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Morristown is a city in and the county seat of Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States.[5] Morristown also extends into Jefferson County on the west and southern ends. The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census.[6] It is the principal city of the Morristown, Tennessee 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. Morristown is primarily located in Hamblen County, while a small portion of the city is located in Jefferson County.

Morristown, Tennessee
A view of the overhead sidewalks, looking west in downtown Morristown
A view of the overhead sidewalks, looking west in downtown Morristown
Location in Hamblen County and the state of Tennessee
Location in Hamblen County and the state of Tennessee
Coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611Coordinates: 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611
CountryUnited States
CountiesHamblen, Jefferson
Settledca. 1787
Named forGideon Morris
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorGary Chesney
 • City Council
 • Total28.0 sq mi (72.4 km2)
 • Land27.9 sq mi (72.3 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
1,350 ft (397 m)
 • Total29,137
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,044/sq mi (403.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-50280[3]
GNIS feature ID1269815[4]


Early settlementEdit

Town founder Gideon Morris’ tombstone

The first European settler of what eventually became Morristown was farmer Gideon Morris. It is recorded in Goodspeed's History of Tennessee that Gideon, along with an unspecified number of his siblings, arrived in the area of present-day Morristown from the Watauga Settlement, a short-lived semi-autonomous settlement located in northeast Tennessee that was originally leased from the resident Cherokee tribes during the 1770s.

Records in North Carolina indicate that a Morris family moved to the Watauga Settlement from North Carolina. According to Cora Davis Brooks, author of History of Morristown 1787-1936:

"Gideon Morris was listed as one of the signers of the petition to annex Watauga to North Carolina in 1775, and in the Fall of the same year he served in Colonel Christian's expedition against the Indians. (N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. 10, p. 708) (King's Mountain Men by Miss Kate White.)"

In 1778 Gideon Morris appeared in court and swore allegiance ('History of South-west Virginia', by Summers). Lands were granted by the State of North Carolina to Gideon Morris in Washington, Greene and Hawkins counties. He probably settled on portions of these grants either in 1787 or 1791, which was included in Jefferson county and now in Hamblen county.

The settlement founded by Gideon has, as far as is known, always been called Morristown. No known records exist demonstrating land grants in the area to anyone aside from Gideon and his extended family. Jefferson County, located southwest of Hamblen County, possesses a record in the Jefferson County Court House of the results of the execution of Gideon Morris' will, which includes property deeded to John Morris in 1817 for a 400-acre (160 ha) tract of land originally granted to Gideon by the state of North Carolina, and presumably comprising only a portion of the original grant due to the known size of the Morris family at that time. Gideon Morris lived on that tract of land until his death.

The famous pioneer and folk-hero David Crockett lived in present-day Morristown when his father, John Crockett, established a tavern there in 1794. The current-day Crockett Tavern Museum sits at the approximate location of the former tavern. The museum is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [7]

Civil WarEdit

Bethesda Presbyterian Church, a hospital during the Civil War

As the Civil War approached, the town's sympathies were divided between the Union and secessionist sides. Some 25,000 Confederate Army soldiers under the command of General James Longstreet arrived at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, northeast of the town, in December 1863 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.[8][9] Military engagements occurred near the church in both October and November 1864.[8] In "Vaughn's Stampede" in October, Union forces under General Alvan Gillem attacked Confederate troops commanded by General John C. Vaughn, causing them to retreat to Carter's Station on the Watauga River.[10][11] In "Gillem's Stampede" in November, Confederate forces prevailed over Gillem's troops, chasing the Union forces westward to a defensive position near Knoxville.[11][12] 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.[8] The Union Army used the church as a hospital for soldiers wounded in these operations.[12] Many soldiers from both sides are interred in the Bethesda Church cemetery. Eighty of the wartime burials are unidentified.[8][9]

The SkymartEdit

”The Skymart”

Morristown's Main Street area, with an approximate area of a square mile, grew up around a waterway known as Turkey Creek and the intersection of two railroad lines. In 1962, the creek flooded, nearly wiping out the downtown commercial district. At the same time, a suburban shopping mall on the city's west side was draining the vitality of the historic downtown district, and the city developed a plan to modernize Main Street by creating an "overhead sidewalk" that would turn the second floor of the existing buildings into a new "street" while serving as a canopy for the sidewalks below. Building owners spent nearly $2 million upgrading their properties and linking them to the ramp, while the government contributed over $5 million to build the elevated walkways and to enlarge and reroute the underground channel carrying Turkey Creek. The project was completed in 1967, and the city fathers hoped it would turn the dilapidated central business district into a bright and enticing commercial haven and aesthetically place the downtown on par with any shopping center. In the end, however, the Skymart was no match for air-conditioned and enclosed suburban shopping malls, and it has served as little more than a roof over the sidewalk and a remnant of the idealism of 1960s urban renewal. However, the overhead sidewalks still stand.

