Adamsville, Tennessee

Adamsville is a town in Hardin and McNairy counties, Tennessee. The population was 2,207 at the 2010 census. Adamsville is named after George D. Adams, who operated an inn and stagecoach stop in the 1840s.[5] Adamsville's nickname is the "Biggest Little Town in Tennessee" and was the home of Sheriff Buford Pusser.

Adamsville, Tennessee
Buford Pusser home
The Biggest Little Town in Tennessee
Location of Adamsville in McNairy County, Tennessee.
Location of Adamsville in McNairy County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 35°15′0″N 88°23′25″W / 35.25000°N 88.39028°W / 35.25000; -88.39028Coordinates: 35°15′0″N 88°23′25″W / 35.25000°N 88.39028°W / 35.25000; -88.39028
CountryUnited States
CountiesMcNairy, Hardin
 • MayorDavid Leckner
 • Vice MayorMark Massey
 • Total7.09 sq mi (18.35 km2)
 • Land7.04 sq mi (18.23 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
515 ft (157 m)
 • Total2,207
 • Estimate 
 • Density307.47/sq mi (118.71/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)731
FIPS code47-00240[3]
GNIS feature ID1269295[4]


The area in and around Adamsville was first surveyed by Davy Crockett.[6] Just after 1818, George C. Adams and his family were the first settlers of European ancestry to locate to the area. A trading post would be opened, just north of where the Adamsville Cemetery is today. The trading post served the local Native communities and Anglo settlers. In 1838 the Bell's detachment of the Trail of Tears traveled through Adamsville. Settlers from North Carolina and Maury County, Tennessee migrated to the area and the settlement developed an agricultural economy. When the Battle of Shiloh was fought in 1862, Union Army soldiers were camped in Adamsville.[7]

Adamsville was incorporated in 1870.[6][8] The town struggled to grow until roads were improved in the early 20th century. Agriculture remained the main economic developer until the textile industry came into the area with Myrna Mills factory opening, and then other factories following.[7]


Adamsville is located at 35°15′0″N 88°23′25″W / 35.25000°N 88.39028°W / 35.25000; -88.39028 (35.250124, -88.390311).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.9 square miles (18.0 km²), of which 6.9 square miles (17.9 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.1 km²) (0.72%) is water.

Adamsville is located primarily in McNairy County; only a small part of the municipal area lies in Hardin County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20192,164[2]−1.9%

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,983 people, 835 households, and 552 families residing in the town. The population density was 287.3 people per square mile (111.0/km²). There were 937 housing units at an average density of 135.8 per square mile (52.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.13% White, 1.01% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.10% Asian, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.

There were 835 households, out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 20.5% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 25.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 72.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $30,929, and the median income for a family was $37,993. Males had a median income of $31,154 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,806. About 13.0% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.9% of those under age 18 and 36.0% of those age 65 or over.


Adamsville has an 85-acre industrial park and four miles east of the town proper is the Tennessee Technology Center. Ripley Industries, a parts supplier for the automotive industry and related industrial fabricators, has its corporate headquarters in the town. Jones Exhaust Systems, engineering consultants Aqua Dynamics Group, Langley Wire Cloth Products, and Better Source Supply Company all have major locations in the town, as well.[12] The Adamsville Partnership organization was formed by local businesses, property owners, professionals and related parties to promote the community.[13]

Arts and cultureEdit

A slugburger with onion rings.

Adamsville's Fat Cat Grill serves "slugburgers", a delicacy found in west Tennessee, northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama. The Fat Cat slugburger consists of a hamburger patty made of beef and soy grits which is then deep fried and served on a bun with condiments. Another local delicacy is the baked cabbage at the Saw Meal Restaurant and Steakhouse.[14]

Annual eventsEdit

Adamsville holds a large number of annual events. Every Memorial Day weekend the four-day Buford Pusser Festival is held at the Buford Pusser Memorial Park. The local preliminary for Miss Tennessee, the Miss Walking Tall Pageant is held at The Marty Community Center. A number of other cultural events such as the HeeHaw Show, Founders Day, and a 5K Run in the spring.[15]

