Henderson County TN

By H. J. Bolen

30 May 1922

Assested by W.V. Barry & W.R. Bolen

In attempting anything like a history of Henderson County, we have but few records available but we feel as though her citizens would be glad to learn of her glorious past, while it must be remem­bered that the position of any city, county, or state has great deal to do with its progress and growth, and while Henderson county is not so richly blessed with nature's gifts, yet despite her interior po­sition, has made wonderful progress and growth through the diligence of her faithful sons and what advantages were before them.

Henderson county has a diversified surface. From the highest ridge, running somewhat through the county, the various streams flow in almost every direction. Henderson has always been known as one of the best—perhaps the best—watered counties in West Tennessee. From the springs which are many flow the purest "nec­tar of the Gods." and from our wells are dug with comparative ease and little expense, our people obtain at once a fresh and abundant supply of wholesome drinking water. No similar territory in the nation can show greater rarity of the typhoid germ in the general supply of drinking water. If there ever was a malaria germ, it has almost disappeared, for there is not now one ague of chill while in years gone by there were an hundred.

While the water of Henderson County is generally freestone, there are notable exceptions, such as the famous spring at White Fern and at Hinson Spring, two miles west of Lexington. Here and there is found a fine sulphur well or spring, but in the main, the drinking supply of the county is just water. The altitude of 720 feet above sea level is reached at Lexington, the calculation having been made before the building of the Tennessee Midland Railroad in 1889. It has long been taken for granted that no minerals of value exist in the county, but in the different localities there have been strong surface indications of oil, which may yet develop riches.

No county ever had a finer variety of timber than was originally given to Henderson. Here we had vast forest of the finest oak, of a half dozen varieties, giant poplars, beech, hickory gums, and even a great stretch of pine woods which lies south-east of Lexington. In the early days of the Tennessee Midland and the Paducah, Tennes­see and Alabama railroad, the timber was ruthlessly slaughtered, and at comparatively little profit, but our people have grown especially careful of their timber and that which is left is carefully guarded, and sold only when fancy prices are offered.

Henderson County puts on the market thousands of fancy railroad ties besides the large output of timber from the many saw mills within the confines of the county. We also have large bodies of hill lands that would make ideal sheep ranches and when the sheep and dogs are properly valued, the raising of sheep will be one of Henderson County's leading industries.

The crops that can be grown in Henderson County, cover a va­riety almost as wide as as the complete list. Cotton is and has been King; yet diversified farming is carried on now by many of the lead­ing farmers. Corn is growing in the esteem of our people, and our yield increases each succeeding year with no additional acreage, which shows that our farmers understand better the cultivation and care of the soil, and the value of good seed selection, and many more new ideas that have come to the farmers of Henderson County.

On sweet potatoes and watermelons our county is almost a world-beater, and the Irish potato flourishes as well. The strawberry is plying its way into one of the county's leading money crops. In fact we can grow any crop of the temperate zone with profit.

In the fruits, apples flourish in good land and peaches will grow anywhere they are stuck and given half a chance. We are doing more in fruit now than any time in the past.

In stock-raising we are coming out of the "kinks" for our mules are equal to those raised in Maury county or Missouri, and purebred cows and hogs are taking the place of the scrub. We might largely attribute the rapid progress in the foregoing to the county farm demonstration agent, Prof. H. A. Powers, but no body of farmers can accomplish anything till they are willing to take a pinch of ad­vice, and who are willing to put farming on a scientific basis, and the county agent is invaluable toward helping us attain this end. Now, as the foregoing has been given over to the things that helped our county in a commercial way of development and progress of its people, we will now proceed to give you a few facts on the early days of Henderson County.


The birth of Henderson County is said to have occurred at a date very soon after the Chickasaw treaty of Oct. 19, 1818. The first settlers came from the middle and eastern division of the state and from the states of North and South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky. All sorts of people from the standpoints of birth and social breeding, were embraced in the early settlers of Henderson County, giving it a marked homegenuity which is yet visible in the social make-up of the present day.

In 1821-22 immigration into Henderson county became more general. Joseph Reed, who came in 1818, is claiming to have been the first white settler, and the place of his location is well known, five miles east of Lexington on the road to Decaturville via of Middleburg. Many of the progeny of Joseph Reed are yet living in the vicinity of the first settlement.

