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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)

Haywood County, Tennessee

Haywood County Education, Geography, and History

Haywood County, Tennessee Courthouse

Haywood County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 18,787. Its county seat and largest city is Brownsville

Etymology - Origin of Haywood County Name

Named in honor of John Haywood (1762-1826), North Carolina Superior Court and Tennessee Supreme Court judge, author of Civil & Political History of Tennessee, "father of Tennessee history."


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Haywood County

Created 1823 from Indian lands; named in honor of John Haywood (1762-1826), North Carolina Superior Court and Tennessee Supreme Court judge, author of Civil & Political History of Tennessee, "father of Tennessee history."

Haywood County was formed in 1823 from Indian lands. (Acts of Tennessee 1823, Chapter 145).

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
Named for Judge John Haywood, Haywood County was part of Madison County when the Tennessee General Assembly created it in 1823-24. Later, part of Haywood County was taken to create Lauderdale and Crockett Counties. The state legislature designated Brownsville as the county seat, and in 1823 Thomas M. Johnson sold the county fifty acres of land for the county seat for one dollar and a town lot. The county court met in the home of Richard Nixon, the first settler in the area, until 1825, when the first log courthouse was completed. A second courthouse was built in 1826; in 1845 it was rebuilt with brick. In 1868 the county added a west wing to accommodate the convening of the Supreme Court for West Tennessee. The courthouse underwent complete renovation in 1989. The first jail was built in 1825; in 1872 it was replaced with a brick and iron jail. In 1974 a new jail was located four miles east of Brownsville.

Cotton agriculture provided the basis for the Haywood County economy for much of its history. Early settlers soon established a plantation system based on slave labor. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the cotton economy returned, although tenant farmers and sharecroppers now worked the fields. In 1828 James Bond settled in Haywood County and built one of the largest fortunes in the state through the cultivation of cotton. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: HAYWOOD COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 534 square miles (1,383 km2), of which, 533 square miles (1,381 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (2 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.

Haywood County is situated on the southeastern edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area with a high earthquake risk.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Crockett County (north)
  • Madison County (east)
  • Hardeman County (southeast)
  • Fayette County (south)
  • Tipton County (west)
  • Lauderdale County (northwest)


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