Cumberland County

Cumberland County

Cumberland County was formed in 1855 from Bledsoe,
Fentress, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea and White counties

(Acts of Tennessee 1855-56, Chapter 6)

The county seat is Crossville.

There was a fire at the Cumberland County courthouse in 1905.


Selected Published County Histories
  • And This is Grassy Cove  (Stratton, 1938)*
  • Brief History First Congregational Church, Crossville, Tennessee, 1887-1962 (Brookhart, 1962)
  • Cumberland County, Tennessee, 1956-1986 (Bullard, 1987) [name index]*
  • Cumberland County's First Hundred Years  (Bullard & Krechniak,  1956) [surname / partial name index]*
  • First Hundred Years of the Pleasant Hill Community Church: United Church of Christ, Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, 1885-1985 (Marriott, 1985)
  • Hamby Mill Case of Cumberland County, Tennessee (Cantrell, 1999)
  • Short History of Cumberland County (Kiwanis Club of Crab Orchard, Tennessee, 1982)
  • Tales of the Civil War Era (Harvey, 1977)*
  • The Way it Was: Crossville, Cumberland County  (Stanley, 1983)*

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Cumberland County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  


Published Local Records
  • 1860 Census of Cumberland County, Tennessee (Kirkeminde, 1982) [surname index]*
  • 1870 Census of Cumberland County, Tennessee (Kirkeminde, 1980) [surname index]
  • 1880 Census, Cumberland County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1992) [alphabetical listing by head of household]*
  • Cookeville-Crossville, Tennessee, Polk City Directory : Including: Putnam and Cumberland Counties (1997) [alphabetical listing]
  • Cumberland Co., Tennessee, Fentress Co., Tennessee, Jackson Co., Tennessee, Loudon Co., Tennessee, Morgan Co., Tennessee, Overton Co. [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1990) [name index]
  • Cumberland County, Tennessee Cemetery Records: Includes Some Adjoining Cemeteries (Castillo & Sevier, 1986) [surname index]*
  • Cumberland County, Tennessee, Entry Takers Book No. 2, 1856-1959 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Cumberland County, Tennessee, Plat Book A, 1856-97 (WPA, 1940) [name index]
  • Cumberland County, Tennessee Vital Statistics, 1914 through 1925 (Wiefering, 1993) [name index]*
  • Genealogical and Historical Notes from Crossville, Tennessee Newspapers [vol. 1. 1878-1899; vol. 2 1900-1902] (Boniol, 1995) [name index]*
  • Marriage Records of Cumberland County, Tennessee [1905-1962] (Reed & Davis, 1991) [alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Private Acts of Cumberland County, Tennessee (McIntyre & King, 1993)*


Local Records on Microfilm 

An inventory of microfilmed Cumberland County records is available on our website.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.  

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1905
  • wills from 1904
  • deed index from 1854
  • chancery court minutes from 1897
  • county court minutes from 1905
  • circuit court minutes from 1907
  • tax books from 1904

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:

  • Deed Index -- 1854-1939  (#45, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Cumberland County  (Record Group #107, Roll 13,  1 reel). Roll includes Plat Book A (1856-1897),  Entry Taker's Book 2 (1856-1859) and Entry Taker's Journal B (1856-1860).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Crossville.  Scattered early issues are available from 1886, and a complete run begins in 1895.  Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased.  An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at the Library and Archives is available on our website.


Selected Manuscripts Material
  • Esmerelda (Robinson) Smith Genealogical Collection, 1738-1939  (Microfilm Manuscript #1070, 1 reel)
  • Greenberry Wilson Family Papers, 1796-1961 (Microfilm Manuscript #1897, 1 reel)*
  • Pleasant Hill Academy Records, 1908-1961 (Microfilm Manuscript #1812, 4 reels)

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Cumberland County:  1860-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1860-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Cumberland County census records in book form:  1860*, 1870,  1880*


Additional Research Aids for Cumberland County

*   Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.


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Cumberland County Formation Act


"An Act to establish the county of Cumberland in this state."


SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a new county is hereby established by the name of Cumberland: beginning at Jack Officer's in Putnam County, running thence a south direction to the thirteen mile tree, on the turnpike road leading from Sparta, in White County, to Kingston, in Roane County; thence, continuing in the same direction, to the Bledsoe County line, by way of the Tarken Ford on the Cany Fork River, and so as to include the place where George Thomas lives, in the new county; thence, running eastwardly to Hiram Stone's; thence, to Lollett's Mill, on the head of the Sequatchie valley;  thence to Thompson's Mill, on the stock road in Rhea County; thence, to C. G. Gibson's; thence, northwardly to the turnpike road before mentioned, leading from Sparta to Kingston, at where the same crosses Mammy's Creek; thence, to the head of Island Creek on the Crab Orchard Mountain; thence, to Davis' Bridge on Daddy's Creek; thence to Davis' Ford, on Obed's River; thence, up Obed's River with its meanderings, to the mouth of Otter Creek; thence, to the mouth of the Wolf-Pen Branch at Clear Creek; thence, up Clear Creek, including T. Tabor's place, and to the Emory Road west of Brice's Creek, and east of Lee Taylor's stand; thence, with said road to the Beginning: -- including portions of White, Bledsoe, Rhea, Morgan, Fentress, and Putnam counties.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That the said county of Cumberland shall have all of the powers and privileges, and be subject to all the restrictions of the other counties in this state, and the citizens thereof shall vote with the counties from which they are taken, for members of Congress, Governor, and members of the General Assembly, until the next apportionment, agreeable to the provisions of the fifth section of the tenth article of the amended Constitution.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice, the different courts to be held in the said county of Cumberland, shall be holden at the house of James Scott, of Crossville, until the seat of justice for said county shall be located, and a suitable house erected for the purpose of holding the courts in; and the county courts shall, in the intermediate time, have full power to adjourn the courts to said other place in the said county, as they may deem better suited for the holding of the same, and to adjourn to the seat of justice when, in their judgment, the necessary arrangements are made for holding the said courts; and all writs and other process returnable to either place, shall be returned to the place to which said courts may have been adjourned by the County Court as aforesaid; and the said courts to be holden in and for the county of Cumberland aforesaid, shall be under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions, and shall have, hold and exercise, and possess, the same powers and jurisdiction as are possessed by said court in any other county in this state.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That all officers, civil and military, in said county of Cumberland, shall continue to hold their offices, and exercise all powers thereof; have the same jurisdiction as other officers in this state, as they had before the said county was established, until others are elected under the provisions of the Constitution; and the said county of Cumberland shall be placed upon an equal footing, possess equal powers and privileges, in all respects, as other counties in this State: Provided, that nothing in this act shall prevent the counties of White, Rhea, Bledsoe, Morgan, Fentress and Putnam, from having and holding the jurisdiction they now have over the territory composing said county, and the citizens thereof, until the said county of Cumberland is organized, and have elected their officers.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That the Circuit Courts shall be held for the county of Cumberland, by the Judge of the fourth circuit, on the first Mondays in September, January, and May, and shall hold its terms at the house of James Scott, at Crossville, until notified that the justices of said county have removed the holdings of the courts of said county to the seat of justice, and shall adjourn to the seat of justice.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the County Court of said county, so soon as the Commissioners appointed by this act shall designate a suitable place for the seat of justice for said county, which shall be within five miles of the centre of said county, to appoint five commissioners to whom the said commissioners appointed by this act, shall convey the land acquired for the use of the county aforesaid, on which it shall be the duty of the commissioners appointed by the county court to cause a town to be laid off, with as many streets, and of such width as they may deem proper and necessary, and with such sized lots as they think proper, reserving three acres for a public square, upon which a court house shall be erected, and a lot shall be reserved, sufficient for a jail, and shall reserve such lots for churches as they may see proper; and said town, when laid off, shall be known by such name as the commissioners so appointed by the County Court may give it; and the said commissioners shall proceed to sell the lots upon at least twelve months' credit. They shall reserve a lot suitable for a County Academy, and shall give due notice of the time and place of sale, which shall be on the premises, and shall take bond with sufficient security, from the purchasers of said lots, payable to themselves and successors in office, and shall make titles in fee simple, as commissioners, to the respective purchasers.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the proceeds of the sale aforesaid, shall be a fund, in the hands of said commissioners, for defraying the expenses incurred in the purchase of the land on which the county seat is erected and located, and also of erecting a court house and jail for said county; and the said commissioners shall superintend the building the court house and jail, and other necessary public buildings; and shall let out said buildings as the County Court may order, upon such terms as said court may order, and shall take bond with sufficient security from the persons to whom the same is let, payable to themselves and successors in office, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the contracts.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That said commissioners shall, before they enter upon the duties of the appointment, shall take an oath that they will truly and faithfully perform the different duties by this act enjoined upon them, according to their best judgment, and shall enter into bond and security, in the sum of five thousand dollars, to the Chairman of the County Court of Cumberland aforesaid, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties, as conferred upon them by this act, which bond shall be deposited in the office of the Clerk of the County Court of said county; they shall keep a regular account of all moneys by them received and expended, and make due return of the same to the County Court of said county, and shall, in all things, be subject to the order of said court in relation to the buildings and funds, and shall account for all moneys and funds in their hands when required by said court; and shall be entitled to such compensation as the County Court may think reasonable.

