Morristown is a city in and the county seat of Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States. Morristown also extends into Jefferson County on the west and southern ends. The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census. It is the principal city of the Morristown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson counties. The Morristown metropolitan area is also a part of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area.
|City of Morristown|
Main Street in downtown Morristown
"A City Always Expanding"
|Founded by||Gideon Morris|
|Named for||Gideon Morris|
|• Mayor||Gary Chesney|
|• City Council|
|• City||27.64 sq mi (71.59 km2)|
|• Land||27.60 sq mi (71.48 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)|
|Elevation||1,350 ft (397 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,094.07/sq mi (422.42/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1269815|
|Primary Airport||Morristown Regional Airport|
The first European settlers were Gideon Morris, a farmer, and his siblings, who arrived from the Watauga Settlement. The settlement was named Morristown, and land grants were assigned to Morris and his extended family.
Pioneer and folk-hero David Crockett lived in present-day Morristown when his father, John Crockett, and established a tavern in 1794. The current-day Crockett Tavern Museum sits at the approximate location of the former tavern, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As the Civil War approached, the town's sympathies were divided between the Union and secessionist sides. In December 1863, some 25,000 Confederate Army soldiers under the command of General James Longstreet arrived at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, northeast of the town, to spend the winter, after the Battle of Bean's Station. They remained there until February 1864 and used the Bethesda Church building as a hospital. Military engagements occurred near the church in both October and November 1864. On October 28, 1864, Union General Alvan C. Gillem attacked Confederate forces under General John C. Vaughn in the Battle of Morristown. They fought in and around the town with Gillem routing Vaughn's Confederates in what became known as "Vaughn's Stampede." Vaughn was forced to retreat to Carter's Station on the Watauga River in northeastern Tennessee. The battle resulted in about 335 total casualties. In the Battle of Bull's Gap ("Gillem's Stampede") in November, Confederate forces under General John C. Breckinridge prevailed over Gillem's troops, chasing the Union forces westward to a defensive position at Strawberry Plains near Knoxville. During one of these skirmishes, a cannonball penetrated one of the church walls, causing structural damage that was repaired by reinforcing the walls with large iron rods. The Union Army used the church as a hospital for soldiers wounded in these operations. Many soldiers from both sides are interred in the Bethesda Church cemetery. Eighty of the wartime burials are unidentified.
The Skymart and the present dayEdit
Morristown's Main Street area, measuring approximately 1 square mile (2.6 km2), arose from the intersection of two railroad lines. In 1962, Turkey Creek, which bisects the street, flooded and damaged the downtown commercial district. A suburban shopping mall on the city's west side also jeopardized businesses downtown, and the city developed a plan to modernize Main Street by creating an "overhead sidewalk", enabling businesses to form on the second floor of existing buildings while serving as a canopy for passage below. Building owners spent nearly $2 million ($16 million today) upgrading their properties and linking them to ramps, while the government contributed over $5 million to build the elevated walkways. The underground channel for Turkey Creek was also enlarged and rerouted. The project was completed in 1967; however, the Skymart has served as little more than a roof over the sidewalk and a remnant of the idealism of 1960s urban renewal projects. Despite the aftermath of the project, the overhead sidewalks still stand in the downtown area.
Morristown is embarking on a resurrection of the Skymart as a social and commercial hub. It has been made a key element in a greenway master plan for the region. In an effort to renew public interest, city officials, the Downtown Morristown Association, and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce hold events in the city's downtown or the "Skymart District" throughout the year, mainly during the warmer months of May to September.
On March 22, 2016, Main Street and the rest of Morristown's downtown district was officially listed on The National Register of Historic Places. The nearby Rose Center and Hamblen County Courthouse are both listed on the registry as well.
Morristown is situated in the upper region of East Tennessee in the Tennessee Valley between the Great Smoky Mountains to the south, and Clinch Mountain to the north. It is positioned nearly at a midpoint between Knoxville and the Tri-Cities region.
According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 28.0 square miles (72.4 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.19%, are water. Cherokee Lake, an artificial reservoir built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s, is north of the city.