In the spring of 1822, Samuel Wilson settled where Lexington now stands and Dr. John A. Wilson, who came about the same time, was the first physician. Dr.Wilson settled near Lexington, and in 1822 was made the first clerk of the county court. He held the office until 1855 when he was succeeded by Major Jesse Taylor. Abner Taylor is also given as one of the first settlers of Lexington vicinity. Major John T. Harmon was the first surveyor and made the original plat of the town of Lexington. When Major Harmon first settled, about five miles north of Lexington on what is known as the head waters of Big Sandy, Major Harmon among his other distinctions erected the first .cotton gin in the county. Among other very early settlers were Jacob Bartholomew, William Hayes, William Cain, George Powers, Wiliam Dismukes, John Purdy, James Baker, Jesse Taylor, the McCluer's, Trices, Strongs, Brighams, Shacklefords and McGhees.

The first mill in the bounds of Henderson County was built in perhaps the year 1821 by John and William Brighams and another soon after on the Forked Deer in the western part of the county by Daniel Barcroft. A horse mill was put up on the Trenton road in 1822 and Major Harmon put up his cotton gin in 1823. Shacklesford's mill, five miles east of Lexington, was built before 1830 and about the same time the mills of McGhee and Trice and the cotton gin of McClure.

The first marriage license issued in Henderson County bore the date Jan. 8, 1822, was to H. H. Hopkins and Sophia Greer. Calvin Gilliam and Susan Reeves were married in 1828 and until the burning of the courthouse before the present one, there were records of several others of the first marriages and Revs. Darnett, a minister of the Presbyterian faith, is said to have tied the nuptial knot in many of the instances.

The exact creation of Henderson County is said to have been an Act of the Legislature passed Nov. 16, 1821, and the territory named in the act was put under Stewart County until the formal organization in 1822. In the complete history of Henderson County, there has never been recorded again of territory, but several and hurtful losses. In 1845 a strip of three miles wide was taken from Henderson and given to the new county of Decatur. In 1868 a small fraction lying west of the Forked Deer was given to Madison. In 1882 when the new county of Chester was formed and its title fought out in courts, Henderson lost heavily, and Chester liked our meat so well that somebody persuaded the General Assembly of 1893 to give the county another slice. This we finally got back at considerable cost by surveying the land and proving the act unconstitutional. When Henderson county was created and named for Col. James Henderson, a North Carolinian of Revoluionary fame, the legislature appointed Sterling Brewer, James Fentress and Abram Maury to select a site for the county seat. The spot selected was the prop­erty of Samuel Wilson, located on the Wilson Spring branch, and but for work done by Mr. Wilson was an un'broken forest. The town site selected contained 63 acres and for that property Mr. Wil­son was paid $100 in money and one lot which was lot No. 20.

Job Philpot, J. J. Hill, Abner Taylor, James Purdy were the first governing body of the town. The survey made by Major John T. Harmon gave the streets a hearing north of 47 degrees and the central spot reserved for the courthouse, the stocks and the jail, was given the dimension of 4 acres—which would make the distance 140 yards from the old M.cChaney's drug store to the Citizens Bank of Lexington.


The first was built in 1822, was but one story, made of logs and cost $142. The second house of brick, built in 1827, by Samuel Wilson and cost $4,597.97. The house was remodeled in 1832 by James Baker at the cost of $1000. In 1844 the walls of this house were taken partly down and rebuilt by James H. Watson. There was no more courthouse history until 1863, when the "Temple of Justice" was destroyed by fire, thought to have been set by the Third Michi­gan Federal cavalry who were quartered in it. Most of the county records were consumed in this fire but some of the most value were saved, else the very matter of early history could not have been ascertained. In 1866, H. C. Theadgill, A. H. Rhodes, J. H Fuller, J. R. Teague and Samuel Howard were appointed a committee for the erection of a new courthouse and they let the contract to Robert J. Dyer for the sum of $7,450, the building to be .completed by Oct. 1st, 1867.

That house stood until the morning of July 4th, 1895, when in the early hours it was reduced to ashes, a site of brick bats and mortar, and nearly all records were destroyed. It was thought this time to have been set by the hand of an incendiary, and there was some ground for suspicion, yet there is some ground for accidental suspicion as there had been held in the building the evenng before an amateur performance. When discovered this fire had made such headway that some of the rooms of the county officials were never entered. Hence records and other contents were all lost.

The present courthouse bids fair to meet all demand for many years to come. It is handsome, commodious and practically fireproof. Each of the county officials are provided with fire proof vaults in connection with the room assigned them. The buliding is of red pressed brick wth stone trimming, a splendid slate roof, a four-faced clock.

