Hohenwald is a city in and the county seat of Lewis County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,757 at the 2010 census. The name “Hohenwald” is a German word that means “High Forest”. The town was founded in 1878 and later merged with a town named “New Switzerland” to the south. New Switzerland was founded in 1894 by Swiss immigrants in conjunction with the N.C.&St.L. Railroad. The city was incorporated on December 1, 1911.
Hohenwald is notable for several things. Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, died and was buried seven miles east of the town at Grinder’s Stand in 1809. Rod Brasfield, an old Grand Ole Opry comedy star, made his home in Hohenwald and referred to it in his routines. Professional ballpayer Deason “Decon” Loveless came from Hohenwald. David Sisco, who in 1974 placed ninth in points in the Winston Cup Series, is a native of Hohenwald, as is celebrated author William Gay, whose books include The Long Home, Provinces of Night, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, and Twilight.
The third largest animal trophy mount collection in North America is located at the Lewis County Museum of Local and Natural History in downtown Hohenwald. Hohenwald is also the home of the The Elephant Sanctuary, the largest natural-habitat sanctuary for elephants in the United States. Hohenwald is one of only a few Mid-American towns that have met the Transition Towns criteria. The Buffalo Valley addiction extended care community is located there providing treatment and long-term housing for recovering persons.
Hohenwald is located at 35°32′52″N 87°33′7″W at an elevation of 976 ft.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.3 square kilometers (4.4 sq mi), of which all is dry land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,757 people, 1,511 households. The population density was 861.4 people per square mile (332.4/km²). There were 1,706 housing units at an average density of 391.9 per square mile (151.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.8% White, 3.2% Black, 0.10% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 1,511 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.34.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 20, 6.3% from 20 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.1 years.
The median income for a household in the city was $22,967, and the median income for a family was $34,500.