Submitted by Eddie Clark.
GIBSON COUNTY is one of the several counties formed in West Tennessee in 1823. It is bounded on the north by Obion and Weakley Counties, on the east by Carroll, on the south by Madison and Crockett, and on the west by Dyer and Crockett. It contains about 550 square miles, and is situated in that portion of West Tennessee, known as "The Plateau." The Eastern part is quite hilly and broken, but toward the western line becomes very level. The soil is a dark loam containing a large quantity of siliceous matter, resting upon a clay subsoil varying in depth from two to twenty feet, and in color from a bright yellowish to a dark brown. There are no strata of hard rock or limestone, but some sandstone, ferruginous rock and lignite are found.
The principal water-courses of Gibson County are the Middle Fork and the Little North Fork of the Forked Deer River; Rutherford Fork, and the South Fork of Obion River. The first named stream enters the county about fourteen miles south of Trenton, and running northwest, enters Dyer County nearly due west of Trenton. It forms in part the southern boundary of the county, while the South Fork of the Obion forms the dividing line between Weakley and Gibson. The Little North Fork of the Forked Deer rises in the southeast part of the county, passes nearly centrally through the county, and empties into the Middle Fork near the Dyer County line. Rutherford Fork of Obion rises in Carroll County, enters Gibson near its northeast corner, ranges north, and passing into Obion County empties into the main stream about seventeen miles north of Trenton. All these streams have many small tributaries, which supply abundant water for stock raising purposes. Away from the creeks, springs are very rare, but a sufficient supply of water is found at a depth of about twenty-five to thirty-five feet.
Nearly two-thirds of the area of the county is still unimproved, and a large portion of it is covered with the most valuable timber known to this latitude. Among the most common varieties are the oak, gum, poplar, hickory, beech, maple, elm, ash, mulberry and cypress. A large number of saw-mills have been put into operation within the past few years, and the manufacture and shipment of lumber and staves has become one of the most important industries of the county.
For agricultural purposes, Gibson County is excelled by no other county in the State, since nearly every farm product, including the various grasses and fruits, is produced with sufficient ease to yield a handsome income. The following table of shipments from the different railway stations of the county for 1884, indicate its productions and varied resources.
Total shipments by railroad: 11,363 bales cotton; 134,142 boxes fruit; 100 barrels apples; 176 crates strawberries; 46,068 bushels wheat; 129,078 head poultry; 16,145 dozen eggs; 1,636 head cattle; 1,545 head hogs; 62,410 bushels cottonseed-, 1,809,000 feet lumber; 7,300 bushels corn; 37 cars of barrel staves; 180 gallons syrup; 3,675 plows; 150 dozen chairs: 1,563 barrels flour; 53 carloads cotton seed meal; 11 carloads cotton seed cake; 34 cars cotton seed oil; 93 bales linters; 700 dozen brooms.
The first white settlement in the territory, comprised within
the present limits of Gibson County, was made in 1819 by Thomas Fite, and his
brother-in-law, John Spencer, and James F. Randolph, who, in that year, came
from Warren County, Middle Tenn., to the western district. They brought an ax, a hand-saw
and an auger, with which tools they constructed the first house in the county, on the
Little North Fork of the Forked Deer River, about eight miles east of Trenton. Having done
this, they retraced their steps to Warren County, and in the spring of the following year
returned with their families. During the same year Luke Biggs located about four
miles northwest of the present site of Trenton, and - Hughbanks settled at a point
about six miles west of Dyer Station.
At about the same time, probably in the spring of that year, Col. David Crockett came from Lawrence County, Tenn. , and located a short distance northeast of Rutherford. In the fall John Bergin, his brother-in-law, came, and with him brought Crockett's family. L. K. Tinkle and H. McWhirter, also brothers-in-law of Col. Crockett, came soon after, and settled in the same vicinity. Others who settled in the neighborhood of where Rutherford now is, were Henry, Jacob, Humphrey and Bryant Flowers, and the Edmundsons: Robert, Allen, Michael and William. A settlement in the vicinity of Yorkville was begun very early by William Holmes, who located two miles south of that place. He was followed by the Reeds: Samuel, James, William, Robert and Hugh, Benjamin Tyson, Benjamin S. White and John W. Needham. John B. Hogg and Col. Thomas Gibson located on the present site of Trenton. David P. Hamilton, in 1822, began a settlement about two miles east of Humboldt. His early neighbors were Davidson Waddell, William P. Seat, George Gentry, W. G. B. Killingsworth and Alexander G. Hamilton, all of whom lived between Little North Fork and Middle Fork of the Forked Deer. The first settler in the vicinity of Bradford Station was Richard Smith, who, with others, subsequently joined the Mormons at Nauvoo, Ill. The settlement in the vicinity of Lynn Point was made by Robert Puckett, Hiram Partee; Samuel, William, Robert and James Baker; Peter Meyers, Dr. Joseph Dean, Joseph Dibrell, "Rutherford" David Crockett and "Little" David Crockett. The early settlers of "Skullbone" were William Goodman, William Stone, James Andrews, John Bryant and several sons, Patterson Crockett and John R. Tedford. This district is said to have obtained the name " Skullbone, " by which it is universally known, from one Allen Maxey. His cranium was exceedingly hard, and his love for the flowing bowl correspondingly strong. Therefore, for the amusement of bystanders, he would allow himself to be struck on the top of the head for a drink of whisky.
Prior to 1824. no roads had been opened in the county. In that year one was opened from the house of W. C. Love in an easterly direction to Huntingdon, and another west to Nash's Bluff. The following year roads were opened from Gibson Port to Jackson, Lexington, Dresden and Obion County.
The first water-mill in the county was built by Thomas Fite and Jeremiah Randolph on the North Fork of Forked Deer River in 1825. The numerous streams of the county furnished mill sites in abundance, and several mills were erected (during the next few years. One was erected by a man by the name of Page about four miles south of Yorkville, while several were built on Rutherford Fork. Among them was Bryant Caraway's, situated about three miles north of Rutherford Station, Keeley's, Crider's and Harrell's further up the stream. Moor's mill and Jackson's mill were both located on the Little North Fork of Forked Deer.
The first cotton-gin in the county was built by Isham F. Davis in 1826. Another was .soon after erected by William McDaniel about two miles south of Yorkville.
In comparison with Obion County, Gibson County developed very rapidly, and even became quite densely populated. The forest growth of the latter was neither so dense nor heavy as that of the former, and to prepare the land for cotton and corn, then, as now, the leading crops, required much less labor. Consequently the pioneer settler chose Gibson County as home in preference to the more fertile but less healthful Obion. In 1824 the number of acres of taxable land in the county was 273,143, while the total tax raised was $885.35. The tax upon the land, as was provided by the old constitution, was assessed at a given rate on each 100 acres, without regard to value. In 1840 the number of acres assessed was 256,086, valued at $894,869. The aggregate value of the personal property was $628,225, and the total tax $6,350.09. In 1860 the number of acres of taxable land was 400,019, valued at $4,238,519. The total value of town lots was $233,765, and the value of personal property, including slaves, $2,993,514, a greater assessed value than it has since attained. At the close of the war, on account of the abolition of slave property and the general demoralization of all industries, the value of taxables was greatly reduced. In 1880, however, so far as real estate was considered in the result, the values of 1860 had been regained, but the aggregate value of taxable personal property has been greatly diminished by the $1,000 exemption. The number of acres of taxable land in 18?? was 361,962, the value of which was reported at $3,693,263. The value of town lots aggregated $884,848, and the taxable personal property $129,459. The total tax collected was, $57,535.84.
The act providing for the establishment of Gibson County was passed on October 21, 1823. The first section is as follows;
On January 5, 1824, the first county court met and organized at the house of Luke Biggs, four miles northwest of the present site of Trenton. It was composed of the following justices commissioned by Gov. Carroll: William P. Seat, Robert Edmunson, 0. Blakemore, Benjamin White, Robert Reid, Yarnell Reese, Abner Bergin, John D. Love. William W. Craig, W. G. B. Killingsworth and Isham P. Davis, who were sworn in by Bartholemew G. Stewart, a justice from Madison County. William P. Seat was chosen chairman and Thomas Fite, clerk. At the same time Alexander G. Hamilton, James B. Blakemore, C. Dowell and Anslem Russell were elected constables.
At a subsequent meeting the commissioners of the town of Trenton were authorized to build a hewed-log court house, 20 x 35 feet, and one story high. Such a building was completed and the first court held in it in April, 1825. It was used until 1829, when it was sold and a two-story brick building, having one court-room below and another above, was erected in its stead, at a cost of $5,988. The first jail was, a log structure, which cost only $121. It was located in the northwestern part, of town and was used until, about 1836, when a brick building was erected on the present site of the colored school. This was destroyed during the civil war, but after the close of hostilities a similar building was erected upon the same site. It served as a jail until 1875, and is now occupied by the colored school. In 1875 a large and more commodious jail was completed on the northeast corner of the square, under the direction of J. J. Wells, A. S. Currey, L. P. McMurray, W. A. Allison and J. T. Cowan. To meet the expenditure for this building, bonds to the amount of $16,700 were issued by the county.
In January, 1881, it was entirely destroyed by fire, and during the following summer the present substantial building was erected upon the same site at a cost of $15,000, for which interest-bearing county warrants were issued to the amount of $14,000. The commissioners who superintended the erection of the jail were S. H. Hale, chairman; T. J. Happel, secretary; H. J. Stroud, John Maclin and I. R. Wright.
