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Obion was later established in 1823 and organized the following year. It was named for the Obion River, which flows through the county and is a tributary of the nearby Mississippi River. The word "Obion" is believed to be derived from a Native American word meaning "many forks."
The founding of Obion County originally came from the expansion of railroads. The county has since moved towards many agricultural and manufacturing productions.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 556 square miles (1,440 km2), of which 545 square miles (1,410 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (1.9%) is water. It is located in the "rolling hills of northwest Tennessee".
There were 13,182 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.40% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,764, and the median income for a family was $40,533. Males had a median income of $32,963 versus $20,032 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,409. About 10.10% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 15.10% of those age 65 or over.
Obion County is home to many attractions and activities.
Discovery Park of America offers a world-class educational experience that focuses on nature, science, technology, history, and art. DPA serves as the main attraction in Obion County, and it is an interactive exhibit.
Reelfoot Lake is a protected area in Obion County. It is an oasis for hiking, boating, and experiencing nature.
Masquerade Theatre is a local theater groups and presents many high-quality productions. What started as the historical Capitol Theater has now been renovated to meet the community's needs.
The Obion County Fair is one of the biggest events held in the county. Fair Rides, Agricultural displays, pageants, and much more are held in late August every year.