Franklin, Tennessee

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Franklin, Tennessee
Historic Downtown Franklin
Historic Downtown Franklin
Location within Williamson County and Tennessee
Location within Williamson County and Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°55′45″N 86°51′27″W / 35.92917°N 86.85750°W / 35.92917; -86.85750Coordinates: 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
 • Total41.45 sq mi (107.35 km2)
 • Land41.23 sq mi (106.79 km2)
 • Water0.22 sq mi (0.56 km2)
643 ft (196 m)
 • Total62,487
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,899/sq mi (733.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
37064, 37065, 37067, 37068, 37069[2]
Area code615
FIPS code47-27740[3]
GNIS ID1284816[4]

Franklin is a city in, and the county seat of, Williamson County, Tennessee, United States.[5] 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 2017, its estimated population was 78,321, and it is the seventh-largest city in Tennessee.[1]

Williamson County was primarily rural into the late 20th century, with an economy based on traditional commodity crops and livestock. In the 19th century, part of its economy (especially the cultivation of tobacco and hemp) depended on slavery, and after the American Civil War racial violence, designed to suppress the black vote, claimed lives. The Ku Klux Klan is believed to have perpetrated the first lynching of a Jewish man in the United States in 1868, and Franklin was the site of more lynchings of black men, including one in 1888 of a man who was taken from the courtroom and hanged from the balcony of the courthouse. Since 1980, the northern part of the county has begun to be developed for residential and related businesses, in addition to modern service industries.


18th century[edit]

The 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.[6][7]

Ewen Cameron built a log house, the first by a European-American in the town of Franklin. Cameron was 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. Cameron died on February 28, 1846, having lived 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[edit]

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 livestock. Farmers depended on numerous slaves as workers.

During the Civil War, Franklin was the site of a major battle in the Franklin–Nashville Campaign. The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864, resulting in almost 10,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured, and missing). 44 buildings were temporarily converted to use as field hospitals. The Carter, Carnton, and the Lotz[8] homes from this era are still standing and are among the city's numerous examples of historic architecture.

After the war, the Franklin area saw considerable violence as whites attempted to dominate the majority-black population and assert white supremacy. 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 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, which whites and Democrats struggled to suppress. 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" took place. 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 soon after.[9][10][11]

On August 15, 1868, in Franklin, Samuel Bierfield became the first Jewish man to be lynched in the United States, when he was shot by a large group of masked men believed to be KKK members. Bowman, a black man who worked for him and was with him at his store, was fatally wounded in the attack.[12]

After Reconstruction, white violence continued against African Americans. 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 oppression in the South.[13] Some of these murders took place in Franklin after the men were taken from the courthouse or county jail before trial.

For example, on August 10, 1888, Amos Miller, a 23-year-old African-American, was lynched before his trial, taken from the courtroom and hanged from the balcony of the Williamson County Courthouse.[14] On April 30, 1891, Jim Taylor, another African-American man, was lynched on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin.

20th century[edit]

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 escape Jim Crow conditions and the decline in agricultural work.

A suburb of Nashville, Franklin has benefited from regional growth in the economy since the late 20th century. Its population has increased more than fivefold since 1980, when its population was 12,407. In 2010, it had a population of 62,487.[15] As of 2017 Census estimates, it is the state's seventh-largest city.

Many of its residents commute to businesses in Nashville. The regional economy has also expanded, with considerable growth in businesses and jobs in Franklin and the county.

The city began to grow after the historic preservation movement started, and it has worked to identify and preserve historic assets. Five historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are many individual buildings.

In the early morning of Christmas Eve of 1988, one person died when an F4 tornado struck the city.[citation needed]


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.[15]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201778,321[1]25.3%

Since the late 20th century, the city has grown rapidly in population, attracting many businesses. As of the census[3] 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.[17]


The city is home to health-care related businesses such as HealthSpring, Clarcor, Community Health Systems, Healthways, Home Instead Senior Care, MedSolutions Inc, and Renal Advantage Inc. In addition,, the Provident Music Group, World Christian Broadcasting, gas utility Atmos Energy's Kentucky/Mid-States division, and Nissan's North American headquarters are in Franklin.

