Ashland City is a town in and the county seat of Cheatham County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,541 as of the 2010 census.
Ashland City was created in 1856 as a county seat for the newly established Cheatham County. The county's commissioners purchased the initial 50 acres (0.20 km2) of land (now the courthouse square) from James Lenox, and a temporary courthouse was erected shortly thereafter. The temporary structure was replaced by the present courthouse in 1869. Ashland City was officially incorporated in 1859.
The first major industry in the Ashland City area was the forge operated by Montgomery Bell at the Narrows of the Harpeth, several miles to the southwest, which was established in 1818. In 1835, Samuel Watson established a gristmill and powder mill along Sycamore Creek, just north of Ashland City. Watson's mill developed into one of the largest powder mills in the South, making it a target during the Civil War. The mill continued in operation under various owners until 1904.
The city was either named after Henry Clay's estate Ashland or by an act of the General Assembly of Tennessee in 1859, when the city was incorporated, who were inspired by the ash trees in the area. Originally called Ashland, "City" was added to the name after the incorporation.
Ashland City is located near the center of Cheatham County at 36°16′5″N 87°3′18″W (36.267954, -87.054877), in a bottomland along the northeast bank of the Cumberland River, a few miles upstream from the river's confluence with the Harpeth River. The Cheatham State Wildlife Management Area covers most of the hilly area on the opposite side of the Cumberland.