Maury County
Maury County Courthouse in Columbia
Maury County Courthouse in Columbia
Official seal of Maury County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Maury County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°37′N 87°05′W / 35.62°N 87.08°W / 35.62; -87.08
Country United States
State Tennessee
Founded1807
Named forAbram Poindexter Maury, Sr.[1]
SeatColumbia
Government
 • MayorSheila Butt (R)
Area
 • Total616 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land613 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Water2.4 sq mi (6 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total100,974 Increase
 • Density164.72/sq mi (63.60/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.maurycounty-tn.gov
Estimate
Enterprise Community Center in 2022

Maury County (/ˈmʌri/ MURR-ee) is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee, in the Middle Tennessee region. As of the 2020 census, the population was 100,974.[2] Its county seat is Columbia.[3] Maury County is part of the Nashville-DavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin, TN metropolitan statistical area.

History

The county was formed in 1807 from Williamson County and Indian lands. Maury County was named in honor of Abram Maury, Sr. (1766-1825), a member of the Tennessee state senate from Williamson County (who was the father of Major Abram Poindexter Maury of Williamson County, later a congressman; and an uncle of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury).[1][4]

The rich soil of Maury County led to a thriving agricultural sector, starting in the 19th century. The county was part of a 41-county region that became known and legally defined as Middle Tennessee. In the antebellum era, planters in Maury County relied on the labor of enslaved African Americans to raise and process cotton, tobacco, and livestock (especially dairy cattle). Racial violence was less than in some areas, but the county had five documented lynchings in the period from 1877 to 1950, of which three took place in the early 20th century.[5]

With the mechanization of agriculture, particularly from the 1930s, the need for farm labor in the county was reduced. Also, many African Americans moved to northern and midwestern industrial cities in the 20th century to escape Jim Crow conditions and for employment opportunities, particularly during the Great Migration. This movement out of the county continued after World War II. Other changes have led to increased population since the late 20th century, and the county has led the state in beef cattle production.[1]

Columbia Race Riot of 1946

On the night of February 26–27, 1946, a disturbance known as the "Columbia Race Riot" took place in Columbia, the county seat. The national press called it the first "major racial confrontation" after the Second World War.[6] It marked a new spirit of resistance by African-American veterans and others following their participation in World War II, which they believed had earned them their full rights as citizens, despite Jim Crow laws.[7]

James Stephenson, an African-American Navy veteran, was with his mother at a store, where she learned that a radio she had left for repair had been sold. When she complained, the white repair apprentice, Billy Fleming, struck her. Stephenson had been a welterweight on the Navy boxing team and retaliated by hitting Fleming, who broke a window. Both Stephenson and his mother were arrested, and Fleming's father convinced the sheriff to charge them with attempted murder. When whites learned that Fleming had gone to a hospital for treatment, a mob gathered. A risk arose that the Stephensons would be lynched.[8]

Julius Blair, a 76-year-old black store owner, arranged to have the Stephensons released to his custody. He drove them out of town for their protection. When the mob did not disperse, about 100 African-American men began to patrol their neighborhood, located south of the courthouse square, determined to resist. Four police officers were shot and wounded when they entered "Mink Slide", the name given to the African-American business district, also known as "The Bottom". Following the attack on the police, the city government requested state troopers, who were sent and soon outnumbered the black patrollers. The state troopers began ransacking black businesses and rounding up African Americans. They cut phone service to Mink Slide, but the owner of a funeral home managed to call Nashville and ask for help from the NAACP. The county jail was soon overcrowded with black "suspects". Police questioned them for days without counsel. Two black men were killed and one wounded, allegedly while "trying to escape" during a transfer.[9] About 25 black men were eventually charged with rioting and attempted murder.

The NAACP sent Thurgood Marshall as the lead attorney to defend Stephenson and the other defendants. He gained a change of venue, but only to another small town, where trials took place throughout the summer of 1946. Marshall was assisted by two local attorneys, Zephaniah Alexander Looby, originally from the British West Indies, and Maurice Weaver, a white activist from Nashville. Marshall was also preparing litigation for education and voting-rights cases.

Marshall gained acquittals for 23 of the black defendants, even with an all-white jury.[6] At the last murder trials in November 1946, Marshall won also acquittal for Rooster Bill Pillow, and a reduction in the sentence of Papa Kennedy, allowing him to go free on bail.[10]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 616 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (0.4%) are covered by water.[11]

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
181010,359
182022,141113.7%
183027,66524.9%
184028,1861.9%
185029,5204.7%
186032,49810.1%
187036,28911.7%
188039,90410.0%
189038,112−4.5%
190042,70312.0%
191040,456−5.3%
192035,403−12.5%
193034,016−3.9%
194040,35718.6%
195040,3680.0%
196041,6993.3%
197043,3764.0%
198051,09517.8%
199054,8127.3%
200069,49826.8%
201080,95616.5%
2020100,97424.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2020[2]
Age pyramid Maury County[17]

2020 census

Maury County racial composition[18]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 76,182 75.45%
African American (non-Hispanic) 11,241 11.13%
Native American 248 0.25%
Asian 934 0.92%
Pacific Islander 45 0.04%
Multiracial or other 4,664 4.62%
Hispanic or Latino 7,660 7.59%

As of the 2020 United States census, 100,974 people, 37,104 households, and 25,951 families resided in the county.