SECTION 9. BE IT ENACTED, That the first County Court for said county, shall be held on the first Monday in April next, 1856, and shall perform all the duties of other county courts; and the first Circuit Court shall be held on the first Monday in May thereafter, and shall have all the jurisdiction of other circuit courts.

SECTION 10. BE IT ENACTED, That Thomas Frazier, of Bledsoe County, David Snodgrass, of White County, and Isaac Van Winkle, of Morgan County, Daniel Clark, of White, and John Johnson, of Putnam, are hereby appointed commissioners to locate the seat of justice in said county of Cumberland. They shall, so soon as the County Court shall notify them, proceed to locate the seat of justice for said county; purchase the land and convey the same to the commissioners, as directed in this act. Should any of them fail to attend, the County Court shall appoint others to fill their place. This act shall take effect, provided the same does not violate the Constitution in reducing the counties from which they are taken; and the County Court of said county shall cause the same to be surveyed and plat thereof to be filed in the Clerk's office of said court.

SECTION 11. BE IT ENACTED, That there shall be an election held at the several districts and precincts in said county of Cumberland, on the first Saturday in March, 1856; at which election, the qualified voters of said county shall vote to elect a sheriff, clerks of the Circuit and County Courts, a register and trustee, who shall, when elected, be qualified at the first term of their respective courts. And the County Court shall elect the county officers which they are entitled to elect, at their first session, and all elections thereafter for county officers shall take place at the times fixed by law for the elections of such officers in other counties in this state. And it shall be the duty of the sheriff of Morgan County, to give the notice required by law, and by his deputies, to hold the elections provided for in this section, and to make the same returns and certificates for said county of Cumberland, which are by law required to be made in other counties.

SECTION 12. BE IT ENACTED, That a County Academy is hereby established in said county, known by the name of Webster Academy, and shall be located in or near the county town of said county, which said Academy shall be entitled to all the rights and emoluments as other county academies are entitled to; and the clerks of said courts, and justices of the peace, shall be entitled to such books as other clerks and justices are entitled to in this state.


Passed on November 16, 1855


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Cumberland County Bibliography

PLEASE NOTE that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the Tennessee State Library and Archives Online Catalog or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and verify we have an item in our collection. We will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

Subjects :

