Introduction to the Resources of Tennessee, Volume 2
By Tennessee. Bureau of Agriculture, Joseph Buckner Killebrew 1874

County Seat - Huntingdon
This county is bounded on the north by the counties of Weakley and Henry, on the east by the counties of Benton and Decatur, on the south by Hendersou and Madison counties, and on the west by Gibson county. There are about 625 square miles of territory in the county. The number of acres exclusive of town lots assessed for taxation in 1873, was 352,030, valued at $3,153,880. The county is divided in twenty-five civil districts and seventy-five school districts, giving an average of three school districts to each civil district. This division into school districts was made under the new school law. There are no natural divisions which are worthy of remark. History. On the 9th day of November, 1821, the General Assembly passed an act providing for the organization of what was known as the Western District into counties, and under and by authority of this act the county of Carroll was formally organized on the 11th day of March 1822.

First Settlers.
The old pioneers who first settled in the section of country now embraced in Carroll county, were originally from the States of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and not a few of them were from the older counties of Middle Tennessee.

Topography.
In the immediate vicinity of Huntingdon, which is located very near the center of the county, the surface character of the country is very broken; going north from three to four miles the country becomes quite level, and continues so until the county line is reached; going south without being hilly, the country is broken; going west five or six miles, a very level and very rich body of land is reached, which extends to the west county line; going east the county is rather broken for about nine miles, when it becomes very much broken, and even hilly.

Soil.
The soil is generally of a gray color, with a reddish subsoil, which is very retentive of moisture. But there is a light sandy soil in various sections of the countv, on which cotton does better than on the gray lands, but even on that it pays well to raise it. Geological Formations. As a general rule, the county is very free from rocks, but in the eastern part there is occasionally a formation of sandstone found, which generally lies near the surface, hut it is sometimes reached by well-diggers at a depth ranging from three to six feet. These formations, however, are very limited in extent, and have only a local interest. It may also be well to notice that in various portions of the county a very singular looking sand is found, sometimes at or very near the surface, but for the most part at a depth ranging from eighteen inches to five and six feet. In color it varies considerably, some- times presenting a reddish ap|>earance, at another time or place assuming rather a yellowish cast, while in other places its color is almost white; again beds of it are found which are something of a bright orange color, and in more than one place in the county all or most of these colors may be found in one bed, mixed with a pasty colored clay. It seems generally to run in veins, and it is said that sometimes fossil leaves and even semi-petrified twigs and tree limbs are found in these beds.

Rivera and Creeks.
The county is reasonably well watered with perennial streams, of which the following are most worthy of notice.

Big Sandy enters the county from Henderson county, ranges northeast, cutting off the south-eastern corner of the county, and empties into the Tennessee River in Henry county. Beaver Creek rises in the county, with two heads, one in the south-eastern part of the county, which ranges west; the other in the north-eastern part of the county and ranges north-west, uniting abouttwo miles south-east of the town of Huntingdon, thence ranging west, and empties into the South Fork of the Obion River. Crooked Creek enters Carroll county on its northern boundary near the centre of the line from Henry county, ranges south-west, and intersects Beaver Creek about four miles from the west boundary line, forming the South Fork of the Obion River. Reedy Creek, in the south-western part of the county, ranges about northwest, and empties into the South Fork of the Obion. Rutherford Fork of the Obion rises in Henderson county, enters Carroll in the south-western part of the county, ranges north-west through the county-

Forked Deer enters the county on its southern line, near the western corner, and cuts off the south-west corner of the county. The above named streams, which, it will be seen, are very convenient to a large proportion of the county, are fed by springs; those west of Huntingdon have sandy beds, the others have all muddy beds. There is a great number of springs in the county, some of them being quite strongly impregnated with sulphur, while others are chalybeate, but most of thorn are freestone. The principal dependence for stockwater is in the rivers, creeks and branches, but for household purposes wells and cisterns are mainlv relied on.

