Tennessee Counties
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Tennessee Counties

There are ninety-five counties in the State of Tennessee. The oldest county is Washington County, founded in 1777. The most recently formed county is Chester County (1879)

Gibson County, Tennessee

Gibson County Education, Geography, and History

Gibson County, Tennessee Courthouse

Gibson County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 49,683. Its county seat is Trenton. The county was formed in 1823 and named for John H. Gibson, a soldier of the Natchez Expedition and the Creek War.

Etymology - Origin of Gibson County Name

Named in honor of John H. Gibson (? - 1823), who served with distinction under Andrew Jackson in the Natchez Expedition (1812-1813) and in the Creek Wars.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Gibson County

Created 1823 from Indian lands; named in honor of John H. Gibson (? - 1823), who served with distinction under Andrew Jackson in the Natchez Expedition (1812-1813) and in the Creek Wars.

Gibson County was formed in 1823 from Indian lands (Private Acts of Tennessee 1823, Chapter 111).

Gibson County is located in what was known as "Indian Land": territory that was legally occupied by Chickasaw Native American people. The Chickasaw Cession, proclaimed on January 7, 1819, eliminated those rights and opened the region for settlement and exploitation by white settlers and speculators.

Soon after the Chickasaw Cession, the first log cabin in what was to become Gibson County had been built by Thomas Fite about eight miles (13 km) east of present day Trenton. From 1819 the area was part of Carroll County but, as settlement progressed, citizens petitioned for the formation of a new county. The county was established by private act on October 21, 1823 and was named in honor of Colonel John H. Gibson who had died earlier that year. Gibson was a native of Bedford County, Tennessee who was commissioned Lieutenant in the Tennessee Militia; he took part in the War of 1812, the campaign to Natchez of 1813, and fought in the Creek Wars of 1813.

In its early years, Gibson County grew rapidly, chiefly because the land had less dense forest growth than some adjacent areas and was therefore more easily prepared to farm cotton and corn. By the end of 1824, the county had 273,143 acres (1,105.37 km2) of taxable land. The county's first cotton gin was built in 1826

There was a fire at the Gibson County courthouse in 1941.

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
The Tennessee General Assembly created Gibson County on October 21, 1823, out of lands ceded by the Chickasaws in the Jackson Purchase. It was named in honor of Colonel John H. Gibson, who served under Andrew Jackson in the Natchez campaign, the Creek Wars, and the New Orleans campaign.

In 1819 Thomas Fite built the first cabin in Gibson County, which was then part of Carroll County. Luke Biggs, Davy Crockett, and others followed. Settlement progressed rapidly, and residents soon petitioned the general assembly for the formation of a new county, citing the difficulty of getting to the courts of Carroll County.

Commissioners appointed by the general assembly selected a county seat site near the center of the county where Thomas Gibson, a brother of John Gibson, operated a trading post. Initially called Gibson-Port, the name was soon changed to Trenton. County government was organized in January 1824, when the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions met at Biggs's residence. Following terms of the court met in the residence of William C. Love until April 1825, when the first term of court met in a temporary courthouse made of hewn logs. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: GIBSON COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 604 square miles (1,563 km2), of which, 603 square miles (1,561 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (2 km2) of it (0.15%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Weakley County (northeast)
  • Carroll County (east)
  • Madison County (south)
  • Crockett County (southwest)
  • Dyer County (west)
  • Obion County (northwest)


Gibson County has five special school districts: Bradford, Gibson County, Humboldt, Milan and Trenton. Each district has its own school board and director of schools. There are six high schools in the county.

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