Camden, Tennessee

Camden is a city in Benton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,582 at the 2010 census.[7] It is the county seat of Benton County.[8]

Camden, Tennessee
Downtown Camden
Downtown Camden
Location of Camden in Benton County, Tennessee.
Location of Camden in Benton County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°2′47″N 88°5′9″W / 36.04639°N 88.08583°W / 36.04639; -88.08583
CountryUnited States
Named forCamden, South Carolina[1]
 • MayorRoger Pafford
 • Total5.68 sq mi (14.70 km2)
 • Land5.68 sq mi (14.70 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
449 ft (137 m)
 • Total3,582
 • Estimate 
 • Density639.77/sq mi (247.02/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)731
FIPS code47-10560[5]
GNIS feature ID1305616[6]


Patsy Cline Memorial at the 1963 crash site near Camden

Native Americans were living in the Camden area as early as the Archaic period (8000-1000 BC). A significant archaeological site has been excavated at nearby Eva (the actual site is now submerged under Kentucky Lake), uncovering evidence of semi-permanent habitation dating back 7000 years.[9]

The first European settlers arrived in the Benton County area around 1818, shortly after (and probably before) the county was purchased from the Chickasaw. Camden has its roots as a stopover along the stage coach route between Nashville and Memphis. Initially known as "Tranquility", the community had attained the name "Camden" by the 1830s, a name influenced by the Revolutionary War-era Battle of Camden.[10] When Benton County was created in 1835, Camden was chosen as the county seat. The City of Camden was officially incorporated in 1838.[11]

It was near Camden where country music stars Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins lost their lives in a plane crash on March 5, 1963.


Camden is situated along Cypress Creek, near the creek's modern confluence with the Kentucky Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River (the original lower 10 miles (16 km) of the creek were entirely engulfed by the lake with the completion of Kentucky Dam in 1944). The area is characterized by low hills to the north and west and wetlands to the east, the latter of which are largely protected by the Camden Wildlife Management Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.7 km2), all of it land.[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)3,632[4]1.4%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 3,828 people, 1,631 households, and 1,014 families residing in the city. The population density was 344.9 people per square mile (133.2/km2). There were 1,840 housing units at an average density of 165.8 per square mile (64.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.08% White, 5.33% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.33% of the population.

The Tennessee River near Camden

There were 1,631 households, out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.1% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 26.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,348, and the median income for a family was $31,667. Males had a median income of $27,413 versus $20,142 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,271. About 11.6% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.1% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.


Agriculture is important to the economy of Camden and Benton County. Sorghum was once a key crop, but the last sorghum processing facility closed in 2001.

Jones Plastic & Engineering operates a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility in Camden.

Camden is a bedroom community for employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the DuPont titanium dioxide production plant in nearby New Johnsonville.

The city's many recreational opportunities have increased the importance of tourism to the local economy.

Parks and recreationEdit

The William Thompson House is one of four sites in Camden listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, 8 miles (13 km) east
  • Natchez Trace State Park, 17 miles (27 km) southwest
  • Birdsong Resort, Marina, and Campground, 9 miles (14 km) southeast
  • Birdsong Trail Ride
  • Duck River Unit Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, 13 miles (21 km) southeast
  • Patsy Cline Memorial
  • Camden Speedway
  • Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm
  • Bargain Highway, where parts of U.S. Route 641 and U.S. Route 70 are transformed into a 30 mi (48 km) yard sale during the Labor Day weekend


Camden is served by the Benton County School System. Schools include:


Radio stationsEdit


  • The Camden Chronicle
  • The Marketplace
  • Tennessee Magnet Publications



Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ a b Camden city website. Retrieved: 17 January 2013.
  2. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Certified Population of Tennessee Incorporated Municipalities and Counties Archived 2014-06-30 at the Wayback Machine, State of Tennessee official website, 14 July 2011. Retrieved: 6 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  9. ^ Charles Faulkner, "Eva Site." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2009. Retrieved: 11 February 2013.
  10. ^ Jonathan Smith, "Benton County." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2009. Retrieved: 11 February 2013.
  11. ^ Jonathan Kennon Smith, A History of Benton County, Tennessee to 1900 (Memphis, Tenn.: J. Edge Co., 1970), 32, 100-101.
  12. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Camden city, Tennessee". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Tennessee Department of State: Publications". Retrieved 2018-03-28.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 36°02′47″N 88°05′09″W / 36.046344°N 88.085944°W / 36.046344; -88.085944