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Maynardville, Tennessee

(originally Liberty)
City of Maynardville
Union County Courthouse and old Maynardville State Bank
Union County Courthouse and old Maynardville State Bank
Official logo of Maynardville, Tennessee
The Cradle of Country Music
"A Friendly Town with an Eye on the Future.", "My Maynardville, My Home."
Location of Maynardville in Union County, Tennessee.
Location of Maynardville in Union County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Union
Settled 1850
Incorporated 1870
Named for Horace Maynard
 • Type Commission-Manager
 • Total 5.39 sq mi (13.97 km2)
 • Land 5.39 sq mi (13.97 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,197 ft (365 m)
 • Total 2,413
 • Estimate 
 • Density 450.13/sq mi (173.80/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 865
FIPS code 47-46700
GNIS feature ID 2405042

Maynardville (originally named Liberty) is a city in and the county seat of Union County, Tennessee, United States. The city was named to honor Horace Maynard, who successfully defended the creation of Union County from a challenge from Knox County. Its population was 2,413 at the 2010 census, up from 1,782 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area.


What is now Maynardville began in the early 19th century as a small community known as Liberty. When Union County was created in the 1850s, Liberty, being nearest the center of the county, was chosen as the county seat. The land for the courthouse square was donated by Marcus Monroe (1793–1870), a local minister.

Musicians playing in Maynardville in 1935

Shortly after the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the creation of Union County, Knox County secured an injunction blocking the creation of the new county, which would take some of its area from Knox County. To defend the new county, its supporters retained the services of Horace Maynard (1814–1882), a Knoxville-area attorney and later U.S. Postmaster General. After Maynard successfully defended the new county in litigation proceedings, Liberty was renamed "Maynardville" in his honor. Union County was formally recognized in 1856.

Country music singer Roy Acuff was born in Maynardville in 1903. The Acuff family had been well-established in Union County since the mid-19th century. When Goodspeed published its History of Tennessee in 1887, the Union County section included a brief biography of Roy's grandfather, Coram Acuff (1846–1931), who represented Union County in the state legislature. Other notable country musicians born in the Maynardville vicinity include Carl Smith, Chet Atkins, and Kenny Chesney, the latter two having been born in nearby Luttrell.


Maynardville is situated near the center of Raccoon Valley, a narrow valley stretching for roughly 15 miles (24 km) between Copper Ridge on the south and Hinds Ridge on the north. Like most mountains in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, these two ridges are long and narrow, and often fractured into smaller hills and knobs. The Norris Lake impoundment of the Clinch River is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Maynardville.

Maynardville is concentrated around a stretch of State Route 33, which connects the city to the suburbs of north Knoxville to the southwest and Tazewell to the northeast. State Route 61 connects Maynardville with Luttrell to the south, and State Route 144 connects Maynardville with Plainview to the southwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 188
1870 155 −17.6%
1880 178 14.8%
1890 144 −19.1%
1960 620
1970 702 13.2%
1980 924 31.6%
1990 1,298 40.5%
2000 1,782 37.3%
2010 2,413 35.4%
2019 (est.) 2,428 0.6%
The old Dr. Carr office building, now an art gallery, in Maynardville

As of the census of 2000, 1,782 people, 683 households, and 463 families were residing in the city. The population density was 330.1 people per square mile (127.4/km2). The 769 housing units averaged 142.4 per sq mi (55.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.37% White, 0.17% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.11% Asian, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.34% of the population.

Of the 683 households, 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were not families. About 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46, and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the age distribution was 26.9% under 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,077, and for a family was $30,398. Males had a median income of $25,278 versus $18,603 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,168. About 20.2% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.8% of those under age 18 and 32.9% of those age 65 or over.

In popular culture

In the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, the character of 1 SSF First Lieutenant Aldo Raine, portrayed by Brad Pitt, is said to be a moonshiner from Maynardville.

In the 1958 film Thunder Road, the theme song "The Ballad of Thunder Road" says star Robert Mitchum "screamed by Maynardville." Sections of old Highway 33 in Maynardville have historical signs marking "The Original Thunder Road".

In Iron Man 3, Tony's suit crash lands near Rose Hill, four miles from downtown Maynardville. He enlists the aid of a young boy and works on fixing the suit while fighting off several agents before heading to Chattanooga.


According to 2010 Census report published by the East Tennessee Development District in 2012, the top three industries employing residents of Maynarville were professional services, trade, and manufacturing.

Nearly 62% of the city's population was reported to commute outside of Union County for employment in 2010.

Notable people

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