Future development includes the construction in Dover Center of the North American headquarters of the Chinese manufacturer Triangle Tyre Company.[18]

Franklin has benefited from its proximity to Nashville, whose growth has been a catalyst for this county seat as well. The Cool Springs area is a business, dining and shopping hub that has attracted several Fortune 500 companies. In 2016, CKE Restaurants announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Cool Springs.[19]

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Community Health Systems 3,255
2 Nissan North America 1,850
3 Williamson Medical Center 1,609
4 Optum 1,600
5 Mars Petcare US 1,000
6 Ford Motor Credit 860
7 Verizon Wireless 763
8 Lee Company 646
9 Vanderbilt University Medical Center 580
10 Evicore Healthcare 519


Franklin United States Post Office

The city is run by a mayor elected at-large in the city and a board of eight aldermen, four elected from single-member districts, and four elected at-large. This results in a board that is biased toward the majority, as half the members and the mayor must be elected by majority voting. They are elected 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.[21]


Public schools[edit]

The city is served by the Williamson County School District and the Franklin Special School District.[22]

Private schools[edit]

Local private schools include Battle Ground Academy, Benton Hall School, the Classical Academy of Franklin, Franklin Christian Academy, Grace Christian Academy, Heritage Covenant School, Montessori School of Franklin, New Hope Academy, St. Matthews Catholic School, and Willow Hall Academy.[23]

Higher education[edit]


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.[24]


Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival[edit]

Pilgrimage is a music festival put together by Franklin resident and musician Kevin Griffin. Premiering in 2015, it draws nationally prominent acts from an eclectic field 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. [25]

Main Street Festival[edit]

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.[26]


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.[27]

Dickens of a Christmas[edit]

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.[28]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • ABC's television show Nashville (2012) filmed many concert show segments at the Franklin Theatre.[36]
  • Performer Justin Bieber filmed the video for his song "Mistletoe" in Downtown Franklin.[37]

Sister cities[edit]

Franklin is an active participant in the Sister Cities program. Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County[38] was founded as an outgrowth of Leadership Franklin in March 2002. The City of Franklin has relationships with the following municipalities:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Tennessee Incorporated Places". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "USPS – ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ Miller, Larry L. (2001). Tennessee place-names. Indiana University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-253-33984-3.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  9. ^ "Riot at Franklin, Tennessee", Memphis Daily Appeal, 9 July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  10. ^ "Conservative Conciliation/The Ballot to be Controlled by the Bullet", Nashville Daily Press and Times, July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  11. ^ "A Riot in Tennessee", New York Times, 8 July 1867; accessed 18 May 2018
  12. ^ "Midnight in Tennessee", Paul Berger,, December 12, 2014
  13. ^ Lynching in America/Summary by County (3rd edition), p. 9, Equal Justice Initiative, 2017, Montgomery, Alabama
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Franklin city, Tennessee". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2006-02-08. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  17. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Triangle Tyre Will Open North American Headquarters in Tennessee - Suppliers - Modern Tire Dealer". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Hardee's parent moving HQ to Nashville area". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "City of Franklin, TN : Government". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  22. ^ "What's The Franklin Special School District Anyway?". Tate Real Estate. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  23. ^ "Williamson County Private Schools - Williamson, Inc". Williamson, Inc. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  24. ^ Anonymous. "Pinkerton Park". City of Franklin, TN. City of Franklin. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  25. ^ [2], |Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival
  26. ^ Main Street Festival 2014, | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, TN; Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  27. ^ Pumpkinfest | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County TN Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  28. ^ Dickens of a Christmas | Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County TN Retrieved on 2014-11-2.
  29. ^ Halberg, Morgan (August 23, 2017). "See Inside Miley Cyrus' New 33-Acre Tennessee Farm". The New York Observer. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Thanki, Juli (November 6, 2017). "'Everlasting Love' singer Robert Knight dead at 72". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  32. ^ Buie, Jordan (December 8, 2016). "Andrew Puzder: 5 things about Trump's labor secretary pick". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  33. ^ Lind, J.R. (June 15, 2011). "Home builder sues Cal Turner for $5M: Developer Seeks Payment on Palatial Home". The Nashville Post. Nashville, Tennessee. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  34. ^ Montgomery, James (September 30, 2009). "PARAMORE'S HAYLEY WILLIAMS GIVES US A TOUR OF HER CRIB". MTV. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  35. ^ Ammenheuser, David (November 2, 2016). "Cubs World Series hero Ben Zobrist is Franklin resident". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  36. ^ "ABC's 'Nashville' takes over Franklin Theatre". Franklin Home Page. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  37. ^ "Justin Bieber shoots video in downtown Franklin". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  38. ^ Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County
  39. ^ a b c "Sister Cities of Franklin". Retrieved October 12, 2014.

External links[edit]