The court house mentioned above had been occupied but a short time when it was found to be unsafe, and in April, 1837, the county court appointed commissioners to have it taken down and to have a temporary house erected from the material. The same commissioners were also authorized to let the contract for the new court house. This latter duty was not performed until May 1, 1839, when the contract was awarded to Solomon Shaw and Robert Jetton, who were given until December 25, of the following year, to complete it. This time was afterward extended six months, and in 1841, the building was tendered to the commissioners, consisting, of N. O. K. Cole, A. S. Wallis, N. I. Hess, John H. Raines, L. J. Wilkins and Thomas Fite, who refused to receive it, on the grounds that it was not completed according to contract. The matter was then submitted to a board of arbitrators who allowed the contractors, $111.78 for extra work, making the entire cost about $20,000. This building, which has been occupied by the court for nearly half a century, is in a remarkably good state of preservation, and stands as :a monument to honest workmanship.
Since 1840 the county has maintained a poor farm. In December, of that year, E. Sharp, James A. W. Hess and Samuel Booth, commissioners appointed by the county court to purchase a poor farm, reported that they had bought 100 acres from Augustin Woods, situated about five miles southeast of Trenton. This was fitted up for the reception of paupers, and Allen Parr appointed the first superintendent. The number of paupers was at first quite small, and even now, only average about fifteen. The cost to the county at the present time is about $70 for each inmate. No insane are confined there, these unfortunates being sent to the State asylum, where they are maintained by an appropriation by the county court when the number exceeds twelve.
In 1835 the county was divided into fifteen civil districts, and so remained until 1847, when the Sixteenth District was formed from portions of the Second, Third, Seventh and Twelfth. Three years later the Seventeenth was made by adding a portion of the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth and dividing the combination. In 1848 portions of the First, Second and Twelfth were constituted the Eighteenth, and in 1850 the Nineteenth was formed from portions of the Tenth and Fourteenth. In 1854 the Fourth District was divided, forming the Twentieth, and the Twenty-first was made in a similar manner from the Ninth in 1858. Two years later portions of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Seventeenth were combined to form the Twenty-second. The Twenty-third was not established until 1868, when a portion of the Fourteenth was added to the Nineteenth and the combination divided. The Twenty-fourth District was divided in 1871. Upon the organization of Crockett County the Twentieth, Fourth and nearly all of the Sixteenth Districts were cut off, and in 1873 a new Fourth was formed from portions of the Third, Fifth, and the remainder of the Sixteenth. In 1879 a new Sixteenth was formed from parts of the Sixth and Seventh, and two years later a new Twentieth was made out of portions of the Third, Fourth and Seventh.
The following is a list of the persons who have filled the most important county offices, with their term of service:
Clerks of the County Court: Thomas Fite, 1824-36; Allen C. Nimmo, 1836-48; James A. McDearmon, 1848-54; E. W. Raines, 1854-65; J. E. Wood, 1865-70; M. C. Holmes, 1870-82; J. D. Carne, 1882.
Registers: W. W. Craig, 1824-36; W. G. B. Killingsworth, 1836-40; Lucian B. Gilchrist, 1840-60; J. M. McLaurine, 1860-65; J. A. Morrison, 1865-70; William R. Cox, 1870-78; J. F. Jones, 1878-82; W. D. Johnson, 1882-86; Samuel H. Thomas, 1886.
Sheriffs: John W. Needham, 1824-32; M. McLaurine, 1832-49; Luke P. Seay, 1842-48; Johnson Williams, 1848-52; J. A. W. Hess, 1852-58; Johnson Williams, 1858-65; Hugh A. Moore, 1865-70; Johnson Williams, 1870-74; J. B. Arnold, 1874-80; J. H. Hefley, 1880--82; T. J. Parr, 1884.
Trustees: Robert Reed, 1824-26; William Ferguson, 1826-32; Allen C. Nimmo, 1832-36; John H. Raines, 1836-44; William Atchison, Sr., 1844-50; Thomas Cooper, 1850-54; Moses E. Senter, 1854-56; F. G. Goodman, 1856-60; N. J. Hockaday, 1860--; David Thomason, 1865-70; J. A. G. McEwen, 1870-74; J. C. Long, 1874-80; John W. Ramsey, 1880-86; William Gay, 1886.
Clerks of the Circuit Court: Joseph H. Talbot, 1824-25; James L. Totten, 1825-31; John W. Crockett, 1831-36; J. B. Blakemore, 1836-44; Smith Parks, 1844-56; William A. Varner, 1856-60; S. W. Hatchett, 1860-62; Benjamin Landis, 1865-1870; William Moore, 1970-86; J; W. Vick, 1886.
Clerks and Master of the Chancery Court: John A. Taliaferro, 1836-40; John C. Claiborne, 1840-46; Henry C. Levy, 1846-55, James A. McDearmon, 1855-61; J. T. McDearmon, 1861-62; J. A. McDearmon, 1865-71; R. E. Raines, 1871.
The circuit court for Gibson County was held at the house of William C. Love, on May 24, 1824, by Judge John C. Hamilton. Joseph H. Talbott was appointed clerk, and James R. Chalmers appeared as solicitor-general. The following grand jury was empaneled: W. G. B. Killingsworth, Robert Reed, Isham F. Davis, George F. Crofton, William McKendrick, W. W. Craig, Robert Tinkle, Robert Edmundson, John Spencer, Benjamin S. White, William Blakemore, Andrew Cole and John Parker, who reported no indictments or presentments. The only other matter coming from the court at this term was the admission of John D. Love as a practicing attorney. During the first ten or fifteen years the court transacted but little business. The first-case tried was that of James Harbor vs. Jesse Woods, for slander. The defendant at first plead "not guilty," but finally compromised by pleading "guilty" and paying the costs. The first indictment for murder was found in 1832, against Shadrach Madison, a free man of color, who, upon trial, was found "not guilty." The first person sent to the penitentiary from Gibson County was. Thomas M. Watson, who was sentenced at the October term, 1835, to three years' imprisonment for horse-stealing. Only one person has paid the death penalty for crime, under the process of law, In the history of the county. That person was Henry, a negro, the property of Mrs. Ann Kelly. He was hanged at Trenton, on April 4, 1843, by the sheriff, L. P. Seay, who received $12.50 for his services. The negro was convicted at the preceding March term for the murder of William C. Franklin, in May, 1842. The case was prosecuted by John W. Crockett, attorney-general.
Among the earliest attorneys of Trenton were Joseph H. Talbott, James L. Totten, A. W. 0. Totten, James M. Moore and Felix Parker, all of whom were admitted to practice previous to 1831. Talbott soon removed to Jackson, where he was subsequently followed by the Tottens. Moore and Parker were members of the Trenton bar for many years. The former was a quiet, sober and unassuming man, of good intellect and considerable learning, and a fairly successful attorney. Parker was not a profound lawyer, but possessed considerable ability as a speaker, both in the hustings and on the stump, and was several times elected, on the Whig ticket, to a seat in the lower house of the General Assembly.
John A. Taliaferro, John W. Crockett and Rolila P. Raines were admitted to practice during the thirties. Taliaferro became cashier of the Branch Bank of Tennessee, at Trenton, in 1838, and afterward did but little practice, except in cases in which the bank was interested. Crockett, after having represented his district in Congress for one term, was elected attorney-general. He possessed but few of the characteristics of his father, Col. David Crockett, being a quiet, scholarly gentleman, of refined tastes. He removed to New Orleans, but afterward returned to Tennessee, and located at Memphis. Raines occupied a leading position in the profession for several years, and was especially distinguished as a criminal advocate. He was painstaking in the preparation of his cases, and no weak point in the position of his opponent ever escaped his notice. He was a good speaker, and possessed great power before a jury, and, taken all together, was one of the most successful lawyers ever at the Trenton bar.
In 1850 the attorneys of the county, besides Parker, Moore and Raines already mentioned, were James A. McDearmon, M. B. King, H. C. Levy, M. R. Hill, S. Williams, T. J. Freeman, M. J. Clay, R. P. Caldwell and Joshua Richardson. King was an: able advocate and a thorough student. He possessed a rather delicate constitution, however, and died from consumption a few years after locating in Trenton. M. R. Hill had formerly practiced at Dyersburg. He was an eloquent speaker, and ranked as one of the ablest lawyers in the State. He was twice elected to the State Senate, and during one term was speaker of that body. Williams had been located at Troy, Obion County, a short time previous to his coming to Trenton. He was well versed in the law, and was eminently successful as an advocate. In 1858 he succeeded William Fitzgerald upon the bench of the circuit court, a position which he filled with universal satisfaction to the bar. At the breaking out of the war be espoused the Union cause, and went to Illinois, where he died. Richardson, while a man of good ability and considerable personal popularity, on account of intemperate habits did not attain much prominence at the bar. He served one term in the Lower House of the General Assembly. R. P. Caldwell continued a member of the Trenton bar until his death in 1886. He was an excellent jury lawyer, but attained greater prominence as a politician than as a jurist. He served in both houses of the General Assembly, and at one time represented his district in Congress. He was a native of Obion County, and studied law with Judge S. W. Cochran, of Troy.
