Franklin County, Tennessee

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Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population was 39,270. The 2005 Census Estimate placed the population at 41,003 [1]. Its county seat is Winchester[1].

Franklin County is part of the Tullahoma, Tennessee, Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Euro-American settlement began around 1800, and the county was formally organized in 1807 and named for Benjamin Franklin. During the next several decades, the size of the county was reduced several times by reorganizations which created the neighboring counties of Coffee County, Moore County, and Grundy County. 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 remains the only higher education institution in the county, and encompasses a full university and theological seminary.

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 it shortly did. This contrasted sharply with the situation in nearby Winston County, Alabama, which was pro-Union and discussed seceding from Alabama. The two illustrate the often divided and confused state of loyalties in the central South during this period.

During 1863, the Army of Tennessee retreated through the county, leaving it to Union control thereafter. Isham G. Harris, Confederate governor of Tennessee, was from Franklin County. After being restored to political rights after the war, he was elected to represented the state in the United States Senate.

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