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Cumberland County in General
  • Allred, Charles E. Acquisition of farm land by credit corporations in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1938. 49 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #77).
  • Allred, Charles E. Rural credit in TN, 1923. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1938. 48 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #82).
  • Allred, Charles E. Significant changes in agriculture of Cumberland County, TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1942. 38 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #139).
  • Bonser, H.J. et al. Neighborhoods & communities of Cumberland County, TN. Knoxville, UT Ag. Exp. Sta., 1941. 20 pp.
  • Bonser, H.J. et al. Local leadership in rural communities of Cumberland County, TN. Knoxville, UT Ag. Exp. Sta., 1942. 79 pp.
  • Bullard, Helen. Cumberland County, TN, 1956-1986. Crossville, the author, 1987. 132 pp.
  • Bullard, Helen. Cumberland County's first hundred years. Crossville, Centennial Committee, 1972. 377 pp.
  • Cardiff Coal & Iron Company. The town of Cardiff, on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad & Tennessee River, Roane County, TN: & lands & mines of the Cardiff Coal & Iron Company, situated in Roane, Cumberland & Morgan counties. N.p., Cardiff Coal & Iron Company, 1890. 23 pp.
  • Crawford, Nicholas. The Karst hydrogeology of the Cumberland Plateau escarpment of TN: Karst Valley development & the headward advance of the Sequatchie Valley in the Grassy Cove area, Cumberland County, TN. Nashville, TN Div. Geol., 1989. 41 pp.
  • Cumberland County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Cumberland Land Company. The Cumberland tableland, TN. Crossville, Chronicle Print., 1899? 16 pp.
  • Dickinson, W. Calvin. Cumberland County, TN, 1800-1985. Cookeville, TN Tech. U., 1992. 90 pp.
  • Facts, folks & photos of Cumberland County, TN. Compiled by Barbara B. Parsons. Crossville, Cumberland Co. Hist. & Gen. Soc., 1988. 591 pp.
  • Fleming, Arklie L. Economic setup of the Cumberland Homesteads, Crossville, TN. George Peabody College thesis, 1941. 85 pp.
  • Garrett, William R., ed. "Narrative of Capt. Hendly, his defeat & capture near Crab Orchard in 1793." AHM 2 (1897), pp. 86-90.
  • Gorenflo, Louise. An energy study of Cumberland County, TN. Crossville, Cumberland Citizens Committee on Energy, 1982. 89 pp.
  • Gray, John W. The life of Joseph Bishop, the celebrated old pioneer in the first settlements of middle TN, embracing his wonderful adventures & narrow escapes with the Indians, his animating & remarkable hunting excursions. Interspersed with racy anecdotes of those early times. Nashville, the author, 1858. 236 pp. (reprinted by Fleming, 1962).
  • Harshman, Amy Y. I remember. Maryville, Byron's Graphic Arts, 1982. 68 pp.
  • Harvey, Stella M. Tales of the Civil War era. Crossville, Chronicle, 1963. 51 pp.
  • Irwin, Leonard G. Summary report of Cumberland County area religious survey, Crossville, TN. Atlanta, GA, Home Mission Board, S.B.C., 1964. 25 pp.
  • Jewell, John W. Geology of the northern two-thirds of the Dorton Quadrangle, Cumberland County, TN. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1951. 47 pp.
  • King, W.W. Economic improvement through forest utilization & development: Cumberland & Morgan counties, TN. Norris, TVA, 1959. 13 pp.
  • Kirkeminde, Patricia B. Cumberland Homesteads as viewed by the newspapers. Crossville, Brookhart Press, 1977. 79 pp.
  • Krechniak, Helen B. see Bullard, Helen.
  • Loomis, Charles P. Social relationships & institutions in seven rural communities. US Farm Sec. Admin., 1940. 82 pp. (its Research report #18).
  • Loomis, Charles P. & Dwight M. Davidson. Standards of living of the residents of seven rural resettlement communities. US Farm Sec. Admin., 1938. 93 pp. (its Research report #11).
  • Luebke, B.H. Farm real estate situation in five areas of TN, 1941-1944. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1945. 52 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #185).
  • Montgomery, James E. Two resettlement communities on the Cumberland Plateau. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1941. 113 pp.
  • Moore, James C. An analysis of the New Deal subsistence homesteads program in Cumberland County, TN. TTU thesis, 1967. 112 pp.
  • Ogden, William H. Forest resources & industries, Cumberland & Morgan counties, TN. Norris, TVA, 1953. 76 pp.
  • The plateau (Cumberland County school yearbook, annual).
  • Plateau Writers. Penorama. Crossville, Plateau Writers, 1990. 99 pp. (poetry)
  • Rascoe, Bailey. Geology of the Fox Creek quadrangle, Cumberland County, TN. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1951. 47 pp.
  • Revised road acceptance & construction standards, Cumberland County, TN. Nashville, Dept. Ec. & Comm. Dev., 1992. 16 pp.
  • A short history of Cumberland County [collected by] Kiwanis Club of Crab Orchard, TN. Crossville, P.B. Kirkeminde, 1982. 47 pp.
  • Soil survey, Cumberland County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO., 1938, 1950.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Div. Forestry. How forest fires get started in Cumberland & Morgan counties, TN. Nashville, n.p., 1954. 10 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Cumberland County. Knoxville, TVA, 1935. var. pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Div. Research Sec. Effect of proposed national forest purchases on county finance in the Cumberland Plateau of TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1937. 65 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Div. Research Sec. Effect of proposed national forest purchases on county finance, survey no. 3: Cumberland County, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1936. 46 pp.
  • To the people of Cumberland County. N.p., 1828. 6 pp. (Caption title: Supplement to American Volunteer, Oct. 16, '28.)
  • A tribute to Cumberland County on our 80th anniversary. Crossville, First National Bank of Crossville, 1980. 40 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Obey City, Clarkrange, Jones Knob, Twin Bridges, Monterey Lake, Campbell Junction, Isoline, Fox Creek, Herbertsburg, Lancing, DeRossett, Pleasant Hill, Crossville, Dorton, Ozone, Cardiff, Lonewood, Herbert Domain, Vandever, Grassy Cove, Roddy, Rockwood, Melvine.
  • Upper Cumberland Dev. Dist. Comprehensive water-sewer plan: Cumberland County. Cookeville, Upper Cumberland Dev. Dist., 1971. 117 pp.
  • Vaden, Emma J. Looking back: Cumberland Homesteads golden anniversary album, a photographic tribute to the people who participated in the birth & development of a unique southern community. Crossville, the author, 1984. 64 pp.
  • Webb, George W. The resources of the Cumberland Plateau as exemplified by Cumberland County, TN: a geographic analysis. UT thesis, 1956. 282 pp.
  • Webb, George W. "The settlement pattern on the Cumberland Plateau in TN." J. TN Acad. Sci. 35 (1960), pp. 24-30.
  • Wharton, May C. Doctor woman of the Cumberlands: the autobiography of May Cravath Wharton, M.D. Pleasant Hill, Uplands, 1953. 208 pp.
  • Wilson, John M. Ground water resources & geology of Cumberland County, TN. Nashville, Div. Water Resources, 1965. 56 pp.

