White County, Tennessee

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White County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population was 23,102. Its county seat is Sparta.[1]



On September 11, 1806, an act of the Tennessee General Assembly created White County out of Smith and Jackson counties, responding to a petition signed by 155 residents of the area. The county's original geographic area included all of what are now White and Warren Counties, as well as parts of modern Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Grundy, Putnam, and Van Buren counties.[2]

The origin of the county name is in dispute. The county is officially and widely held to be named for John White (1751-1846), a Revolutionary War soldier, surveyor, and frontiersman who was the first known white settler of the area. White had moved his family to the Cumberland Mountains from Virginia in 1789.[2] However, some historians instead suggest that the county was named for Revolutionary War General James White, founder of Knoxville.[2]

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