Kevin Westmoreland

Local Area Info

Clay County was named in honor of American statesman Henry Clay, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. Clay County was formed in 1870 by combining pieces from surrounding Jackson County and Overton County. Cordell Hull's first law office now a museum was located in Clay County.

Clay County is nestled in Northern Middle Tennessee on the Kentucky border. Home of beautiful Dale Hollow Lake.

Clay county's early inhabitants farmed and worked the Cumberland River transportation center, which was the major way to get around the Cumberland area. There were many docks and ferry crossings throughout Clay county to get local crops and livestock to major markets. The timber industry was a large player throughout the 1800s and 1900s and still provides many jobs today. Tobacco farming became an important crop in the local area throughout the 1900s and many old tobacco barns are still standing. With the end of government subsidies and foreign competition, tobacco farming has decreased to minuscule participation. Cattle and corn are the major agricultural influences today.

During the Civil War, many skirmishes took place up and down the Cumberland River to control the movement of barges laden with supplies. Local communities were split in their loyalties, with many families at odds with each other. Some of these animosities remain today between family groups.

The city of Celina is at the junction of the Obey and Cumberland rivers, and was a major port during the steamboat years between Nashville and Burnside, Kentucky. Although the Celina ferry landing no longer exists, Celina still connects the north and south by highway. Butler's Landing was used as a storage depot with large warehouses owned and operated by the Butler family. The first Clay County Court meeting was held in a store near the river at Butler's Landing on March 6, 1871. Butler's Landing nearly became the county seat, but Celina won the vote by a thin margin.

Clay County's rural location and lack of major four-lane highway connections continues to hamper development and recruitment of businesses. This has resulted in the county having the highest unemployment rating in the State of Tennessee many months of the year and the loss of educated young people who have no opportunities locally.

Clay County Statistics:

Average year-round temperature/weather: 56.1°F

Average high temperature: 69.2°F

Average low temperature: 43°F

Average precipitation 52.1

Median price of homes:
$63,900

Cost of living:
2008 cost of living index in Clay County: 76.1 (low, U.S. average is 100)

Population of city/county and/or median age:
7,870 (2009)

Median age: 39.9

Recreational and Cultural:
Parks

Dale Hollow Dam Recreation Area

Donaldson Park Recreation Area

Willow Grove Recreation Area

Lillydale Recreation Area

Pleasant Grove Recreation Area

Boating, fishing, camping, swim and scuba

Boat rentals - Houseboats to jet skis

Fishing tournaments

Camp at Standing Stone State Park

Visit the Fish Hatchery

Tennessee Walking Horse Competition

Community Theater

Hunt for artifacts

About two hours to Nashville

Standing Stone State Park

Education:
Celina K-8

Hermitage Springs School K-12

Maple Grove Elementary School K-8

Clay County High School

Colleges and Universities

Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville

Cumberland School of Technology in Cookeville

Nashville State Tech Cookeville Center

Nashville Tech Cookeville Tech Training Center

Tennessee Bible College in Cookeville

Medical Facilities:
Cumberland River Hospitals

Livingston Regional Hospital

Cookeville General Hospital

Celina Rural Health

Columbia Homecare

First American Home Care

Crime Rate:
Violent crime, on a scale from 1 (low crime) to 10, is 2. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The US average is 3.

Property crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 10, is 2. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. The US average is 3.

Additional Information:
Populated places

  • Celina (the only incorporated municipality in the county)
  • Arcot Community
  • Beech Bethany Community
  • Brimstone Community
  • Butler's Landing Community
  • Denton Crossroads Community
  • Free Hill
  • Hamilton Branch Community
  • Hermitage Springs Community
  • Lily Dale Community
  • Maple Grove Community
  • Moss Community
  • Neely Crossroads Community
  • Oak Grove
  • Pea Ridge community
  • Pine Branch/ Kettle Creek Community
  • Shanky Branch Community