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Franklin, Tennessee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Franklin, Tennessee
City of Franklin
Historic Downtown Franklin
Historic Downtown Franklin
Official seal of Franklin, Tennessee
Location within Williamson County and Tennessee
Location within Williamson County and Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee is located in Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Location within Williamson County and Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee is located in the United States
Franklin, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee (the United States)
Coordinates: 35°55′45″N 86°51′27″W / 35.92917°N 86.85750°W / 35.92917; -86.85750
CountryUnited States
 • MayorKen Moore
 • City AdministratorEric Stuckey
 • Total42.96 sq mi (111.26 km2)
 • Land42.75 sq mi (110.73 km2)
 • Water0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)
643 ft (196 m)
 • Total62,487
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,943.70/sq mi (750.47/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
37064, 37065, 37067, 37068, 37069[3]
Area code615
FIPS code47-27740[4]
GNIS ID1284816[5]

Franklin is a city and county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, United States.[6] About 21 miles (34 km) south of Nashville, it is one of the principal cities of the Nashville metropolitan area and Middle Tennessee. As of 2019, its estimated population was 83,097. It is the seventh-largest city in Tennessee.[7]

The city developed on both sides of the Harpeth River, a tributary of the Cumberland River. In the 19th century, much of the area economy (especially the cultivation of tobacco and hemp) depended on enslaved labor. During the Civil War, Franklin was the site of two battles, the Battle of Franklin (1863) and the Battle of Franklin (1864). After Reconstruction, racial violence increased in this area, when whites worked to ensure dominance. As the county seat, Franklin was the site of several lynchings of African-American men in this period. Franklin was a trading and judicial center for Williamson County, which was primarily rural in land use into the late 20th century, with an economy based on traditional commodity crops and purebred livestock.

Since 1980, the part of Williamson County north of Franklin has been developed for residential and related businesses, in addition to modern service industries. The population has increased rapidly, with growth stimulated by that of the Nashville metropolitan area. Despite recent growth and development, Franklin is noted for its many historic buildings and neighborhoods, which are protected by city ordinances.[8] Williamson County currently has the highest per capita income in Tennessee.


Our Confederate Soldiers monument, known as "Chip", dedicated in 1899
Our Confederate Soldiers monument, known as "Chip", dedicated in 1899

18th century

The European-American community of Franklin was founded October 26, 1799, by Abram Maury, Jr. (1766–1825). Later a state senator, he is buried with his family in Founders Pointe. Maury named the town after national founding father Benjamin Franklin.[9][10]

Ewen Cameron built a log house, the first by a European-American in new settlement. Cameron was an immigrant, born February 23, 1768, in Bogallan, Ferintosh, Scotland. He immigrated to Virginia in 1785 and traveled into Tennessee along with other migrants after the American Revolutionary War. They displaced the indigenous tribes that had historically occupied this region. Cameron died on February 28, 1846, after living 48 years in the same house. He and his second wife, Mary, were buried in the old City Cemetery. Some of his descendants continue to live in Franklin.

19th century

This area is part of Middle Tennessee, and white planters prospered in the antebellum years, with cultivation of tobacco and hemp as commodity crops, and raising of purebred livestock. Many migrants came from central Kentucky, where they had raised these crops and livestock. Through the antebellum years, white farmers depended on numerous enslaved African Americans as workers.

During the Civil War, Tennessee was occupied by Union troops from 1862. Franklin was the site of a major battle in the Franklin–Nashville Campaign. The Second Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864, resulting in almost 10,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured, and missing). Forty-four buildings were temporarily converted to use as field hospitals. The Carter, Carnton, and the Lotz[11] plantation houses from this era are still standing and are among the city's numerous examples of historic architecture.

After the war, there was considerable violence in this area as whites attempted to dominate the majority-black population of freedmen and assert white supremacy.[12] In 1866 the Ku Klux Klan, a secret organization of insurgent white Confederate veterans, was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee. Soon it had chapters in many towns, including Franklin, as well as chapters in other Southern states.

