Morristown is a city in and the county seat of Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States. A small portion of the city extends into Jefferson County. The population was 24,965 at the 2000 census. The Morristown metropolitan area is also a part of the Knoxville–Sevierville–La Follette, TN Combined Statistical Area.
The first European settler of what eventually became Morristown was a farmer named Gideon Morris. It is recorded in Goodspeed’s “History of Tennessee” that Gideon, along with an unspecified number of his siblings, arrived in the area of present-day Morristown from the Watauga Settlement, a short-lived semi-autonomous settlement located in North-east Tennessee that was originally leased from the resident Cherokee tribes during the 1770s.
Records in North Carolina indicate that the Morris clan moved to the Watauga Settlement from North Carolina. According to Cora Davis Brooks, author of “History of Morristown 1787 – 1936”:
“Gideon Morris was listed as one of the signers of the petition to annex Watauga to North Carolina in 1775, and in the Fall of the same year he served in Colonel Christian’s expedition against the Indians. (N. C. Colonial Records, Vol. 10, p. 708) ( King’s Mountain Men by Miss Kate White.)”
“In 1778 Gideon Morris appeared in court and swore allegiance (‘History of South-west Virginia’, by Summers). Lands were granted by the State of North Carolina to Gideon Morris in Washington, Greene and Hawkins counties. He probably settled on portions of these grants either in 1787 or 1791, which was included in Jefferson county and now in Hamblen county.”
The settlement founded by Gideon has, as far as it has been noted, always been called Morristown. No known records exist demonstrating land grants in the area to anyone aside from Gideon and his extended family. Jefferson County, TN., which is due west from Hamblen County, possesses a record in the Jefferson County Court House of the results of the execution of Gideon Morris’s will, which includes property deeded to John Morris in 1817 for a 400 acre (1.6 km) tract of land originally granted to Gideon by the State of North Carolina, and presumably comprising only a portion of the original grant due to the known size of the Morris family at that time. The record further details the fact that Gideon lived on the 400 acre (1.6 km) tract of land until his death, and the inference that he was buried in the Morris family graveyard ends the record.
The Morris family graveyard was, logically, located near to the original family home. It is easy to find, located on what is now called East Louise Avenue a bit south of Main Street in East Morristown, southeast of the Morristown-Hamblen Library. Today it consists of a single acre (4,000 m) enclosed by a fence of iron, and has a simple sign affixed to its gate with nothing more than ‘Morris’ on the plate. The oldest date recorded on the burial slabs is for one John Morris, born in 1770. His wife, Rachel, is recorded nearby as having been born in 1786. Another notable stone marks the resting place of Mary Spoon, listed as born in 1779 and died in 1882, which would make her over one-hundred and three years old at the time of death.
Gideon was known to have had three sons with him when he arrived in the area of present-day Morristown. Their names are recorded as John, Gideon, and Shadrack.
One daughter of Gideon’s by name of Elizabeth, is listed in official records as having married a man with the name of Hurst, and their son was James Hurst. At the present time, the name Hurst is fairly common in Hamblen and surrounding counties, with many of those bearing the name in prominent positions in those counties.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.9 square miles (54.1 km).Some of the area is covered with water, specifically Cherokee Lake, an artificial reservoir built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 24,965 people, 10,270 households, and 6,531 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,194.7 people per square mile (461.2/km). There were 11,036 housing units at an average density of 528.1/sq mi (203.9/km).
There were 10,270 households out of which 27.7% had children under the living with them, 44.2% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,005, and the median income for a family was $33,391. Males had a median income of $26,724 versus $20,515 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,894.
In popular culture
- The movie The Evil Dead was filmed in Morristown off of Kidwell’s Ridge Road. The cabin featured in the film has since burned down, though the chimney remains.
- The movie Morristown: A Ballerina Love Story was filmed in Morristown.
- The movie Five Across the Eyes was filmed in Morristown.
- In 1985 and 1987, Morristown had teams qualify for the Little League World Series; the 1985 team finished third.
- In 2007, Morristown won the Little League Softball World Series.
Notable natives and residents
- Mark Bell (journalist) – Award-winning American journalist who grew up in Morristown
- Davy Crockett – Pioneer; grew up in and around Morristown, born in nearby Greene County, Tennessee.
- Mike Ford – NASCAR crew chief for Denny Hamlin
- Elaine Hendrix – Award-winning actress has starred on TV and in films; went to middle and high school in Morristown.
- Tim Horner – Pro wrestler
- Josiah Leming – Contestant in the seventh season of American Idol who was eliminated in the top 50 but subsequently signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records.
- Frankie Randall – Boxing Star that was the first to beat Julio Csar Chavez is from Morristown and he has held 3 world titles
- James “Little Man” Stewart – NFL player from 1995-2003, for the Detroit Lions; was raised in Morristown and played for Morristown Hamblen High School West and the University of Tennessee
- Uncle Am Stuart – early Country music fiddle player
- Jane Wagner – Playwright and actress who wrote The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Morristown City Information (423) 581-0100 – 100 W 1st North St, Morristown, TN
Morristown Police Department (423) 585-2710 100 W 1st North St, Morristown, TN
Morristown City Fire Department (423) 586-5072 625 S Jackson St, Morristown, TN
Morristown Parks & Recreation (423) 586-0260 415 W Louise Ave, Morristown, TN
Morristown Public Works Department (423) 585-4658 400 Dice St, Morristown, TN
Lakeway Regional Hospital (423) 522-6000 726 Mcfarland St, Morristown, TN
Chamber of Commerce
East Tennessee Visitor Information