2010 census

As of the census[19] of 2010, 80,932 people and 33,332 households were residing in the county. The population density was 132 people per square mile (51 people/km2).[20] There were 37,470 housing units at an average density of 61 units per square mile (24/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.4% White, 11.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. About 5.8% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.[21]

Of the 26,444 households, 34.8% had children under 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were not families. About 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.58, and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the age distribution was 26.2% under 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 90.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,591, and for a family was $48,010. Males had a median income of $37,675 versus $23,334 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,365. About 8.30% of families and 10.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.50% of those under 18 and 12.10% of those 65 or over.

Declines in population and population growth occurred from 1900 to 1930, and from 1940 to 1970. These periods related to the migration of people from rural to urban areas for work, especially as mechanization reduced the need for agricultural laborers. In addition, these times related to the Great Migration of African Americans out of the Jim Crow South to northern and midwestern industrial cities for more opportunities. The African-American population became highly urbanized. Expansion of the railroad, auto. and steel industries provided new work opportunities in the early 20th century.

Transportation

Interstate 65 runs along the eastern portion of Maury County for about 18 miles (29 km), bypassing Columbia and Spring Hill. State Route 396 is a short controlled-access highway that connects I-65 to Spring Hill. U.S. Route 31, which parallels I-65 its entire length through Tennessee, runs through Columbia and Spring Hill, and U.S. Route 431 runs for a short distance in the northeastern corner of the county. The northern terminus of U.S. Route 43 and the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 412 are both located in Columbia. Other major state routes include 6, 7, 20, 50, and 99. Secondary state routes include 166, 243, 245, 246, 247, and 373.[22]

The Maury County Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) northeast of the central business district of Mount Pleasant[23] and 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) southwest of Columbia.[24]

Education

The Maury County Public Schools district operates public schools in the entire county.[25]

Communities

Cities

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

Politics

Maury County, like most suburban and rural communities in Tennessee, leans strongly Republican. It has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1996.

United States presidential election results for Maury County, Tennessee[28]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 31,464 67.44% 14,418 30.90% 775 1.66%
2016 23,799 67.29% 10,038 28.38% 1,532 4.33%
2012 20,708 62.74% 11,825 35.83% 473 1.43%
2008 20,288 60.08% 13,058 38.67% 421 1.25%
2004 17,505 58.27% 12,379 41.20% 159 0.53%
2000 11,930 50.98% 11,127 47.55% 343 1.47%
1996 8,737 42.47% 10,367 50.39% 1,470 7.14%
1992 7,440 36.37% 9,997 48.86% 3,022 14.77%
1988 8,397 56.78% 6,280 42.47% 111 0.75%
1984 9,008 56.18% 6,950 43.35% 75 0.47%
1980 6,637 44.16% 7,957 52.94% 436 2.90%
1976 5,327 37.34% 8,747 61.32% 191 1.34%
1972 7,371 66.28% 3,262 29.33% 488 4.39%
1968 3,048 20.88% 3,401 23.30% 8,148 55.82%
1964 4,605 37.38% 7,716 62.62% 0 0.00%
1960 4,133 37.99% 6,615 60.81% 131 1.20%
1956 2,853 29.39% 6,662 68.64% 191 1.97%
1952 3,582 32.58% 7,377 67.09% 36 0.33%
1948 895 15.88% 2,906 51.57% 1,834 32.55%
1944 747 13.39% 4,814 86.29% 18 0.32%
1940 634 12.23% 4,529 87.33% 23 0.44%
1936 497 11.49% 3,809 88.07% 19 0.44%
1932 535 13.54% 3,392 85.83% 25 0.63%
1928 1,362 27.16% 3,652 72.84% 0 0.00%
1924 844 21.40% 3,000 76.06% 100 2.54%
1920 1,379 33.53% 2,693 65.48% 41 1.00%
1916 720 24.61% 2,169 74.13% 37 1.26%
1912 615 18.30% 2,309 68.70% 437 13.00%

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Marise P. Lightfoot, "Maury County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Hargett, Tre (Secretary of State). Tennessee Blue Book, 2019-2020. Nashville, Tennessee Secretary of State, 2020. p. 722.
  5. ^ Lynching in America, 2nd edition Archived 2018-06-27 at the Wayback Machine, Supplement by County, p. 6
  6. ^ a b King (2012), Devil in the Grove, p. 8
  7. ^ King, Gilbert; Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, HarperCollins, 2012, pp. 7-20
  8. ^ King (2012), Devil in the Grove, p. 11
  9. ^ King (2012), Devil in the Grove, p. 13
  10. ^ King (2012), Devil in the Grove, p. 14
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  14. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  18. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "Census.gov/Quickfacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Maury County, Tennessee". www.census.gov. 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Maury County, Tennessee". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  22. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation Long Range Planning Division Office of Data Visualization (2018). Maury County (PDF) (Map). Tennessee Department of Transportation.
  23. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for MRC PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective August 25, 2011.
  24. ^ "Distance and heading from Columbia, TN (35°36'54"N 87°02'40"W) to Maury County Airport (35°33'16"N 87°10'45"W)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  25. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Maury County, TN" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022. - Text
  26. ^ King, Gilbert (2012). Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America. p. 12.
  27. ^ "Arkansas Governor James Philip Eagle". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  28. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 11, 2018.

35°37′N 87°05′W / 35.62°N 87.08°W / 35.62; -87.08