Points of interestEdit

The Buford Pusser Home and Museum is located in Adamsville in the former home of the county sheriff.[16] Pusser is also buried in the Adamsville Cemetery.[17] Gibb's Gas & Oil Collectibles is an appointment only museum of old gas pumps, gas and oil signs, oil cans, and other service station memorabilia.[16] Adamsville's public library is the Irving Meek Jr. Memorial Library.[18] The local War Memorial Park is located off of Highway 64 and Old Stage. It commemorates veterans and those who died from Adamsville in World War I and II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.[17] The Old Home Motel was built in 1960 by Joe and Juanita Richardson. Buford Pusser lived at the hotel for a time, and Elvis Presley stayed the night there.[17]

Parks and recreationEdit

Established in 1998, the Adamsville Recreation & Parks Department maintains flag and American football leagues, a cheerleading team, basketball and soccer teams. The town also offers other sports for youth and adults including softball and baseball. Every year the department plans a 5K run to coincide with the annual Buford Pusser Memorial Festival. The city park, also named after Buford Pusser, sits on land that was founded as a sandlot and horse barn by Pusser and the Adamsville Jaycees in 1973. The city park formed out of a fundraiser which featured musicians George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and continued funding and grants go towards improving the park. The city park has a lighted basketball court and tennis courts, a playground, three ball fields, an open-air pavilion, grills and picnic tables, and a walking track.[18] Shiloh Golf Course is an 18-hole golf course. The golf course is on historical land: the number two and number four greens lie along the road where General Lew Wallace marched his three brigades to the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862.[16]

The department also maintains a senior center which distributes Meals on Wheels and related services. The Marty community center is also maintained by the Recreation & Parks department for public use and also has live entertainment, including the monthly Adamsville Bluegrass Jamboree.[16][18]


Adamsville's government consists of a City Commission: a mayor and four commissioners. Every two years elections are held on the first Saturday of October, and the mayor and commissioners serve four year staggered terms. The town also has a city administrator, who serves in a full-time paid position overseeing general day-to-day needs of the city business.[19]


The town is served by two public schools: Adamsville Elementary School and Adamsville High School. The elementary school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and serves pre-kindergarten 4 & 5 to 8th graders. The high school provides education to 9-12th graders in the county. The school has been listed as one of U.S. News & World Report's best high schools in America.

Adamsville High School's marching band has won 1st place at the TN Division 1 State Marching Band Championship nine times since 1999 and has not placed lower than 2nd since 2004.[20] As the school's attendance grew in number, the band was eventually promoted to Division 2 status in 2016. The band won its first Division 2 championship in 2017 and repeated as champions in 2018 and 2019 making the band 12 time state champions. The school mascot is the cardinal.[21]

Historic peopleEdit

Buford Pusser, legendary McNairy County sheriff[22]

Ray Blanton, The 44th Governor of Tennessee.

Ashley Durham Booth, Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2006, Miss Tennessee USA 2011, and runner-up Miss USA 2011.

Dewey Phillips, Rock n' roll disc jockey. Phillips was the first DJ to spin a record of Elvis Presley on the air waves.[7]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ Siler, Tom (1985). Tennessee Towns: from Adams to Yorkville. Knoxville, Tennessee: East Tennessee Historical Society. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b "Adamsville". Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "History of Adamsville". History. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.Ashley Durham,
  8. ^ History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present. Southern Historical Press. 1886. p. 828.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Adamsville Industry". Industrial Park. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Adamsville Partnership". Adamsville Partnership. 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Dine". Our Town. Adamsville Partnership. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Adamsville Events". Events. Adamsville Partnership. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d "City Attractions". Area Info. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  17. ^ a b c "See & Do". Our Town. Adamsville Partnership. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "Recreation & Parks Department". Recreation. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Our City Leaders". City Leaders. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  20. ^ Tennessee Division 1 State Marching Band Championship
  21. ^ "Adamsville Schools". Area Info. City of Adamsville. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Buford Pusser, the Man, his Career, and Tragedies". History. Buford Pusser Home & Museum. 2006. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.

External linksEdit