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Washington County, Tennessee
Washington-county-courthouse-tn1.jpg
Washington County Courthouse in Jonesborough
Map of Tennessee highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1777
Named for George Washington[1]
Seat Jonesborough
Largest city Johnson City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

330 sq mi (855 km²)
326 sq mi (844 km²)
3.3 sq mi (9 km²), 1.0%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

133,001
392/sq mi (151/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.washingtoncountytn.org

Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 133,001.[2] Its county seat is Jonesborough.[3] The county's largest city and a regional educational, medical and commercial center is Johnson City. Washington County is Tennessee's oldest county, having been established in 1777 when the state was still part of North Carolina.[4]

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

History[]

Watauga and the Washington District[]

Washington County is rooted in the Watauga settlements, which were established in the early 1770s in the vicinity of what is now Elizabethton, in adjacent Carter County. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1776, the Wataugans organized the "Washington District," which was governed by a committee of safety. North Carolina initially refused to recognize the settlements as legal, but finally agreed to annex the district after the settlers thwarted an invasion by hostile Cherokees. The settlements were governed as the Washington District, which originally included all of what is now Tennessee. The district was reorganized as Washington County in 1777.[5]

Washington County, North Carolina and Franklin[]

From 1777 until 1784, North Carolina held nominal control over the county, but did little for the residents, at least in their eyes. So the area citizens formed, in 1784, the State of Franklin to meet their needs. Franklin was an early attempt to create a fourteenth state prior to Kentucky and Vermont's admissions into the union. The county reverted to North Carolina control, however, following the failure of the Franklin state government in 1788.

Part of Tennessee[]

In 1790 the area became part of Southwest Territory, and afterward it was admitted to the Union in 1796 as the 16th state.[5] Jonesboro, the county seat of Washington County, is Tennessee's oldest town. With many buildings restored, it comprises one of the nation's most authentic historic districts of the period 1790–1870.

Washington County was divided between pro-Union and pro-secession sentiments at the outset of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Washington Countians voted 1,445 to 1,022 in favor of remaining in the Union.[6] One of the bridges targeted by the East Tennessee bridge-burners in November 1861 was located in what is now Watauga near the Washington-Carter county line.[7] Landon Carter Haynes, a Confederate senator, hailed from Washington County.[5]

Johnson City, originally known as Johnson's Depot, was a major railway center for the southeastern states, connecting the region for freight transportation and passengers. It was the headquarters for both the standard-gauge Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio (Clinchfield Railroad), which required the excavation and blasting of 17 tunnels during its construction; and the narrow-gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (Tweetsie). Significant restoration is underway, as well as publicizing the railroad heritage of the Johnson's Depot Historic District. Other historic properties are being restored as representative of Johnson City's late nineteenth and early twentieth-century era as a railway center.

Geography[]

Farm near Limestone

Rainbow and railroad tracks near Telford

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 330 square miles (850 km2), of which 326 square miles (840 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (1.0%) is water.[8] The western portion of the county is situated in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, which are characterized by long, narrow ridges roughly oriented northeast-to-southwest. The county's most prominent Ridge-and-Valley features rise in the vicinity of its northwestern border with Hawkins and Sullivan counties. The eastern portion of the county lies within the Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically the Bald Mountains (south of the Nolichucky River) and the Unaka Range (north of the Nolichucky).[9] Buffalo Mountain, a long ridge that straddles much of Washington's eastern boundary, contains the county's highest point, 3,520-foot (1,070 m) Pinnacle Knob. The Cherokee National Forest protects much of the extreme eastern part of the county. Sampson Mountain, which rises in the southeastern part of the county, is home to a designated national wilderness area.

The Nolichucky River flows through the southern part of Washington County. The Watauga River flows the northern part of the county, and forms part of the county's border with Sullivan County. The lower section of the Watauga River is part of Boone Lake.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Cherokee National Forest (part)

State protected areas[]

  • Chester Inn (state historic site)
  • Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site

Major Highways[]

  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 I-26
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 I-81
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 US-11E
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 US-19W
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 US-23
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 US-321
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link Sec|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev Sec]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link Sec|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev Sec]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link TN|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev TN]]
  • Template:Jct/plate/TN/1 [[Template:Infobox road/TN/link Sec|Template:Infobox road/TN/abbrev Sec]]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 5,872
1800 6,379 8.6%
1810 7,740 21.3%
1820 9,557 23.5%
1830 10,995 15.0%
1840 11,751 6.9%
1850 13,861 18.0%
1860 14,829 7.0%
1870 16,317 10.0%
1880 16,181 −0.8%
1890 20,354 25.8%
1900 22,604 11.1%
1910 28,968 28.2%
1920 34,052 17.6%
1930 45,805 34.5%
1940 51,631 12.7%
1950 59,971 16.2%
1960 64,832 8.1%
1970 73,924 14.0%
1980 88,755 20.1%
1990 92,315 4.0%
2000 107,198 16.1%
2010 122,979 14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2020,[2]

Age pyramid Washington County[14]

2020 census[]

Washington County racial composition[15]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 112,606 84.67%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,511 4.14%
Native American 289 0.22%
Asian 1,980 1.49%
Pacific Islander 53 0.04%
Other/Mixed 6,426 4.83%
Hispanic or Latino 6,136 4.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 133,001 people, 55,817 households, and 33,838 families residing in the county.

2000 census[]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 107,198 people, 44,195 households, and 29,478 families residing in the county. The population density was 328 people per square mile (127/km2). There were 47,779 housing units at an average density of 146 per square mile (57/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.72% White, 3.82% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 44,195 households, out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.60% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.30% under the age of 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,116, and the median income for a family was $41,162. Males had a median income of $30,874 versus $21,485 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,085. About 10.20% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.80% of those under age 18 and 14.20% of those age 65 or over.


