World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Whitwell, Tennessee

Whitwell, Tennessee
View of Whitwell with the Cumberland Plateau in the background
View of Whitwell with the Cumberland Plateau in the background
Nickname(s): Home of the Children's Holocaust Memorial
Location of Whitwell, Tennessee
Location of Whitwell, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Marion
Incorporated 1956[1]
Named for Thomas Whitwell, mining entrepreneur[2]
 • Total 3.3 sq mi (8.6 km2)
 • Land 3.3 sq mi (8.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 679 ft (207 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 1,660
 • Density 500.1/sq mi (193.1/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 37397
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-80620[3]
GNIS feature ID 1304575[4]

Whitwell is a city in GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
  • Paper Clips Project 5
  • Notable people 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The town that became Whitwell was originally known as Cheekville, but renamed "Whitwell" for Thomas Whitwell, a Welsh metallurgist and cofounder of the Southern States Coal, Iron and Land Company, who was killed in a mine explosion in 1878.[2] Whitwell was incorporated as a city in 1956, having grown as a mining town due to the abundance of coal in the mountains near the town. In 1981 there was a major mining accident when 13 coal miners were killed in an explosion. A full list of the names of those killed in the mine explosion is on a monument at Whitwell High School. Whitwell also has an annual Labor Day celebration that has been celebrated for over 50 consecutive years.[5]


Whitwell is located at (35.197570, -85.519082).[6] It is situated in the southwestern Sequatchie Valley at the base of a relatively steep escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau. The Sequatchie River passes just east of the city, and forms a portion of its southeastern boundary.

Tennessee State Route 28 (Hudson Street), which forms part of the main north-south corridor in the valley, connects Whitwell with Dunlap to the north and Jasper to the south. State Route 283 connects Whitwell with Powells Crossroads across the Sequatchie river to the east, and State Route 108 (South Main Street) connects Whitwell with Grundy County atop the Plateau to the northwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), of which 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) is land and 0.30% is water.


As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,669 people, 727 households, and 482 families residing in the city. The population density was 500.1 people per square mile (193.1/km²). There were 786 housing units at an average density of 236.8 per square mile (91.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.35% White, 2.17% African American, 0.30% from other races, and 0.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.

There were 727 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,458, and the median income for a family was $31,151. Males had a median income of $26,550 versus $21,532 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,249. About 13.2% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 20.3% of those age 65 or over.


Whitwell has three schools: Whitwell Elementary School, Whitwell Middle School, and Whitwell High School.

Paper Clips Project

Whitwell has become renowned for the Paper Clips Project, a Holocaust memorial and educational project, that was carried out by children of the local middle school starting in 1998. A subsequent documentary was made about the children's achievement. This project started because students at the local middle school wanted to visually grasp how much six million was. The students started collecting paper clips, one for every Jewish individual that died in the Holocaust during World War II. This project soon attracted media attention and international support. Many Jewish notables sent paper clips representing lost members of their families. The children collected well over the number of paper clips they wanted (11 million, representing all noncombatant prisoners---Jew and Gentile---killed by the Nazis). The total collected number of paper clips now stands between ten to fifty million. This number is approximately equal to the total number of war deaths between 1939-1945. The rail car that appears in the movie is original rolling stock, actually used to transport Jews to the concentration camps. This rail car is located at the Whitwell Middle School. The Middle School routinely hosts Holocaust survivors as well as other guest speakers on the subject of the Holocaust.

Notable people

A notable former resident of Whitwell is artist Jon Coffelt. He was born in Dunlap in 1963, raised in Griffith Creek, and now lives and works in New York City.


  1. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  2. ^ a b Russ Manning, Scenic Driving Tennessee (Globe Pequot, 2002), p. 149.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  5. ^ Whitwell City website
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses".  
  9. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 

External links

  • City website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.