After Tennessee authorized African Americans to vote in February 1867, well before the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, most freedmen and formerly free people of color joined the Republican Party. White Democrats struggled to suppress their voting. For instance, on July 6, 1867, a political rally of Union League black Republicans in Franklin was disrupted by Conservatives, who were mostly white but included some blacks. Later that evening, what became known as the "Franklin Riot" broke out. Black Union League men were ambushed by whites at the town square and returned fire. An estimated 25 to 39 men were wounded, most of them black. One white man was killed outright, and at least three black people died of wounds soon after the confrontation.[13][14][12]

On August 15, 1868, in Franklin, Samuel Bierfield became the first Jewish man to be lynched in the United States. He was fatally shot by a large group of masked men believed to be KKK members. They attacked him for treating blacks equally to whites in his store. Bowman, a black man who worked for Bierfield and was with him at his store, was fatally wounded in the attack and soon died.[15]

After the Reconstruction era, white violence continued against African Americans, rising toward the turn of the century in what has been called the worst point of race relations. Five African Americans were lynched in Williamson County from 1877 to 1950, most during the decades around the turn of the century, a time of high social tensions and legal racial oppression in the South.[16] Five African Americans were lynched by white mobs in Williamson County.[17] These murders took place in Franklin, when men were taken from the courthouse or county jail before trial. Among them was Amos Miller, a 23-year-old black man who was forcibly taken from the courtroom by a white mob during his 1888 trial in a sexual assault case, and hanged from the railings of the balcony of the county courthouse.[18] The sexual assault victim was a 50 year old woman.[19] On April 30, 1891, Jim Taylor, another African American man, was lynched on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin by another mob for the killing of a white man.

A memorial to Confederate soldiers was erected in 1899 by fourteen women of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor Confederate soldiers, including the 6,125 casualties of the Battle of Franklin.[20] A news report described how as the last piece of the statue was being raised, a buggy ran into a rope, causing the statue to swing into the shaft, breaking out a piece from the hat of the figure. This event has given rise to the monument's nickname by many of "Chip."[21]

20th century to present

Population growth slowed noticeably from 1910 to 1940 (see table in Demographic section), as many African Americans left the area in the Great Migration to northern industrial cities for jobs and to escape Jim Crow conditions.

One of the first major manufacturers to establish operations in the county was the Dortch Stove Works, which opened a factory in Franklin in 1928.[22] The factory was later developed as a Magic Chef factory, producing electric and gas ranges. (Magic Chef was prominent in the Midwest from 1929.) When the factory was closed due to extensive restructuring in the industry, the structure fell into disuse. The factory complex was restored in the late 1990s in an adaptation for offices, restaurants, retail and event spaces. It is considered a "model historic preservation adaptive reuse project."

Since the late 20th century, however, Franklin has rapidly developed as a residential and business suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, which has been a catalyst of regional economic growth. Franklin's population has increased more than fivefold since 1980, when its population was 12,407. In 2010, the city had a population of 62,487.[23] As of 2017 Census estimates, it is the state's seventh-largest city. In 2017, the City of Franklin was ranked the 8th fastest-growing city in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau, increasing 4.9 percent between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.[24]

Many of its residents commute to businesses in Nashville, which is 20 miles (32 km) to the north. The regional economy has also expanded, with considerable growth in businesses and jobs in Franklin and Williamson County.

The city's enhancement and preservation of its historic assets has helped attract new residents and tourists. This work in the historic preservation movement was catalyzed by passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. City residents have worked to identify and preserve its most significant historic assets. Five historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are many individual buildings.