Education[]

Elementary schools[]

  • Boones Creek Elementary
  • Fall Branch Elementary
  • Grandview Elementary
  • Gray Elementary
  • Jonesborough Elementary
  • Lamar (Elementary) School
  • Ridgeview Elementary
  • South Central Elementary
  • Sulphur Springs Elementary
  • West View Elementary

Middle schools[]

  • Boones Creek Middle School
  • Jonesborough Middle School. Built in 1950 as a high school. Became a middle school in 1971. Has approximately 500 students in grades 5–8.

High schools[]

  • Asbury Optional High School
  • Daniel Boone High School
  • David Crockett High School
  • Science Hill High School
  • University School

Communities[]

Chester Inn, one of many historic buildings in Jonesborough

Fall Branch

Cities[]

Town[]

  • Jonesborough (county seat)

Census-designated places[]

  • Fall Branch (partial)
  • Gray
  • Oak Grove
  • Spurgeon (partial)
  • Telford

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Austin Springs
  • Boone
  • Boones Creek
  • Bowmantown
  • Bumpus Cove (partial)
  • Embreeville
  • February
  • Lamar
  • Limestone
  • Midway
  • Mountain Home
  • South Central
  • Stewart Hill
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Washington College

Notable residents[]

  • Joseph Hardin, Sr. – Revolutionary War hero, and North Carolina militia colonel for the Western Counties, 1788;

Politics[]

Like most of East Tennessee, Washington County has always been a Republican stronghold. A Democratic candidate has never won the county in its history, though Lyndon Johnson came within 359 votes of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Jimmy Carter came within 819 votes of Gerald Ford in 1976. Franklin Roosevelt is the only other Democrat to even cross the 40 percent mark. The only time the Republicans have ever lost the county came in 1912, when the Bull Moose Party won a plurality, with a badly divided GOP pushed into third place.

United States presidential election results for Washington County, Tennessee[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 40,444 67.18% 18,638 30.96% 1,121 1.86%
2016 34,252 68.85% 13,024 26.18% 2,474 4.97%
2012 32,808 68.30% 14,325 29.82% 899 1.87%
2008 32,341 66.03% 15,941 32.54% 700 1.43%
2004 29,735 66.07% 14,944 33.20% 327 0.73%
2000 22,579 59.51% 14,769 38.93% 594 1.57%
1996 18,960 54.42% 13,259 38.06% 2,621 7.52%
1992 18,206 51.31% 13,071 36.84% 4,206 11.85%
1988 19,615 65.63% 10,087 33.75% 185 0.62%
1984 21,762 69.38% 9,452 30.13% 154 0.49%
1980 17,457 57.71% 11,599 38.35% 1,193 3.94%
1976 14,770 50.87% 13,951 48.05% 311 1.07%
1972 17,343 74.79% 5,284 22.79% 561 2.42%
1968 12,882 56.66% 4,930 21.68% 4,925 21.66%
1964 10,612 50.86% 10,253 49.14% 0 0.00%
1960 14,851 69.93% 6,283 29.59% 102 0.48%
1956 13,471 71.23% 5,314 28.10% 127 0.67%
1952 12,023 69.31% 5,245 30.24% 79 0.46%
1948 7,056 61.04% 4,023 34.80% 480 4.15%
1944 6,485 61.17% 4,060 38.29% 57 0.54%
1940 4,719 56.67% 3,565 42.81% 43 0.52%
1936 4,788 51.52% 4,448 47.86% 58 0.62%
1932 3,691 51.71% 3,345 46.86% 102 1.43%
1928 4,887 76.00% 1,543 24.00% 0 0.00%
1924 3,243 62.87% 1,839 35.65% 76 1.47%
1920 4,858 68.21% 2,260 31.73% 4 0.06%
1916 2,723 59.69% 1,831 40.14% 8 0.18%
1912 1,134 26.58% 1,531 35.89% 1,601 37.53%
1908 2,254 58.77% 1,574 41.04% 7 0.18%
1904 2,120 61.63% 1,268 36.86% 52 1.51%
1900 2,488 61.51% 1,496 36.98% 61 1.51%
1896 2,807 61.98% 1,661 36.67% 61 1.35%
1892 2,056 51.58% 1,722 43.20% 208 5.22%
1888 2,008 55.13% 1,534 42.12% 100 2.75%
1884 1,815 53.79% 1,559 46.21% 0 0.00%
1880 2,104 57.17% 1,576 42.83% 0 0.00%



See also[]

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

References[]

  1. ^ Origins Of Tennessee County Names, Tennessee Blue Book 2005-2006, pages 508-513
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/47/47179.html. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  4. ^ Washington County official website. Retrieved: 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Mildred Kozsuch and Ruth Broyles, "Washington County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 15 November 2013.
  6. ^ Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (R. Clarke Company, 1899), p. 199. Eric Lacy (Vanquished Volunteers, Appendix B) gives a much closer tally, 1,115 to 1,022.
  7. ^ Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War, pp. 384-385.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. http://www2.census.gov/geo/docs/maps-data/data/gazetteer/counties_list_47.txt. 
  9. ^ Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, et al., "Ambient Air Monitoring Plan," Environmental Protection Agency website, 1 July 2010. Accessed: 18 March 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  12. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/tn190090.txt. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  14. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?g=0500000US47179&tid=DECENNIALPL2020.P2. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 36°17′N 82°30′W / 36.29, -82.50


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