|Dickson County, Tennessee|
Dickson County Courthouse in Charlotte
Location in the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
|Founded||Oct. 25, 1803|
|Named for||William Dickson|
|o Total||491 sq mi (1,272 km2)|
|o Land||490 sq mi (1,269 km2)|
|o Water||1.4 sq mi (4 km2), 0.3%|
|o Density||101/sq mi (39/km2)|
Dickson County is home to Tennessee's oldest courthouse in continuous use, built in 1835. This is the second courthouse in Charlotte as the first one, a log building, was destroyed in the Tornado of 1833, which destroyed all but one building on the courthouse square.
October 25, 1803 the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill creating Dickson County, the 25th of Tennessee's 95 counties. It was formed from parts of Montgomery and Robertson counties, and was named for William Dickson, a Nashville physician then serving in the United States Congress. Dickson never lived in the county, but his relatives were prominent in its early development. Dickson was a close friend of President Andrew Jackson.
General James Robertson built the first iron works in west Tennessee in Dickson County. Robertson sold his furnace in 1804 to Montgomery Bell (1769–1855), who became one of the state's wealthiest capitalists and industrialists.
Prior to the 1920s, numerous private high schools and colleges existed in Dickson County. These included the Tracy Academy, Charlotte Female School, Alexander Campbell School, Edgewood Academy and Normal College, the Dickson Academy, Dickson Normal School (where Hattie Carraway, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, was educated), Glenwylde Academy, and Ruskin Cave College. Most of these closed before or during the Great Depression. As is typical of most Tennessee counties, all public schools of the county are currently operated by a single county-wide school district.
The Ruskin Colony (or Ruskin Commonwealth Association) was a 250-member, utopian socialist cooperative established in Dickson County in 1894. Initially located near Tennessee City, it relocated to what is now Ruskin. Internal conflict had brought about the dissolution of the colony by 1899.
The Coming Nation, a socialist communalist paper established by Julius Augustus Wayland in Greensburg, Indiana, was relocated to the Ruskin Colony. It was the forerunner of the Appeal to Reason, which later became a weekly political newspaper published in the American Midwest from 1895 until 1922. The Appeal to Reason was known for its politics, giving support to the Farmers' Alliance and People's Party, before becoming a mainstay of the Socialist Party of America following its establishment in 1901. Using a network of highly motivated volunteers known as the "Appeal Army" to increase its subscription sales, the Appeal paid circulation climbed to over a quarter million by 1906, and half a million by 1910, making it the largest-circulation socialist newspaper in American history.
In July 1917, a mass meeting was held in the Alamo Theatre in Dickson to raise $760 (equivalent to $25,000 in 2016) to pay for the surveying of the Bristol to Memphis Highway through Dickson County. The money was raised in less than 15 minutes by donations from those present at the meeting. State highway surveyors began surveying the route on August 14, 1917. The building of this highway put the county along the route known as the "Broadway of America," Highway 70.
On November 4, 1952, Frank G. Clement (1920–1969) of Dickson was elected Governor of Tennessee. He served as governor from 1953 to 1959, and again from 1963 to 1967. Known for his energetic speaking ability, he delivered the keynote address at the 1956 Democratic National Convention. The Hotel Halbrook, where Clement was born, still stands in Dickson, and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ruskin Cave, site of the former socialist colony, is located 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Dickson.
As of the census of 2000, there were 43,156 people, 16,473 households, and 12,173 families residing in the county. The population density was 88 people per square mile (34/km²). There were 17,614 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.25% European American, 4.58% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,473 households out of which 35.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.10% were non-families. 22.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% 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 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.60% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,056, and the median income for a family was $45,575. Males had a median income of $32,252 versus $23,686 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,043. About 8.10% of families and 10.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.90% of those under age 18 and 11.80% of those age 65 or over.
By 2005 the county had a population that was 92.0% non-Hispanic white, 4.4% African-American and 1.7% Latino.
|2016||70.8% 13,233||25.3% 4,722||4.0% 744|
|2012||63.3% 11,296||35.0% 6,233||1.7% 306|
|2008||59.8% 11,677||38.5% 7,506||1.7% 336|
|2004||54.8% 10,567||44.6% 8,597||0.7% 134|
|2000||45.1% 7,016||53.6% 8,332||1.3% 208|
|1996||38.2% 5,283||53.9% 7,458||7.9% 1,088|
|1992||31.6% 4,450||55.8% 7,863||12.6% 1,780|
|1988||50.7% 5,343||48.7% 5,129||0.6% 64|
|1984||49.5% 5,846||49.2% 5,809||1.3% 150|
|1980||34.7% 3,636||63.3% 6,622||2.0% 209|
|1976||25.6% 2,285||73.4% 6,551||1.0% 86|
|1972||56.6% 3,645||40.6% 2,619||2.8% 182|
|1968||19.0% 1,291||29.9% 2,034||51.1% 3,475|
|1964||21.3% 1,281||78.7% 4,724|
|1960||32.7% 1,928||66.7% 3,930||0.6% 36|
|1956||24.4% 1,247||74.3% 3,799||1.3% 68|
|1952||25.2% 1,415||74.8% 4,196|
|1948||15.4% 485||74.3% 2,337||10.3% 323|
|1944||20.1% 600||79.6% 2,379||0.4% 11|
|1940||15.9% 527||83.9% 2,784||0.2% 8|
|1936||16.5% 402||83.0% 2,022||0.5% 13|
|1932||15.5% 369||84.3% 2,007||0.2% 4|
|1928||38.4% 891||61.6% 1,428|
|1924||22.7% 516||72.6% 1,648||4.7% 106|
|1920||39.7% 1,412||60.3% 2,145|
|1916||32.0% 1,008||66.7% 2,105||1.3% 41|
|1912||18.0% 448||68.0% 1,689||14.0% 348|
The 12-member county commission is the legislative body of Dickson County. One commissioner is elected from each of the county's 12 commission districts. The county mayor chairs the commission.
Commissioners are charged with appropriating funds for the county departments, setting the property tax rate and creating personnel policies for county employees.
The commissioners and all other elected officials, with the exception of General Sessions Court judge who serves an eight-year term, are chosen in the August general elections and serve four-year terms. These elections coincide with the state's gubernatorial primaries and begin September 1 of each non-presidential even-numbered year.
The county commission meets for a work session the first Monday evening of each month. Regular sessions are held the third Monday evening of each month. At this meeting, matters are brought before the commission for action. When meeting dates fall on holidays, the meeting is generally held the next evening.
District 1 – Randy Simpkins
District 2 – Jeff Eby
District 3 – Shane Chandler
District 4 – Stacey Batey
District 5 – James "Cotton" Dawson
District 6 – Becky Spicer
District 7 – Carl Buckner
District 8 – B. Kyle Sanders
District 9 – Tony Adams
District 10 – Buford Reed
District 11 – Linda P. Hayes
District 12 – Jeff Spencer
The Dickson County Government is a combination of vitally interested individuals whose job is to assist the citizens of their county. From registering a vehicle to saving a life, these men and women take pride in their work and in their community.
County Mayor - Bob Rial
Assessor of Property - Jenny Heath Martin
Circuit Court Clerk - Pam Lewis
Clerk & Master - Nancy Miller
County Clerk - Luanne Greer
General Sessions Court Clerk - Barbara Spann
General Sessions Court Judge - Craig Monsue (8-year term)
Register of Deeds - Shelly Yates
Road Superintendent - Jerry Burgess
Sheriff - Jeff Bledsoe
Trustee: Glynda Barrett Pendergrass