Fentress County, Tennessee
|Fentress County, Tennessee|
Fentress County Courthouse in Jamestown, Tennessee
Location in the state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
|Named for||James Fentress, state legislator1|
|• Total||499 sq mi (1,292 km2)|
|• Land||499 sq mi (1,291 km2)|
|• Water||.4 sq mi (1 km2), .07%|
|• Density||33/sq mi (13/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Fentress County was formed in 1823 from portions of Morgan, Overton and White counties. The county was named in honor of James Fentress4 (1763–1843), who served as speaker of the state house, chairman of Montgomery County Court, and commissioner to select seats for Haywood, Carroll, Gibson and Weakley counties in West Tennessee.1
Fentress County was the site of several saltpeter mines. Saltpeter is the main ingredient of gunpowder and was obtained by leaching the earth from several local caves. The largest mine was in York Cave, which is located near the Wolf River Post Office. At one time, twenty-five large leaching vats were in operation in this cave. According to Barr (1961) this cave was mined during the Civil War. Buffalo Cave near Jamestown was also a major mine with twelve leaching vats. Manson Saltpeter Cave in Big Indian Creek Valley was a smaller operation with four leaching vats. It is possible that any or all of these caves were mined during the War of 1812, when saltpeter mining was widespread in both Kentucky and Tennessee.5
In response to Governor Harris' asking the state government of secession, the two representatives for Fentress County in 1860; Reese T. Hildreth, and R. H. Bledsoe (of the State Senate and House respectively) voted both in favor of secession in 1861.
Alvin York (1887–1964), a hero at the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I, was born and lived in Fentress County. He also established the Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute in Jamestown in 1924.6 York's house and farm are now part of Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park in Pall Mall.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 498.9 square miles (1,292.1 km2), of which 498.6 square miles (1,291.4 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km2) (0.1%) is water.7
- Pickett County (north)
- Scott County (east)
- Morgan County (southeast)
- Cumberland County (south)
- Overton County (west)
- Putnam County (southwest)
- Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Colditz Cove State Natural Area
- Pickett State Forest (part)
- Pogue Creek State Natural Area
- Scott State Forest (part)
- Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park
- Skinner Mountain Wildlife Management Area
- Twin Arches State Natural Area (part)
As of the census10 of 2000, there were 16,625 people, 6,693 households, and 4,818 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 7,598 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 99.24% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.37% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,693 households out of which 31.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 11.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 25.50% 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 2.46 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $23,238, and the median income for a family was $28,856. Males had a median income of $23,606 versus $18,729 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,999. About 19.50% of families and 23.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.80% of those under age 18 and 20.50% of those age 65 or over.
- Banner Springs
- Little Crab
- Mount Helen
- Pall Mall
- Duke, Jason. Tennessee Coal Mining, Railroading & Logging in Cumberland, Fentress, Overton & Putnam. Nashville: Turner Publishing (2004). ISBN 1-56311-932-3
- Hogue, Albert R. History of Fentress County, Tennessee. Santa Maria: Janaway Publishing (2010). ISBN 1-59641-220-8
- Hogue, Albert R. History of Fentress County, Tennessee; The Old Home of Mark Twain's Ancestors. Memphis: General Books (2010). ISBN 1-150-82647-9
- Lorene Cargile, "Fentress County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 27 June 2013.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 125.
- Thomas C. Barr, Jr., "Caves of Tennessee", Bulletin 64 of the Tennessee Division of Geology, 1961.
- Alvin C. York Institute website. Retrieved: 27 June 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fentress County, Tennessee.|
- Fentress County Chamber of Commerce
- Fentress County Schools
- Fentress County, TNGenWeb – genealogy resources
- Fentress County Landforms
- Fentress County on the Open Directory Project
||Putnam County||Pickett County|
|Overton County||Scott County|
|Cumberland County||Morgan County|