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Union City, Tennessee
Obion County Courthouse, downtown
Obion County Courthouse, downtown
Location of Union City, Tennessee
Location of Union City, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Obion
Established 2004
Incorporated 1867
Named for Local railroad junction
 • Total 10.7 sq mi (27.6 km2)
 • Land 10.7 sq mi (27.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
335 ft (102 m)
 • Total 10,895
 • Density 1,020.1/sq mi (393.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
38261 & 38281
Area code(s) 731
FIPS code 47-75940
GNIS feature ID 1273213

Union City is a city located in Obion County, Tennessee, United States. The 2010 census reported the population of the town as 10,895. Union City is the principal city of the surrounding micropolitan area, which includes Obion County and Fulton County, Kentucky.

Union City is recognized for the following: It was the site of a minor battle in the American Civil War in March 1864, and it was the site of a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company/Goodyear Tire plant, which generated a large amount of the city's economy. It is also the hometown of both Congressman, John S. Tanner and Jerry L. Gurien, the inventor of stone washed jeans and Gurien Finishing Corp., which developed a process in the 1980s that stone-washed jeans and denims.

The Discovery Park of America serves as a major attraction in the state of Tennessee and is located within city limits. It was founded by Robert Kirkland and opened its doors in 2013. Union City is approximately 30–45 minutes from Reelfoot Lake. This well-known lake was formed from the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes and is a popular recreational boating and fishing location in the state. Union City is also approximately 15–20 minutes from the University of Tennessee at Martin.


The city name was derived from its location at the junction of two railroads, with one running roughly east-west and the other roughly north-south.


Union City is located at 36°25′28″N 89°3′3″W / 36.42444°N 89.05083°W / 36.42444; -89.05083 (36.424395, −89.050850). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.7 square miles (28 km2), all land. The current mayor is Terry Hailey.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,879
1890 3,441 83.1%
1900 3,407 −1.0%
1910 4,389 28.8%
1920 4,412 0.5%
1930 5,865 32.9%
1940 7,256 23.7%
1950 7,665 5.6%
1960 8,837 15.3%
1970 11,925 34.9%
1980 10,436 −12.5%
1990 10,513 0.7%
2000 10,876 3.5%
2010 10,895 0.2%
Est. 2015 10,573 −3.0%

As of the census of 2000, there were 13 people, 4 households, and 2 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,020.1 people per square mile (393.9/km²). There were 5,013 housing units at an average density of 470.2 per square mile (181.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.44% White, 21.29% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 1.59% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.41% of the population.

There were 4,568 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every hundred females there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,399, and the median income for a family was $40,737. Males had a median income of $35,801 versus $19,694 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,787. About 12.5% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.4% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.



Union City was the home of the Union City Greyhounds, a minor league baseball team in the collegiate woodbat KIT League, which has teams in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. The Greyhounds played a 50-game season in June and July of each year. Union City is also home to the Union City FC, a Mexican-oriented soccer team, which plays in Jackson, TN to represent Union City. Union City High School has a rich sports tradition. As a member of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA), the "Golden Tornadoes" compete in Baseball, Boys' and Girls' Basketball Football, Boys' and Girls' Golf, Volleyball, Softball, Boys' and Girls' Tennis, Boys' Soccer, and Boys' and Girls' Track and Field.


Union City is served by the newspaper The Messenger (Union City Daily Messenger), by the TV station WOBT, and by the following radio stations:

  • WENK-AM 1240 – "The Greatest Hits of All Time"
  • WWKF-FM 99.3 – "Today's Best Music with Ace & TJ in the Morning"
  • WCMT-AM 1410 "Your Best Friend"
  • WCMT-FM 101.3 "The Best Mix"
  • WCDZ-FM 95.1 "Good Times Great Oldies"
  • WQAK-FM 105.7 "The New Quake"
  • KYTN-FM 104.9 "Real Country Variety"
  • WJLI "Jelli 98.3"

Historic Landmarks

Union City is the home of the Masquerade Theatre, headquartered in the former Capital Theater on South First Street. It is known for producing theatrical productions for 16 years including musicals, comedies, dramas, children's plays, workshops, and concerts. Masquerade Theatre has already presented many successful and sold out productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Annie (musical). This theatre is a historic landmark and has been standing since the early 1900s.

The Jerry Gurien mansion is also a landmark of Union City. The 21 acre estate was built by the stone washed jeans inventor in 1988 and is located at 1707 E. Reelfoot Ave.

Union City Confederate Monument
(From a historic marker entering the cemetery.) This 1869 memorial to unknown Confederate dead is one of the oldest Civil War monuments in Tennessee and is a rare example of Reconstruction-era memorialization. After the end of the war, local women raised funds to disinter the bodies of Confederate soldiers from throughout the county and rebury them here. Some of the men had died at nearby Camp Brown, a training camp, while others had belonged to the 7th Tennessee Cavalry. On October 21, 1869, the Union City brass band led a procession here for the dedication ceremony.

Union City is also the home of the first monument ever dedicated to an "Unknown Soldier" as well as the first monument to a Confederate soldier in the South. It was erected in 1869. Only two graves in the cemetery surrounding the monument are occupied by the remains of known persons. The rest of the graves are the remains of unknown soldiers gathered from around the county and reburied in the Confederate cemetery.

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