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Hawkins County, Tennessee
The Hawkins County Courthouse, ca. 1836, is the oldest courthouse in Tennessee and is the seat of county government. It is in Rogersville.
Map of Tennessee highlighting Hawkins County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1784 (Franklin, as Spencer County)
1786 (North Carolina)
1796 (Tennessee)
Seat Rogersville (settled 1775)
Largest city Kingsport (partially contained)

Church Hill (wholly contained)

 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

500 sq mi (1,294 km²)
487 sq mi (1,260 km²)
13 sq mi (34 km²), 2.60%
 - (2010)
 - Density

110/sq mi (42/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Hawkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010, the population was 56,833. Its county seat is Rogersville, Tennessee's second-oldest town.[1]

Hawkins County is part of the KingsportBristol (TN)Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.



The flag of Hawkins County, in front of the county courthouse.

Hawkins County is governed by a twenty-one member County Commission. The chief executive officer of the county is the County Mayor.

County Mayor[]

The Tennessee Constitution provides for the election of an executive officer - referred to as the County Mayor - in each county. The County Mayor is elected by popular vote at the regular August election every four years, coinciding with the Governor's election, and may serve an unlimited number of terms. The County Mayor (formerly County Executive) is Chief Executive Officer of the county. The County Mayor exercises a role of leadership in county government and is responsible for the County's fiscal management and other executive functions.

The County Mayor is the general agent of the county and thus may draw warrants upon the General Fund. The County Mayor has custody of county property not placed with other officers, and may also examine the accounts of county officers. The County Mayor is a nonvoting ex-officio member of the County Commission and of all its committees, and may be elected chairman of the county legislative body (a post that the County Mayor is not required to seek or accept). The County Mayor may call special meetings of the County Commission. Unless an optional general law or private act provides otherwise, the County Mayor compiles a budget for all county departments, offices, and agencies, which is presented to the County Commission.

The current Mayor of Hawkins County is Melville Bailey (R-Rogersville).

County Commission[]


The Hawkins County Board of Commissioners, also called the County Commission, is the legislative body of the County government and as such it is the primary policy-making body in the County. It consists of 21 elected members, three from each of the 7 civil districts of Hawkins County. Each member serves a four-year term of office.

The County Commission operates with a committee structure - most Commission business is first considered by a committee of its members before coming to the full Commission. The County Clerk serves as the Secretary to the Board of Commissioners and is responsible for maintaining all official records of the meetings.

Powers and responsibilities[]

The most important function of the county legislative body is the annual adoption of a budget to allocate expenditures within the three major funds of county government - general, school, and highway - and any other funds (such as debt service) that may be in existence in that particular county. The county legislative body has considerable discretion in dealing with the budget for all funds except the school budget, which in most counties must be accepted or rejected as a whole. If rejected, the school board must continue to propose alternatives until a budget is adopted by both the county school board and the county legislative body.

The county legislative body sets a property tax rate which, along with revenues from other county taxes and fees as well as state and federal monies allocated to the county, are used to fund the budget. The county legislative body is subject to various restrictions in imposing most taxes (such as referendum approval or rate limits, for example), although these do not apply to the property tax. The University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) publishes the County Revenue Manual to assist county officials in identifying sources of county revenue.

The county legislative body serves an important role in exercising local approval authority for private acts when the private act does not call for referendum approval. Private acts, which often give additional authority to counties, must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of the county legislative body or be approved by a referendum in order to become effective. The form of local approval required is specified in the private act. The county legislative body annually elects a chairman and a chairman pro tempore. The county legislative body may elect the county executive or a member of the body to be the chairman, although the county executive may refuse to serve. If the county executive is chairman, he or she may vote only to break a tie vote. If a member is chairman, the member votes as a member, but cannot vote again to break a tie. If the county executive is not chairman, he or she may veto most resolutions of the county legislative body, but this veto may be overridden by a majority vote. The majority vote that is required for this and the passage of resolutions or other measures is a majority of the entire actual membership of the county legislative body, and not a majority of the quorum, nor a majority of the authorized membership.

Another important function of the county legislative body is its role in electing county officers when there is a vacancy in an elected county office. The person elected by the county legislative body serves in the office for the remainder of the term or until a successor is elected, depending upon when the vacancy occurred. When filling a vacancy in a county office, the county legislative body must publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least one week prior to the meeting in which the vote will be taken. This notice must state the time, place and date of the meeting and the office to be filled. Also, members of the county legislative body must have at least ten days notice. The legislative body holds an open election to fill the vacancy and allows all citizens the privilege of offering as candidates.

Current members[]

  • District 1: Allandale & Mt. Carmel
    • Dwight Carter (Mt. Carmel)
    • Thomas Wheeler (Mt. Carmel)
    • Syble Vaughan-Trent (Mt. Carmel)
  • District 2: Church Hill & McPheeter's Bend
    • Dustin Dean (Church Hill)
    • Jeff Thacker (Church Hill)
    • B.D. Cradic (Church Hill)
  • District 3: Carter's Valley, Wallace, & Watterson
    • Danny Alvis (Surgoinsville)
    • Stacy Vaughan (Church Hill)
    • Hubert Neal (Surgoinsville)
  • District 4: Dykes, Keplar, North Rogersville, Surgoinsville, & Upper Beech
    • Joe McLain (Surgoinsville)
    • Linda Kimbro (Surgoinsville)
    • Virgil Mallett (Rogersville)
  • District 5: Rogersville
    • Glenda Davis (Rogersville)
    • Charlie Freeman (Rogersville)
    • John C. Metz (Rogersville)
  • District 6: Alumwell, Choptack, Clinch, & Mooresburg
    • Shane Bailey (Rogersville)
    • Gary Hicks, Jr. (Rogersville)
    • Darrell Gilliam (Rogersville)
  • District 7: Bulls Gap, Cherokee, & St. Clair
    • Lynn Short (Rogersville)
    • Charlie Newton (Rogersville)
    • Robert Palmer (Rogersville)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,295.0 km2), of which 487 square miles (1,261.3 km2) is land and 13 square miles (33.7 km2) (2.60%) is water.

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 11W.svg U.S. Highway 11W, Lee Highway
  • US 11E.svg U.S. Highway 11E
  • Tennessee 840.svg Primary State Highways
    • State Route 70, Trail of the Lonesome Pine
    • State Route 66
    • State Route 31
  • Secondary Tennessee 266.svg Secondary State Highways
    • State Route 94
    • State Route 113
    • State Route 172
    • State Route 344
    • State Route 346
    • State Route 347
    • State Route 714


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 53,563 people, 21,936 households, and 15,925 families residing in the county. The population density was 110 people per square mile (42/km²). There were 24,416 housing units at an average density of 50 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.24% White, 1.55% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 0.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Age distribution[]

Age pyramid Hawkins County[3]

There were 21,936 households out of which 31.30% had children under the living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the , 7.50% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 25.90% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.50 males.


The median income for a household in the county was $31,300, and the median income for a family was $37,557. Males had a median income of $30,959 versus $22,082 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,073. About 12.70% of families and 15.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.40% of those under age 18 and 17.70% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[]

  • Bulls Gap
  • Church Hill
  • Kingsport
  • Mount Carmel
  • Rogersville
  • Surgoinsville

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Eidson
  • Mooresburg
  • St. Clair

County symbols[]

  • Flag of Hawkins County, Tennessee
  • Seal of Hawkins County, Tennessee

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawkins County, Tennessee

External links[]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Based on 2000 census data

Coordinates: 36°26′N 82°57′W / 36.44, -82.95

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hawkins 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.