Land Statistic*. In 1870 there were 960 farms in Carroll county, of all sizes, of which number there were three having more than three and under ten acres; sixty having more than ten and under twenty acres; 447 having more than twenty and under fifty acres; 226 having more than fifty and under one hundred acres; 180 having more than one hundred and under five hundred acres ; and only four having more than five hundred acres, and these four had each less than one thousand acres. Since 1870, there has been some improvement in the matter of clearing lands, but it has been so small that it scarcely admits of being estimated. The cash value of these farms in 1870 was $1,671,572, while the cash value of the farming implements and machinery was $114,585, which value has not increased to any great extent. In 1873 there were probably not less than 33 1/3 per cent, of all the open lands in the hands of renters, while a large proportion of the balance, say 33J per cent, of the whole, is worked by hired hands for for money, or on shares, while only about 33i percent, is worked by the land owners themselves. In this connection it may be well to notice that scarcely more than 5 per cent, of the lands now open in the county are really untillable. The amount of lands in the county which are for sale, at reasonable prices, is probably 20 per cent., owned by persons who have large bodies of lands; but a small proportion of this 20 per cent, is land which is open and ready for cultivation. The average prices for lands in the county are about as follows:

Best improved land, per acre ........$39 to 40
Medium Lands.................... $15 to 20
Inferior land. ..................$ 5 to 8

In many of the West Tennessee counties quite a difference is made in the prices of the uplands and the lowlands, but in Carroll county, as a general rule, there is no such distinction made. The average rental of lands in the county is about as follows:

Cotton and corn lands, per acre..................$3.50, or one-third of the crop.
Meadow and grain lands per acre ..................One-third of the crop.

When the land-owner furnishes everything but the labor, and crops on shares, he gets one-half of the crop. The usual terms of sale are, one-third cash, the balance in one and two years, with lien retained for the unpaid purchase money.

Labor.
Labor is very scarce, the people having to rely principally upon negroes, who are indolent and not trustworthy as a class. There are some white laborers, but they, too, as a general rule, are not regarded as reliable. Good white laborers are very much wanted, and they can command the following prices:

Farm hands (with board) per year.................................$150
Farm hands per month........................................... $ 15 to $20
Farmhands per day ............................................ $ 1
Harvest hands with board per day ..............................$ 2
Cooks with board per month................................... $ 8 to $10
House servants with board per month ............................$10 to $12
Mechanics with board per day .................................. $ 2 to $4

Products.

The county generally produces well, and the following averages of crops may be relied on:

Corn per acre............................................................... 22 bushels.
Cotton per acre ............................................................600 to 800 Lbs.
Wheat per acre ...............................................................8 bushels
Tobacco per acre ...........................................................800 lbs
Oats per acre............................................................... 15 bushels
Potatos, Irish per acre................................................... 20 to 30 bushels
Potatoes, sweet, per acre ...............................................25 to 40 bushels

The cotton generally ranks from good ordinary to low middling; the tobacco is of a good quality, but not much is raised; oats do well sometimes, but on account of the frequency of rust, but few are raised. The following crops were realized in 1870, and will give a fair idea of what the people of Carroll county are doing in 1874:

Wheal raised........................................................... 93,872 bushels.
Corn raised ...........................................................777,1122 bushels
Oats raised ........................................................... 4,200 bushels
Tobacco raised ........................................................... 10,840 pounds.
Cotton raised .............................................-............ 5,023 bales.
Wool raised........................................................... 13,044 pounds.
Potatoes, Irish, raised................................................. 213 bushels.
Potatoes, sweel raised ................................................. 371 bushels
Butler.....................................................................272,083 pounds.
Cheese..................................................................... 4,475 pounds
Hay....................................................................... 108 tons.
Sorghum.................................................................. 8,005 gallons.
Honey.................................................................... 3,135 pounds.

In this same connection may be very appropriately given a few other statistics as illustrating the industries of the county:

Value of home manufactures................................................$ 87,455
Value of animals slaughtered, etc..........................................$ 312,707
Value of all live stock.........................................................$ 910,255

Number of horses................................................................. 3,517
Number mules ami asses................................................... 2,265
Number mileh eows.......................................................... 4,076
Number working oxen...................................................... 857
Number other eattle......................................................... 4,505
Number sheep.................................................................. 10,822
Number swine.................................................................. 35,018

Grosses.
Clover and herds-grass have long been the favorite grasses in the county, but of late years clover has been giving place, to a great extent, to timothy, which is now extensively sowed. The German millet is also coming into favor in many neighborhoods, but as yet it cannot be classed as one of the general crops of the county. The es- timated average yields of these grasses is as follows: Herds-grass and timothy per acre, two tons; German millet, three tons. There is also in the lowlands over the county a wild grass, called locally, swamp grass, which is said to grow luxuriantly, and of which stock of all kinds are remarkably fond. This swamp grass stands a drought well.

