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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)

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McMinn County, Tennessee

McMinn County Education, Geography, and History

McMinn County, Tennessee Courthouse

McMinn County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 52,266. Its county seat is Athens.

McMinn County comprises the Athens, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton, TN-GA-AL Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of McMinn County Name

Named in honor of Joseph McMinn (1758-1824), militia commander, member of territorial legislature, speaker of the state senate, governor of Tennessee, and superintendent of the Cherokee Agency.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

History of McMinn County

Created 1819 from Indian lands; named in honor of Joseph McMinn (1758-1824), militia commander, member of territorial legislature, speaker of the state senate, governor of Tennessee, and superintendent of the Cherokee Agency.

McMinn County was formed in 1819 from Indian lands. (Acts of Tennessee 1819, Chapter 7).

Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
McMinn County, located in southeast Tennessee, was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1819. Named for Governor Joseph McMinn, the county was created from lands ceded by the Cherokees in the Hiwassee Purchase.

Calhoun, the first town and county seat, was established in 1820 across the Hiwassee River from the Cherokee Indian Agency. The need for a more centrally located seat of government led to the county seat's removal in 1823 to Athens, fifteen miles north. Athens was chartered in 1822. By 1830 McMinn County had a population of over 14,000, including 1,250 slaves.

The Hiwassee Railroad began construction of one of Tennessee's first railroads in McMinn County in 1837. Plans called for a line from Dalton, Georgia, through McMinn County to Knoxville, a distance of ninety-eight miles. Financial problems and a general economic depression statewide halted construction in 1839 after the completion of sixty-six miles of graded roadbed and a bridge at Calhoun. Work was resumed in 1849 by the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. Athens served as the railroad's headquarters until 1855, when the central office was moved to Knoxville. Find more from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: MCMINN COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 432 square miles (1,119 km2), of which, 430 square miles (1,114 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (5 km2) of it (0.45%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Roane County (north)
  • Loudon County (northeast)
  • Monroe County (east)
  • Polk County (southeast)
  • Bradley County (southwest)
  • Meigs County (west)

Education

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