Goodlettsville was named for A. G. Goodlett, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church from 1848 to 1853.
On April 28, 1892, an African-American man called Ephraim Grizzard was taken to the Nashville jail for allegedly assaulting two daughters of the Bruce family in Goodlettsville. Two days later, he was lynched by a mob of 10,000 in Nashville. His corpse was taken back to Goodlettsville, where it was burned.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,780 people, 5,601 households, and 3,825 families residing in the city. The population density was 986.5 people per square mile (380.9/km²). There were 5,853 housing units at an average density of 419.0 per square mile (161.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.42% White, 9.83% African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.64% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 1.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,601 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,690, and the median income for a family was $54,159. Males had a median income of $40,567 versus $27,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,946. 9.4% of the population and 7.5% of families were below the poverty line. 18.1% of those under the age of 18 and 5.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Schools and education
Goodlettsville's Davidson County portion has two elementary schools and one middle school: Goodlettsville Elementary School, Gateway Elementary School, and Goodlettsville Middle School. Goodlettsville schools feed into Metro Nashville Schools' Hunters Lane cluster, meaning that students tend to move from Goodlettsville Middle School to Hunters Lane High School upon completion of 8th grade and promotion to 9th grade.
On the Sumner County side of the line, the only school within the city limits is Madison Creek Elementary School, which feeds to Hunter Middle School and Beech Senior High School in Hendersonville. A portion of the city is zoned for Millersville Elementary, which feeds White House Middle and High Schools.
Goodlettsville residents on the Sumner County side have the option of sending students to Sumner County's Merrol Hyde Magnet School, if the students meet its criteria. Furthermore, residents on the Davidson County side have the opportunity to send students to Head Magnet Middle School, which feeds to Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet, or Meigs Magnet Middle which feeds to Hume Fogg Academic High School. Both Meigs and Head have academic requirements.
Little League World Series
A little league team from Goodlettsville participated in the 2012 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA where they won the United States Championship and qualified to play for the World Series title against the international champion. They were the fifth team from Tennessee to qualify in series history, and the first to play in the championship game. They lost to a team from Tokyo, Japan in the finals. They were the first Tennessee team to qualify since 1987. As tournament runners-up, they were the most successful Tennessee team since 1985. They were the first to win at least two consecutive games since 1974. And, they were the first Nashville area team to qualify since 1970. It was only the second year for little league baseball in Goodlettsville.
In 2016, a second little league team from Goodlettsville qualified for the World Series, giving the State of Tennessee four LLWS tournament teams in five years; and, the eighth in state history. The 2016 team advanced to the United States championship game where they lost to a team from New York; thus, falling one game short of the World Series championship game. The team finished fourth in the world after next losing the consolation game against a team from Panama, the international runner-up.
Goodlettsville is incorporated under the City Manager/Commission charter. The Board of Commissioners is made up of five members elected at-large. The five members then select a Mayor and Vice-Mayor within themselves, much like a board selects a chair and vice-chair. The current mayor is Jeff Duncan, City Commissioners are Harry Bell, Jeff Cordell, Zach Young, and Rusty Tinnin. The Goodlettsville City Commission is elected to serve four year, alternating terms. Elections are held every two years. Timothy "Tim" J Ellis serves as city manager and manages all day-to-day operations of the city.
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