The county was established by an Act of the Tennessee General Assembly on October 9, 1797, from a part of Jefferson County. It was named after William Cocke who was one of the state’s first Senators. Located within the Appalachian and the Great Smoky Mountains, it had difficult conditions for early settlers. Cocke county was originally pro-Union on the eve of the Civil War due to the vote against secession. The county has a total area of 443 square miles with population count of 35,774 residents.