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Morristown, Tennessee
City of Morristown
Morristown Main Street looking east.jpg
Rose Center.jpg
College Square Mall.jpg
Crockett Tavern Museum.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: Main Street Historic District in downtown Morristown, Morristown City Center, Rose Center, College Square Mall, Fulton-Hill Park on the historic Morristown College site, Hamblen County Courthouse, Crockett Tavern Museum
Official seal of Morristown, Tennessee
Official logo of Morristown, Tennessee
Mo'Town, Tennessee’s Disc Golf Capital
"A City Always Expanding"
Location in Hamblen County and the state of Tennessee
Location in Hamblen County and the state of Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
Counties Hamblen, Jefferson
Settled ca. 1787
Incorporated 1855
Founded by Gideon Morris
Named for Gideon Morris
 • Type Council-manager
 • City 27.64 sq mi (71.59 km2)
 • Land 27.60 sq mi (71.48 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
1,350 ft (397 m)
 • City 29,137
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,094.07/sq mi (422.42/km2)
 • Urban
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Morristownian
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-50280
GNIS feature ID 2404307
Primary Airport Morristown Regional Airport
Interstate I-81.svg
U.S. Route US 11E.svg US 25E.svg

Morristown is a city in and the county seat of Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States. Morristown also extends into Jefferson County on the western and southern ends. The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census and was estimated to be 30,193 in 2019. It is the principal city of the Morristown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson counties. The Morristown metropolitan area is also part of the Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville Combined Statistical Area.

Established in 1855, Morristown developed into a thriving community due to its strategic location at the intersection of two major stagecoach routes. It would experience turmoil from battles in its immediate area and its change of control under Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. Following the war, Morristown furthered its industrial growth with companies expanding rail access, making it a prominent logistics hub into the 20th century. Since the mid-20th century, the city has established itself as the regional economic hub and metropolis of the Lakeway Area region following efforts to expand the industrial sector of the city's economy into a market with over 100 companies, providing a workforce of an estimated 30,000 people. In 2019, the city was reported to have a daytime population of 118,600, including those commuting to the city from surrounding counties and communities.


Early settlement

The first European settler of what eventually became Morristown was farmer Gideon Morris. It is recorded in Goodspeed's "History of Tennessee" that Gideon, along with an unspecified number of his siblings, arrived in the area of present-day Morristown from the Watauga Settlement, a short-lived semi-autonomous settlement located in northeast Tennessee that was originally leased from the resident Cherokee tribes during the 1770s.

Records in North Carolina indicate that a Morris family moved to the Watauga Settlement from North Carolina. According to Cora Davis Brooks, author of "History of Morristown 1787-1936":

"Gideon Morris was listed as one of the signers of the petition to annex Watauga to North Carolina in 1775, and in the Fall of the same year he served in Colonel Christian's expedition against the Indians. (N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. 10, p. 708) (King's Mountain Men by Miss Kate White.)"
"In 1778 Gideon Morris appeared in court and swore allegiance ('History of South-west Virginia', by Summers). Lands were granted by the State of North Carolina to Gideon Morris in Washington, Greene and Hawkins counties. He probably settled on portions of these grants either in 1787 or 1791, which was included in Jefferson county and now in Hamblen county."

The settlement founded by Gideon has, as far as is known, always been called Morristown. No known records exist demonstrating land grants in the area to anyone aside from Gideon and his extended family. Jefferson County, located southwest of Hamblen County, possesses a record in the Jefferson County Court House of the results of the execution of Gideon Morris' will, which includes property deeded to John Morris in 1817 for a 400-acre (160 ha) tract of land originally granted to Gideon by the State of North Carolina, and presumably comprising only a portion of the original grant due to the known size of the Morris family at that time. Gideon Morris lived on that tract of land until his death.

