The city of Dickson was founded in 1860 as Sneedville. It had the advantage of being established on the main line of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL). Over time, other railroads connected here, further increasing the town's attractiveness to businesses and farmers. The NC&StL in fact promoted the land near its line in the county to farmers in the hopes of increasing business activity. Eventually, after the turn of the century, the railroad started to promote industrial development.