History Of Dickson County

Cumberland Furnace Dickson County was created by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly, meeting in Knoxville, on November 3, 1803, from portions of Robertson and Montgomery counties. This new county was named for Dr. William Dickson, a Nashville physician, who also served as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives and as a U. S. Congressman. Dickson County was organized as the 25th of the of Tennessee's 95 counties.


The fertile soils and abundance of natural resources drew settlers to this area of the Western Highland Rim in the early 1790's. North Carolina Revolutionary War and Tennessee land grants assured large tracts of land at little of no cost to these pioneers. The discovery of iron ore provided the foundation for the area's first industrial development. James Robertson,"Father of Tennessee" discovered the first iron ore veins in Cumberland Furnace and established the first iron works in middle Tennessee.

On August 4, 1804, an act of the Tennessee General Assembly created the Town of Charlotte to serve as "The Seat of Dickson County Government." The county seat is named for Robertson's wife Charlotte. The Town of Charlotte was the center of commerce, industry and government until the advent of the Civil War. With the completion of the railroad from Nashville to the
Tennessee River at the end of the War, the focus shifted to the southern end of the county. Industry and commerce followed the rail lines leaving agriculture, the iron industry and county government as the mainstays of its northern section.

Throughout it's 200 year history, Dickson County has produced many notable citizens who have significantly contributed to the development and a quality of life style on regional and state levels including a three-term governor, congressmen, state legislators, a Tennessee Supreme Court justice, a noted Tennessee historian, iron masters, as well as industrial, business leaders, and local residents.

Researched and compiled by:
Linda Parker, Dickson County Archivist
Sherry Kilgore, Historian

Montgomery Bell Although Charlotte is the County Seat, Dickson is the county’s largest city. The county’s 2010 population was 49,666; its six incorporated communities include Burns (1,468), Charlotte (1,235), Dickson (14,538), Slayden (178) and Vanleer (395) and White Bluff (3,206). Each of these towns contributed to the success of the county.

A comprehensive history of Dickson County may be found in, A Brief History Of Dickson County, Tennessee “200 Years of Pride, Promise and Progress by Rick Hollis.
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