The firm of T. J. & J. T. Carthel was prominent during the decade preceding the civil war. The former entered the Confederate Army, and was killed in the battle before Atlanta. The latter, at the close of the war, resumed his practice, and in 1878 was elected to a seat upon the bench of the circuit court. In that position he displayed rare ability, and it was universally regretted that he declined to become a candidate for re-election. Gideon B. Black, his predecessor upon the bench, came to Gibson County a short time previous to the war, from Marshall County, Tenn., where he had previously been engaged in the practice of his profession. He was an able lawyer and an impartial judge. He is still living near Trenton, but has retired from the practice of his profession. The present bar, which is one of recognized ability, is composed of the following attorneys: John S. Cooper and Thomas J. Hays, Thomas B. Howard and W. W. Wade, J. C. McDearmon and L. H. Tyree, M. M. Neil and J. R. Deason, J. T. and J. E. Carthel, Le Grand and Paul Jones, John R. Walker, 0. B. Freeman, S. B. Williamson, R. L. Taylor, and A. Killough. J. T. Curtis resides at Rutherford. In 1869 law and Chancery courts having jurisdiction over civil districts One, Two, Three, Thirteen, Eighteen and fractions of Four and Twenty were established at Humboldt. Of the former the clerks have been T. J. Williams, H. C. Burnett and M. H Johnson, the present incumbent. T. J. Williams has been clerk and master of the county court since its organization. The first attorney to locate in Humboldt was H. T ????son, a man of fine intellect, and an excellent advocate. He remained in Humboldt until his death in 1882. S. W. Sharp, for some time a partner of Johnson, located in the town about 1869, and remained until his death. He was also an able lawyer, and a highly respected citizen. The present members of the Humboldt bar are J. F. Rawlins and Samuel C. Williams, W. H. Babbitt and W. I. McFarland, and W. M. McCall. There are also four attorneys who reside at Milan. They are V. L. and W. B. Ware and S. F. Rankin and J. P. Rhodes.
For mention of the judges of the circuit court of Gibson County previous to 1870, see the sketch of Obion County. Of the judges of the supreme court Gibson County has furnished three - A. W. 0. Totten, Thomas J. Freeman and W. C. Caldwell - sketches of whom, with the exception of the last named, appear in another chapter of this work. Judge Caldwell is a native of Obion County, where he began the practice of his profession. About ten years ago he located at Trenton and became a partner of R. P. Caldwell. In 1883 he was appointed one of the judges of the court of referees at Nashville, and so continued until that court expired by limitation in April, 1886. He then became a candidate for a seat on the supreme bench, and, having received the nomination of the Democratic party, he was elected the following August.
Trenton is situated near the center of the county, on the North Fork of the Forked Deer River. The site was selected by James Fentress, Benjamin Reynolds, William Martin and Robert Jetton, commissioners appointed for that purpose by an act of the Legislature, passed September 27, 1824. The land upon which it is located was donated by James Whitaker and John B. Hogg who gave twenty acres, and Jesse Blackburn, James Caruthers and Frank McGavock, who together gave thirty-six and one-fourth acres. John W. Evans, John W. Buckner, William C. Love, Robert Tinkle and John P. Thomas were appointed by the county court to lay off the town site into a public square, streets, lots and a commons, the latter to comprise six and one-fourth acres, and the town plat proper just fifty acres. This was accordingly done, and a board of commissioners, of whom John H. Raines was chairman, was appointed to sell the lots and convey titles. Previous to the location of the town one house had been erected upon the site and was then occupied by Col. Thomas Gibson, who had a small stock of goods which he was selling to the settlers. From this circumstance the place was called Gibsonport, a name which it continued to bear until it was changed, by an act of the Legislature, the following year.
Very soon after the location of the town Robert Seat opened a store on the east side of the square. He had a small stock of such articles as were most needed by the pioneers, and these goods he exchanged for corn, furs and other produce, which he shipped from Eaton by flat-boat down Forked Deer to the Mississippi, and thence to New Orleans. He was afterward associated with Thomas Fite, under the firm name of Fite & Seat. At a little later date Hugh D. Nelsoncarried on quite an extensive business on the east side of the Public Square, as also did Murphey & Cameron. The leading firm in town at that time, however, was Armour, Lake & Caruthers, whose store stood on the lot where the opera-house now is. Brown & Taliaferrohad a small store where Senter & Keenan now are, and the site of the Hick's House was occupied by M. & J. Woodfin. During the decade of the forties the leading mercantile firms were B. Elder & Bros., the senior member of which began business in 1835; Claiborne, Davis & Co., Seat & Morton, A. A. P. Grigsby, Abel Hicks & Co., 0. B. & L. Caldwell, William C. Crawford and L. J. Wilkins, and with a few changes these firms continued through the next decade. Others which may be mentioned are N. T. & J. A. Wilkins, McGee & Scrape, W. H. Thompson & Co., J. J. Hammon, J. L. & R. L. Davis, John S. McCullough and L. Oppenheimer.
The first druggist was W. B. Billingsly, who opened a store in 1845, and the following year was succeeded by Jesse I. Wells.
The first tavern was probably kept by John W. Evans, who was licensed to keep an ordinary in 1829. Robert Seat was granted a license for the same purpose the following year, and in 1831 a similar one was granted to Abraham S. Davidson. At a little later date J. D. Hill opened a hotel on the lot now occupied by J. W. Bigelow. He afterward opened a house on the present site of the Hick's House, and was there succeeded by Goodoe & King. The Hick's House was built soon after the war by G. B. & R. A. Hicks, the present proprietors.
The business interests of Trenton at the present time are as follows: J. W. Hoy, E. Richardson, Davis & Johnson, Smith Bros., J. Freed and L. Oppenheimer, dry goods; Senter & Keenan, J. A. Landis, R. C. Adams, C. C. Gentry & Son, Nettles & Ramsey, Smith Bros., J. W. Hoy, McGee & Harrison, J. W. Bigelow, A. A. Pybass, J. M. Skiles & Co., and Haste & Haste, groceries; Hutchison & Co., Leroy Shackleford, N. L. McRee and A. B. Cooper, drugs; R. E. Grizzard, hardware and notions, and Mrs. William McDearmon and Mrs. J. K. Pierce, millinery.
In 1838 the Bank of Tennessee was established, and one of its branches was located at Trenton. Moses Woodfin was appointed president and John A Taliaferro, cashier. The latter held his office until the beginning of the war, with the exception of about a year, when it was filled by James B. Blakemore. The presidents changed frequently. Among those who held that office were Thomas B. Claiborne, Benjamin Elder, John W. Elder, Z. J. Freeman and John L. Davis. During its existence it was considered one of the best paying branches in the State, and was of great value to: the town and surrounding country. After the war this county was without a bank until 1879, when the Gibson County Bank, with a capital of $50,000, was chartered under the laws of the State. It has since been under the able management of J. W. Elder, as president, and H. M. Elder, as cashier, and has done an excellent business, commanding the confidence of the entire community.
The first manufacturing establishment of importance was founded in 1855-56, by William Jarrell, and consisted of a foundry and plow manufactory. After the war it was reopened by William Jarrell and J. I. Wells, and is now conducted by J. I. Wells & Son, who have added a well equipped machine shop. They also operate on an adjoining lot a saw and planing-mill.
The Gibson County mills were erected in 1861, by William Lovin. In 1871 they were purchased by H. H. Rogers, who operated them until December, 1876, when they were entirely destroyed by fire. The next year they were rebuilt by Mr. Rogers at a cost of $10,000., They were operated with the old process machinery until 1886, when they were refitted with all the latest improvements. The present owners are Taylor, Ramsey Co.
The Trenton flour-mills were erected in 1882, by Jetton and Davis, who still operate them. The building is a three-story brick, and is supplied with the old process machinery.
The Trenton cotton-seed oil-mill was erected and put in operation by an incorporated company, of whom R. G. Taylor was president, in 1883. Four presses are run consuming about twenty-five tons of cotton seed per day, of twenty-four hours, making about 1,000 gallons of oil and nine tons of meal. The capital stock of the company is $30,000.
The Trenton cotton-mills were incorporated in April, 1884, with an authorized capital stock of $100,000, of which $80,000 has been paid in. The president of the company was J. M. Senter, and the secretary, George Everett. The machinery, consisting of 2,440 spindles and eighty-five looms, was put in operation in June, 1885. The present president of the company is J. A. Landis.
A steam cotton-gin, established in 1880 by Ewell and Ellis, is now operated by W. H. Ellis. A planing-mill, established in 1884, is operated by S. A. Higgason. Birmingham Bros. carry on an extensive business in the manufacture of buggies and wagons and general repairing.
The first physician in Trenton was John H. Chrisp, who located soon after the town was established, and continued to practice his profession for many years. He was a graduate of a Philadelphia medical college, and was a man of high attainments. Nelson I. Hess, mentioned elsewhere as a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was a contemporary of Chrisp, and continued to practice until after the close of the war. William K. Love was a student under Chrisp, and afterward became his partner. He removed from the town about 1845. George B. Peters, who became a physician of high standing in West Tennessee, obtained his professional education in the office of Chrisp & Love. Dr. Lewis Levy located in Trenton about 1843-44, and continued as one of the leading physicians until his death, a period of nearly forty years. W. W. Lea, for many years one of the most eminent physicians of the State, was a resident of the town about the period of the war. He began the practice of medicine at Nashville, but located at Eaton about 1830. Many other physicians have located in the town from time to time, among whom may be mentioned W. D. Scott, William Maclin, Jesse Lassiter, E. T. Taliaferro. The physicians of the present are Robert A. Hicks, G. N. Glenn, Charles Levy, J. T. Shackleford, T. J. Happel and J. D. Butler.