Morristown falls in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa), although it is not quite as hot as areas to the south and west of Tennessee due to the higher elevations. Summers are hot and humid, with July highs averaging 85 °F (29 °C), lows averaging 66 °F (19 °C), and an average of eight days per year with temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C). Winters are generally cool, with occasional small amounts of snow. January averages a high of around 45 °F (7 °C) and a low of around 28 °F (−2 °C), although low temperatures in the single digits and teens are not uncommon. The record high for Morristown, since 1994, is 103 °F (39 °C), while the record low is −2 °F (−19 °C). Annual precipitation averages around 44.3 in (1,125 mm), and average winter snowfall is 11.7 inches (30 cm). The average monthly relative humidity is around 70 percent.
|Climate data for Morristown, TN (since 1987)|
|Record high °F (°C)||77
|Average high °F (°C)||45
|Daily mean °F (°C)||37
|Average low °F (°C)||28
|Record low °F (°C)||1
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.2
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||3.9
|Average relative humidity (%)||73||69||65||62||67||70||72||72||69||70||69||72||69|
As of the census of 2010, there were 29,137 people, 11,412 households, and 7,278 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,194.7 people per square mile (461.2/km2). There were 12,705 housing units at an average density of 528.1 per square mile (203.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.52% White, 6.63% African American, 0.87% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, and 2.15% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origins were 19.37% of the population.
There were 11,412 households, out of which 22.5% had children under 17 years of age living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.85% under 17 years of age, 9.45% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 16% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,005, and the median income for a family was $33,391. Males had a median income of $26,724 versus $20,515 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,894. About 14.6% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.
In 2010, the Morristown-Hamblen area was home to over 1,000 businesses, employing over 25,000 people. Total property tax revenue was almost equally divided amongst residential, commercial, and industrial properties, with residential property tax supplying 50.1%, commercial at 26.1%, and industrial at 20.1%.
Morristown is considered to be one of the largest manufacturing and industrial hubs in the state of Tennessee. There are several industrial parks located in the eastern, western and southern parts of the city, and over 100 manufacturers have based their facilities in Morristown, ranging from food processing, aerospace technology, machine and parts production, plastics engineering, and many other industries.
Morristown's manufacturing market employs nearly 10,000 or 24% of the workforce in Hamblen County, and an extra 11,000 commuting from surrounding counties such as Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, and Hawkins for employment.
Morristown is considered a hub for retail, with the indoor regional College Square Mall serving an area of 300,000 people, and a diverse array of locally owned shops and franchised stores in retail developments dispersed around Morristown and in its downtown area. In 2016, the city saw nearly $1.4 million in retail sales.
Arts and cultureEdit
There are several annual festivals and events held in Morristown, some of the more notable events include:
- Morristown Strawberry Festival - festival held every May celebrating strawberries harvested in Morristown.
- Morristown Craft Beer Festival - Craft beer festival with live music held at the Morristown Farmers Market every September.
Minor league baseballEdit
Morristown hosted several Minor League Baseball teams from 1910 to 1961 at Sherwood Park. The Morristown Jobbers became charter members of the Southeastern League in 1910. The Jobbers continued in the Appalachian League in 1911 and played each season through 1914. From 1923 to 1925, the city's entry in the league was called the Morristown Roosters. In 1948, the Morristown Red Sox became charter members of the Mountain States League in which they played through 1954. The team won the league championship in their first season. The Red Sox folded early in the 1954 season and were replaced in the league by the Morristown Reds. The Morristown Cubs, the city's final professional baseball team played in the Appalachian League from 1959 to 1961 and won the 1959 pennant.
Walters State baseballEdit
Walters State Community College's Senators baseball team has qualified in 8 JUCO world series tournaments and won 1 JUCO WORLD SERIES.
- In 1985 and 1987, Morristown had teams qualify for the Little League World Series; the 1985 team finished third. The Morristown teams are two of eight Tennessee teams that have advanced to the series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
- In 2006, Morristown placed fourth in the Little League Softball World Series.
- In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.
Parks and recreationEdit
- Parks and public recreation areas
- Disc Golf Courses
- Cherokee Park Disc
- Morristown Rotary Disc Course
- Kiwanis Disc Course
- Panther Creek State Park Disc Course
- Morristown Golf and Country Club
- The Country Club
Morristown uses the mayor-council government system, which was established in 1855 when the city was incorporated. Morristown is governed by a seven-member city council composed of the mayor and six council members. The citizens elect the mayor to a four-year term and the six council members to two-year terms.
Public schools in Morristown are operated by the Hamblen County Department of Education. There are four middle schools: East Ridge, Lincoln, Meadowview, and Westview. Morristown has two high schools: Morristown-Hamblen High School East and Morristown-Hamblen High School West.