Morristown is embarking on a resurrection of the Skymart as a social and commercial hub. A newly accessible ramp has been built up to the walkway, and 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.[13]

On March 22, 2016, the downtown district of Morristown was officially listed on The National Register of Historic Places. [14] The nearby Rose Center and Hamblen County Courthouse are both listed on the registry as well.


Morristown is located at coordinates 36°12′38″N 83°17′46″W / 36.21056°N 83.29611°W / 36.21056; -83.29611 (36.210615, −83.296141).[15] The city is 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Jefferson City, 10 miles (16 km) south of Bean Station, 30 miles (48 km) west of Greeneville, and 8 miles (13 km) north of White Pine. Morristown is bordered by the unincorporated communities of Russellville and Talbott.

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 has a single airport and it is owned by the city. Morristown Regional Airport was founded in 1953 and managed by famous female aviator Evelyn Johnson until her death in 2012.


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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).[16] 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)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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


Census Pop.
Est. 201829,926[2]2.7%

The 2010 census[3] listed the following: 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 75.5% White, 15.8% Hispanic or Latino, 6.4% African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.3% of other races.

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.

Usage in popular cultureEdit

  • The 1981 film The Evil Dead was filmed in Morristown off Kidwell's Ridge Road. The cabin featured in the film has since burned down, though the chimney remains.
  • The 2005 film Five Across the Eyes was filmed in Morristown.


Walters State baseballEdit

Walters State Community College Senators Baseball team has qualified in 8 JUCO world series tournaments and won 1 JUCO WORLD SERIES.

Little LeagueEdit

  • 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.[19]
  • In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.[20]

Notable peopleEdit


Places to visit[23][24]

Historic sitesEdit

Parks and shoppingEdit

  • Cherokee Park Disc
  • Morristown Rotary Disc
  • Kiwanis Disc
  • Golf
  • Millstone Golf Club
  • Morristown Golf and Country Club
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Morristown City Parks and Recreation (15 locations)
  • Shopping Complexes [26]


Public schoolsEdit

Public schools in Morristown are operated by Hamblen County Department of Education. There are four main middle schools: Meadowview, Westview, East Ridge, and Lincoln. Morristown has two high schools: Morristown-Hamblen High School East and Morristown-Hamblen High School West.[27]


The main campus of Walters State Community College is located in Morristown. [28]

Satellite campuses of King University and Tusculum College are located in Morristown.


  1. ^ Morristown website Archived 2013-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". 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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Morristown city, Tennessee". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Abbreviated History". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Bethesda Presbyterian Church: A Church Divided". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  9. ^ a b McRary, Amy (April 1, 2012). "Bethesda Church was first a hospital, then a casualty". Knoxville News Sentinel.
  10. ^ "Affair at Morristown". Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Storie, Melanie (2013). The Dreaded 13th Tennessee Union Cavalry: Marauding Mountain Men. The History Press. pp. 72–75. ISBN 9781626191129.
  12. ^ a b "Bethesda Church and Cemetery". Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "Our Story | Historic Downtown Morristown, TN - Timeless Shopping. Dining. & Entertainment". Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Morristown Main Street Historic District". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  16. ^ a b Average Number of Days With Maximum Temperature 90 Degrees F or Higher
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  18. ^ "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 June 17, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  19. ^ 2006 Southern Region Champions. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  20. ^ LLSWS Past World Champions Archived 1998-05-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  21. ^ Terry Morrow, Local 'Idol' teen nabs major deal, Knoxville News Sentinel, July 3, 2008
  22. ^ "The Talleys Official Website • Biography". Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  23. ^ "History Heritage". Morristown Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "Outdoor". Morristown Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  25. ^ "General Longstreet Museum: Visit Us". Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  26. ^ "Where to Shop". Morristown Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "Schools". Hamblen County Department of Education. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  28. ^ "Campuses". Retrieved October 28, 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Brooks, Cora Davis. "History of Morristown 1787 - 1936" 1936.
  • Hill, Howard. "The Morristown-Hamblen Library"
  • Hobby, Larry. "Morristown" Arcadia Publishing 2013

External linksEdit