The first newspaper established in Trenton was the Western Union, the first numbers of which appeared in 1836. It was edited successively by J. D. Hill, Thomas Scott and W. E. Brown & Felix Parker. Brown & Parker changed the name to the Polar Star, and soon after, in 1840, sold to J. D. Hill, who established the Trenton Journal, a Whig paper, which, in 1844, was transferred to W. W. Lea, John A. Taliaferro and Thomas Claiborne, who conducted it as a Democratic sheet under the name of the Live American. In 1853 it became the Independent Journal, with H. R. & N. F. Barksdale as proprietors. The next year, however, it was transferred to A. S. Currey, who conducted it as editor and proprietor until 1861. In September, 1847, a Whig paper, the Star Spangled Banner, was established by McGee & Brewer, who continued until February, 1849, when Brewer's interest was purchased by B. Landis. In 1852 the name was changed to the Southern Whig Standard, and so continued until 1861, being successively edited by S. W. Hatchett, J. W. Youngblood and Thomas Parker. In 1865 the Trenton Gazette was established by F. M. Holbrook, who was succeeded by Wise A. Cooper, R. E. Bumpass and Cooper & Glass. In 1871 Mr. Holbrook established the Trenton News, which in 1874 was consolidated with the Gazette under the name of the News-Gazette, and was so continued by Biggs, Holbrook & Co., J. R. Biggs and Holbrook & Shearon until 1881, when it became the Gibson County Mirror. It has since changed editors and publishers very frequently, and has been issued under various names: the Globe, the Recorder, the News and the Republican-Gazette. In February, 1885, E. E. Renton established the Gibson County Herald, a seven-column folio, Democratic in politics, of which he has since been the editor and sole proprietor.
Trenton Lodge, No. 86, A. F. & A. M., received its charter October 4, 1838, at which time Nelson I. Hess, Alexander Baber, Jacob T. Smith and several others were members. The lodge was very prosperous for many years, and a chapter, council and commandery were successively organized, all of which have now surrendered their charters. The following is a list of the members of this lodge: Nelson I. Hess, John W. Crockett, John L. Davis, A. S. Currey, A. C. Levy, P. D. McCulloch, S. W. Caldwell, C. N. Worthington, Z. Biggs, J. L. Strickland, J. P. Grigsby, A. T. Gay, W. 0. Kelly, R. E. Grizzard, J. C. McDearmon.
Friendship Lodge, No. 22, I. 0. 0. F., was organized in 1847, but during the war the hall with its contents was destroyed, and the lodge was afterward reorganized. At one time it had a very large membership, but the interest in it has somewhat declined. William R. Cox is the present Noble Grand.
Excelsior Commandery, No. 16, K. of P., received its charter February 10, 1875. Among the leading members at that time were W. C. Caldwell, P. B. Coppage, L. M. Elder, T. J. Happel, A. J. McDearman, R. H. Nettles, L. Oppenheimer, H. C. Pierce and R. F. Ross. M. M. Neil, of this lodge, is Grand Chancellor of Tennessee.
Peabody Lodge, No. 198, K. of H., was instituted in 1876, the leading members being W. 0. Kelly, W. T. Grigsby, P. D. McCullough, R. A. Hicks, John H. Glass, C. C. Gentry, H. L. Raines, J. J. Brooks, L. S. Wade, J. W. Cox, J. P. McGee, M. M. Neil, J. Freed, W. M. Holt and George E. Glass. The lodge now numbers about fifty-four members.
Trenton Lodge, No. 24, A. 0. U. W., was established in 1877 with about forty members, of whom the following were the officers: W. M. Hall, P. M. W.; S. W. Caldwell, M. W.; R. E. Grizzard, F.; L. H. Tyree, O.; W. C. Caldwell, Recorder; J. D. Hill, Financier; and M. M. Neil, I. W. The present membership is only fourteen.
Humboldt, one of the most flourishing towns of Gibson County, is located at the junction of the Mobile & Ohio and the Memphis & Louisville Railroads. It was laid out in 1858, upon land owned by Sharp, Lannom and Thruston. Previous to this time, however, a large steam flouring and saw-mill had been erected by John A. Taliaferro and W. A. Allison, on the railroad south of the town, and near where the first depot was located. The first business house was built by John C. Gillespie, on the lot now occupied by J. J. Thweatt, and there he opened a store in partnership with his son. At about the same time W. H. & John R. Simmons began business on an adjacent lot. From this time until the beginning of the war the town grew rapidly. Among the business men of that period were J. N. & J. R. Lannom, T. B. Love & Co., McGee & McKnight, Ebert & Co., G. S. Rainey and Clement & Thomas, while W. H. Stillwell and B. F. Landis -were the physicians. During the war business was pretty generally suspended, but at its close it began at once to revive. The first firms to re-enter business were Gillespie, Warren & Co., J. N. & J. R. Lannom. S. D. Waddill and Seward, Ferrill, Scales & Co. From that time the town again began to improve, and, although the growth has been checked by several very destructive fires, its excellent location, combined with an unusually enterprising population, has enabled it to overcome all obstacles, and it is now entering upon an era of renewed prosperity. The present business interests are represented by the following individuals and firms: 0. C. Sharp, J. J. Thweatt, T. J. Dow, A. B. Jones & Co. and T. A. Bond, dry goods; V. Donavan, P. B. Roe, A. L. Fox, I. H. Dugan, W. H. Henry, J. J. R. Adams, S. D. Waddill and E. B. Hart, groceries; W. 0. Penn, gents' furnishing goods; E. T. Transou and F. T. Hofford, furniture; M. T. Cox, saddlery; C. W. Albright, hardware, and J. A. Hamilton, B. F. Watkins, Scales Bros. and W. H. Mason, druggists. The town also has several important manufacturing enterprises. The Humboldt Buggy & Wagon Company was established in 1880, by the consolidation of the firms of Jarrell & Hamilton and Phillips & Scott, with a capital of $11,000, which has since been doubled. They employ from thirty-five to forty hands, and manufacture buggies, the "Charter Oak" wagon and implements. Jarrell & Hamilton formerly operated a steam saw-mill, which was built in 1871. Phillips & Scott established a buggy and wagon shop in 1875.
In 1869 William Jarrell established a foundry and plow factory. Two years later he sold a one-half interest to W. H. Dodson, and the business was conducted under the firm name of Dodson & Jarrell until 1878, since which time Mr. Dodson has been the sole proprietor. From twelve to fifteen hands are employed in manufacturing the "Jarrell Plow," cotton scrapers, and other implements. Until recently a grist-mill was operated in connection with the foundry.
E. W. Ing operates a large steam cotton-gin, which is run to its fullest capacity during the season. In 1880 the Humboldt furniture factory was established by a stock company, of which L.C. Tyler was president. After running very successfully for one year, it, with a large part of the business portion of the town, was destroyed by fire.
Humboldt is located in one of the most important fruit-growing sections of Tennessee, and at present has three large nurseries in successful operation, producing all the varieties of fruit trees, vines and ornamental shrubbery grown in this latitude. The "Humboldt nurseries" were established in 1859 by B. P. Transou, who continued as sole proprietor until 1866, when he was joined by his brother, E. T. Transou. In 1878 the latter sold his interest to M. G. Senter, who, since the death of B. F. Transou, has conducted the business.
In 1874 C. H. Ferrill & Co. established the "Pomona Nursery" about one-half a mile north of the town. It now covers about 120 acres, and from fifty to sixty agents are employed in selling its products in Tennessee and all the surrounding States. Morgan & Murphy are the present proprietors of the "Eureka Nursery," which was established in 1881 by Porter & Brown.
The first newspaper in Humboldt was the Cosmos, a Whig paper, which was established in 1860, and edited by W. H. Stillwell and S. W. Sharp. In 1867 the Headlight was established by Isaac McFarland, who continued its publication but a short time. It was succeeded by the Argus, Journal, Herald and Enterprise, all of which were short lived. In August, 1885, C. H. Ferrill & Co. began the publication of the Messenger, a nine-column folio, which they have since continued with good success.
All the leading secret orders are represented at Humboldt, with the exception of the K. of P. and I. 0. 0. F. The lodge of the latter order, which was instituted in 1868, recently surrendered its charter. Shiloh Lodge, No.202, A. F. & A. M., was organized about three miles north of Humboldt in 1847. In 1859 it was removed to the town, where a hall was erected at a cost of $3,500. This was recently destroyed by fire, and has not yet been rebuilt. The lodge now numbers about forty members. Cosmos Lodge, No. 53, A.O.U.W., was organized in 1878; its present membership is eighteen. Gibson Lodge, No. 454, K. of H., was established in 1878, and has since been highly prosperous, having a membership at present of fifty. Bethsheres Lodge, No. 406, K. & L. of H., was established in 1881.
Humboldt was incorporated in 1868, with Moses E. Senter as mayor. The present city officers are L. K. Gillespie, mayor and recorder; G. B. Hart, marshal; and C. T. Love, S. K. Allen and C. D. Allen, aldermen.