Fruit, Vines and Berries
The most reliable fruits are the peach and the apple ; pears do well, especially the standard varieties, but the dwarfs are short lived and unreliable ; plums and cherries likewise do tolerably well, but they are not much valued or cultivated. Every year there is fruit in some neighborhoods of the county, and about every other year" a good crop may be relied on. Grapes, especially the wild varieties, seem to thrive particularly well, but most of the domestic varieties are subject to more or less rot, which fact prevents them from becoming an article of export from the county. Berries of the kinds usually found in West Tennessee grow in great abundance, and are regarded as being very reliable. The muscadine is abundant.

Forest Products. Good lumber can be procured in the county at from §15 to §20 per thousand feet, principally yellow poplar, but there is some red gum; the other varieties are very scarce, and but little is shipped.

Stock and Stock-mixing.
But very few persons are paying any attention to the improvement of stock. It is believed, however, that the plentiful supply of water, the wild grass which abounds, and the extensive ranges in the county peculiarly adapt it to this branch of industry. The Berk ah ires are the favorite hogs in the county, and a dog law is very much wanted, and would be very popular with the farmers, most of whom would raise sheep, but cannot do so on account of the great number of sheep-killing dogs which infest the county.

Game and Fish.
There is very little game in Carroll county; principally turkeys, squirrels and birds, and they are rapidly getting scarce. Fish, also, are becoming very scarce, the most numerous varieties being trout, perch, suckers and cat, and a very few buffalo. Market*. The principal markets are Nashville, Memphis and Louisville, via the Nashville and Northwestern, and the Memphis and Louisville railroads. There is also a good home market for everything which one may have to buy or sell.

Population.
According to the census report of 1870 the population of Carroll county was as follows: Whites, 14,648; colored, 4,799; total, 19,447.

The People.
As a general rule the people are industrious and thrifty, and there is a general spirit of improvement manifested, especially among the fanning classes. New buildings are going up, old ones are being improved, fences are being built, and to a very limited extent new lands are being cleared and made ready for cultivation. The court records show that the people are generally law-abiding, but there is probably more litigation in proportion to the population than in any other county in West Tennessee.

Farming and Farmers.
Since the war, there has been a very gradual and marked improvement in the manner of farming; but even in 1873 the farmers read but little on the subject of farming, or on any other subject, and agriculture, as a science, is but little understood. There is some machinery in use, but very little, and there is certainly great room for improvement. A very insignificant proportion of the people are subscribers to agricultural papers and journals.

Immigration and Emigration.
During the past five or six years very few families or individuals have moved into the county; these few principally from East Tennessee and from North Carolina, while occasionally one from Virginia finds his way into the county. The people express themselves as being anxious to welcome good settlers, but they have as yet made no effort worthy of the name to induce people to make their homes with them. They will be glad to have settlers come in, without res|>ect to color or j>olitical proclivities. Some families have left the county recently, most of them going to Arkansas and Texas, but the general disposition of the people is to stay at home, that is to say, in the county, but it is said that they arc equally as fond of confining themselves to their respective homes, the result being that they arc not noted for their sociability.

Roads.
As a general rule the roads in the county arc in a very neglected condition, and often in the winter they are nearly impossible. The people seem to be so much absorbed in the raising of cotton that they cannot be induced to work on the roads, and the result is obvious. The road law of 1872-3 is not in force in the county, and is not likelv to be.

