Adams, Tennessee

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The old Bell School building, now city hall
The old Bell School building, now city hall
Location of Adams in Robertson County, Tennessee.
Location of Adams in Robertson County, Tennessee.
Adams is located in Tennessee
Location of Adams in Robertson County, Tennessee.
Adams is located in the United States
Adams (the United States)
Adams is located in North America
Adams (North America)
Coordinates: 36°34′56″N 87°03′56″W / 36.5822667°N 87.0655564°W / 36.5822667; -87.0655564Coordinates: 36°34′56″N 87°03′56″W / 36.5822667°N 87.0655564°W / 36.5822667; -87.0655564
CountryUnited States
 • MayorMary Mantooth
 • Total2.39 sq mi (6.19 km2)
 • Land2.39 sq mi (6.19 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation548 ft (167 m)
 • Total633
 • Estimate 
 • Density280.64/sq mi (108.37/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)615
FIPS code47-00200[4]
GNIS feature ID1304763[2]

Adams is a city in Robertson County, Tennessee, United States. It is near the Kentucky state line. The population was 633 at the 2010 census.


The first settlers in what is now Adams arrived in the late 18th century. The Red River Baptist Church, one of the first churches founded west of the Cumberland Plateau, was built on the banks of the Red River in 1791. The congregation relocated to its current location on Church Street in 1898.[5]

THC marker along US 41 in Adams recalling the Bell Witch haunting

Adams developed in the late 1850s as a station on the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad (later part of the L&N system). Most of the city's early buildings were destroyed during the Civil War. The city originally incorporated as Red River in 1869, but was renamed Adams Station in honor of James Reuben Adams, who owned much of the land on which the city was built. The name was simplified to "Adams" in 1898. By the late 1880s, Adams was home to several stores, a flour mill, two churches, and a school. The city repealed its charter in 1899, but reincorporated in 1908, and incorporated as a city in 1963.[6][7][8]

During the 1920s, Adams began to receive a steady flow of automobile traffic due to its location along U.S. Route 41, which was one of the main roads linking the Chicago area with Florida. The city began to decline in the mid 20th century with the discontinuance of passenger rail traffic and the construction of Interstate 24 and Interstate 65 (which drew much of the automobile traffic away from US 41).[8]

Adams is the site of an infamous haunting, the Bell Witch. The first manifestations of the Bell Witch haunting supposedly occurred in 1817 through 1820 on a farm owned by John Bell.[9][10] A memorial to the Bell family can be found at Bellwood Cemetery. The city's municipal offices are now located in the former Bell School, which was built in 1920 and named for a descendant of John Bell. A log cabin built by John Bell around 1810 has been relocated to a plot across from the Bell School.[11]


The city is situated in northwestern Robertson County at the intersection of U.S. Route 41, which connects Adams with Springfield to the southeast and Guthrie, Kentucky, to the northwest, and State Route 76, which connects Adams with Clarksville to the southwest. The city's boundaries stretch northward and westward to the Red River, a tributary of the Cumberland River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)671[3]6.0%

2020 census[edit]

Adams racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 550 88.14%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 22 3.53%
Native American 5 0.8%
Asian 2 0.32%
Other/Mixed 29 4.65%
Hispanic or Latino 16 2.56%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 624 people, 210 households, and 138 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 566 people, 203 households, and 158 families residing in the city. The population density was 231.2 people per square mile (89.2/km2). There were 230 housing units at an average density of 94.0 per square mile (36.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.11% White, 8.48% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.88% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.94% of the population.

Red River Baptist Church

There were 203 households, out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.2% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,500, and the median income for a family was $40,179. Males had a median income of $31,932 versus $21,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,067. About 6.3% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Adams, Tennessee
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ Tennessee Historical Commission marker 3C 11. Accessed at the Bell Witch website, 24 October 2016.
  6. ^ Miller, Larry L. (2001). Tennessee Place Names. Indiana University Press. p. 3.
  7. ^ Siler, Tom (1985). Tennessee Towns: from Adams to Yorkville. Knoxville, Tennessee: East Tennessee Historical Society. p. 1.
  8. ^ a b "The History of Adams, Tennessee," Bell Witch website. Accessed: 24 October 2016.
  9. ^ Monahan, Brent (2006). An American Haunting: The Bell Witch. Macmillan.
  10. ^ Famous Haunted Houses and Places - The Bell Witch
  11. ^ "Attractions," Bell Witch website. Accessed: 24 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-26.

External links[edit]