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  • Brookhart, Mary B. A brief history of the First Congregational Church, Crossville, TN, 1887-1962. Crossville, Chronicle, 1962. 40 pp.
  • Butts, Charles. Geology & mineral resources of the Crossville quadrangle, TN. Surveyed in cooperation with the USGS. Nashville, n.p., 1925. 41 pp.
  • Cooper, Herston. Crossville. Miami, FL, Adams Press, 1965. 155 pp.
  • Crossville: urban transportation study: major route plan. Nashville, TN Dept. Transportation, 1981. 60 pp.
  • Crossville transportation study: existing conditions. Prepared by the TN Dept. Transportation., in cooperation with the US FHA, the city of Crossville & Office of Local Planning Assistance. Nashville, TN Dept. Transportation, 1989. 1 map.
  • Cumberland General Store. Wish & want book: complete outfitter for your journey back to basics. Crossville, the store, 1977. 250 pp.
  • Kirkeminde, Patricia B. Crossville newspapers. N.p., 1977. 1 vol.
  • Stanley, Bryan. The way it was, Crossville, Cumberland County. Nashville, the author, 1983. 320 pp.
  • Toomey, Glenn A. The silver anniversary history of the Cumberland Plateau Baptist Association, 1953-1978, Crossville, TN. Crossville, the author, 1979. 166 pp.
  • A visit in the kitchen cookbook. Diane D. Brown, ed. (rev. ed) Crossville, Chronicle, 1979. 216 pp.
  • Winter, Arthur B. The problem of annexation in Crossville. Knoxville, UT Bureau of Public Admin., 1954. 50 pp.

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Grassy Cove
  • Stratton, Cora S., & Nettie M. Stratton. And this is Grassy Cove. Crossville, Chronicle, 1938. 54 pp.

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Pleasant Hill / Pleasant Hill Academy
  • Dodge, Emma F. History of Pleasant Hill; a history of Pleasant Hill Academy & who's who of alumni. Kingsport, Kingsport Press, 1938. 192 pp.
  • Dodge, Emma F. Souvenir history of Pleasant Hill Academy, 1884-1924. Nashville, n.p., 1925. 62 pp.
  • Glebe, Iris W. Thy loving children still: history & memories of Pleasant Hill Academy. Allen Park, MI, PHA Book Fund, 1983. 299 pp.
  • Marriott, Victor E. The first hundred years of the Pleasant Hill Community Church: United Church of Christ, Pleasant Hill, TN, 1885-1985. Pleasant Hill, the church, 1985. 88 pp.


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