The circuit court room is seated with opera chairs and ceiled with steel and the county court room is ample for all purposes. The present courthouse was built in 1896 while Esq. G. B. Gison was chairman of the court. The building committee were D. F. Hutton, Chairman; M. A. Hare, J. H. Gibson, E. E. Muse and L. F. Fuller.

The contractor was B. M. Nelson of Decatur, Ala., and the cost was $11,600. No town in Tennessee can show a 'better public build­ing for the cost. Many visitors estimate the building price at two and sometimes three times the cost, the honor of which goes to the committee that had the matter in charge.

The most marked peculiarity of Mr. Nelson, the contractor, was the fact that he had no teeth, had never sprouted any and the den­tist coul'd not make him a fit.


We have account of but three jail structures during the history of Lexington and Henderson County. The first, a cheap log hut, cost the county $83. The second, made of brick and erected on Purdy Street, lasted with necessary repairs till 1881, when the property was sold to E. Flake for the sum of $480, and Mr. Flake sold it to W. M. Elkins who converted it into a residence. Our new jail cost about $10,000 and is very .commodious and sanitary.


Henderson County had no poor house system previous to 1851. Before that time all county charges were cared for by private individuals, one or more at a place, or were farmed out at so much per capita. In the year 1851 Absolem McGee conveyed to J. Priddy, Stephen Massedgill and A. S. Johnson as county commissioners of the poor, a tract of 273 acres of land on which was established the county poor house. Since the location of a home and farm for the poor, all county charges, as a rule, are kept by a poor house steward who takes the farm and paupers at so much per month ,get-tifig out of the able-bodied charges as much as they are able to do. The poor house is well conducted and is located three miles south of Lexington on a parr of the tract originally owned or entered by Solomon West.


Henderson County has had a school history almost as old as the county itself. The first school was built at Lexington, known as. Lexington Academy, was perhaps the first which dates from Oct. 18^ 1825. This school was run by a board of trustees. They were John T. Harmon, J. W. Philpot, John Purdy, Richard McGee and James A. Hasslett. A peculiar incident in connection with the early history of Lexington and Henderson County was the fact that in 1826, J. T. Harmon. C. H. Miller, J. J. Hill, Rheuben WUcox and J. A. Haslett as trustees of Lexington Academy were authorized to form a lottery for the purpose of raising funds not to exceed $20,000, for the benefit of local institutions of learning. The trustees named were to have perpetual succession until 1865, and in 1827, M. B. Cook, W. M. Haskins and Samuel Wilson were added to the board of trus-. tees. The result of the lottery has been lost in the passing of decades, but many purchases were made by them in the name of the Academy as shown by the recorded purchases and sales made by them. In 1832 they sold a house and lot in Christmasville, Carroll .county, for $600; in the same year they paid $1500 to R. C. Blair for SO acres of land on Brigham Creek, a thousand dollars was paid for another tract in Carroll county, and many more important purchases were made by them.

The first Academy building stood till 1853, when in a decayed condition it was sold, and another lot purchased which was the site of the old home of Mrs. C. M. White. The teachers about this time were J. C. R. McCall and Major Jesse Taylor This concludes the school history till 1884 when S. A. Mynders took the principalship of Lexington Academy and built up a fine school. Prof. Mynders was afterwards State Superintendent of Schools, and made a good one. Under Prof. Mynders a two-story school building was built on the right of way of the Tennessee Midland Railroad, and had to be re­moved. The last wooden structure was put up, and soon passed into the hands of W. R. Britt and while occupied by him as a resi­dence was burned some four or five years later. The last abandon­ed building, the home of Lexington Machine Works, was built for a Baptist College and for several years was used as the general school building of the town. The next was a brick structure, and was built in 1905 ,and was a very commodious building at the time, but since a new, up-to-date and commodious buliding for the City or Grammar Grades has been built and is under the supervision of a city school board, and is superintended by Miss Fay Houston, and the state affords no better. The county has constructed one of the most magnificent buildings in the state on a 70-acre campus, J4 -mile north of court square, for the high school grades. This school is superintended over by Prof. J. O. Brown, who has labored with the schools of Lexington for many years, when many flaring offers were made him, and to him is due the honor of the present system of schools in Lexington, which cannot be beat. Starting in one building which was built in 1905 with 150 students, and now has two excellent buildings and about 800 students.

The present public school system of the State of Tennessee was established by the Legislature in 1873, and the late Judge Levi S. Woods was the first county superintendent at a salary of $1000 per year, and since that time Judge R. H. