Thomas Clark

White County:

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.

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.

A temporary county seat was established near Rock Island, now in Warren County. Three years later a permanent county seat was established on the banks of the Calfkiller River and named Sparta.

In 1840, White County became a destination for people from all over the country when Christopher Haufmann erected a large hotel on Bon Air Mountain, a part of the Cumberland Plateau. The hotel was located near some mineral springs as well as being at a high altitude, both thought to be health-bringing, and those with ailments came from far and wide to partake of the "cures" advertised by the resort. During this time, the Tennessee Supreme Court (including then-Judge Andrew Jackson) often met in Sparta, and the town was even considered by the Legislature as a potential site for the state capital, narrowly losing out to Nashville.

The Civil War impacted White County heavily, even though no major battles were fought in the area. Being on the border between the pro-Union East Tennessee and pro-Confederate Middle Tennessee, the county was the scene of bloodshed from partisans (called "bushwhackers") of both sides. One famous Confederate guerrilla was Champ Ferguson, who caused much mayhem and destruction before he was arrested on May 28, 1865. During the War, White County provided the Confederacy with 19 companies, and the Federals with one.

Over the following decades, White County slowly rebuilt from the ashes of war. The county was connected to the outside world by railroad, mainly because of the booming coal mining industries being started on Bon Air Mountain. The mountain was rich in bituminous coal, and enterprising local businessmen were quick to realize the profit potential that represented. Several mining towns sprang up on the plateau part of the county, including Bon Air, Eastland, and Ravenscroft. The coal mining industry employed thousands of White County men for decades, but as the 20th century went on, the mines started to close and the people started to move away, and the industry had vanished by the time of World War II.

White County Statistics:

Average year-round temperature/weather:
Rainfall (in.) 55.9

Snowfall (in.) 4.5

Avg. July High 88.3

Avg. Jan. Low 26.8

Median price of homes:
$99,300

Cost of living:
White County's cost of living is 26.41% Lower than the U.S. average.

2008 cost of living index in White County: 80.7 (low, U.S. average is 100)

Population of city/county and/or median age:
24,895 (2009)

Median resident age:
38.8

Recreational and Cultural:
Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness

Burgess Falls state Natural Area

Center Hill Lake

Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park

Rock Island State Park

Sunset Rock

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness

Fall Foliage Tour

The Rock House Shrine

Education:

Public schools

White County High School

White County Middle School

BonDeCroft Elementary School

Cassville Elementary School

Central View Elementary School

Doyle Elementary School

Findlay Elementary School

Northfield Elementary School

Woodland Park Elementary School

Private schools

Heritage Christian Academy

Colleges and Universities

Tennessee Technological University

Tennessee Bible College

Motlow State Community College

Shopping:
Three Star Mall

Farrar Place Shopping Center

Medical Facilities:
White County Community Hospital

Crime Rate:
National average is 3 for violent crime. White County is 4.

National average is 3 for property crime. White County is 4.

Additional Information:
Cities and towns

Doyle

Sparta

Unincorporated communities

Bon Air

Cassville

DeRossett

Quebeck

Ravenscroft

Walling

Airports

Upper Cumberland Regional Airport

Sparta-White County Airport

Highways

Interstate: I-40 (14 miles)

I-24 (50 miles)

Federal: 70, 70S, 70W

State Primary: 1, 111

State Secondary: 289, 135, 136, 84

Railroads

Served by Caney Fork & Western Railroad

Piggy Back Ramp: Nashville