Rutherford County judicial offices are located at 20 Public Square North, Murfreesboro, TN 37130; phone: 615-898-7812.
Prior to settlement, Rutherford's lands were prime hunting and fishing lands for several Native American tribes. Rutherford County, named for Griffith Rutherford, a North Carolina legislator, Indian War soldier, and Chairman of the legislature of the Territory South of the Ohio River (later Tennessee), was created in 1803 from parts of Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson Counties. After the Revolutionary War, much of Rutherford County was divided through land grants to Revolutionary War soldiers, some of whom sold the grants to others. Like most counties, communities were settled in Rutherford County based on common factors: access to water, railroad lines, or location along toll pikes and other regional travel ways. The Stones River was a transportation route as well as source of water and fish. The first county seat, Jefferson, was on its banks, but is now under the waters of Percy Priest Lake, which was created to control downriver flooding. The rail line that connected Nashville to Chattanooga became a draw for settlers, including present-day Lavergne, Smyrna, and Murfreesboro.