Arlington has been called Shelby County’s best-kept secret and rightfully so as it has remained a small quiet rural town for two centuries. Despite its recent growth, the tranquility prevails in our neighborhoods while star-filled skies outshine street lamps. Settlers first came to the area in the 1830's while many of their descendants still live in town.
The town was named Haysville after the original landowner Samuel Jackson Hays, nephew of President Andrew Jackson. The area began to grow with the development of the Memphis and Ohio railroad and the creation of Withe Depot within its boundaries. By 1856, about two hundred people called Haysville home. In 1883, the name of the town was changed to Arlington, a name suggested by Captain Henry Pitman. He had visited the national cemetery in Virginia and thought it was the most beautiful spot on the earth.
By the end of the 19th Century, the community boasted its own post office, physician, druggist, cotton gin, lumber store, several general stores, blacksmith, meat market, and an undertaker. The heart of Arlington is now known as Depot Square.
The community received its charter from the State of Tennessee in December 1900, then with a population of slightly over 600. The 2010 US Census showed that Arlington is the 2nd fastest growing community in the State of Tennessee with a 348% increase in population from 2000 to 2010 and a population of 11,517. This little historical town may no longer be a best-kept secret, but its people and its charm will continue to remind us all that we must preserve our past while planning our future.