Milan, a town of about 1,800 inhabitants, is situated at the junction of the Memphis & Louisville and the Illinois Central Railroad. It was established in 1858 upon lands owned by B. A. Williamson and John Sanford. In that year a small house was erected and a grocery opened by John G. Shepherd. The first dry goods store was established by George Peeples at about the same time. The following year the post office, which had been located at Shady Grove, was transferred to Milan, and Swinburne Craven continued as postmaster. In 1860 E. A. Collinsbegan business as a merchant. Hansbro & Hillsman and Ferguson & Cooper also located at about the same time. The first physician was W. R. Rooks, who was soon after joined by J. B. Hinson. The town did not attain to much prominence prior to the war, but after the close of hostilities it began to improve rapidly, and in 1873 the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad enhanced its importance as a commercial point. The present business of the town is represented by John M. Dickson, Owen & Co., Jordan & Adams, E. L. Chambers, T. J. Harrison & Co., and W. B. Williams & Bro., dry goods or general merchandise; D. A. Taylor, M. W. Wheeler, Edwards & Shepherd, Lacy & Karnes, M. B. Harris, T. W. Adams and W. G. Vanhook, groceries; G. W. Martin, M. D. L. Jordan and Stewart and Danner, drugs; G. W. Wilson & Co., dry goods and drugs; S. M. Rhodes, tinware and stoves; Joseph Williams, furniture; J. W. Younger and J. H. Holt, undertakers; Mrs. 0. H. Halstrom and Mrs. Clinton Mathis, millinery.
The physicians are L. G. Danner, J. J. Richardson, J. D. & W. H. H. Bledsoe, R. A. Clopton, J. A. Henderson and M. D. L. Jordan. At present Dr. J. M. Glenn is the only dentist.
Since 1874 E. A. Collins has conducted a private bank, which has proved of great value to the business interests of the town and surrounding country. The only manufacturing establishment in Milan is the flouring-mill of Turner & Dodson, which was erected about 1869 by Nesbitt, Douglass & Co.
The first newspaper in the town was the Milan Times, which was established in June, 1869, by Frank Monroe, who continued its publication but a few months. In March, 1874, W. A. Wadeestablished the Milan Exchange, an eight-column folio. In 1878 he changed it to a seven-column quarto, and later to a five-column quarto. With the exception of about three years, when he was associated with L. J. Brooks, Mr. Wade has conducted it as sole editor and proprietor, and it is now one of the best country papers in West Tennessee.
The first hotel was erected by William F. Jackson in 1859. In 1878 the Grand Pacific Hotel, one of the finest railroad hotels in the South, was erected at the junction.
The town contains a large number of lodges, all the leading secret and beneficiary orders being represented. Milan Lodge, No. 191, A. F. & A. M., was instituted at Shady Grove in 1850, where it remained until 1860, when it was transferred to Milan. Milan Lodge, No. 155, I. 0. 0. P. was organized on August 16, 1871, with J. G. Boyd, William Shepherd, John Sullivan, J. T. Anderson, J. H. Holt and S. M. Pearce as charter members. Although at one time the membership reached about forty, it is now quite small. Stonewall Lodge, No. 30, A. 0. U. W., was instituted November 18, 1877, with nineteen members. It now numbers only twelve members. Liberty Lodge, No. 453, K. of H., was organized in 1878, and the following year Eagle Lodge, No. 96, K. & L. of H., was instituted. Prospero Lodge, K. of P., was instituted in May, 1879.
Milan was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed in 1867, John G. Shepherd being the first mayor.
Rutherford, the fourth town in the county in importance, is situated on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, eleven miles north of Trenton. It was laid out in 1858 by Thomas Cooper and Joseph Knox, the former acting as agent for the railroad company, which held a half interest in the land. The first building was a saloon erected by Charles C. Thomas on the lot now occupied by Flowers & Hefley. The first store was opened by Thomas D. Locke in the building now occupied by W. P. Elrod. Very soon after, J. E. Kyzer began business where be now is. These stores, with a family grocery by William Yates, constituted the business of the town previous to the war. During the war, business was almost entirely suspended. At its close J. E. Kyzer reopened his store, as also did T. D. Locke & Co. The latter firm was succeeded by Hartsfield, Smith & Co., Blackburn & Thomas and Elrod & Thomas. Miller & Co. and S. Wilson both began business soon after the war. The former has been succeeded by J. C. Holmes & Co., while the latter still continues. A. N. Grier & Bro., J. W. Elrod and W. B. Ward & Bro. were also engaged in business for a time. The merchants of the present beside those already mentioned are R. B. Tinkle. A. J. Fletcher, Flowers & Hefley, Glisson & Canada and R. W. Mullens. Of the manufacturing interests of the town the establishment of B. A. Smith, manufacturer of cotton-gins, is important. It was established in 1870, and since that time about 2,000 gins have been made and sold. Mr. Smith has recently begun the manufacture of coffins, and will soon enlarge his factory for that purpose.
The Rutherford mills were erected in 1876, by Wren & Williamson, and consist of both a saw and grist-mill. In 1884 the grist-mill was remodeled as a roller-mill, with a capacity of fifty barrels per day. It is now operated by T. J. Wren & Son. The first mill in the town was erected by McCain in 1866, but after continuing for a few years it was burned. Two steam cotton-gins are operated by S. Wilson and Kilough and Canada respectively.
A newspaper, known as the Rutherford Gazette, was established by a man by the name of Henderson, in 1880. After publishing it a short time he sold it to J. D. Maclin, who removed it to Trenton.
Bone Lodge, A. F. & A. M., was organized about two miles south of Rutherford on January 10, 1856, and received its charter in October of that year. The members at ???? were A. S. Baldridge, Master; W. J. Davidson, Senior Warden; A. Keathley, Junior Warden; J. T. Grier, B. F. Bobbitt, A. M. Grier, J. Bobbitt, J. N. Grier, J. T, Armstrong D. Halliburton, M. Flowers and B. Arnold. The lodge continued to meet at Pond Hill until 1860, when it was removed to Rutherford. It now has a membership of forty-eight.
Dyer is a village on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, seven miles north of Trenton. It was established in 1859, when B. F. Bobbitt built a house and opened a grocery store. Soon after, J. T. Mathes & Co. and Etheridge and Grier began business there. Since the war the following firms have been in existence, some of them for only a short time however: Bobbitt & Berry, Berry & Phillips, Davidson & Crank, Crank & Biggs, Biggs & Barnes, Elrod & Anderson, Owen Toombs & Son, Grier & Wilson, and Thomas & Bro.; also J. P. Snoddy, F. M. Snoddy, R. P. Kimbro, G. W. Wyatt and William Howard. The present business interests of the town are B. F. Bobbitt, J. L. Berry, J. Y. Mitchell and Harper, general merchandise; J. W. Wilson and William Maxwell, drugs and groceries; J. M. Hutchison and N. P. Vincent & Co., cotton-gin; J. M. Coulter, saw and planing-mill; W. A. Hearn, foundry; Hearn Bros., carriage and wagon shop; and J. M. Hutchison, grist and saw-mill. The physicians are W. A. Stephenson, J. H. Drane and Frank Overall.
Dyer Lodge, No. 351, A. P. & A. M., was organized in 1868. A hall was built in cooperation with the trustees of Dyer Academy, but it was burned in 1878. A building was then rented, but it, too, burned soon after, and since that time the lodge has had no regular place of meeting.
Yorkville, an interior village, fifteen miles northwest of Trenton. was founded in 1830, when John C. Kuydendall, a native of Yorkville, S. C., built a dwelling there, and opened a store. The town grew quite rapidly, and in 1850 was incorporated, with W. H. Miller as the first mayor. Its period of greatest prosperity was from about 1853 to the beginning of the war. Among those who did business there prior to 1860 were William Miller, John F. Cowan, T. L. Hamilton & Co., D. E. Holmes & Co., Joseph Garwood, Locke & Wyatt, Patton & Bro. Dr. James T. Bone, a prominent physician in the early history of the county, was located here. In 1846 Yorkville Lodge, No. 115, A. F. & A. M., was organized, and four years later a commandery, the second in the State, was instituted, being one of the first in West Tennessee.
Eaton, formerly known as Buckner's Bluff, was established in 1827, and named in honor of John H. Eaton, Secretary of War under Jackson. It is located eleven miles west of Trenton, on the right bank of the Middle Fork of Forked Deer River. Before the days of railroads it was an important shipping point for Dyer, Obion, Gibson and Carroll Counties, as keel and flat-boats, and occasionally small steam-boats, were navigated on the Forked Deer. A post office was established in 1830, with Dr. W. W. Lea, one of the first merchants, as postmaster. Other merchants who were in business there for several years were Jas. A. Harwood & Co., Shaw & Edwards and Shaw & Bradshaw. The village saw its best days during the thirties.
Brazil, an interior post village, nine miles southwest of Trenton, was established about 1869, at a time when great excitement existed. in the neighborhood, concerning proposed emigration to Brazil, South America. It was at first called Poplar Grove, but it was incorporated and its name changed by an act of the Legislature of 1869-70. W. T. Banks was chosen the first mayor. At that time there was a prospect of its obtaining a railroad, and the town grew rapidly, but it has now considerably declined.
Gibson, a station on the Memphis & Louisville Railroad, about midway between Humboldt and Milan, was established in 1870, and the first business house built the following year.
South Gibson, for several years a village of some importance, was established some time during the thirties. The first store was opened by W. P. Williams. who was afterward succeeded by Weston & Green Williams. Since the completion of the railroads the village has become extinct.
Medina, a station on the Illinois Central Railroad a short distance north of the Madison County line, was established in 1873. The first business house was erected by J. J. Birdsong, who opened a family grocery. The business of the town at present consists of Laws & Bynum and Marks, dry goods; L. Olmstead, William Rust and H. House, groceries; Hudson & Andrews, drugs, and William Watt, steam-mill and cotton-gin. Dr. Dallas Richardson is the only resident physician.
