In 1824, a few brave and hardy settlers began building their cabins among the fine groves of poplar, hickory and ash trees which were growing in abundance between the Middle Forked Deer and the South Forked Deer Rivers.
John Warren built a saw mill; James Taylor erected a store and began hauling his goods by ox wagon from Front street in Memphis. Mrs. Taylor, who lived to celebrate her 95th birthday, says that they kept the chickens in the kitchen at night to prevent the wildcats and wolves from carrying them off.
A store had been established at Lower Cross in 1844 east of where the town of Friendship was later located. Another store was doing business about one mile south of this location. The Federal Government decided to place a post office in the territory. The post office was to be located at one of these stores.
In 1844, for the mutual benefit of the people, the owners moved both stores to "The Hill" or Upper Cross. The government set up the post office and named it Friendship after the act of courtesy shown by these store owners.
In 1858, the town was laid off in town lots. This location was in the eastern part of what was then Dyer County, now the 12th district of Crockett County.
The town was incorporated in 1859 and W. P. Rice was elected the first mayor. The town had just begun to make progress when in 1861 the call of the Civil War came to the town and progress was hampered.
In 1913 the town was again incorporated, with the following boundary lines. From the old wall, which used to be located on the present day Main Street, all measurements were made. From the wall, the line goes north 700 yards, thence west 200 yards, thence south 1500 yards, thence east 1100 yards, north 1500 yards and thence west 900 yards.
Friendship had as its mayor after the 1913 incorporation, Frank Moore. Some of the mayors that have served the town in the past are: R. T. Hayes, Roy Privett, Mark Rice, Dr. W. H. Stallings, and Ira D. Park.
The founders of this community have not forgotten the God who made the town possible. The Baptist house of worship was first constructed in 1850. The present church was built in 1914. The Church of Christ first built its church building in 1912. The present building was built in 1941. The Methodist Church was first constructed in 1870. After the wood structure was destroyed by fire, a new church was built in 1914.
In 1870 the first school building was erected in Friendship. In 1885, the "Home Institute" was chartered to train boys and girls in the three R's and Latin. Later a frame building was constructed, and in 1915 the present large brick building was erected.
The mail service to town was first brought by stagecoach over a route that ran from the Tennessee River to the Mississippi River via Eaton and Chestnut Bluff. The post office was one of the first to be located in this territory.
The preceding article was contributed to this web page, with permission of the Crockett County Historical Society, by Natalie Huntley.
This information was published in an article published in the book "Crockett County Courthouse Centennial, 1874 - 1974" , prepared by the Crockett County Historical Society.
This article is not to be reprinted, or used for any commercial purposes.