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Hardeman County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Hardeman County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded information needed
Seat Bolivar
Largest city Bolivar
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

670 sq mi (1,736 km²)
668 sq mi (1,729 km²)
3 sq mi (7 km²), .42%
 - (2000)
 - Density

42/sq mi (16/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Hardeman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population is 28,105. The 2005 Census Estimate placed the population at 28,170 [1]. Its county seat is Bolivar6.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,736 km² (670 sq mi). 1,729 km² (668 sq mi) of it is land and 7 km² (3 sq mi) of it is water. The total area is 0.42% water.

Chickasaw State Park is partially located in Hardeman County.

Adjacent Counties[]


Age pyramid Hardeman County[1]

As of the census² of 2000, there were 28,105 people, 9,412 households, and 6,767 families residing in the county. The population density was 16/km² (42/sq mi). There were 10,694 housing units at an average density of 6/km² (16/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 57.34% White, 40.97% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,412 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.00% were married couples living together, 17.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.90% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 116.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,111, and the median income for a family was $34,746. Males had a median income of $27,828 versus $20,759 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,349. About 16.90% of families and 19.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.40% of those under age 18 and 20.80% of those age 65 or over.

History & Trivia[]

• The treaty which opened West Tennessee for settlement was signed on October 19, 1818, by Isaac SHELBY and Andrew JACKSON for the president of the United States, Mr. Monroe, and the chiefs and head men for the Chickasaw Indians.

• Rapid settlement occurs in Hardeman County from North and South Carolina, Virginia, north Alabama, and, Middle Tennessee, ca. 1820.

• The first county residence came in 1819 and 1820.

• The first town in Hardeman County was established in 1823 on the banks of the Big Hatchie, the Indian name for the river. It was appropriately called Hatchie Town.

• The new county seat was Hatchie, until by Act of the Tennessee State Legislature, on October 18, 1825, it was changed to Bolivar. Bolivar was named for Gen. Simon Bolivar, the South American patriot and liberator.

• Battle of Hatchie's Bridge (also called Davis Bridge and Matamora) October 5, 1862 Estimated Casualties: 900 total (US 500; CS 400) (from Civil War Battles website . . . please see HISTORIC LINKS page) Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn's Confederate Army of West Tennessee retreated from Corinth on October 4, 1862. Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans did not send forces in pursuit until the morning of the 5th. Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, commanding a detachment of the Army of West Tennessee, was, pursuant to orders, advancing on Corinth to assist Rosecrans. On the night of October 4-5, he camped near Pocahontas. Between 7:30 and 8:00 am the next morning, his force encountered Union Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut's 4th Brigade, Army of West Tennessee, in the Confederates's front. Ord took command of the now-combined Union forces and pushed Van Dorn's advance, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's Army of the West, back about five miles to the Hatchie River and across Davis' Bridge. After accomplishing this, Ord was wounded and Hurlbut assumed command. While Price's men were hotly engaged with Ord's force, Van Dorn's scouts looked for and found another crossing of the Hatchie River. Van Dorn then led his army back to Holly Springs. Ord had forced Price to retreat, but the Confederates escaped capture or destruction. Although they should have done so, Rosecrans's army had failed to capture or destroy Van Dorn's force. The results: a Union victory.

• Pickwick Landing & The Trail of Tears A riverboat stop dating from the 1840’s. In the 1930’s, during the depression, the site was chosen for one of the Tennessee Valley Authority's dams on the Tennessee River. In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.

• During the Civil War in 1862, Magnolia Manor was occupied by the Union Army and used as Headquarters. Four Union generals stayed here. Photographed and featured by National Geographic Magazine, Magnolia Manor is rich in history!

• The majority of downtown Bolivar was burned to the ground during the Civil War, dating most of its current architecture to 1868. Beyond downtown Bolivar, numerous pre-Civil War structures still stand.

• Western State Mental Hospital, (written by Linda T. Austin, Memphis) located in Bolivar, was the last state mental hospital to be constructed and habitually the one least funded. In December 1885 the site commissioners chose the farm of Paul T. Jones as the location for the proposed facility. The institution's patient population grew from a few hundred in the 1890s to over 2,000 in the 1960s as patients remained hospitalized for decades. Many were crowded into large dormitories and had little privacy. With a limited number of doctors and attendants and a large patient population, many were simply "warehoused." Patients at Western received the treatments available in their period of institutionalization. These treatments ranged from hydrotherapy and insulin shock therapy to lobotomies and electric shock therapy. With the severe staff limitations, however, patients were fortunate to receive ten minutes per week with a psychiatrist. From its original one building, presently used as the administration building, WMHI grew to at one point, 1140 acres with seven buildings housing patients. Its census on June 30, 1950 was 2330 patients, compared to the average of 260 today.

• Hatchie River is a designated scenic river which runs across the county, offering a hunter's and fisherman's paradise. More than 20 watershed lakes, ranging in size from 10 to 78 acres each, have been constructed and stocked with game fish. It is listed as one of the Top 75 geographic preservation locations by the World Conservatory, a non-profit organization earmarking global natural wonders to be preserved. The rivers banks have been unchanged by man. The Hatchie River was used extensively for travel and shipping, for instance, the Pillars furnishing was purchased from New York and shipped down through the Hatchie River.

• Hardeman County towns have come and gone. Crainsville, Searles, and Middleburg are near ghosts, Berlin changed to the name of Saulsburg, and Grand Junction and Hornsby lost their distinction of the being the counties highest populated, but Bolivar, Middleton, and Whiteville have long been the leading districts.

Cities and towns[]

Notable Citizens[]

• Thomas Jones Hardeman Formed in 1823 from Hardin County and Indian lands, it was named in honor of Thomas Jones Hardeman (1788-1854) He was the first county clerk and served with Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. He moved to Texas and fought for its independence in 1830.

• Col. Ezekiel POLK Grandfather to President James K. Polk, was a Revolutionary War hero. His son William also lived in Hardman County and his other son, Samuel, was the father of the President.

• William Polk was the first chairman of the county court and the son of Ezekiel Polk.

• Thomas McNeal The father of the prominent McNeal family of Bolivar. It was at McNeal's house that the first courts were held. He was the son-in-law of Ezekial Polk.

• Jacob PIRTLE One of the first justices, raised a crop of corn near Thomas McNeal's in 1821.

• Bailey Howell NBA and Boston Celtics forward during the 1960s

• Mae Axton and Jim Stewart Brother and sister team that created the Stax recording label in Memphis, TN that produced the hits of Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Otis Redding, and many many more.

• Joseph WARNER Settled at Fowler's Ferry on the Hatchie about 1821-22. His place was known as Warnersville.


  1. ^ Based on 2000 census data

External links[]

Coordinates: 35°12′N 89°00′W / 35.20, -89.00

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hardeman County, Tennessee. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.