Bradford, a station on the Illinois Central Railroad in the northeast part of the county, was built partly upon land belonging to Robert Bradford, and partly upon laud bequeathed to the Vanderbilt University by W. D. Scott. The first business house was erected by A. J. Little, who opened a saloon and family grocery in 1873. The first merchants were J. G. Phipps & J. E. White and J. N. Alexander. The present business of the town is as follows: J. D. Williams & Bro., J. N. Alexander, James W. Womack and Casey & Michael, general merchandise; J. P. Martin, dry goods, and G. W. Nowlin & Co., drugs. J. N. Alexander also operates a steam cotton-gin. A hotel, which Is now conducted by Stephen A. Smith, was built in 1875 by Phipps and White. The first physician to locate in the town was A. J. Baker. He has since been succeeded by J. D. and J. A. McKenzie. Rolla Lodge, No. 465, A. F. & A. M., was instituted at Bradford in 1874, and during the following year a hall was built in co-operation with the Baptist Church. This lodge has a membership at present of about forty.
Idlewild is a station on the Illinois Central Railroad south of Bradford. It was established in 1873, but it has never attained much importance.
North Gibson and Lynn, the former about two and one-half miles east and the latter three miles west of Bradford, were formerly places of some prominence, each having a post office and two or three stores: but since the completion of the railroad they have declined and Bradford has succeeded them as a shipping and commercial point.
Gibson Wells, situated in the southwest portion of the county, constitutes a summer resort of considerable note. They were discovered in 1843, by a Mr. Blaine. Two or three years later they were sold to Norman and Calvin Cherry, who in 1849 provided accommodation for 200 boarders. After changing hands several times the buildings were burned, in 1875. They have since been rebuilt, however, and are now annually visited by a large number of people.
The part taken by Gibson County in the late civil war was important. It is doubtful if any other county of equal population furnished so large a number of troops, or so great a number of commanding officers. The work of recruiting and equipping companies was begun immediately after the call for troops by president Lincoln in April, 1861. At the session of the county court, held the following June, a tax of 5 cents was levied on each $100 worth of property, and 10 cents on each poll to defray the expenses of families of needy volunteers, and commissioners were appointed for each civil district to superintend its distribution. At the same time ten men were appointed in each district to constitute a company of Minute Men or Home Guards, and E. W. Raines was chosen to command it.
The1 first company organized was Company F, of the Fourth Tennessee Infantry. R. L. White was chosen captain; A. S. Currey, first lieutenant; Charles Elder, second lieutenant; William R. Cox, third lieutenant; and Clarence Bright, orderly sergeant. Upon reorganization an entire change of officers was made. J. L. Lett became captain; Uscor Gilchrist, first lieutenant; B. H. Raines, second lieutenant; Joseph Baker, third lieutenant, and J. B. Davis, orderly sergeant.
1The movements of the various regiments are traced in another chapter of this work.
Of the Twelfth Regiment of Tennessee Infantry six companies were from Gibson County. Company F was organized at Rutherford, with Joseph A. Knox as captain; Robert McNeil, first lieutenant; M. Stephens, second lieutenant; Samuel K. P. House, third lieutenant, and George E. Rust, orderly sergeant. It was reorganized at Corinth, with Thomas Mathes, captain; S. K. P. House, first lieutenant; Thomas Rison, second lieutenant; James Armstrong, third lieutenant, and Abraham Hancock, orderly sergeant. Company C was organized at Dyer Station, with J. N. Wyatt as captain: J. T. Mathis, first lieutenant: Robert Atkinson, second lieutenant, and James Armstrong, third lieutenant.
Company G was recruited in the vicinity of Lynn Point, and organized with R. P. Caldwell as captain; J. 0. Hartsfield, first lieutenant; William A. Allen, second lieutenant. Charles N. Wade, third lieutenant, and J. C. Gibbs, orderly sergeant.
At the reorganization Charles N. Wade became captain; Rufus Mathis, first lieutenant; James Ross, second lieutenant, and Richard Johnson, orderly sergeant.
Soon after, at the consolidation with the Twenty-second Regiment, the company was consolidated with Company D, and was known thereafter as Company E. The officers elected were Charles N. Wade, captain; Richard Rogers, first lieutenant; Morgan Lane, second lieutenant; James Fielder, third lieutenant, and R. R. Wade, orderly sergeant.
Company H, the Gibson Stars, was organized at Trenton, with R. M. Russell as captain. He was soon after elected colonel, however, and the officers of the company, after the promotion, were Benjamin Sandiford, captain; W. W. McDowell, first lieutenant; James Jackson, second lieutenant; James Houston, third lieutenant, and Frank Sinclair, orderly sergeant. Capt. Sandiford was killed at Shiloh, and was succeeded by Lieut. McDowell, who continued in command until the reorganization, when James Clark was elected captain; Gus Williams, first lieutenant; W. Wade, second lieutenant, and John Barksdale, third lieutenant. At Tupelo, Miss., the company was consolidated with Company K, with James Clark as captain; L. K. Gillespie, first lieutenant; Gus Williams, second lieutenant.
Company K was organized at Humboldt, with A. B. Cannon as captain; W. H. George, first lieutenant; L. K. Gillespie, second lieutenant, and Capt. Roe, third lieutenant. At the reorganization L. K. Gillespie was elected captain, and so continued until the consolidation.
Company E was recruited in the vicinity of Eaton, where it was organized with John H. Williams as captain; W. C. Oliphant, first lieutenant; B. T. Dodd, second lieutenant; Peter Moore, third lieutenant, and M. Lane, orderly sergeant. Upon reorganization Richard Rogersbecame captain; M. Lane, first lieutenant; B. 0. Carlton, second lieutenant; James Fielder, third lieutenant, and Thomas Carlton, orderly sergeant.
Company I was organized at Milan, with Edward Williams as captain; Thomas Hutchinson, first lieutenant; Thomas Drake, second lieutenant; J. J. Richardson, third lieutenant, and Stephen Hale, orderly sergeant. At the reorganization Archibald Jordan was elected captain, but did not serve, and from that time until the surrender at Greensboro, N. C., the company was led by Stephen Hale.
The regiment was organized at Jackson. R. M. Russell was elected colonel; T. H. Bell, lieutenant-colonel, and R. P. Caldwell, major. After the consolidation at Tupelo, the command passed to Col. Bell, and finally, after the second consolidation, to W. M. Watkins.
A company was raised in the vicinity of Milan, and organized with J. B. Robinson as captain; A. T. Gay, first lieutenant, and R. H. Goodman, second lieutenant. It formed apart of Bradford's Thirty-first Tennessee Infantry.
Company D, of the Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry, was organized at Yorkville in May, 1861. The commissioned officers were as follows: John A. Wilkins, captain; John Cunningham, first lieutenant; William Cowan, second lieutenant; John A. McCorkle, third lieutenant, and Samuel Brewer, orderly sergeant.
Company F, of the Twenty-second Tennessee Infantry, was organized at Trenton in June, 1861, with L. P. McMurray as captain; B. T. Davis, first lieutenant; T. W. Williams, second lieutenant; John P. Fewell, third lieutenant, and "Ferd" Hall, orderly sergeant. The next year, the regiment having been consolidated with the Twelfth, the company was reorganized as Company B. T. W. Williams became captain; T. H. Marshall, first lieutenant; James Clark, second lieutenant, and F. M. Donaldson, orderly sergeant. At the organization of the regiment T. J. Freeman, of Trenton, was elected colonel; T. H. Bell, of Dyer County, lieutenant-colonel, and - Stewart, major. When the regiment was consolidated with the Twelfth, at Tupelo, Miss., T. H. Bell became colonel, and L. P. McMurray, lieutenant-colonel. Bell was soon after transferred to the cavalry service, and was succeeded by L. P. McMurray, who continued in command until the consolidation with the Forty-seventh Regiment, at Shelbyville, when W. M. Watkins was placed in command of the consolidated regiments.
Of the Forty-seventh Tennessee Infantry, four companies were raised in Gibson County, as was a considerable part of the Fifth. Company G, of this regiment, was organized at Trenton in November, 1861, with Joseph Carthell as captain; G. M. Hopkirs, first lieutenant; John Hartsfield, second lieutenant; George Elam, third lieutenant, and J. 0. January, orderly sergeant. The company was a very large one, containing about 125 men. At the reorganization Carthell was re-elected captain, while John Hartsfield was chosen first lieutenant, and Syd. Thomas second lieutenant. Capt. Carthell was killed in the battle before Atlanta, and George R. Booth assumed command.
Company K was organized at Yorkville, with Green Holmes as captain; Thomas Cummings, first lieutenant; J. H. Lasley, second lieutenant; David Pierce, third lieutenant, and J. C. Holmes, orderly sergeant. Capt. Holmes soon after became disabled by sickness, and was succeeded by Thomas Cummings, who was afterward killed.
Company B was organized at Donaldson's, in the Fifth Civil District. The officers chosen were William Gay, captain; J. H. Sinclair, first lieutenant; R. B. Patterson, second lieutenant; J. B. Smith, third lieutenant, and L. J. Nicholson, orderly sergeant. It was reorganized at Corinth with J. H. Sinclair as captain; R. B. Patterson, first lieutenant, and H. J. Ballentine. second lieutenant.
Company F was organized at Humboldt, with J. L. Branch as captain; B. F. Roe, first lieutenant; F. M. Newhouse, second lieutenant; W. J. Penn, third lieutenant, and J. H. Rust, orderly sergeant.
The regiment was organized with M. R. Hill as colonel; B. E. Holmes, lieutenant colonel, and T. R. Shearon, major.