The American Civil War

As the Civil War approached, the town's sympathies were divided between the Union and secessionist sides. Some 25,000 Confederate Army soldiers under the command of General James Longstreet arrived at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, north east of the town, in December 1863 to spend the winter, after the Battle of Bean's Station. They remained there until February 1864 and used the Bethesda Church building as a hospital. Military engagements occurred near the church in both October and November 1864. In "Vaughn's Stampede" in October, Union forces under General Alvan Gillem attacked Confederate troops commanded by General John C. Vaughn, causing them to retreat to Carter's Station on the Watauga River. In "Gillem's Stampede" in November, Confederate forces prevailed over Gillem's troops, chasing the Union forces westward to a defensive position near Knoxville. During one of these skirmishes, a cannonball penetrated one of the church walls, causing structural damage that was repaired by reinforcing the walls with large iron rods. The Union Army used the church as a hospital for soldiers wounded in these operations. Many soldiers from both sides are interred in the Bethesda Church cemetery. Eighty of the wartime burials are unidentified.

The Skymart

Morristown’s Main Street area, with an approximate area of a square mile, grew up around a waterway known as Turkey Creek and the intersection of two railroad lines. In 1962, the creek flooded, nearly wiping out the downtown commercial district. At the same time, a suburban shopping mall on the city's west side was draining the vitality of the historic downtown district, and the city developed a plan to modernize Main Street by creating an "overhead sidewalk" that would turn the second floor of the existing buildings into a new "street" while serving as a canopy for the sidewalks below. Building owners spent nearly $2 million upgrading their properties and linking them to the ramp, while the government contributed over $5 million to build the elevated walkways and to enlarge and reroute the underground channel carrying Turkey Creek. The project was completed in 1967, and the city fathers hoped it would turn the dilapidated central business district into a bright and enticing commercial haven and aesthetically place the downtown on par with any shopping center. In the end, however, the Skymart was no match for air-conditioned and enclosed suburban shopping malls, and it has served as little more than a roof over the sidewalk and a remnant of the idealism of 1960s urban renewal. However, the overhead sidewalks still stand.

Morristown is embarking on a resurrection of the Skymart as a social and commercial hub. A newly accessible ramp has been built up to the walkway, and it has been made a key element in a greenway master plan for the region. In an effort to renew public interest, city officials, the Downtown Morristown Association and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce hold events in the city's downtown or the "Skymart District" throughout the year, mainly during the warmer months of May to September.


Morristown is located at coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611 (36.210615, −83.296141).

The city is northeast of Jefferson City, south of Bean Station, northwest of Greeneville, and north of White Pine.

Morristown is bordered by the Russellville and Talbott communities.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 20.9 square miles (54.1 km²). Some of the area is covered with water, specifically Cherokee Lake, an artificial reservoir built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s.


  • Alpha
  • Fairview-Marguerite
  • West Hills
  • Wildwood
  • Witt


Morristown falls in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), although it is not quite as hot as areas to the south and west of Tennessee due to the higher elevations. Summers are hot and humid, with July highs averaging 85 °F (29 °C), lows averaging 66 °F (19 °C), and an average of eight days per year with temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C). Winters are generally cool, with occasional small amounts of snow. January averages a high of around 45 °F (7 °C) and a low of around 28 °F (−2 °C), although low temperatures in the single digits and teens are not uncommon. The record high for Morristown, since 1994, is 103 °F (39 °C), while the record low is −2 °F (−19 °C). Annual precipitation averages around 44.3 in (1,125 mm), and average winter snowfall is 11.7 inches (30 cm). The average monthly relative humidity is around 70 percent.

Climate data for Morristown, TN (since 1984)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
Average high °F (°C) 45
Daily mean °F (°C) 37
Average low °F (°C) 28
Record low °F (°C) 1
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.2
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.9
Average relative humidity (%) 73 69 65 62 67 70 72 72 69 70 69 72 69


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 950
1880 1,350 42.1%
1890 1,999 48.1%
1900 2,973 48.7%
1910 4,007 34.8%
1920 5,875 46.6%
1930 7,305 24.3%
1940 8,050 10.2%
1950 13,019 61.7%
1960 21,267 63.4%
1970 20,318 −4.5%
1980 19,570 −3.7%
1990 21,385 9.3%
2000 24,965 16.7%
2010 29,137 16.7%
2019 (est.) 30,193 3.6%

2020 census

Morristown racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 19,067 62.66%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,605 5.27%
Native American 65 0.21%
Asian 453 1.49%
Pacific Islander 254 0.83%
Other/Mixed 1,206 3.96%
Hispanic or Latino 7,781 25.57%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 30,431 people, 11,639 households, and 6,985 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 29,137 people, 11,412 households, and 7,278 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,194.7 people per square mile (461.2/km2). There were 12,705 housing units at an average density of 528.1 per square mile (203.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.52% White, 6.63% African American, 0.87% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, and 2.15% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origins were 19.37% of the population.

There were 11,412 households, out of which 22.5% had children under 17 years of age living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.85% under 17 years of age, 9.45% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 16% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,005, and the median income for a family was $33,391. Males had a median income of $26,724 versus $20,515 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,894. About 14.6% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.

Usage in popular culture

  • The 1981 film The Evil Dead was filmed in Morristown off of Kidwell's Ridge Road. The cabin featured in the film has since burned down, though the chimney remains.
  • The 2005 film Five Across the Eyes was filmed in Morristown.


Places to visit
  • Cherokee Park Disc
  • Morristown Rotary Disc
  • Kiwanis Disc
  • General Longstreet's Headquarters Museum
  • Golf
  • Millstone Golf Club
  • Morristown Golf and Country Club
  • Historic Main Street and Crossroads Downtown Partnership
  • Morristown Cemetery
  • Morristown College
  • Panther Creek State Park
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Morristown City Parks and Recreation (15 locations)
  • Rose Center
  • Shopping Complexes and Mall
  • The Meeting Place Museum and Old Country Store


Being centrally located in the East Tennessee region, Morristown serves at the hub for a labor market area pulling most of its labor force from a surrounding seven-county area of 337,000 people. Morristown and its metropolitan area in 2019 was reported to have a gross metropolitan product of US$5.1 billion.

Top employers

According to a March 2021 survey by the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, the top 15 employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Hamblen County Department of Education 1,284
2 Koch Foods 1,100
3 MAHLE Powertrain 1,015
4 Team Technologies 853
5 Arconic 833
6 Walmart 749
7 Walters State Community College 743
8 Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare Systems 716
9 JTEKT 693
10 Rich Products 540
11 Tuff Torq Corporation 500
12 Food City 422
13 Healthstar Physicians 373
14 Otics USA Inc. 366
15 City of Morristown 338

Real estate

As of August 2020, Morristown has seen a high demand for both single-family and multi-family residential developments. Morristown would report a 110% increase in residential construction in the city's annual economic and community development report in 2020.

A study by Middle Tennessee State University found that the Morristown metropolitan area saw an 8.1% increase in housing prices in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

As of 2010, the median price for a home in the Morristown-Hamblen area was $125,600, compared with $142,000 in the Knoxville metropolitan area, and $177,900 nationally.

In 2010, the Morristown-Hamblen area was home to over 1,000 businesses, employing over 25,000 people. Total property tax revenue was almost equally divided amongst residential, commercial, and industrial properties, with residential property tax supplying 50.1%, commercial at 26.1%, and industrial at 20.1%.


Morristown is considered to be one of the largest manufacturing and industrial hubs in the state of Tennessee. There are several industrial parks located in the eastern, western and southern parts of the city, and over 100 manufacturers have based their facilities in Morristown, ranging from food processing, aerospace technology, machine and parts production, plastics engineering, and many other industries.

In 2019, the Morristown area was reported to be home to 109 manufacturing companies, with projections showing Morristown could gain 3,000 jobs and over $600,000,000 dollars in investment in the manufacturing sector alone by the year 2024.

Morristown's manufacturing market employs nearly 10,000 or 24% of the workforce in Hamblen County, and an extra 11,000 commuting from surrounding counties such as Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, and Hawkins for employment.