Railroads.
The railroad facilities, however, are very good, and the prospects are very encouraging. The Nashville and Northwestern Railroad runs through the county, entering it from Benton county, ranging in a south-westwardly direction to Huntingdon, running thence in a north-westerly direction to McKenzie. The Memphis and Louisville Railroad enters the county from Gibson county at Milan, which is not far from the line between Gibson and Carroll counties, and near the middle of the line, running thence in a north-easterly direction, passing out of Carroll into Henry at McKcnzie, which is on the dividing line between Carroll and Henry counties, and very near the center of that line. The Tennessee Central, which is to run from Huntingdon to the town of Fulton, on the Mississippi River, in the county of Lauderdale, is under contract from Huntingdon to Trenton, in Gibson county, and will, in all probability, be completed.

Towns and Villages.
Huntingdon, the county seat, is situated near the center of the county; has a population of about 800 inhabitants; has four churches, representing the following denominations: Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Methodist Episcopal Church, North ; Cumberland Presbyterian, and Colored Methodist; has as its only public buildings the court-house and jail; is quite a good looking town, is growing some, and does a heavy business; has a depot on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, the contemplated northern terminus of the Tennessee Central Railroad, and also of the comtemplated railroad from Jackson. Over 4,100 bales of cotton were shipped from this point in 1873.

McKenzie is at the crossing of the Nashville and Northwestern, and the Memphis and Louisville railroads; is 12 miles north-west of Huntington; has about 1,000 inhabitants; is quite an active business point; is growing rapidly; is the seat of Bethel College, which institution is under the patronage of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and has about eighty students; also of McKenzie College, which has about 170 students, and is a private enterprise; has three churches, representing the following denominations: Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Baptist; has also one foundry, one planing mill, one flonring-mill, three cotton gins, two colored churches (Methodist and Baptist) and two colored schools. Trezcvant is a depot on the Memphis and Louisville Railroad; is twelve and a half miles west of Huntingdon; has a population of about 250 inhabitants. McLemoresville is on the contemplated line of the Tennessee Central Railroad; is nine miles west of Huntingdon ; has about 200 inhabitants; is the seat of a fine institution of learning known as Bethel Seminary, with 104 students, Atwood is on the Memphis and Louisville Railroad, fifteen miles of Huntingdon ; has about 100 inhabitants. Lavinia is a small village, twenty miles south-west of Huntingdon, with about 150 inhabitants. Clarksburg is nine miles south of Huntingdon, and has about two hundred inhabitants. Buena Vista is eight miles east of Huntingdon, and has 50 inhabitants. Hollow Rock is a depot on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad; is ten miles east of Huntingdon, and has about 200 inhabitants. Marlborough is thirteen miles north-east of Huntingdon, and has about 200 inhabitants. Macedonia is a small village, nine miles north of Huntingdon; is the seat of Macedonia College, and has about b'O inhabitants. Maple Creek is fourteen miles south-east of Huntingdon, and has about 40 inhabitants. It will be noticed that these towns and villages are at convenient distances throughout the county, thus giving the people good post-office and commercial facilities.

Water-power, Mills and Manufactories.
The streams of the county are very sluggish, hence there is no excellent water-power in the county. However, mills are generally very conveniently located, the average milling distances being about three miles, and most of them are very good. There is no strictly merchant mill in the county, and the saw-mills generally saw lumber for the home trade. About twelve miles north of Huntingdon the Shiloh cotton factory is located, which it is proposed will manufacture cotton cloths, but as yet it is only running spindles, and employs about twenty-five hands.

Schools and School Statistics.
Public schools are not favored. A tax for that purpose is unpopular. There are, however, many good private schools, and the public schools are kept up for a few months each year. The scholastic population is 5,697.

Religious Statistics. Churches are conveniently located with respect to most of the neighborhoods of the county, representing the following denominations: Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Cumberland Presbyterian, Baptist and Christian; there are also some representatives of the denominations of Primitive Baptist, but the church is very weak. Masonic and Odd Fellows' lodges are quite common.

Newspapers.
There are two newspapers published in the county: one, the Tennessee Republican, is a Republican paper, published at Huntingdon, and has a good circulation; the other is the McKenzie Times, which is a Democratic paper, published at McKenzie—it also has a good circulation. The people in the county are not great readers of newspapers, but to a very limited extent, the secular, religions and agricultural press is patronized.

Fair Association.
At McKenzie is an association known as the "McKenzie Agricultural and Mechanical Association," which is in its third year, and is in a good condition. The people in the county manifest much interest in its success. The farmers have numerous organizations.


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