Dyer County, Tennessee

Dyer County is a county located in the westernmost part of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 36,801.[2] The county seat is Dyersburg.[3] Dyer County comprises the Dyersburg, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Dyer County
Dyer County Courthouse in Dyersburg
Dyer County Courthouse in Dyersburg
Map of Tennessee highlighting Dyer County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°04′N 89°25′W / 36.06°N 89.41°W / 36.06; -89.41
Country United States
State Tennessee
Founded1823
Named forRobert Henry Dyer, state legislator[1]
SeatDyersburg
Largest cityDyersburg
Area
 • Total527 sq mi (1,360 km2)
 • Land512 sq mi (1,330 km2)
 • Water14 sq mi (40 km2)  2.7%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total36,801 Decrease
 • Density75/sq mi (29/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitedyercounty.com

HistoryEdit

19th centuryEdit

Dyer County was founded by a Private Act of Tennessee, passed on October 16, 1823.[4] The area was part of the territory in Tennessee that was previously legally recognized as belonging to the Chickasaw Native Americans as "Indian Lands".[5]

 
Map of Dyer County, Tennessee (1836)

The county was named for Robert Henry Dyer[6] (circa 1774–1826). Dyer had been an army officer in the Creek War and War of 1812, and a cavalry colonel in the First Seminole War of 1818 before becoming a state senator. He was instrumental in the formation of the counties of Dyer and Madison County, Tennessee.[7]

Around 1823, Louis Philippe I stopped briefly near the mouth of the Obion River and killed a bald eagle.[8]

In 1869, three, possibly five, white men were lynched under suspicion of horse thievery.[9]

In Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, Twain reported seeing a steamboat at the mouth of the Obion River bearing his name. He notes this is the first time he encountered something named after him.[10]

20th centuryEdit

On February 1, 1916, a black man named Julius Morgan was accused of raping a white woman in Dyer County. In order to avoid a lynching at the hands of a local mob, Sheriff C.C. Dawson had Morgan sent to the jail in Jackson for safety, and again to jails in Union City and Nashville.[11] [12] His attorneys were able to secure a change in venue to Memphis for his trial. He was convicted and sentenced to death.[12] On July 13, 1916, Morgan was the first person to be executed by electrocution in Tennessee.[13]

21st centuryEdit

On April 2, 2006 a severe weather system passed through Dyer County, producing tornadoes that killed 16 in the county and 24 in Tennessee.

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 527 square miles (1,360 km2), of which 512 square miles (1,330 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (2.7%) is water.[14]

The county is drained by the Mississippi River, which forms its western boundary. The confluences of the Forked Deer River into the Obion River, and the Obion into the Mississippi are located in the county. It is in the part of Tennessee called the "Mississippi bottomland" or the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.[15][16]

Dyer County is bisected by U.S. Route 51, the older major highway connecting Memphis with Chicago from south to north. When upgraded to interstate standards, this road will become Interstate 69. To the west, Dyer County is connected to Missouri by Interstate 155 over the Mississippi River, providing the only highway connection, other than those at Memphis, between Tennessee and the states to the west of the river.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Major highwaysEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18301,904
18404,484135.5%
18506,36141.9%
186010,53665.6%
187013,70630.1%
188015,11810.3%
189019,87831.5%
190023,77619.6%
191027,72116.6%
192029,9838.2%
193031,4054.7%
194034,92011.2%
195033,473−4.1%
196029,537−11.8%
197030,4273.0%
198034,66313.9%
199034,8540.6%
200037,2797.0%
201038,3352.8%
202036,801−4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[17]
1790–1960[18] 1900–1990[19]
1990–2000[20] 2010–2014[21]
 
Age pyramid Dyer County[22]

2020 censusEdit

Dyer County racial composition[23]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 28,272 76.82%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,335 14.5%
Native American 81 0.22%
Asian 213 0.58%
Pacific Islander 11 0.03%
Other/Mixed 1,586 4.31%
Hispanic or Latino 1,303 3.54%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 36,801 people, 15,120 households, and 10,566 families residing in the county.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 37,279 people, 14,751 households, and 10,458 families residing in the county. The population density was 73 people per square mile (28/km2). There were 16,123 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.40% White, 12.86% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,751 households, out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.20% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.10% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 25.70% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,788, and the median income for a family was $39,848. Males had a median income of $31,182 versus $21,605 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,451. About 13.00% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 17.60% of those age 65 or over.

MediaEdit

NewspapersEdit

State Gazette – 3 days/week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday); general news. The paper has served Dyersburg and Northwest Tennessee since 1865.

