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.
Cookeville is named for Richard Fielding Cooke, who came to Tennessee in 1810 and settled nearby. Cooke was twice elected to the state senate, and was influential in establishing Putnam County.
Cookeville was chosen as the county seat because it had a spring which provided water to the community.
In 1856, Cookeville's first courthouse was erected. It burned a few years later and was rebuilt. The rebuilt courthouse burned again in 1861 when Union Army soldiers who were camped there accidentally set it on fire. A third courthouse was completed in 1866, and burned in 1899.