Tennessee was the site of the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant began operating in 1996 and remains in operation today.
Henderson County, Tennessee, located in the western part of the state, has a rich history that stretches back to its establishment in 1821. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw, prior to European settlement. The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, primarily from North Carolina and Virginia, and established small farming communities along the banks of the Tennessee River.

In the early years of its formation, Henderson County experienced rapid population growth and economic development. Agriculture, particularly cotton cultivation, became the dominant industry, with plantations and farms dotting the countryside. The growth of the cotton industry led to the introduction of slavery in the region, further shaping the social and economic landscape of Henderson County.

During the Civil War, Henderson County played a crucial role as a strategic transportation hub. The Battle of Lexington, fought in September 1862, was one of the most significant engagements in the county's history. Although a Confederate victory, the county experienced significant destruction and loss of life during the conflict.

After the Civil War, Henderson County entered a period of recovery and rebuilding. Freed slaves sought to create new lives for themselves, establishing schools and churches as centers of their newly won freedom. Economic diversification became a priority, and industries such as timber, livestock, and manufacturing began to emerge. The county's economy gradually shifted away from reliance on agriculture.

Today, Henderson County continues to thrive as a rural community with a rich agricultural heritage. The county is known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, and camping. Henderson County also cherishes its historical roots, with several museums, landmarks, and annual events celebrating its colorful past.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Henderson County, Tennessee.

  • 1790s: European settlers began to arrive in the area that would become Henderson County, Tennessee.
  • 1821: Henderson County was officially established as a county in the state of Tennessee.
  • 1830s: The county experienced rapid population growth as more settlers arrived in search of fertile land.
  • 1840: The county seat was established in the town of Lexington.
  • 1861-1865: Henderson County, along with the rest of Tennessee, was divided by the American Civil War.
  • 1890s: The railroad arrived in the county, bringing economic development and increased connectivity.
  • 1930s: Henderson County, like the rest of the nation, was greatly affected by the Great Depression.
  • 1950s-1960s: The county experienced social and cultural changes as civil rights movements gained momentum.
  • 2000s: Henderson County continues to thrive with a diverse economy and a growing population.