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)

Jefferson County, Tennessee

Jefferson County Education, Geography, and History

Jefferson County, Tennessee Courthouse

Jefferson County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 51,407. Its county seat is Dandridge.

Jefferson County is part of the Morristown, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville, TN Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Jefferson County Name

Named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia, US secretary of state, third US president.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Jefferson County

Created 1792 from Greene and Hawkins counties; named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, governor of Virginia, US secretary of state, third US president.

Jefferson County was formed in 1792 from Greene and Hawkins counties. (Territorial Ordinance of June 11, 1792).

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
When Goodspeed published its well-known history of Tennessee in 1887, it concluded that "No Tennessee county has a more honorable record or a more interesting history than Jefferson." The second of twenty-six American counties so named, its early settlers were men of intelligence, education, and patriotism, whose influence is still felt seven generations later.

Geography influenced the development of this East Tennessee Valley county. From 1784 to 1788, under the government of the State of Franklin, this area was part of Caswell County. Jefferson County, as created by Territorial Governor William Blount on June 11, 1792, encompassed approximately 1,200 square miles. The Holston River formed its northern boundary, and the French Broad River bisected it. These two water highways, the result of the area's heavy rainfall, support a large variety of plants, animals, and freshwater fish. Early settlers used these rivers as their primary means of transportation to the new frontier of Tennessee. North Carolinians came down the French Broad, and Virginians arrived by way of the Holston River.

The first permanent settlement at Dandridge dates to 1783; the village became the county seat in 1793. One immigrant, Dr. William Moore, set up practice as the first physician in Dandridge. Dr. Moore's wife, Cassie Paxton Moore, was a lady of culture and kept a large library. Her first cousin, Sam Houston, spent weeks with the Moores, immersed in the books that would prepare him for later public service in Tennessee and Texas. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: JEFFERSON COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 314 square miles (814 km2), of which, 274 square miles (709 km2) of it is land and 41 square miles (105 km2) of it (12.89%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Hamblen County (northeast)
  • Cocke County (east)
  • Sevier County (south)
  • Knox County (west)
  • Grainger County (northwest)


K-12 public education in the county is conducted by Jefferson County Public Schools.

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