On June 22, 1861, the First West Tennessee Battalion, consisting of seven companies, was organized at Trenton. At Columbus, Ky., on February 22, 1862, it was organized as the Fifty-fifth Tennessee Infantry, under the command of A. J. Brown, with G. B. Block, of Trenton, as lieutenant-colonel. The latter had been captain of Company D, which was organized at Trenton, with J. M. Hutchinson as first lieutenant; S. B. Jones, second lieutenant, and H. J. Ferguson, orderly sergeant. Upon the organization of the regiment S. B. Jones succeeded Black as captain; H. J. Ferguson became lieutenant, and B. M. 0. Daniel succeeded him as orderly sergeant. At Mobile, in 1863, Ferguson became captain, and at Port Hudson, La., the company was consolidated with Bledsoe's company.
In 1863, the Twelfth Infantry having been consolidated with the Twenty-second, Col. R. M. Russell returned home for the purpose of recruiting and organizing a regiment of cavalry. As the territory was held by the Federals, the recruits were compelled to escape in squads, and organize after reaching Alabama or Mississippi. In the fall of 1863 a sufficient number of companies having been raised, they were organized at Oxford, Miss., as the Twentieth Tennessee Cavalry, under the command of Col. R. M. Russell. Of this regiment three companies were recruited in Gibson County. Company A was organized on August 24,1863, on Shoal Creek, Alabama, with William Gay as captain; J. H. Blakemore, first lieutenant; James M. Gay, second lieutenant; R. H. Goodman, third lieutenant, and William Hunt, orderly sergeant. On September 16 Capt. Gay was promoted to major, and was succeeded in the command of the company by Lieut. Blakemore. The company served without consolidation to the close of the war.
Company C was recruited in the vicinity of Dyer Station, and organized with J. T. Mathis as captain; J. P. Armstrong, first lieutenant; J. C. A. Grier, second lieutenant; "Pink" Bradbury, third lieutenant, and Robert A. Overall, orderly sergeant. It was afterward consolidated with Shaw's company from Dyer County.
The other company was recruited in the south and southeastern part of the county, and was commanded by J. A. Shane, with J. R. Dance and Tobe Herron as lieutenants.
Bennett's battalion of four companies of cavalry, three of which were from Gibson County, was organized in the fall of 1863 at South Gibson, with G. W. Bennett as major. Company H. was organized at Hope Hill, with J. J. Richardson as captain; W. A. Elam, first lieutenant; Joseph Elam, second lieutenant; I. C. Haynes, third lieutenant, and Robert James, orderly sergeant. Company A was organized at Humboldt. Its officers were William Massey, captain; Peter Wade, first lieutenant; A. House, second lieutenant, and L. Cherry, third lieutenant. The other company was recruited in the vicinity of Brazil, and organized with Wise A. Cooper as captain, and John Dance and Aaron Bowers, lieutenants. At Como, Miss., in March, 1864, the battalion was consolidated with the Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry, under the command of Col. Green. Company B, of the Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry, was organized at South Gibson College. The officers were John Duberry, captain; N. A. Senter, first lieutenant; John L. Fly, second lieutenant, and LaFayette Harder, orderly sergeant. It was afterward consolidated with Harris' company, with John Duberry, captain; N. A. Senter, first lieutenant; Gideon Hicks, second lieutenant; John Holt, third lieutenant, and George Rucker, orderly sergeant.
Company K, of the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, was
organized in June, 1863, with Robert Sharp as captain; Robert Clark, first
lieutenant; Edward Cannon, second lieutenant, and John Rust, orderly
sergeant. All of the above troops served in the Confederate service.
One company was raised for service in the Federal Army, and many individuals joined companies from other counties. Company E, of the Seventh Tennessee Infantry (Federal), was recruited in the northeastern part of Gibson County, and organized at North Gibson in August, 1862, with W. C. Holt as captain; T. C. McMahan, first lieutenant; I. W. Johns, second lieutenant, and James H. Sergeant, orderly sergeant. In the spring of 1863 it was transferred to the cavalry service and became Company 31, of the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry.
The early schools of Gibson County were of the same character as those of every new country, and furnished the pioneer youth with only the rudiments of an education. As the early teachers usually lived a somewhat peripatetic life it is difficult to name and locate them. One of the first schools in the vicinity of Yorkville was taught by an old man by the name of Hubbard. He was followed by a Mr. Blackwood, and later by Robert Thomas and Abner D. Thomas, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, who afterward taught in the neighborhood of Dyer Station. Larkin Harvey, Cornelius Dickey and Henry Bradley also taught schools in or near Yorkville. In 1852 the Yorkville Academy was established, with Alexander Vick as the first teacher, and for several years it enjoyed a wide reputation. In 1835 Daniel W. James taught a school at Antioch Church. He was followed by Thomas C. James and John I. King. One of the first schools in the "Skullbone" district was taught by John Isbel, in a small house, with neither a floor nor a fire place, located near where G. W. Robinson now lives. William Stone and Abner Martin were also teachers in that neighborhood. Alexander Shane and Levi Wright were teachers nearly half a century ago, in the southeastern portion of the county.
Soon after the organization of the county, under the law for the establishment of county academies, the Trenton Male Academy was incorporated. By an act of the Legislature, passed in 1842, it was required to pay over one-half of its funds to the trustees of the Trenton Female Academy, which had been established. These two institutions continued to furnish instruction to the youth of Trenton until 1852. In that year Andrew College, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, succeeded the Trenton Male Academy, and to it the funds of the latter institution were transferred. Rev, A. L. Hamilton was installed as the first president. He was succeeded by Gilford Jones, who continued in that position until the beginning of the war. In 1866 the institution was reopened under the management of S. W. Moore, who conducted it for a short time, after which, in 1875, the college property, which was encumbered with debt, was sold to the directors of the public school. Contemporary with Andrew College was the Odd Fellow's Female Collegiate Institute, which was incorporated in 1852 with the following trustees: Joseph D. Hill, John D. McDowell, Robert Seat, Luke P. Seay, H. C. Levy, G. S. Rainey, R. B. McGee, R. P. Raines and M. B. King. The institution was established and sustained by Friendship Lodge, No. 22, I. 0. 0. F., and, under the presidency of Dr. J. E. Bright, attained a high position among the educational institutions of the State. During the war the buildings were occupied by the Federal troops as a hospital, and while so used were accidentally burned. At the close of the war W. K. Jones established the Melrose Female Institute, which was afterward consolidated with Andrew College to form the Peabody High School. This latter institution was organized and went into operation in 1875, under the management of Gentry R. McGee and lady, who have since continued at its head.
In 1860 the Humboldt Female College was incorporated, with J. P. Sharpe, Thomas J. Williams, John A, Taliaferro, Joseph N. Lannon, John C. Gillespie, L. M. Caldwell and W. H. Stillwell, as trustees. A large two-story brick house was erected and the school opened. After the establishment of the public schools it was conducted as a consolidated school until 1885, when the building was sold to the city.
South Gibson Institute was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, passed January 30, 1860, the trustees being Samuel P. Cole, John Green, Benjamin Seward, J. H. Scales, Thomas Walker, A. J. Williams and Green Williams. A good building was immediately erected, and the school opened under the management of Allen Scott, who was afterward succeeded by Isham Burrow. The school continued until 1866, when the building was burned.
Milan College was incorporated in 1868. The trustees were W. B. Dickinson, B. A. Williamson, E. A. Collins, J. H. Yancey, W. L. Horner, Z. G. Jacbkson and M. D. L. Jorbdan. A large brick building was erected, at a cost of $10,000. The school was opened under the management of Daniel Lisle, who was soon succeeded by J. D. Anderson. In 1880 the building was leased to the town for a long term of years, and the school is now conducted under the supervision of the board of education.
In 1849 Shiloh Academy was established by the Presbyterian Church, and continued as a successful parochial school for several years. An academy, which is still in existence, was incorporated and established at Dyer Station, in 1868.
Under the school law of 1867 an attempt was made to establish public schools, and W. H. Stillbell was installed as superintendent of public instruction. Nothing of importance, however, was accomplished. In 1870, under a new law which referred the regulation of the schools to the counties, A. S. Currey was appointed superintendent, and to him is largely due the establishment of the present excellent school system of Gibson County. He continued to hold the office until March, 1875, when he was succeeded by W. C. Oliver. Others who have held the office are James M. Coulter, Joseph R. Deason and A. Killough. The following statistics indicate the improvement in the public schools of the county since the adoption of the present system: In 1874 the scholastic population was, white, 6,656; colored, 2,414; the total enrollment was 7,278, and the number of teachers employed, 144. In 1885 the scholastic population was, white, 9,135; colored, 3,695; the total enrollment, 8,441, and the number of teachers employed, 169.
