Smith Co., TN

Smith County, TN


Created by the Tennessee General Assembly on October 26, 1799, Smith County was named in honor of General Daniel Smith. Carved out of Sumner County, the new county covered a large territory of 314 square miles. Immigrants of Scots-Irish, English, and German descent established thriving towns and productive farms along the courses of the two rivers and abundant streams that flow through the fertile bottom lands. The majority of the settlers, many of whom held land warrants for Revolutionary War service, came from North Carolina. Once the pioneers cleared land, planted a crop, and built a shelter, churches and schools soon followed. The Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists all had active congregations. Clinton College at New Middleton, Geneva Academy at Carthage, Shady Grove Academy at Gordonsville were among the early schools.

In 1804 a heated election was held for selection of a permanent county seat. The contest raged between proponents (the polecats) of Bledsoesborough, a site on the Cumberland near Dixon Springs, and supporters (the moccasin gang) of William Walton, whose land grant was situated at the confluence of the Cumberland and Caney Fork Rivers. Walton, a Revolutionary veteran, operated a ferry and tavern at the site. An abundance of refreshments, including a full supply of whiskey furnished by Colonel Walton, may have influenced the victory claimed by the moccasins, who determined Carthage, destined to become one of the most important towns in Middle Tennessee during the steamboat era, as the county seat. Throughout the winter of 1805 the town was laid out and public buildings were constructed. By 1879 a new courthouse building, “the handsomest in the State,” was erected and continues to grace the town square. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Source: https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/smith-county/

Modern Day Adjacent Counties

Smith County is bordered by Macon, Jackson, Putnam, DeKalb, Wilson, and Trousdale counties.

Gleanings from