As part of the "Fuller Story," a statue of a soldier of the United States Colored Troops, to mark the contributions of African Americans in ending the war and reuniting the Union, is planned to be erected in front of the old courthouse. This project was approved by the mayor and city council. In 2018 the first of several planned historic plaques was installed; these will mark the history of slavery, the Reconstruction era and Jim Crow, and civil rights.[25]

Franklin is home to another soldier memorial, on the grounds of the Williamson County Archives, which honors Williamson County servicemen who served in American wars from the Creek War to the Gulf War.[26] Around the seal of Franklin are placed engraved bricks that radiate around it in a circle. The largest brick is in honor of George Jordan, a former slave who fought in the Indian Wars in New Mexico, and the only Williamson Countian to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In the early 21st century, leaders of historic preservation and city churches have worked to recognize the lives and contributions of African Americans to Franklin and the area. Since the 2015 Charleston church shooting in South Carolina and the 2017 Charlottesville car attack at a protest in Virginia, four local leaders developed a proposal for the "Fuller Story" as a project of Franklin public history. This is a series of historical plaques to be placed at the courthouse square to enlarge the history represented there. For instance, the square is known by many as the site of a former slave market in the antebellum years, when slavery was central to Middle Tennessee society, but there has been no official acknowledgement of this past.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.4 square miles (107.3 km2), of which 41.2 square miles (106.8 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km2), or 0.52%, are covered by water.[23]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)83,097[2]33.0%

Since the late 20th century, the city has grown rapidly in population, attracting many businesses. As of the census[4] of 2010, 62,487 people (Williamson County's population was 193,595), 16,128 households, and 11,225 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,393.3 people per square mile (538.0/km2). The 17,296 housing units averaged 575.9 per square mile (222.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.53% White, 10.35% African American, 4.84% Latino, 1.61% Asian, 0.24% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.17% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races.

Of the 16,128 households, 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were not families; 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.09. In the city, the population was distributed as 27.9% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 38.1% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $75,871, and for a family was $91,931. Males had a median income of $66,622 versus $43,193 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $36,445. About 5.0% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over. Less than 5.0% of the eligible workforce was unemployed.[28]


Franklin has benefited from its proximity to Nashville, whose growth has been a catalyst for this county seat. The city is home to major health-care related businesses such as HealthSpring, Clarcor, Community Health Systems, Tivity Health, Home Instead Senior Care, MedSolutions Inc, and Renal Advantage Inc. In addition,, the Provident Music Group, World Christian Broadcasting, and gas utility Atmos Energy's Kentucky/Mid-States division's North American headquarters are in Franklin.[citation needed] Automakers Nissan[29] and Mitsubishi Motors[30] also have their North American corporate headquarters in Franklin.

Planned development includes the construction in Dover Center of the North American headquarters of the Chinese manufacturer Triangle Tyre Company.[31]

Cool Springs is a business district that has developed within the City of Franklin since the early 1990s. As of 2009, it was home to several Fortune 500 headquarters, many in the healthcare industry.[32] In 2016, CKE Restaurants announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Cool Springs.[33]

Top employers

According to the City's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[34] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Community Health Systems 2,652
2 Nissan North America 1,700
3 Optum 1,600
4 Williamson Medical Center 1,201
5 Mars Petcare US 1,000
6 Lee Company 877
7 Ford Motor Credit 860
8 Schneider Electric 850
9 EviCore Healthcare 653
10 Jackson National Life Insurance Co. 518


Franklin United States Post Office, built 1925 and restored 1965.
Franklin United States Post Office, built 1925 and restored 1965.

The city is run by a mayor, elected at-large in the city, and a board of eight aldermen. Four of the latter are elected from single-member districts of roughly equal population, and four are elected at-large. This type of voting structure results in a board that is dominated by the majority of voters, as half the aldermen and the mayor must be elected by majority voting. All electoral offices are for four-year terms, with the ward alderman elected in one cycle, and the mayor and at-large aldermen elected two years later. The city's policies and procedures are decided by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Resolutions, municipal ordinances, and the municipal code are carried out by the city's various departments. These are: Administration, Building and Neighborhood Services, Engineering, Finance, Fire, Human Resources, Information Technology, Law, Planning and Sustainability, Parks, Police, Sanitation and Environmental Services, Streets, and Water Management. These 14 departments are overseen by the City Administrator, a professional manager hired by the Board of Aldermen.[35]

In the Tennessee House of Representatives, Franklin is divided between three districts; District 61, represented by Republican Brandon Ogles,[36] District 63, represented by Republican Glen Casada,[37] and District 65, represented by Republican Sam Whitson.[38] Franklin is included in Tennessee Senate District 23, which is coterminous with Williamson County, and held by Republican Jack Johnson, the current Senate Majority Leader.


