ransacking businesses and rounding up African Americans. They cut off phone service to Mink Slide, but the owner of a funeral home managed to call Nashville and ask for help from the NAACP. The county jail was overcrowded with black "suspects", who were questioned for days without counsel. Two black men were killed "trying to escape." More than 20 black men were eventually charged with rioting and attempted murder.

The NAACP sent Thurgood Marshall as the lead attorney to defend Stephenson and the other black men, with trials taking place throughout the summer of 1946. Marshall was assisted by two local attorneys, Zephaniah Alexander Looby, originally from the British West Indies but later to serve as a member of the Nashville City Council, and Maurice Weaver, a white local activist lawyer. Marshall was also preparing litigation for education and voting rights cases. (In 1954 he gained a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. Marshall later was appointed as the first black United States Supreme Court justice.) In Columbia, Marshall achieved acquittals of 23 black men from an all-white jury. At the last trials in November 1946, he also won acquittal for Rooster Bill Pillow, and a reduction in sentence for Papa Kennedy, which allowed him free on bail.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 616 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 613 square miles (1,590 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Natchez Trace Parkway (part)

State protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 10,359
1820 22,141 113.7%
1830 27,665 24.9%
1840 28,186 1.9%
1850 29,520 4.7%
1860 32,498 10.1%
1870 36,289 11.7%
1880 39,904 10.0%
1890 38,112 −4.5%
1900 42,703 12.0%
1910 40,456 −5.3%
1920 35,403 −12.5%
1930 34,016 −3.9%
1940 40,357 18.6%
1950 40,368 0.0%
1960 41,699 3.3%
1970 43,376 4.0%
1980 51,095 17.8%
1990 54,812 7.3%
2000 69,498 26.8%
2010 80,956 16.5%
2020 100,974 24.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020
USA Maury County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Maury County

2020 census

Maury County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 76,182 75.45%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 11,241 11.13%
Native American 248 0.25%
Asian 934 0.92%
Pacific Islander 45 0.04%
Other/Mixed 4,664 4.62%
Hispanic or Latino 7,660 7.59%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 100,974 people, 37,104 households, and 25,951 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 80,932 people and 33,332 households residing in the county. The population density was 132 people per square mile (51/km2). There were 37,470 housing units at an average density of 61 per square mile (24/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.4% White, 11.9% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. 5.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 26,444 households, out of which 34.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.90% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.10% were non-families. 23.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.20% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 23.20% 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 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,591, and the median income for a family was $48,010. Males had a median income of $37,675 versus $23,334 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,365. About 8.30% of families and 10.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.50% of those under age 18 and 12.10% of those age 65 or over.

There were declines in population and declines in population growth from 1900 to 1930, and from 1940 to 1970. These periods related to the migration of people from rural to urban areas for work, especially as mechanization reduced the need for agricultural laborers. In addition, these time periods related to the Great Migration of African Americans out of the Jim Crow South to northern and midwestern industrial cities for more opportunities. The African-American population became highly urbanized. Expansion of the railroads, auto and steel industries provided new work opportunities in the early 20th century.


Interstate 65 runs along the eastern portion of Maury County for about 18 miles (29 km), bypassing Columbia and Spring Hill. State Route 396 is a short controlled-access highway that connects I-65 to Spring Hill. U.S. Route 31, which parallels I-65 its entire length through Tennessee, runs through Columbia and Spring Hill, and U.S. Route 431 runs for a short distance in the northeastern corner of the county. The northern terminus of U.S. Route 43 and the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 412 are both located in Columbia. Other major state routes include 6, 7, 20, 50, and 99. Secondary state routes include 166, 243, 245, 246, 247, and 373.

The Maury County Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) northeast of the central business district of Mount Pleasant and 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) southwest of Columbia.



Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities


Maury County Public Schools operates public schools in the county.

Notable people

  • James P. Eagle (1837–1904) – 16th Governor of Arkansas
  • Rufus Estes (b. 1857-d.1939), former slave, luxury railway car chef
  • George Rufus Kenamore (1846-1928), Missouri merchant, government official, and politician
  • Sam. R. Watkins (1839–1901) – author of Co. Aytch (1882)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Maury para niños

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