CommunitiesEdit

CityEdit

TownsEdit

Census-designated placesEdit

Other unincorporated communitiesEdit

PoliticsEdit

Like most of the rural South, Dyer County is presently overwhelmingly Republican. The last Democrat to carry this county was Bill Clinton in 1996. Being overwhelmingly secessionist during the Civil War due to the strong power of the slave economy in West Tennessee, Dyer County was overwhelmingly Democratic for a century after its blacks were disfranchised. Anti-Catholicism allowed Richard Nixon to carry the county narrowly in 1960, then after the massive revolt against the Civil Rights Act and race riots segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace carried the county in 1968 and Nixon defeated George McGovern three-to-one in 1972. Since then the county has become increasingly Republican except when Southerners Jimmy Carter and Clinton headed the presidential ticket.

United States presidential election results for Dyer County, Tennessee[25]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 11,768 78.04% 3,158 20.94% 153 1.01%
2016 10,180 76.33% 2,816 21.12% 340 2.55%
2012 9,921 71.81% 3,757 27.19% 138 1.00%
2008 9,859 68.23% 4,411 30.53% 180 1.25%
2004 8,447 61.17% 5,287 38.29% 75 0.54%
2000 6,282 53.05% 5,425 45.82% 134 1.13%
1996 5,059 44.48% 5,602 49.25% 713 6.27%
1992 5,668 44.33% 5,845 45.71% 1,274 9.96%
1988 6,508 63.54% 3,690 36.02% 45 0.44%
1984 6,610 62.11% 3,991 37.50% 41 0.39%
1980 5,475 48.00% 5,713 50.08% 219 1.92%
1976 4,391 41.91% 5,937 56.66% 150 1.43%
1972 6,066 75.94% 1,600 20.03% 322 4.03%
1968 2,826 26.41% 2,033 19.00% 5,842 54.59%
1964 4,517 48.92% 4,717 51.08% 0 0.00%
1960 4,097 49.95% 3,868 47.15% 238 2.90%
1956 2,682 36.21% 4,524 61.08% 201 2.71%
1952 3,231 41.30% 4,531 57.92% 61 0.78%
1948 989 18.44% 3,503 65.31% 872 16.26%
1944 1,190 26.01% 3,368 73.60% 18 0.39%
1940 961 21.94% 3,374 77.03% 45 1.03%
1936 557 13.93% 3,355 83.90% 87 2.18%
1932 389 9.21% 3,805 90.12% 28 0.66%
1928 842 24.04% 2,661 75.96% 0 0.00%
1924 478 16.93% 2,336 82.72% 10 0.35%
1920 1,166 26.76% 3,181 73.01% 10 0.23%
1916 459 18.42% 1,997 80.14% 36 1.44%
1912 318 14.34% 1,469 66.26% 430 19.40%


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Carroll Van West, "Dyer County", Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 27 June 2013.
  2. ^ ""Dyer County, Tennessee QuickFacts"". Archived from the original on March 27, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Tennessee State Archives — formation of Dyer county". Archived from the original on January 11, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Bergeron, Paul H.; Ash, Stephen V.; Keith, Jeanette.Tennesseans and their history. Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1999, p. 78.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 112.
  7. ^ "Tennessee Blue Book — Dyer county" (PDF). Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  8. ^ Willoughby Jr., Earl (March 19, 2003). "John James Audubon and the 'Citizen King'". Dyersburg State Gazette. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Vandiver, Margaret (2006). Lethal Punishment : Lynchings and Legal Executions in the South. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780813537283. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  10. ^ Twain, Mark; Clemens, Samuel L. (1883). Life on the Mississippi. Montreal: Dawson Brothers. p. 248.
    Facsimile copy of the First edition pg. 248 "Far along in the day, we saw one steamboat; just one, and no more. She was lying at rest in the shade, within the wooded mouth of the Obion River. The spy-glass revealed the fact that she was named for me - or he was named for me, whichever you prefer. As this was the first time I had ever encountered this species of honor, it seems excusable to mention it, and at the same time call the attention of the authorities to the tardiness of my recognition of it."
  11. ^ "NEGRO IS TRAILED". State Gazette. February 2, 1916. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Vandiver, Margaret (2006). Lethal Punishment : Lynchings and Legal Executions in the South. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. pp. 1, 44–45. ISBN 9780813537283. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  13. ^ "Tennessee Executions". Tennessee Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Floodplains and Farms". The Nature Conservancy. March 21, 2021. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "Mississippi Alluvial Valley Conservation Opportunity Area" (PDF). Tennessee Wildlife Resource Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  22. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  23. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  24. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  25. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 36°04′N 89°25′W / 36.06°N 89.41°W / 36.06; -89.41