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Local History and Description
Southwest >> Tennessee
Located near the center of Tennessee, White County has an area of 379 square miles and population of approximately 25,800. The county seat and largest city is Sparta; the only other incorporated city in the county is Doyle.
John White was a Revolutionary War soldier,surveyor, and frontiersman who, in 1789, moved his family from Amelia County, Virginia, to the Cumberland Mountains in what is now Tennessee. By 1800, dozens of new settlers had come to the "Mountain District", many of whom were kin of John White. Further settlement led to the establishment of the town of Sparta in 1802.
On September 11, 1806, an act of the Tennessee General Assembly created White County out of Smith and Jackson counties, in response to a petition signed by 155 residents of the area. Over the next few decades, White County was partitioned, causing the move of the County Seat from it's original location near the White homestead to Sparta, in 1809.
White County's location on the border between pro-Union East Tennessee and pro-Confederate Middle Tennessee made it the scene of much bloodshed during the Civil War, most of it caused by civilian supporters of the two sides; no major battles were fought in the area. The county was also the site of a major saltpeter mine during the war.
Manufacturing is the major sector of White County's economy, with a variety of products being produced. The county also enjoys a healthy tourism business, thanks to its many scenic attractions.
This page was last updated on February 09, 2017.