Winchester, Tennessee
Franklin County Courthouse in Winchester
Franklin County Courthouse in Winchester
Location of Winchester in Franklin County, Tennessee.
Location of Winchester in Franklin County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 35°11′18″N 86°6′45″W / 35.18833°N 86.11250°W / 35.18833; -86.11250
CountryUnited States
Named forJames Winchester
 • Total11.71 sq mi (30.33 km2)
 • Land10.72 sq mi (27.78 km2)
 • Water0.99 sq mi (2.55 km2)
Elevation974 ft (297 m)
 • Total9,375
 • Density874.13/sq mi (337.50/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code931
FIPS code47-81080[6]
GNIS feature ID1274848[4]

Winchester is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Tennessee, United States.[7] It is part of the Tullahoma, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population of Winchester as of the 2020 census was 9,375.[8]


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.[1] 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 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.[1] 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.[9][10]

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.


Winchester is situated slightly north of the center of Franklin County in Tennessee. It shares a border to the north with the city of Decherd.The city center is located just south of Boiling Fork Creek, which has become an extension of Tims Ford Lake. On the western boundary of the city, Dry Creek forms another arm of the lake. The city limits of Winchester extend as far as the Elk River arm of the lake, approximately 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.[11]


Historical population

2020 census

Winchester racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 7,448 79.45%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 911 9.72%
Native American 32 0.34%
Asian 131 1.4%
Pacific Islander 4 0.04%
Other/Mixed 412 4.39%
Hispanic or Latino 437 4.66%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,375 people, 3,556 households, and 2,333 families residing in the city with a median household income of $51,870.

The number of businesses employing people was 268 as of 2017.[15]

2000 census

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 7,329 people, 2,992 households, and 2,013 families residing in the city. The population density was 734.6 inhabitants per square mile (283.6/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.

Winchester City Hall

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.

Arts and culture

The High On The Hog Festival, founded in 1987, is a barbecue festival occurring each May.[16]


Winchester is served by the Winchester Municipal Airport.

Notable people

Notable citizens of Winchester have included four governors of Tennessee:[17]

Three natives of the city have been formally honored by the British Crown:[17]

Winchester was also the birthplace of:[17]


  1. ^ a b c John Abernathy Smith, "Franklin County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 2 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Blue Book" (PDF). 2005–2006. pp. 618–625. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2006.
  3. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Winchester, Tennessee
  5. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on March 2, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data".
  9. ^ Collins, Beatrice A. "History of Winchester".
  10. ^ "Winchester". The Tullahoma Campaign. Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Winchester city, Tennessee". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 17, 2016.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  13. ^ "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 June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  15. ^ "US Census Bureau QuickFacts". Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  16. ^ "High On The Hog". High on the Hog Festival. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c "Winchester at a Glance". City of Winchester website. Archived from the original on June 1, 2004. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
  18. ^ Fandrich, Julia W. "Ida Beasley Elliott: Distinguished Missionary from Franklin County." Franklin County Historical Review 18 (1987): 71-76