History of Springfield
Tennessee was known as the western territory of North Carolina at the time of Thomas Kilgore’s arrival. The area that is Robertson County today later became a part of Tennessee County, one of three counties in the Mero District of North Carolina. At the time of statehood in 1796, Tennessee County was divided into Montgomery and Robertson counties.
The first General Assembly of Tennessee authorized a county seat for Robertson County by the name of Springfield in 1796. The town was established in 1798, but it was not incorporated until 1819.
The plan for Springfield incorporated 50 acres and provided for a public square, 10 streets, and 66 lots to be sold to the public at the price of $8 each. The first courthouse was built of hand-hewn logs.
During the Civil War, Robertson County men enlisted in the armed forces of the Confederacy and fought at many major battles. Springfield and Robertson County, however, were occupied by Union forces early in the war and remained so until the end of the conflict. The First Presbyterian Church sanctuary was used as a stable by Union cavalry and horseshoe gouges can still be seen today on the original sanctuary floor.
Springfield has served for nearly two centuries as a commercial center for the large agricultural region that surrounds it. The soil and climate of the region are ideally suited to the cultivation of dark-fired tobacco and the plant has had a major economic, social and cultural influence on Springfield and Robertson County since the early 19th century. Robertson County was the 7th largest tobacco producing county in the United States by the year 1890 with a total production of nearly 9,000,000 pounds, and it still remains one of the nation’s largest tobacco producing counties to this day. Springfield and Robertson County have become known as the "Home of the World’s Finest Dark Fired Tobacco."
In addition to being Tennessee’s leading tobacco growing county, Robertson County is among the top 5 counties in the production of wheat, corn, and hay. The county is ranked among the top 10 counties in the production of soybeans and among the top 12 counties in both beef cattle and dairy cattle.
The city’s current population is over 16,000 and is continuing to grow rapidly. Located 30 miles to the north, Springfield is just a 30-minute commute to downtown Nashville, the state capital and "Music City U.S.A." Interstate 24 runs through western Robertson County and Interstate 65 runs north to south through the eastern section of the county.
The newly renovated Robertson County Courthouse is located on The Square, the city’s original downtown commercial district. The Square, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a charming community center bordered by aesthetically pleasing older buildings, most of which were constructed in the 19th century. The Robertson County Chamber of Commerce, Robertson County History Museum, specialty shops, restaurants and professional office buildings are all on The Square. The primarily residential Springfield Historic Preservation District is adjacent to The Square. Many of the community’s larger and older churches sit within a block or two of The Square.
Springfield is also home to:
- The state of the art, 109-bed NorthCrest Medical Center and its medical office building campus
- The Stokes Brown Public Library
- Highland Crest College Campus for Volunteer State Community College & Austin Peay State Univ.
- The Legacy Golf Course, a Raymond Floyd Signature Course managed by Cornerstone Golf Partners, one of the best public golf courses in Tennessee
- The Robertson County Family YMCA
- The University of Tennessee Highland Rim Research and Education Center
Springfield is also proud to be served by the Springfield-Robertson County Regional Airport which has earned a state-wide reputation as a quality general aviation facility.
Since 1990 the city has operated under the Council / Manager form of government, with the City Manager overseeing the daily operation of the government. The City Manager reports to a 7 member, popularly elected Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Each member of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is elected to a 4-year term of office. The Mayor is elected at-large and each Alderman is elected to represent 1 of 6 wards.
The City of Springfield is a full-service city that provides all of the basic municipal government services to its citizens and operates its own electric and natural gas distribution systems, water and wastewater systems, and sanitation pick-up for residential and small commercial customers. The city also provides water and natural gas service to portions of Robertson County.
Springfield also serves as the major manufacturing center for Robertson County. The largest manufacturing employers include:
- Electrolux Home Products (the largest employer) produces electric and gas ranges.
- Martinrea Fabco (the 2nd largest employer) manufactures automotive stampings.
- Unarco Material Handling produces steel storage racks.
- Johnson Electric produces automotive actuators.
- Owens Corning produces appliance insulation.