Morgan County, Tennessee

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Morgan County, Tennessee
Morgan County Courthouse in Wartburg
Map of Tennessee highlighting Morgan County
Location in the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1817
Named for Daniel Morgan[1]
Seat Wartburg
Largest community Coalfield
 • Total 522 sq mi (1,352 km2)
 • Land 522 sq mi (1,352 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (1 km2), 0.06%
 • (2010) 21,987
 • Density 42/sq mi (16/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Morgan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,987.[2] Its county seat is Wartburg.[3]

Morgan County is part of the Knoxville, TN Combined Statistical Area.[4]


Morgan County was formed in 1817 from portions of Anderson and Roane counties. It was named in honor of Daniel Morgan (1736–1802), an American Revolutionary War officer who commanded the troops that defeated the British at the Battle of Cowpens, and who later served as a U.S. congressman from Virginia. The county had been part of lands relinquished by the Cherokee with the signing of the Third Treaty of Tellico in 1805.[1] The original county seat was Montgomery until 1870, when it was moved to Wartburg.[5]


On November 10, 2002, a tornado destroyed 50 homes. At least seven people were killed in the Morgan County communities of Mossy Grove and Joyner.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 522 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 522 square miles (1,350 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (0.06%) is water.[6] The county, which lies on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau, is known for its rugged mountain terrain, and cold mountain streams and rivers. The Crab Orchard Mountains comprise a large area of the county, which includes several designated wilderness areas, Frozen Head State Park, and Lone Mountain State Forest.

Late-Autumn foliage along the banks of the Emory River

The Emory River rises on the slopes of Bird Mountain near Wartburg. The Obed River, a designated national wild and scenic river, empties into the Emory southwest of Wartburg. The Clear Fork, which forms part of Morgan's boundary with Fentress County, joins the New River in Scott County to the north to form the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.

The Cumberland Trail passes through Morgan County.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

State protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,676
1830 2,582 54.1%
1840 2,660 3.0%
1850 3,430 28.9%
1860 3,353 −2.2%
1870 2,969 −11.5%
1880 5,156 73.7%
1890 7,639 48.2%
1900 9,587 25.5%
1910 11,458 19.5%
1920 13,285 15.9%
1930 13,603 2.4%
1940 15,242 12.0%
1950 15,727 3.2%
1960 14,304 −9.0%
1970 13,619 −4.8%
1980 16,604 21.9%
1990 17,300 4.2%
2000 19,757 14.2%
2010 21,987 11.3%
Est. 2014 21,660 [7] −1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2014[2]
Age pyramid Morgan County, based on 2000 census data

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 19,757 people, 6,990 households, and 5,235 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 7,714 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.72% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,990 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.10% were non-families. 22.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.20% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 31.90% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 114.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 116.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,712, and the median income for a family was $31,901. Males had a median income of $25,683 versus $18,606 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,925. About 13.50% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 15.80% of those age 65 or over.


Thomas Hughes Library in Rugby



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Donald Todd, "Morgan County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 11 March 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Heidi Wigdahl, "Knoxville Metropolitan Area Expands,", 28 March 2013. Retrieved: 8 January 2014.
  5. "Goodspeed's History of Morgan County (1887)".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Dickenson, W. Calvin (1987). Morgan County. Memphis, Tenn.: Memphis State University Press. ISBN 978-0878701575
  • Humphreys, James (2012). "Becoming Americans: Social Change in Morgan County, Tennessee, 1850–1870." Journal of East Tennessee History, Vol. 84, pp. 23–39.

External links

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