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Haywood County, Tennessee
Brownsville TN 2012-04-08 004.jpg
Haywood County Courthouse
Map of Tennessee highlighting Haywood County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1823
Named for John Haywood[1]
Seat Brownsville
Largest city Brownsville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

534 sq mi (1,383 km²)
533 sq mi (1,380 km²)
0.9 sq mi (2 km²), 0.2%
 - (2010)
 - Density

35/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Haywood County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,787.[2] Its county seat and largest city is Brownsville.[3]


Scenic view in Haywood County (2004)

Haywood County was created from part of Madison County in 1823–24, and was named for Tennessee judge and historian John Haywood. The state legislature designated Brownsville as the county seat.[4] Haywood County was later reduced in size, when both Lauderdale and Crockett Counties were created from its territory.

For much of the county's history, agriculture, especially growing cotton, was the basis of the local economy. Before the Civil War, this was accomplished by a plantation system based on the use of slave labor. After Emancipation in 1865, the plantations were largely broken up and tenant farming and sharecropping took their place.[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 534 square miles (1,380 km2), of which 533 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.[6]

Haywood County is situated on the southeastern edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area with a high earthquake risk.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 5,334
1840 13,870 160.0%
1850 17,259 24.4%
1860 19,232 11.4%
1870 25,094 30.5%
1880 26,053 3.8%
1890 23,558 −9.6%
1900 25,189 6.9%
1910 25,910 2.9%
1920 25,386 −2.0%
1930 26,063 2.7%
1940 27,699 6.3%
1950 26,212 −5.4%
1960 23,393 −10.8%
1970 19,596 −16.2%
1980 20,318 3.7%
1990 19,437 −4.3%
2000 19,797 1.9%
2010 18,787 −5.1%
Est. 2015 18,023 [7] −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2014[2]

Age pyramid Haywood County[12]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,787 people residing in the county. 50.4% were Black or African American, 45.9% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 2.5% of some other race and 0.9% of two or more races. 3.8% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 19,797 people, 7,558 households, and 5,419 families residing in the county. The population density was 37 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,086 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 46.73% White, 51.05% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.38% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 2.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Haywood and Shelby Counties are the only counties in Tennessee with a black majority.

There were 7,558 households out of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.80% were married couples living together, 22.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 87.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,671, and the median income for a family was $32,597. Males had a median income of $27,333 versus $21,361 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,669. About 16.30% of families and 19.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.00% of those under age 18 and 25.70% of those age 65 or over.


The largest industry in Haywood County is agriculture. Haywood County grows more cotton that any other county in Tennessee and produced 189,000 bales in 2003 on 103,000 acres (417 km2). With its rich, fertile soil, the county's heritage began on the farm and several generations later, it remains on the farm. Soybeans are the county's #2 crop, followed by corn. Haywood County also has an abundance of flower and vegetable gardens in the area that provide everyone with fresh vegetables for their summertime pleasure and for canning or freezing. Haywood County also has fruit farms, and growers are more than happy to share their products with residents and visitors alike.

Agriculture and agri-related businesses contributed more than $130,000 million to the Haywood County economy in 2004.

In 2009, under the leadership of Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith, a 3,836-acre (1,552.4 ha) tract in southwestern Haywood County near Stanton was designated for a state-supported industrial "megasite," intended for a large-scale industrial or business development such as an automobile assembly plant. In September 2009, Tennessee's State Building Commission authorized spending of $40 million for purchase of the land.[14]


Trinity Cemetery in Nutbush provides a final resting place for more than 50 Civil War soldiers. (2007)

  • Belle Eagle
  • Brownsville (county seat)
  • Christmasville
  • Nutbush
  • Stanton

Notable residents[]

One of Haywood County's most notable residents was Sleepy John Estes, a blues guitarist songwriter and vocalist. Born in 1899 or 1904 in Ripley, Tennessee, he lived most of his life in Brownsville.[15] He died on June 5, 1977, in Brownsville.[16][17][18] Sleepy John is buried at Elam Baptist Church Cemetery in Durhamville, Lauderdale County.[18]

Other notable county residents include:

  • Hambone Willie Newbern, blues musician from the Brownsville area
  • Singer Tina Turner spent her childhood in Nutbush, Haywood County
  • Tony Delk, a first round NBA draft pick spent his adolescent years in Brownsville.

See also[]

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

Further reading[]

  • West, Carroll Van; Duncan Binnicker, Margaret (2004). A History of Tennessee Arts. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 1-57233-239-5. 
  • Norris, Sharon (2000). Black America Series: Haywood County Tennessee. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0605-2. 


  1. ^ Emma Nunn, "Haywood County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: October 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 153. 
  5. ^ Nunn, Emma. "Haywood County" in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture Version 2.0
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  12. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  14. ^ Chad Sisk, $40M approved for West TN megasite development, The Tennessean, September 30, 2009
  15. ^ Biography at from the Encyclopedia of Popular Music – accessed February 2008
  16. ^ birth and death details Archived January 18, 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Brian Dempsey. "'Sleepy' John Estes". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b Norris, Sharon (2000). Black America Series: Haywood County Tennessee. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0605-2. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 35°35′N 89°17′W / 35.58, -89.29

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