History of Carroll County, TN

The Western District of Tennessee was the hunting ground for the Chickasaw Nation until it was opened for settlement after Andrew Jackson purchased the territory from them.  In 1795, Henry Rutherford and a party of surveyors entered the Territory by way of the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi River to Key's Corner (a surveyor's post between Halls and Dyersburg) up the South Fork of the Obion River to McLemore's Bluff where surveyor's post number two was established.  They returned again in 1811 and 1816. 

John F. Brevard, a young man from a distinguished family, dealt with the Chickasaw Indians to operate a ferry at Reynoldsburg on the Tennessee River.  This helped to open this territory to the settlers. 

In 1819, R.E.C. Dougherty was appointed land entry taker.  His office was located in his home in the present site of McLemoresville.  The first land entry in the book was December 20, 1820 by David Gillispie. 

On November 7, 1821, Carroll, Henry, Hardin and McNairy counties were created by the State Legislature.  An act of the legislature, November 16, 1821, ordered that Sterling Brewer, James Fentress and Abram Murray, Esquires, be appointed commissioners to find, prepare or purchase a site of at least fifty acres near the center of each county for a county seat.  Each county court would then appoint five commissioners to lay off with the necessary streets, at least ninety feet wide, reserving at least four acres for a public square, on which to build a court house and stocks, and to reserve a public lot for a jail. 

Governor William Carroll for whom the county was named, issued commissions dated November 14, 1821, appointing justices of the Peace for Carroll County: John Gwin, Edward Gwin, Sr. Mark R. Roberts, Samuel Ingram, John Stockird, Thomas Hamilton, Samuel A. McClary, Banks Burrow, David Barecroft, and John Bone (Brown).  On Monday, 11 March 1822, these men met at the residence of R.E.C. Dougherty and took oath of office, after which John Gwin was chosen chairman.  The first order of business was to establish a tax base equal to the state tax. 

 notes submitted by Jere R Cox