Public schools

The city is served by the Williamson County School District and the Franklin Special School District.[39]

Private schools

Local private schools include Battle Ground Academy, Benton Hall School, Franklin Classical School, Franklin Christian Academy, Grace Christian Academy, Heritage Covenant School, Montessori School of Franklin, New Hope Academy, St. Matthews Catholic School, and Willow Hall Academy.[40]

Higher education

In addition, such major institutions as Vanderbilt University and Fisk University, a historically black university, are located in nearby Nashville. They each include a full range of professional and graduate programs in addition to undergraduate colleges.



Interstate 65 passes through the eastern part of the city and provides four exits in the city. U.S. Routes 31 and 431 intersect in the city, and form a concurrency, connecting the city to Nashville to the north. U.S. Route 31 connects the city to Spring Hill and Columbia to the south, and US 431 connects to Lewisburg to the south. State Route 96 connects the city to Murfreesboro to the east, and Dickson to the west. State Route 246 also connects the city to Columbia to the southwest, and serves as an alternative to US 31. State Route 441 begins in the northern part of the city, and connects to Brentwood. State Route 397, also designated as US 31/431 Truck and Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway, serves as a bypass around the business district of the city to the east. Other major thoroughfares in Franklin include Cool Springs Boulevard and McEwen Drive, both of which have interchanges with I-65.[42]


The Water Management Department operates a system that provides water and sewer services to city residents and residents of surrounding areas.[43] Electricity is provided by the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC), which serves several of the suburban counties of Nashville and purchases power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).[44] Natural gas is provided by Atmos Energy.[45]


Sunset observed from Long Lane in Franklin
Sunset observed from Long Lane in Franklin

Pinkerton Park is a 34-acre (14 ha) municipal park in Franklin. Fort Granger is north of the park, and may be reached by a trail.[46]


Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

Pilgrimage is a music festival put together by Kevin Griffin, who lives and works as a musician in Franklin. Premiering in 2015, it draws nationally prominent acts from a variety of genres. Pilgrimage is held in late September and takes place at The Park at Harlinsdale. In addition to musical acts, it features children's activities, food, and a marketplace showcasing local crafts.[47]

Main Street Festival

Franklin's Main Street Festival involves artisans, four stages, two carnivals, and two food courts installed in the historic Franklin Square and Downtown District. Arts and crafts booths run from First to Fifth Avenue.[48]


Pumpkinfest is an annual fundraiser for the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, held on the Saturday before Halloween. The holiday theme is carried through activities including music, children's amusements, local artisans, and food.[49]

Dickens of a Christmas

Dickens of a Christmas is celebrated every second week in December, attracting approximately 50,000 visitors yearly. It takes place in Historic Downtown Franklin. Costumed volunteers masquerade as figures from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Music and dancing are a big part of the festival, and local school and church musical groups often perform. Victorian cuisine is served to visitors, and an arts and crafts bazaar features prominently in Public Square.[50]

Notable people

In popular culture

Sister cities

Franklin is an active participant in the Sister Cities program. Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County[70] was founded as an outgrowth of Leadership Franklin in March 2002. The City of Franklin has relationships with the following municipalities:

See also


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "USPS – ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. ^ How Franklin has preserved history for 50 years (USA Today)
  9. ^ Miller, Larry L. (2001). Tennessee place-names. Indiana University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-253-33984-3.
  10. ^ Simpson, John A. (2003). Edith D. Pope and Her Nashville Friends: Guards of the Lost Cause in the Confederate Veteran. Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press. p. 2. ISBN 9781572332119. OCLC 428118511.
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  12. ^ a b "A Riot in Tennessee", New York Times, 8 July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  13. ^ "Riot at Franklin, Tennessee", Memphis Daily Appeal, 9 July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  14. ^ "Conservative Conciliation/The Ballot to be Controlled by the Bullet", Nashville Daily Press and Times, July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  15. ^ "Midnight in Tennessee", Paul Berger,, December 12, 2014
  16. ^ Lynching in America/Summary by County (3rd edition) Archived 2017-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, p. 9, Equal Justice Initiative, 2017, Montgomery, Alabama
  17. ^ Lynching in America/ Supplement: Lynchings by County Archived 2017-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, Equal Justice Initiative, 2017, 3rd edition, p. 6
  18. ^ Berger, Paul (December 20, 2014). "Midnight in Tennessee – The Untold Story of the First Jewish Lynching in America". Haaretz. Retrieved May 15, 2018. In 1888, Amos Miller, a black man accused of raping a white woman, was dragged from court in Franklin and hung from the courthouse railings.
  19. ^ "Old Williamson County Courthouse - Public Square", Visit Franklin website
  20. ^ Jones, Cahalan (November 30, 2019). "From Slaves to Soldiers and Beyond - Williamson County, Tennessee's African American History". Slaves to Soldiers. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  21. ^ text of the citation
  22. ^ "Hudson Alexander's Around the Block: Dortch Stove Works helped Franklin through Depression ", Hudson Alexander,, March 16, 2006
  23. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Franklin city, Tennessee". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "United States Census Bureau". United States Census Bureau-Quick Facts. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  25. ^ West, Emily R. (January 17, 2019). "National tragedies inspired group to tell history of slavery, civil rights in Franklin". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "Williamson County Veterans' Park And Cannon (Located On The Grounds Of Williamson County Archives)". Visit Franklin. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  27. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  28. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder – Results". Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  29. ^ Nissan to Move U.S. Headquarters to Tennessee (NY Times)
  30. ^ Mitsubishi North America to move headquarters to Nashville area (The Tennessean)
  31. ^ "Triangle Tyre Will Open North American Headquarters in Tennessee". Modern Tire Dealer. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  32. ^ "CNN Fortune 500". CNN. CNN. 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Ward, Getahn (March 5, 2016). "Hardee's parent moving HQ to Nashville area". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ "City of Franklin, TN : Government". Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  36. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2018). State House District 61 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  37. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2018). State House District 63 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  38. ^ Tennessee General Assembly (2018). State House District 65 (PDF) (Map). Nashville: Tennessee General Assembly. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  39. ^ "What's The Franklin Special School District Anyway?". Tate Real Estate. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  40. ^ "Williamson County Private Schools – Williamson, Inc". Williamson, Inc. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  41. ^ "Columbia State Breaks Ground on Williamson Campus". Columbia State. Columbia State Community College. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  42. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation Long Range Planning Division Office of Data Visualization (2018). Williamson County (PDF) (Map). Tennessee Department of Transportation.
  43. ^ "Water Management Department". City of Franklin, Tennessee. 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  44. ^ "Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation". Tennessee Valley Authority. 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  45. ^ "Utility Operations". Atmos Energy. 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  46. ^ Anonymous. "Pinkerton Park". City of Franklin, TN. City of Franklin. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  47. ^ "Music and Cultural Festival - Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival".
  48. ^ Main Street Festival 2014 Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine, | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, TN; Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  49. ^ Pumpkinfest | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County TN Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  50. ^ Dickens of a Christmas | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County TN Retrieved on 2014-11-2.
  51. ^ Vissman, Donna. "Beathard Family Releases Statement". Williamson Source. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
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  56. ^ "Author Admits He Dated the 'Obamacare Girl'". November 1, 2013.
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External links

This page was last edited on 15 April 2021, at 21:27
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