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Franklin County, Tennessee

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  • Captain & Dr. Reuben Blakey Patteson, (CSA) (1834 - 1862)
    Biography Reuben was one of at least twelve children of Dr. David Patteson and Elizabeth Camm of Buckingham County. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, then studied medicine at the University...
  • Catherine Henry (1784 - 1841)
    Catherine Henry (born Sailing) FamilySearch Family Tree Birth: May 6 1784 - Kentucky, United States Death: July 19 1841 - Coffee County, Tennessee Parents: George Sailing, Mrs George Sailing Husband: I...
  • Isaac Henry (1778 - 1853)
    GEDCOM Source ===Public Member Trees Operations, Inc. Family trees submitted by Ancestry members. === GEDCOM Source ===Ancestry Family Tree
  • Sarah Henry (1779 - 1845)
    Birth: 1779 Death: 1845 Coffee County Tennessee, USAFamily links: Spouse: Samuel Houston Henry (1770 - 1821) Children: Mary Polly Henry Brixey (1806 - 1841)**Calculated relationshipBurial: Henry Cove...
  • William Estill (1760 - 1840)

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Franklin County, Tennessee.

Official Website


White settlement began around 1800, and the county was formally organized in 1807 and named for Benjamin Franklin. One of the most notable early settlers was frontiersman Davy Crockett, who came about 1812 but is not thought to have remained long.

The University of the South, founded by the Episcopal Church, was organized just before the Civil War. It began full operations shortly after hostilities ceased. It encompasses a full university and theological seminary. The University of Tennessee Space Institute is also located in the county.

The area became strongly secessionist before the war. Franklin County formally threatened to secede from Tennessee and join Alabama if Tennessee did not leave the union, which the state did when forced to take sides by Abraham Lincoln.

During 1863, the Army of Tennessee retreated through the county, leaving it more or less under Union control for the rest of the war, although some guerrilla warfare still took place. Isham G. Harris, the Confederate governor of Tennessee, was from Franklin County. After having his political rights restored after the war, he was chosen to represent the state in the United States Senate.

During the temperance (anti-liquor) agitations of the late 19th century, residents discovered that by a quirk of state law, liquor could be sold only in incorporated towns. As a result, all of the county's towns abolished their charters in order to prohibit the sale of alcohol.

In the 20th century, Franklin County benefited from the flood control and power generation activities of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), built by the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression. The TVA helped bring new industry to the area. It also created opportunities for water recreation by making new lakes, but at the same time also displaced many county residents from their soon to be submerged homes. The establishment of the federal Arnold Engineering Development Center, which is partly within the county, helped spur economic growth and technical development. The interstate highway system barely touched the county, but it did provide valuable access on Interstate 24 to nearby Chattanooga.

Two notable figures who were born in the county early in the twentieth century were singer/entertainer Dinah Shore and entrepreneur/philanthropist John Templeton. He later became a British subject and was awarded a knighthood.

During the last decades of the 19th and the first of the 20th, Tennessee, like other southern states, passed laws and constitutional amendments establishing Jim Crow: racial segregation in public facilities, restrictions of voting for blacks, and similar measures. There were few violent disturbances in Franklin County compared to many other localities, but it was not until a decade after the historic Brown v. Board of Education court decision that the county's schools were desegregated in 1964 when a lawsuit was won in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Considerable industrial growth occurred in the county in the last decades of the 20th century, including the construction of a large automobile engine plant by the Nissan corporation in Decherd. An emphasis on tourism also developed, based on Civil War history and local scenic attractions such as the dogwood forests, for which an annual festival is held.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Towns

  • Cowan
  • Decherd
  • Estill Springs
  • Huntland
  • Monteagle (part)
  • Tullahoma (part)
  • Winchester (County Seat)

Other Communities: Alto, Awalt, Beech Hill, Belvidere, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Centennial, Center Grove, Greenshaw, Lexie Crossroads, Liberty, Maxwell, Midway, Owl Hollow, Pleasant Ridge, Saint Andrews, Sewanee, Shady Grove, Sherwood and Sinking Cove



Genealogy Trails

TN GenWeb

Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places

FC History by Goodspeed

FC Historical Society