Aerial view of Franklin, Tennessee in the fall. Photo courtesy Visit Franklin.

Williamson County

1320 W. Main Street

Franklin, TN 37064



Williamson County, established in 1779, is named for Dr. Hugh Williamson. Williamson (1735-1819) was surgeon general of the North Carolina militia, a Continental Congress member and signer of the Constitution. But he never resided here. Franklin, its county seat, is named for his good friend (who also never lived here), Benjamin Franklin.

The county originally had been inhabited by at least five Native American cultures, including tribes of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Shawnee. Early settlers came from Virginia and North Carolina as part of the western migration following the American Revolutionary War. Many were war veterans paid in land grants, others were speculators who purchased land grants from those not wanting to move.

Prior to the Civil War, the area’s natural resources of timber and rich soil provided a stable and diverse agrarian economy. By 1850, there were 13,000 slaves in the county, making up nearly half the population of more than 27,000.

Three Civil War battles were fought in the county. The Nov. 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin saw some of the highest fatalities of the war, including the deaths of six Confederate generals. Two years later, 1,481 Confederate soldiers who died in battle were re-interred on the grounds of Carnton plantation. The McGavock Confederate Cemetery is the largest private Confederate cemetery in America. The war had a significant effect on the county’s population, which did not surpass that of 1880 until 1970.

In 2017 the county’s population was 226,257.

Today the county and its individual cities are consistently ranked among the nation’s best in the areas of education, recreation, health and cost of living. Twelve of the 25 largest publicly traded companies in the Middle Tennessee are based here and 40 corporate headquarters call Williamson County home.


The Williamson County Board of Commissioners, the county’s legislative body, consists of 24 members, two from each of the county’s 12 districts. Commissioners serve four-year terms. While the Williamson County Schools’ board of Education sets school policy, the county commission is the schools funding body. The full board meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of January, February, March, May, June, September, October and November. The July meeting begins at 9 a.m. Meetings are held in the Williamson County Administrative Office Complex auditorium at 1320 West Main Street, Franklin, TN.

The Tennessee Constitution provides for each county to elect an executive officer, referred to as the County Mayor. The mayor is elected by popular vote every four years and may serve unlimited terms. Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, re-elected for a fifth term in August 2018, is responsible for the county’s fiscal management and other executive functions.

Departments and Services:

Williamson County Public Library. Beyond its extensive book collection, the county library offers genealogy workshops, art displays, book clubs, story time, computer classes and more. 1314 Columbia Ave., Franklin, has branches in Bethesda, College Grove, Fairview, Leiper’s Fork and Nolensville. 615-595-1243. http://lib.williamson-tn.org/

Williamson County Parks & Recreation. Offers extensive facilities and parks covering everything from aquatics programs, fitness and wellness, therapeutic recreation, senior programs, newsletter, planning, arts and crafts, special events, and summer activities. Its Athletic Division sponsors leagues and programs in a variety of sports throughout the county. 1120 Hillsboro Road, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5719; www.wcparksandrec.com.

Williamson County Schools. The county commission funds the county’s distinguished K-12 school system, guided by its own elected board and director of schools. 1320 West Main St., Franklin, TN 37064. 615-472-4000; www.wcs.edu. The county is also home to the self-funded Franklin Special School District and several private schools.

Williamson County Animal Center. The county’s Animal Control Officers enforce state laws and local ordinances concerning animals, which include dogs running at large and stray animals. Though ACOs cannot remove nuisance wildlife from private property, humane traps are available to rent. The center also serves as the county’s animal shelter where dogs and cats can be adopted. 160 Claude Yates Drive, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5590; www.adoptwcac.org.

Williamson County Highway Department. This department constructs and maintains roads and bridges in unincorporated areas. This is the place to call to report hazardous road conditions. 302 Beasley Drive, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5596.

Law enforcement. The Williamson County Sheriff’s department is responsible for law enforcement in the unincorporated areas of the county. The department also sponsors several public safety programs and including women’s self-defense classes, handgun shooting and safety classes and the Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy. The department also oversees the Williamson County Jail. 408 Century Court, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5560. In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Solid Waste and Recycling. The Williamson County Solid Waste Department manages 10 convenience centers located throughout Williamson County and two additional recycling drop-off centers. No commercial recycling or waste will be accepted at any convenience center location. Commercial waste must be taken to the county landfill. Proof of residency is required. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 5750 Pinewood Road, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-0742. Visit www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov/159/Convenience-Centers for a list of centers.

County Clerk. The county clerk’s office, located in the Administration Complex, is the place to head for vehicle title and registration services, business permits, marriage licenses and beer permits. 1320 W. Main St., Suite 135, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5712; open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Election Commission. Your go-to spot for county and local election and voting information, voter registration and more. 1320 West Main St., Suite 140, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-790-5711; http://www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov/40/Election-Commission.

Driver Services Center (DMV). Services include written and road driving tests and issuing new and renewal driver’s licenses and identification cards. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; Appointments available. 3830 Carothers Parkway, Franklin, TN 37067; 615-790-5515. www.tn.gov/safety/driver-services/locations/williamson.html.

Williamson Medical Center. This county-owned hospital, established in 1958, offers comprehensive medical care at its Franklin medical center and walk-in clinics. 4321 Carothers Pkwy. Franklin, TN 37067; 615-435-5000; www.williamsonmedicalcenter.org.

Health Department. Medical and dental services; immunizations and help with immunization records; public health education programs. Hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. 1324 W Main Street, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-794-1542; https://www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov/120/Health-Department.

Community Events:

The Williamson County Fair returned in 2005 and has grown each year, capturing state and national recognition. The 2019 fair is set Aug. 2-10, 2019. Ag Expo Park, 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064; 615-794-4386; williamsoncountyfair.org. Other annual events at Ag Expo Park include the Bloom ‘n’ Garden Expo and the Franklin Rodeo.

Top 5 employers:

Williamson County Schools

Community Health Systems

Williamson County Government

HCA Healthcare Inc.

Williamson Medical Center

Sources: williamsoncounty-tn.gov; williamsonchamber.com; www.battlefields.org

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