Cookeville is the county seat and largest city of Putnam County, Tennessee, United States. Its population at the 2010 census was 30,435. It is recognized as one of the country's micropolitan areas, smaller cities which nevertheless function as significant economic hubs. Of the twenty micropolitan areas in Tennessee, Cookeville is the largest. Cookeville micropolitan area's 2010 Census population was 106,042. The U.S. Census Bureau ranked the Cookeville micropolitan area as the 7th largest-gaining micropolitan area in the country between 2018-2019 with a one-year gain of 1,796 and a 2019 population of 114,272. The city is a college town, home to Tennessee Technological University.
The area surrounding Cookeville and Putnam County was first reported to be settled by Virginia and North Carolina longhunters around the late 1700s to early 1800s, most of whom were of English and Scotch-Irish descent. Settlers arrived by the Avery's Trace which was known as the Walton Road in the area of what is present-day Cookeville. Putnam County would not be established until 1842, formed from portions of White, Overton, Jackson, Smith, and DeKalb counties.
Putnam County would then be re-established in 1854, with the establishment of a county seat required. In the same year, land purchased by Charles Crook would become the area where Cookeville would be founded.
Cookeville would receive its name honoring Richard Fielding Cooke, who came to Tennessee in 1810 and settled in the Cookeville area.