Celebrating Putnam County’s 175th Anniversary

Photos are such a big part of recording and remembering our history, and Putnam is no different…we will be gathering and sharing as many historically significant photos as possible throughout the year as we celebrate Putnam County’s 175th Anniversary.  You can find these photos on this website, on our Putnam County, Tennessee Facebook page and, a little later this year, on the walls of our courthouse!


Putnam County was established Feb. 2, 1842, making this year our county’s 175th anniversary.  To celebrate, several events have been scheduled to help honor those who have played such a big role in Putnam’s foundation.  Also, we’re taking this opportunity to promote the history behind making our great county the amazing home it is today.

Watch The 175th Kickoff Ceremony From The Cookeville Square!

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Help Us Preserve Our History!

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  • AlgoodSchool
  • B&W Service, Esso
  • Bowling Alley in Bloomington Springs
  • Bank of Cookeville
  • Baxter Fabric Center
  • BaxterSeminary
  • browns music
  • Chero-Cola Bottling Comp. 1923
  • CivilWarVeterans1912
  • Cookeville - Old A_large
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  • CookevilleSpeedway
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Simply click the photo submission button below, agree to the submission terms and then upload your memories of the past that have helped shape our future.  Thank you for your contribution honoring such a huge milestone for our County.

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More About Putnam’s 175th Anniversary

Putnam County History

  • Putnam County first established on February 2, 1842
  • Overton County filed suit in Overton Chancery Court saying the county boundary was unconstitutional; they thought it took too much of their land.
  • 1844 Putnam County was dissolved due to the ruling of the Overton Co. Judge
  • For the next 10 years, Putnam did not exist. Registrar books were taken to Jackson County
  • The TN Supreme Court later ruled that Overton’s court did not have the authority to rule.
  • Richard Cooke was elected Senator from Double Springs, and he made it a priority to re-establish Putnam
  • The first two times, Cooke’s effort failed in the legislature, but in 1854, on February 11th, his bill passed both houses, re-establishing Putnam
  • The original County Seat was called “Monticello”
  • Monticello Times, first newspaper published in 1852
  • Cookeville incorporated in 1856
  • In 1878, Cookeville’s charter is revoked; no longer incorporated
  • First train arrived in 1890
  • Monterey’s name changed from Standing Stone and was incorporated in 1893
  • 1899 Putnam County Courthouse burns; many important records lost
  • 1900  New brick Courthouse built
  • Algood was incorporated in 1901, abolished in 1902, and again established in 1903
  • 1902  Name change: Mine Lick to Baxter
  • 1903  Cookeville re-incorporated
  • 1903  Putnam County Herald newspaper began
  • Cookeville pumped its own water in 1905
  • Depot built 1909
  • 1909  Imperial Hotel Opens in Monterey
  • 1910  Baxter Seminary Founded
  • 1911  Dixie College Founded
  • 1915  Holladay School becomes the first consolidated school
  • 1915  Baxter Incorporated
  • 1915  Cookeville Post Office and Federal Court House Built
  • Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1915; later changed to TTU
  • 1923  first hospital opens – Howard Hospital
  • 1934  Cookeville Airport Opens
  • 1935  Princess Theater Opens
  • 1940  First radio station WHUB
  • 1945  Chamber of Commerce started
  • 1947 Dipsy Doodle opens
  • 1952  Putnam County Drive-In Theater opens
  • 1955  Passenger Train Service discontinues
  • 1956  Putnam County Fairgrounds burns on 4th and Maple
  • 1957  Putnam County Fairgrounds opens on S. Jefferson Ave.
  • 1962  Courthouse renovated
  • 1962  I- 40 opened between Cookeville and Carthage
  • 1965  TPI becomes Tennessee Technological University
  • 1966  Interstate 40 opened
  • 1969  Herald – Citizen became first daily newspaper in the Upper Cumberland
  • 1972  Cookeville started receiving their water from Center Hill
  • 1974  Putnam County Library built
  • 1978  Princess Theater torn down; replaced by Citizens Bank
  • 1993  Justice Center opens
  • 2008  Putnam County Archives and Putnam County Veterans Hall Established
  • 2009  EMS, Election Commission, Health Dept. opens in new buildings off S. Willow

Media Center

Check out our YouTube channel here for original Putnam County footage!

175th Anniversary Events

-February 2 – Actual Putnam County birthdate; Media kickoff event at Putnam Co. Courthouse

-March 31 – Veterans’ Appreciation Lunch @ Leslie Town Centre

-April 28 – Lunch honoring all present and past county elected officials @ Leslie Town Centre

-July 4 – Public ceremony at Putnam Co. Courthouse to honor oldest living Veteran in Putnam County