The main campus and the aviation technology expansion campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Morristown, are located in Morristown.
- The 1981 horror film The Evil Dead, had been filmed in neighboring Bean Station and in Morristown near Kidwell's Ridge Road. The cabin featured significantly in the film had burned down, with the only remains being bricks from the cabin's chimney.
- The 2005 film Five Across the Eyes was filmed in Morristown.
Morristown is home to the Morristown-Hamblen Hospital. The hospital has a 167 room capacity with 23 designated for emergency use. It is considered the main healthcare center in the Morristown metropolitan area.
The Morristown Utilities System (MUS) provides electricity, water, wastewater management, and fiber broadband internet to the City of Morristown and several Hamblen County residents and businesses. It provides services to approximately 15,000 customers.
All U.S. routes, state routes in Morristown, along with I-81, are maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in TDOT Region 1, which consists of 24 counties in East Tennessee. Streets, sidewalks, and greenways in the Morristown-Hamblen area are maintained by either the Hamblen County Highway Department or the City of Morristown Public Works Department.
- US 11E (Morris Boulevard/Andrew Johnson Highway)
- US 25E (Davy Crockett Parkway)
- SR 32 (concurrent to US 25E)
- SR 34 (concurrent to US 11E)
- SR 66 (Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway)
- SR 160 (Governor Dewitt Clinton Senter Parkway/Air Park Boulevard/Enka Highway)
Major surface routesEdit
- SR 113
- SR 341 (Alpha Valley Home Road)
- SR 342 (Panther Creek Road)
- SR 343 (Cumberland Street/Buffalo Trail)
- SR 474 (Merchants Greene Boulevard)
- Brights Pike
- Cherokee Drive
- Commerce Boulevard
- Drinnon Drive
- Economy Road
- Kidwell Ridge Road
- Liberty Hill Road
- Lincoln Drive
- Sulpher Springs Road
- Veterans Parkway
- Walters Drive
Public transportation is provided by Lakeway Transit. Three fixed routes connect the downtown area, and most residential areas with major shopping centers throughout the city. Lakeway Transit operates using city, state, and federal funds, and passenger fares.
Morristown and the surrounding area is served by Morristown Regional Airport (IATA:MOR), a 160-acre (65 ha) airport equipped with one 5,717-foot (1,743 m) runway. The airport is located southwest of Morristown's central business district near the neighborhood of Alpha, and is operated by the municipal government.
- Ermal Allen, NFL football player and coach; 2x Super Bowl winner (VI, XII)
- Darrius Blevins, NFL player, St. Louis Rams; Super Bowl XXXIV winner
- Davy Crockett, pioneer; grew up in and around Morristown, born in nearby Greene County
- Mike Ford, former NASCAR crew chief for Denny Hamlin
- Elaine Hendrix, animal rights activist and award-winning TV/movie actress; attended middle and high school in Morristown
- Tim Horner, professional wrestler
- Evelyn Bryan Johnson, famous female aviator; former manager of Morristown Regional Airport
- Josiah Leming, contestant in the seventh season of American Idol who was eliminated in the top 50 but subsequently signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records
- Brett Martin, professional baseball player
- William McFarland, U.S. congressman from 1875 to 1877 and Morristown mayor from 1882 to 1885
- Rickey Parkey, former IBF Cruiserweight champion
- Gideon Morris, trans-Appalachian pioneer and founder of Morristown
- Frankie Randall, boxing star first to beat Julio César Chávez; has held 3 world titles; was raised in Morristown
- Randy Sanders, former quarterback for Morristown East High School and the Tennessee Volunteers; currently head football coach for the East Tennessee State Buccaneers
- Dewitt Clinton Senter, governor of Tennessee (1869–1871)
- Joe Shipley, former professional baseball player and head coach of the East Tennessee State University baseball team
- James "Little Man" Stewart, NFL player from 1995 to 2003, for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions; was raised in Morristown and played for Morristown-Hamblen High School West and the University of Tennessee
- Uncle Am Stuart, early country music fiddle player
- Jane Wagner, playwright and actress who wrote The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
- Herbert S. Walters, Democratic United States Senator (1963–1964)
- Calvin Ward, soldier; Medal of Honor recipient
- John A. Willis, theatre and film book editor, theatre awards producer, actor, and educator. He is best known for editing the long-running annual publications Theatre World and Screen World.
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