Morristown is considered a hub for retail, with the indoor regional College Square Mall serving an area of 300,000 people, and a diverse array of locally owned shops and franchised stores in retail developments dispersed around Morristown and in its downtown area. In 2016, the city saw nearly $1.4 billion in retail sales.


Minor league baseball

Morristown hosted several Minor League Baseball teams from 1910 to 1961 at Sherwood Park. The Morristown Jobbers became charter members of the Southeastern League in 1910. The Jobbers continued in the Appalachian League in 1911 and played each season through 1914. From 1923 to 1925, the city's entry in the league was called the Morristown Roosters. In 1948, the Morristown Red Sox became charter members of the Mountain States League in which they played through 1954. The team won the league championship in their first season. The Red Sox folded early in the 1954 season and were replaced in the league by the Morristown Reds. The Morristown Cubs, the city's final professional baseball team played in the Appalachian League from 1959 to 1961 and won the 1959 pennant.

Little League

  • In 1985 and 1987, Morristown had teams qualify for the Little League World Series; the 1985 team finished third. The Morristown teams are two of eight Tennessee teams that have advanced to the series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
  • In 2006, Morristown placed fourth in the Little League Softball World Series.
  • In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.


WSCC Campus
Main campus of Walters State Community College in East Morristown

Public schools

Public schools in Morristown are operated by the Hamblen County Department of Education. There are four middle schools: East Ridge, Lincoln, Meadowview, and Westview. Morristown has two high schools: Morristown-Hamblen High School East and Morristown-Hamblen High School West.


The main campus of Walters State Community College is located in Morristown.

The main campus and the aviation technology expansion campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Morristown, are located in Morristown.

Satellite campuses of King University and Tusculum College are located in Morristown.



Morristown is home to the Morristown-Hamblen Hospital. The hospital has a 167-room capacity with 23 designated for emergency use. It is considered the main healthcare center in the Morristown metropolitan area.


Morristown Utilities System (MUS) provides electricity, water, sewer, and fiber broadband internet to the City of Morristown and several eastern Hamblen County residents and businesses. It provides services to approximately 15,000 customers.

Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC), a utilities company based out of New Market in neighboring Jefferson County, provides electricity and fiber broadband internet for western and northern portions of Morristown, portions of Hamblen County, Jefferson County (including New Market, Baneberry, Jefferson City, Dandridge, and White Pine), and Grainger County (including Bean Station and Rutledge). AEC, as of June 2018, provides services to 46,000 customers.


Morristown is a automobile-dependent city, almost entirely reliant on roadway infrastructure to support its large commuting-base residing inside the city and from surrounding counties.

All U.S. routes, state routes in Morristown, along with I-81, are maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in TDOT Region 1, which consists of 24 counties in East Tennessee. Streets, sidewalks, and greenways in the Morristown-Hamblen area are maintained by either the Hamblen County Highway Department or the City of Morristown Public Works Department.

In 2002, the United States Census Bureau declared the municipalities of Morristown, Jefferson City, White Pine, and portions of unincorporated Hamblen and Jefferson counties as a part of an urbanized area. The Lakeway Area Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (LAMPTO) was created following the requirement of a designated MTPO for all urbanized areas in the United States. The LAMPTO plans and coordinates regional transportation projects in Morristown and its urbanized area.

Major highways

The sole interstate highway serving Morristown is Interstate 81, which connects the city to Interstate 40 in nearby Dandridge to the west, and the Tri-Cities region in northeasternmost Tennessee to the east.

U.S. Route 25E-Tennessee State Route 32 is the principal north–south route in Morristown, and connects the city from Interstate 81 at exit 8, to U.S. Route 11W in Bean Station. US 25E also extends to Interstate 75 in Corbin, Kentucky, serving as a popular alternate route of I-75 regarding construction and congestion in Knoxville. The route is given the designation Appalachian Development Highway System Corridor S from I-81 in Morristown to the Tennessee-Kentucky state line at the Cumberland Gap, and as High-Priority Corridor 12 of the National Highway System.

