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)

Johnson County, Tennessee

Johnson County Education, Geography, and History

Johnson County, Tennessee Courthouse

Johnson County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 18,244. Its county seat is Mountain City. It is the state's northeasternmost county, sharing borders with Virginia and North Carolina

Etymology - Origin of Johnson County Name

Named in honor of Thomas Johnson (ca. 1836), early settler of Carter County on the Doe River, prominent citizen and one of the first magistrates of Johnson County.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

History of Johnson County

Created 1836 from Carter County; named in honor of Thomas Johnson (ca. 1836), early settler of Carter County on the Doe River, prominent citizen and one of the first magistrates of Johnson County.

Johnson County was formed in 1836 from Carter County. (Private Acts of Tennessee 1835-1836, Chapter 31).

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
Located in the extreme northeastern corner of the state, Johnson County lies on the western slope of the Appalachian Mountains. It is bounded by Virginia on the north and North Carolina on the south and east. Hilly and mountainous, the county covers approximately 290 square miles, and the highest elevation is Snake Mountain at 5,574 feet. The most fertile and flat land can be found along the Little Doe River and Roan and Beaverdam Creeks.

Before the arrival of white settlers, the Cherokees, Creeks, and Yuchis used the area as a hunting and burial ground. Evidence of prehistoric mound builders has been found. The first white settlers were mostly English, but also included some Scots-Irish and Germans. The first settlement occurred at the confluence of a buffalo trail and three wilderness trails. The settlement name, Trade, attests to its importance as a meeting place where settlers, frontiersmen, and Native Americans swapped goods and stories.

Daniel Boone hunted and explored the area between 1761 and 1769. Numerous settlers followed Boone's trail through the wilderness, including John Honeycutt, who built a cabin on Roan Creek. Honeycutt entertained several well-known frontiersmen, including Boone and James Robertson, who achieved fame in the Watauga and Cumberland settlements. Before the end of the century, additional settlements had been established at Little Doe, Shady Valley, and Laurel Bloomery. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: JOHNSON COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 303 square miles (784 km2), of which, 298 square miles (773 km2) of it is land and 4 square miles (11 km2) of it (1.41%) is water. Johnson County's boundary with Sullivan County is defined as the ridgeline of Holston Mountain.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Washington County, Virginia (north)
  • Grayson County, Virginia (northeast)
  • Ashe County, North Carolina (east)
  • Watauga County, North Carolina (southeast)
  • Avery County, North Carolina (south)
  • Carter County (southwest)
  • Sullivan County (west)


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