Trezevant was founded in 1857. A big work camp was located here to build the
Louisville and Nashville Railroad which was completed in 1859. The town was
first called Trezevant Switch for a civil engineer, Mr. Jim Trezevant from Memphis.
It has been told that he drove a stake in the ground and said this is "Trezevant."
The railroad company purchased the land from the Whites. The first agent was Mr.
Milton Hurt. The first telegraph operator was A. G. Love who took the office in
1889. Mr. Grimble was the last agent before the depot was torn down.
The first postmaster was Mr. James B. McClaren Dec.7 1859. The first business was a blacksmith shop owned by Mr. Jimmy Newbill who had the only board well in town. All the locals went there to drink water.
Much of the land around Trezevant was owned by the Whites and Marshalls. A deed in Huntingdon shows that land was granted to Mr. White by Governor Carroll before 1886.
Some of the early businessmen were U.L. Collins, Jeff Blanks, Mr. Mullins and Jim Graves. The Hillsman and Marshall names were prominent. The Hurt Hotel stood where the H.I.S. factory now stands. Mr. and Mrs. Issac Argo operated the hotel where "drummers" stayed. The general store was known as Terry, Patton and Love.. The Jeff J. Blanks store was founded 1887 in an old frame building.
On May 5, each year a celebration was held called "Love Feast" at Mr. Blanks store. He paid the ticket fare for people to ride the railroad to attend. They were given food, coffee, tea, soft drinks and dessert which was furnished by distributors. No limit was set on these many products consumed by the visitors from many joining communities. Sandwiches, cookies and ice cream were served while baseball games were played and track meets were held. The evening ended with a square dance and fiddler's contest. This store was advertised as "the largest country store in the world". We sell everything, cash or credit. We clothe you when you are born, we feed you while you are living and bury you when you die.
People's Bank was located in the back of the shoe department, Mr. Billie Quinn cashier.
The "Blank Reds" were the local baseball team. They traveled to many neighboring towns to play.
Mr. Eddie Bryant was the local undertaker and Mr. Edd Green Assistant. The two hearses were housed in a barn near town. One hearse was used for whites and the other for blacks. Mr. Edd Johnson's Livery Stable supplied the horses, which pulled the hearse. It was Mr. Greens responsibility to get the teams to Mr. Bryant's barn to pull the hearse for any funeral. Mr. Gardner Holmes later bought this business.
Mr.Tom Harris owned the first sawmill behind the houses on Church Street. They made staves and planed lumber.
Charlie Graves pumped the towns water into a reservoir owned by Mr. Hurdle near Mr. Buse Bryants place.
There was a three story flour and grist mill and foundry. The foundry molded Trezevant plows made by Mr. John Newbill. The old millpond was used in the winter for skating, storing ice and power for the mill and foundry.
Mr. John Fuqua owned the local cotton gin. Mr. Goodwin owned the local chicken coop factory. Mr. Walter Holt owned a dry goods store. Much produce was shipped from the packing shed, at one time 21 freight cars were loaded in one day. More strawberries were shipped from Trezevant than any city in Tennessee as well as potato plants and other fruits and vegetables.
The first school dates to about 1858. After the railroad was built, a depot was built about 1866 and school was conducted in it. Mrs. Willie Woolens, taught followed by Mrs. T.R. Wingo. The school ran for nine months. The public school ran for three months from December through February. During the school free term the school was very overcrowded, so an extra teacher was brought in. This plan was very detrimental to the entire school, so a special school district was formed which permitted every pupil in the district to attend all nine months. In 1879 some leading citizens secured a charter for the school by petition signed by these citizens which stated no alcoholic beverages were to be sold within four miles of a public school in any direction. This was called "The four mile law". The Rev. Silks P. Jones served as Principal. A new brick building was put up in 1891.
The Twenty-Third District lies along the banks of Crooked Creek, later known as the "drainage ditch". The land has hills rolling to the creek. The hills are mostly clay but the bottoms are a rich black land.
The first land grant was to men from North Carolina, Wright, Mebane, Steve Thompson, Prience, Jim and Ballie Woods. The first homes were put together without nails and built of logs. The first cotton gin was north of the creek and owned by a Mr. Schoffner. It was operated by a tread wheel with oxen and mules. In the 1870's Bill Johnson became a very impressive man in the community, he operated his cotton gin was a steam boiler. He had the only grist mill for miles around. He also had a sawmill down the creek. Bill Johnson served as bank and finance company, also. It might be interesting to know what some of the "old timers" though of Bill Johnson as he went barefoot most of the time and usually wore clothes almost in tatters but carried a roll of bills that would bug your eyes. He was very kindhearted and helped many young men get started by letting them have money with plenty of time to repay.
More than a hundred years ago the settlers built a log school with a big fireplace and named it Thompson's School because Steve Thompson gave the land. More than ninety years ago a weatherboard school was built near the first one. In 1938 a new school was built on land donated by Prience. This boxed school house was also used for any denomination to hold services. In 1885, the Methodist burned brick and built a new brick church building. Because of a very long rock in front of the school, the school and church were called "Long Rock." Having many brick left, the people burned enough brick to build a school which was in use until 1956.
About 1902, the Missionary Baptists organized a church at Thompson's School and a church house was built the next year in the crossroad. It was known as "The New Crossroads." It was moved a short distance in the early 1920's. The social life centered around church activities, log rolling, debates, spelling bees, exhibitions and singing schools.
Hand coded by Jane N Powell notes submitted by Jere R Cox Jr.