U.S. Route 11E-Tennessee State Route 34 is the principal east–west route in Morristown, paralleling the I-40-I-81 corridor, and connecting the city to Jefferson City to the west, and Greeneville to the east.

Tennessee State Route 160 is a bypass route of US 11E, and serves the city with access to I-81 at exit 12, US 25E, and US 11E.

Tennessee State Route 66 is a connector route to serving Morristown, connecting the city to I-81 exit 4 in White Pine, and to SR 160 and US 11E in west Morristown.

Principal highways

  • I-81
  • US 11E (Morris Boulevard, West Andrew Johnson Highway)
  • US 25E (Davy Crockett Parkway)
  • SR 32 (concurrent to US 25E)
  • SR 34 (concurrent to US 11E)
  • SR 66 (Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, East Andrew Johnson Highway, First North Street)
  • SR 160 (Governor Dewitt Clinton Senter Parkway, Air Park Boulevard, Enka Highway)

Major surface routes

  • SR 113
  • SR 341 (Alpha Valley Home Road)
  • SR 342 (Panther Creek Road)
  • SR 343 (Cumberland Street, Buffalo Trail)
  • SR 344 (Old Russellville Pike)
  • SR 474 (Merchants Greene Boulevard)
  • Brights Pike
  • Cherokee Drive
  • Commerce Boulevard
  • Economy Road
  • Kidwell Ridge Road
  • Liberty Hill Road
  • Lincoln Drive
  • Main Street / Morningside Drive
  • Sulpher Springs Road
  • Veterans Parkway
  • Walters Drive

Rail access

Norfolk Southern Railway operates freight transport throughout Morristown along several lines, including the Crescent Corridor. The Southern Railway used to serve Johnson City with several trains: the Birmingham Special (ended, 1970), the Pelican (ended, 1970) and the Tennessean (ended, 1968).

Mass transit

Public transportation is provided by Lakeway Transit. Three fixed bus routes connect to the downtown area, most residential areas, and major shopping centers throughout the city. Lakeway Transit operates using passenger fares, and city, state, federal funding.


Morristown and the surrounding area is served by Morristown Regional Airport (IATA:MOR), a 160-acre (65 ha) airport equipped with one 5,717-foot (1,743 m) runway. The airport is located southwest of Morristown's central business district near the neighborhood of Alpha, and is operated by the municipal government.

Notable people

  • Ermal Allen, professional football player and coach
  • Darrius Blevins, professional football player
  • James E. Bruce, Kentucky state representative
  • Arnold W. Bunch Jr., U.S. Air Force four-star general and current commander of Air Force Materiel Command
  • Davy Crockett, pioneer; grew up in Morristown, born in nearby Greene County
  • Mike Ford, former NASCAR crew chief for Denny Hamlin
  • Elaine Hendrix, animal rights activist and actress
  • Tim Horner, professional wrestler, politician
  • Evelyn Bryan Johnson, aviator, Morristown Regional Airport manager
  • Josiah Leming, American Idol contestant, alternative rock artist
  • Brett Martin, professional baseball player
  • William McFarland, U.S. congressman, mayor of Morristown
  • Rickey Parkey, champion boxer
  • Gideon Morris, trans-Appalachian pioneer and founder of Morristown
  • Frankie Randall, world champion boxer
  • Randy Sanders, former quarterback for Morristown East High School and the Tennessee Volunteers; former head football coach of East Tennessee State University
  • Dewitt Clinton Senter, Governor of Tennessee, legislator
  • Joe Shipley, former professional baseball player and head coach of the East Tennessee State University baseball team
  • James Stewart, professional football player
  • Uncle Am Stuart, early country and folk music fiddle player
  • Jane Wagner, playwright and actress
  • Herbert S. Walters, Democratic United States Senator, namesake of Walters State Community College
  • Calvin Ward, soldier, Medal of Honor recipient
  • John A. Willis, Theatre World and film book editor, theatre awards producer, actor, and educator

Images for kids

See also

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