The religious denominations of the county did not begin the organization of societies until about 1825 or 1826, when each began the work of erecting churches, and providing for regular service. The first Methodist Episcopal organization was made near Olive Branch, and services were held for a time at the house of James Latta, who was chosen the first class leader. The county at that time belonged to what is known as the Forked Deer Circuit, and Pleasant Robinson and Thomas Neely were the first circuit riders, while Thomas Smith was the first presiding elder. The latter was a typical pioneer preacher, as bold and fearless as he was earnest and conscientious, and many reminiscences of his camp-meeting and revival experiences are still related. The first camp-meeting was held at Richardson's camp ground, seven miles east of Trenton, in 1827, at which time there were 107 conversions. During the same year a society was organized at Trenton, and a board of trustees appointed, who proceeded to raise means to build a church, which was completed in 1834 by Thomas Fite. At about this time, Trenton Circuit was formed, including Olive Branch, Clements (situated about three miles east of the present site of Humboldt) and Richardson's Camp Ground. In 1839 Trenton became a station, with Benjamin H. Hubbard as pastor. A church known as El Bethel was organized at the house of William Goodman, four miles north of Milan, as early as 1826 or 1827. Services were then held in a schoolhouse until about 1832, when a building was erected. This church is now known as Walnut Grove. Other early churches were Stanley's Camp Ground, Oak Grove, Zion, Wright's Chapel, Hope Hill, Antioch, Eastwood, Corinth, Wyatt's Chapel, China Grove, Round Pond and Salem, all of which were organized in the thirties. Some time in the forties Rigsby's Chapel was built on the present site of Bradford. It is now located two miles southwest of that place, and is known as Chestnut Hill. A church was built at Milan in 1867, and one at Humboldt was erected at a little later date, although services had been held at both places prior to the war. The following are the remaining churches of this denomination in Gibson County, with perhaps one or two omissions: Rutherford, Dyer, Bower's Chapel, Harper's Chapel, Union, Gibson, Pleasant Hill, Beech Grove, Good Hope, Nebo, Hopewell (formerly Crenshaw's Chapel), Moore's Chapel, Poplar Grove. The aggregate membership of the Methodist Episcopal Churches in the county, according to the latest report, falls little short of 2,500.
The first Protestant Methodist Church was organized by William Elliott about 1831. Among its principal members were Thomas D. Stanley, Luke Biggs, E. Biggs, Zach Biggs, Norton Oakes and Willie Blount. Another society was organized in the vicinity of Milan by Allen Blankenship, and about 1847 a third was established at Poplar Grove. The only one in the county at present is Holly Springs, situated about four miles west of Dyer Station.
No Christian Church was established in Gibson County until during the forties, the first preacher being Elder Tolbott Fanning, of Nashville. Previous to the war three societies had been organized. They were Concord, situated about two miles west of Milan, Trenton and Liberty Grove. Since the war three others have been established: Walnut Grove, Nebo and one near the Obion County line.
Hopewell Presbytery, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was organized at Bethel Meeting-house, in Carroll County, in April, 1825, at which time representatives of only two societies, Bethel and Bethlehem, were present, although the entire territory of West Tennessee was included within the bounds of the presbytery. The ministers present were William Barnett, Samuel Harris, Richard Beard and John C. Smith. Harris was chosen moderator, and Smith, clerk. The first church within the limits of Gibson County, which was represented at a meeting of the presbytery, was known as Pleasant Green Camp Ground. The representative, John Harrall, was admitted in 1827. The second was Concord, which was organized at Yorkville in 1827, and its representative, Samuel McCorkle, admitted at the spring session, in 1828. At the same time John A. Miller appeared as the representative of Hopewell. The next year the church at Trenton sent its first representative in the person of George F. Crofton, and at the same session Elijah Gassett represented Antioch. At the fall session of 1829 the presbytery met at Trenton for the first time. Other churches were organized and admitted to the presbytery as follows: Center, 1831; Union, 1840; Pleasant Grove, 1842; Good Hope, 1853; Cool Spring, 1853; Emmaus. 1857; Rutherford, 1859; Davidson's Chapel, 1861; Humboldt, 1866; Eaton, 1868; Milan, 1874; Beech Grove, 1874; Bell's Chapel, 1875, and Mount Olive, 1878. Medina, Oakland and Union Grove have all been recently organized. Sine--- 1881 that portion of the county west of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad has formed a part of the Obion Presbytery. The aggregate membership of the societies within the bounds of the county, according to the latest reports, is 1,022.
Of the early ministers of this denomination in Gibson County, none was more beloved and honored than the venerable Nelson I. Hess. He had served in the Creek war as the surgeon of a regiment, and stood high in the medical profession, but it was his dignified bearing and kindness of heart that endeared him to the people to whom he ministered. Among the other pioneer members of Hopewell Presbytery, well known to the early residents of the county, were Robert Baker, Cullin G. Cribbs, Reuben Burrows, Israel Pickens, Samuel Y. Thomas, John M. Grier, Abner C. Cooper and Daniel Lisle.
The first Presbyterian Church in the county was organized at New Shiloh in April, 1826, and at the same place, on November 6, 1829, the presbytery of the western district was organized. The ministers present were Samuel Hodge, John Gillespie, David Weir and Thomas Lynch. Their churches, New Shiloh, Jackson and New Providence, were represented by Joseph Allison, James Grier and James Thompson, respectively. Samuel Hodge was chosen moderator and David Weir stated clerk. There were twelve churches under the jurisdiction of the presbytery at this time, only one of which, New Shiloh, was in Gibson County. The second church organized was Zion, in the southwestern part of the county in 1833. During the following year a church known as West Bethel was organized in the northwestern portion of the county by the Rev. A. G. McNutt, and one, at Trenton, was organized by Dr. Alexander A. Campbell. A few years later Concord church was established, and in 1853 a church was organized at Eaton. The next society formed was at Hebron, near Rutherford, in 1860. These were all of the churches organized prior to the war. In 1866 Rev. E. S. Campbell organized a very flourishing congregation at Humboldt. All of the above churches are still in existence, with the exception of West Bethel.
Among the well known ministers, besides those already noticed, were A. T. Graves, Thomas I. Newberry, J. E. Bright and David Cochrane.
The First Baptist Church was organized in that portion of the county which now constitutes a part of Crockett County about 1826 by Z. N. Murrell, and among its members were James Ferrill, James Fields, Solomon Shaw, Isham F. Davis and William Moore. In 1828 Eldad Church was organized, six miles east of Trenton, and in 1832 Spring Hill Church was established, one mile north of Eaton. Enan, now Bethlehem, two miles southwest of Rutherford, and Bethel, about one mile south-of Yorkville, were also organized about this time.
In 1825 the Forked Deer Association, which included Carroll and Gibson Counties, and the counties south and west, was organized with fifteen churches and 200 members. Two years later the number of members had increased to over 1,000 and the number of churches to thirty, but at that time thirteen of these churches were formed into a new association known as Hatchie, thus reducing the Forked Deer Association to seventeen. This loss, however, was soon supplied, and in 1833 the organizations numbered thirty-three and the members 1,025. At the next meeting in 1834 the schism growing out of the "anti-mission" and "two seed" doctrines reached the Forked Deer Association and resulted in its dissolution. Soon after, fourteen of these churches opposed to the "two seed doctrine" met at Eldad Church, and reorganized under the name of the "Forked Deer Revival," but when the new body came to adopt a constitution, an article declaring against fellowship with those who united with missionary and Bible societies was inserted whereupon the Eldad, Spring Hill, New Hope, Clark's Creek and Pleasant Grove societies declined to become members of the new body, and in 1836 they met at Eldad Church and organized the Central Association. This body has since experienced uniform prosperity, and from time to time has furnished churches to form other associations. It now numbers thirty-eight churches, of which eighteen are in Gibson County. The following are the names, together with their membership: Beech Grove, 71; Bradford, 112; Center, 102; Chapel Hill, 136; Clear Creek, 46; Dyer, 29; Eldad, 165; Gibson, 119; Hickory Grove, 59; Humboldt, 90; Milan, 173; Mount Pisgah, 112; Mount Pleasant, 34; New Bethlehem, 80; Oak Grove, 132; Salem, 177; Spring Hill, 156; Trenton, 127. Poplar Grove, with 122 members, and Bethel, with 65 members, belong to Friendship Association, and the following to Beulah Association: Bethlehem, 130; Rutherford, 51; China Grove, 54, and Walnut Grove, 166, making a total of twenty-four societies and 2,508 members in Gibson County.
Among the earliest ministers of the Central Association may be mentioned David Halliburton, David Wagster, I D. Shipman, J. M. Hurt, M. Fly and M. Flowers. Others who have distinguished themselves by efficient service during the past half century are J. H. Borum, M. Hillsman, D. Haste, M. E. Senter, G. E. Thomas, S. K. Tigrett, M. H. Neal, John Selvage, D. H. Selph, W. M. Lee, William Hill, George Glover, S. E Gardner B. F. Bartles, S. P. Clark, J. W. Carter, R. A. Coleman, H. Conlee, R. Day, E. Dodson, W. E. Fawcett, W. C. Gilbert, W. W. Gardner, W. C. Grace, C. S. Gardner, C. R. Hendrickson, S. P. Jones, R. W. Norton and J. P. Weaver.
As was stated above, the churches organizing the Central Association withdrew from the Forked Deer revival. This left eight small churches in the latter association. A part of these, however, adhering to the "two seed doctrine," organized a small association, calling it "Predestinarian." These two "anti-missionary" bodies, after lingering in a declining state for several years, became extinct, although there are still two or three congregations in the county.
Of the General Baptists, there is but one organization in the county. This is located a short distance east of Bradford, and is a revival of the old Shiloh Church, which was established by the Primitive Baptists, about 1835.
The church of the Holy Innocents is the only organization of Protestant Episcopals in the county. It was established at Trenton, on February 12, 1878, with a membership of twenty-five, of whom J. H. Glass, J. W. Cox, J. S. Dickason, J. W. Westerbrook and Lewis Glass were the vestrymen. Joseph R. Gray was chosen rector, and so continued until 1879, when he resigned, and the church was without a rector from that time until 1883. Since that date the position has been filled by C. F. Collins. An elegant brick church has recently been erected, at a cost of about $4,000.
The Roman Catholics also have but one congregation in the county. This is located at Humboldt, where they have erected a neat frame house. They have no resident priest, but are supplied from Jackson.
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