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)

Hamilton County, Tennessee

Hamilton County Education, Geography, and History

Hamilton County, Tennessee Courthouse

Hamilton County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 336,463, making it the fourth-most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Chattanooga. The county was named for Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury.

Hamilton County is part of the Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Hamilton County Name

Named in honor of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), American statesman, Revolutionary War soldier, member of the Continental Congress and secretary of the US treasury under President Washington.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Hamilton County

Created 1819 from Rhea County and Indian lands; named in honor of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), American statesman, Revolutionary War soldier, member of the Continental Congress and secretary of the US treasury under President Washington.

Hamilton County was formed in 1819 from Rhea County and Indian lands. (Private Acts of Tennessee 1819, Chapter 41).

James County was formed in 1871 from Bradley and Hamilton counties. It was abolished in 1919 and incorporated into Hamilton County where its records are held. The county seat was Ooltewah.

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
The Tennessee General Assembly created Hamilton County on October 25, 1819. Rhea, Marion, and Bledsoe Counties bounded the new county, and it extended south to the state line. The creation of the new county on the southwestern frontier was brought about by a treaty with the Cherokees in 1817. By the terms of the Hiwassee Purchase, the Indians yielded large sections of Alabama and Georgia, as well as the Sequatchie Valley and the area that became Hamilton County. Initially, Hamilton County did not extend south of the Tennessee River. This area, including the site of Cherokee Chief John Ross's landing in present-day Chattanooga, did not become a part of the county until the disputed Treaty of 1835 that led to Indian removal and the "Trail of Tears." The county was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the treasury in George Washington's administration. Hamilton was the name of the district of which this section had formerly been a part.

This beautiful region, where the Tennessee River winds through the convergence of several mountain ranges, was the last stronghold of the Cherokees. When their valiant effort to retain their homeland failed, Ross's Landing became one of the main staging areas for the trek west. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: HAMILTON COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 576 square miles (1,491 km2), of which, 542 square miles (1,405 km2) of it is land and 33 square miles (86 km2) of it (5.78%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Bledsoe County, Tennessee - north
  • Rhea County, Tennessee - northeast
  • Meigs County, Tennessee - northeast
  • Bradley County, Tennessee - east
  • Whitfield County, Georgia - southeast
  • Catoosa County, Georgia - south
  • Walker County, Georgia - south
  • Dade County, Georgia - southwest
  • Marion County, Tennessee - west
  • Sequatchie County, Tennessee - northwest

Hamilton County is one of the few counties in the United States to border 10 other counties.


Colleges and universities

Chattanooga State Community College
Covenant College
Southern Adventist University
Tennessee Temple University
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Richmont Graduate University

Public schools

Public schools in Hamilton County are operated by Hamilton County Schools.

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