Franklin County Courthouse in Winchester
Location of Winchester in Franklin County, Tennessee.
|Named for||James Winchester|
|• Total||11.71 sq mi (30.33 km2)|
|• Land||10.72 sq mi (27.78 km2)|
|• Water||0.99 sq mi (2.55 km2)|
|Elevation||978 ft (298 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||837.48/sq mi (323.35/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||931 Exchanges: 962, 967, 968|
|GNIS feature ID||1274848|
The population of Winchester as of the 2018 census was 8,578, showing an increase of 48 from 2010.
Winchester was created as the seat of justice for Franklin County by act of the Tennessee Legislature on November 22, 1809, and was laid out the following year. The town is named for James Winchester, a soldier in the American Revolution, first Speaker of the Tennessee Legislature, and a brigadier general in the War of 1812.
Mary Sharp College (originally the "Tennessee and Alabama Female Institute", but later renamed in honor of Mary Corn Sharp, a donor) was founded in 1851 by Dr. Z. C. Graves and the Baptist Church. Though a women's college, it offered a classical curriculum based upon what was being offered at the time by Amherst College, Brown University, and the University of Virginia. It closed in 1896. During the 19th century, the institution helped make Winchester an educational center. Other private schools in the city were Carrick Academy for male students (founded in 1809), Winchester Female Academy (founded in 1835), and Winchester Normal College.
The city was occupied first by Confederate and then by Union troops during the Civil War. Winchester, along with the rest of Franklin County, seceded from the Union several months before the rest of Tennessee, unofficially becoming a part of Alabama until the rest of the state seceded. It lay on the line of retreat to Chattanooga followed by the Confederate Army of Tennessee during the campaign of 1863.
Recreation in Winchester received a significant boost when the Tennessee Valley Authority started construction of the Tims Ford Dam along the Elk River in 1966. The project was completed in 1972, and Tims Ford Lake is now known for excellent boating and bass fishing opportunities. Tims Ford State Park is located along the lake's shoreline.
The city hosts an annual Dogwood Festival each May.
Winchester is located slightly north of the center of Franklin County, and is bordered to the north by the city of Decherd. The city center is just south of Boiling Fork Creek, now an arm of Tims Ford Lake. Dry Creek forms another arm of the lake along the western boundary of the city, and the city limits extend as far as the Elk River arm of the lake 4 miles (6 km) north of downtown.
U.S. Route 41A passes through the center of town, coming in from the southeast as South College Street and leaving to the northeast as Dinah Shore Boulevard. US 41A leads east 6 miles (10 km) to Cowan and 12 miles (19 km) to Sewanee, as well as north 6 miles (10 km) to Estill Springs and 14 miles (23 km) to Tullahoma. Tennessee State Route 16 leaves southwest from the center of town as 1st Avenue and leads 19 miles (31 km) to the Alabama border. U.S. Route 64 bypasses Winchester to the south and east, leading northeast 16 miles (26 km) to Interstate 24 near Pelham and west 32 miles (51 km) to Fayetteville. Tennessee State Route 50 leads west and northwest from Winchester 20 miles (32 km) to Lynchburg, and Tennessee State Route 130 leads northwest 6 miles (10 km) to Winchester Springs and 16 miles (26 km) to Tullahoma.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30.3 km2), of which 10.7 square miles (27.8 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 8.47%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,329 people, 2,992 households, and 2,013 families residing in the city. The population density was 734.6 people per square mile (283.5/km2). There were 3,318 housing units at an average density of 332.6 per square mile (128.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.51% White, 12.35% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.25% of the population.
There were 2,992 households, out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,500, and the median income for a family was $41,183. Males had a median income of $31,959 versus $21,629 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,533. About 13.3% of families and 19.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.
Notable citizens of Winchester have included four governors of Tennessee:
Three natives of the city have been formally honored by the British Crown:
- Sir Francis Joseph Campbell (1832–1914), anti-slavery campaigner and pioneer in educating the blind
- Lady Ida Beasly Elliott (1864–1948), missionary in Burma
- Sir John Templeton, financier and philanthropist
Winchester was also the birthplace of:
- Reuben Davis, a U.S. congressman from Mississippi
- Brian Dayett, New York Yankees/Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball player
- Mike Farris, recording artist, formerly of the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies
- Phillip Fulmer, former University of Tennessee football coach
- Jeff Hall, former University of Tennessee placekicker
- Tracy Hayworth, Detroit Lions football player
- Jeremy Nunley, football player
- Dinah Shore, singer and TV personality
- John Abernathy Smith, "Franklin County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 2 March 2013.
- "Tennessee Blue Book" (PDF). 2005–2006. p. 618-625. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-03-02.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Collins, Beatrice A. "History of Winchester".
- "Winchester". The Tullahoma Campaign. Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Winchester city, Tennessee". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 17, 2016.[dead link]
- "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Winchester at a Glance". City of Winchester website. Archived from the original on 2004-06-01. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- Fandrich, Julia W. "Ida Beasley Elliott: Distinguished Missionary from Franklin County." Franklin County Historical Review 18 (1987): 71-76
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