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)

Hardin County, Tennessee

Hardin County Education, Geography, and History

Hardin County, Tennessee Courthouse

Hardin County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 26,026. The seat is Savannah. The county was founded in November 1819 and named posthumously for Col. Joseph Hardin, a Revolutionary War soldier and a legislative representative for the Province of North Carolina; the State of Franklin; and the Southwest Territory.

Etymology - Origin of Hardin County Name

Named in honor of Joseph Hardin (1734-1801), Revolutionary War soldier, speaker of the State of Franklin legislature, and member and speaker of the territorial legislature whose sons settled Hardin County.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Hardin County

Created 1819 from Indian lands; named in honor of Joseph Hardin (1734-1801), Revolutionary War soldier, speaker of the State of Franklin legislature, and member and speaker of the territorial legislature whose sons settled Hardin County.

Hardin County was formed in 1818 from Indian lands (Public Acts of Tennessee 1819, Chapter 6).

There were fires at the Hardin County courthouse in 1859, 1864 and 1949.

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
The story of Hardin County begins with the prehistoric mound builders of the Woodland and Mississippian Periods. Savannah, the modern county seat, is built partially within a wall and trench and amid a line of fourteen mounds on a bluff parallel to the Tennessee River. These prehistoric peoples also built a considerable structure covering approximately four acres in the northwest corner of the county near Middleton and several mounds at Pittsburg Landing in what is now the Shiloh National Military Park. After the Mississippian era, Hardin County, along with most of the rest of West Tennessee, became an area shared by various Indian tribes as a rich hunting ground.

Geologically, Hardin County lies in the Western Valley of the Tennessee River. The river enters the county at the middle of its southern border and flows northward in a west to east direction. The western side of the river, making up one-third of the county's six hundred square miles, is rich bottomland with some hills and ridges. The land east of the river is higher, with a steadily increasing elevation moving toward the eastern boundary. East Hardin County also contains extensive rich bottomland along the lower portion of several creeks and on the inside of river bends.

In 1780 John Donelson led the river party that rendezvoused with James Robertson's overland party in the establishment of Nashborough. According to Donelson's journal, his group stopped at what was probably Diamond Island, near Pittsburg Landing, in the Tennessee River; this is the first known record of whites on Hardin County soil. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: HARDIN COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 596 square miles (1,544 km2), of which, 578 square miles (1,497 km2) of it is land and 18 square miles (48 km2) of it (3.09%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Decatur County (north)
  • Wayne County (east)
  • Lauderdale County, Alabama (southeast)
  • Tishomingo County, Mississippi (south)
  • McNairy County (west)
  • Chester County (northwest)
  • Henderson County (north-northwest)

For eleven days after its initial establishment in November of 1819, the boundaries of Hardin reached from Wayne County west to the Mississippi River. The establishment of Shelby County and others continued to diminish the size of Hardin until it reached its present boundaries


Hardin County has several community and city elementary schools, and also has a middle school. The county has one high school, Hardin County High School. The Savannah-Hardin County Center, a branch campus of Jackson State Community College, has operated in the City of Savannah, offering an Associate of Science degree in General Studies, since 1998. There is also the Tennessee Technology Center at Crump.

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