City of McKenzie
Carroll County TN
McKenzie is situated at the crossing of the Nashville & Northwestern and the Louisville & Memphis Railroads. It was surveyed and platted in 1865 on lands belonging to James M. McKenzie, and buildings began at once to be erected, and the foundation for a prosperous town was at once established. A. G. Gilbert was the first merchant, and the next McKenzie & McClintoch and Mebane, Elbow & Covington. The town now contains four dry goods stores, six family groceries, two drug stores, one hardware store, three drinking saloons, two railroad depots, four steam cotton-gins, one planing-mill, one flouring-mill, two saw-mills, a livery stable, wagon and carriage shop, other mechanic shops, tw& hotels, the McKenzie House and Briant House; one weekly newspaper, the. Tri-County News, established in 1882 and published by
H. C. Lawhon; two colleges, two public schools, white and colored, and three churches; Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian and Baptist; also two colored churches, Cumberland Presbyterian and Baptist. The population of McKenzie is about 1,000. Being located, as it was, on uncleared land, many of the forest trees have been preserved for shade, and altogether the town has a very attractive appearance.
One source states that the city traces its name back to
Colonel John D. McKenzie, and was incorporated in 1869. (It had been laid out in
1865.) A second source, a McKenzie family scion, claims that Captain John McKenzie
and his wife, Martha (Patsy), came to the county in 1826 and developed much of the
land on which their sons were to live. James Monroe McKenzie owned some land
where two railroads converged and donated a parcel for right-of-way requirements;
so the site was referred to as McKenzie Station (later, McKenzie). Captain W. H.
Hawkins, a brother of Governor Alvin Hawkins, was the towns first mayor.