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Sneedville, Tennessee facts for kids

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Sneedville, Tennessee
City of Sneedville
Main Street (TN-33) in Sneedville
Main Street (TN-33) in Sneedville
Location of Sneedville in Hancock County, Tennessee.
Location of Sneedville in Hancock County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Hancock
Settled 1790s
Incorporated 1850
Named for William Henry Sneed
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Total 2.30 sq mi (5.95 km2)
 • Land 2.30 sq mi (5.95 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,171 ft (357 m)
 • Total 1,387
 • Estimate 
 • Density 587.29/sq mi (226.77/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-69460
GNIS feature ID 1303706

Sneedville is a city in and the county seat of Hancock County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 1,387 per the 2010 census.


European-American settlement began in the 1790s, as migrants moved into the area from the Piedmont frontiers of Virginia and North Carolina. Such migrants had formed families in colonial Virginia. Among them was a multi-racial group of settlers who became known as Melungeon. They have been documented as having primarily European and sub-Saharan African, with a lesser amount of Native American ancestry.

The county historical society asserts that French traders noted encountering the Melungeons in the late 1600s in the area that is now east Tennessee. Such early settlement is not supported by the work of Edward Price, a cultural geographer, who wrote a 1950 dissertation on the Melungeons; Dr. Virginia DeMarce, a professional genealogist; and Paul Heinegg, a genealogist, who have documented the migration of ancestors of the first families known as Melungeon from Virginia and North Carolina in the late eighteenth century.

Sneedville was originally known as "Greasy Rock." When Hancock County was formed from parts of Hawkins and Claiborne counties in the 1840s, Greasy Rock was chosen as the county seat. The town was renamed in honor of William Henry Sneed (1812–1869), an attorney from Knoxville who helped defend the new county when several residents sued in an attempt to block its creation.


Sneedville is located at 36°31′55″N 83°12′51″W / 36.53194°N 83.21417°W / 36.53194; -83.21417 (36.532062, -83.214140).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all land. The Clinch River passes within the city limits.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 177
1880 157 −11.3%
1890 156 −0.6%
1960 799
1970 874 9.4%
1980 1,110 27.0%
1990 1,446 30.3%
2000 1,257 −13.1%
2010 1,387 10.3%
2020 (est.) 1,322 −4.7%

2020 census

Sneedville racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,199 93.53%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 18 1.4%
Native American 11 0.86%
Asian 1 0.08%
Other/Mixed 44 3.43%
Hispanic or Latino 9 0.7%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,282 people, 573 households, and 369 families residing in the town.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,387 people living in the city. 97.4% were White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian and 1.7% of two or more races. 0.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

Arts and culture

Museums and related points of interest

The Hancock County Tennessee Historical and Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization located in the Old County Jail. The organization provides access to archival material related to the community, and maintains a small museum displaying aspects of traditional mountain life. They publish a bi-yearly newsletter called Our Mountain Heritage for members of the society.


Schools in Sneedville include Hancock County Middle/High School and Hancock County Elementary School.


Hancock County Hospital, which opened in 2005, is located in Sneedville.

Notable people

  • Doyle Lawson, a musician, lived in Sneedville as a child.
  • Jimmy Martin, a musician, was born in Sneedville, dubbed "King of Bluegrass" and inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor.
  • Morgan Wallen, multi-platinum country music artist
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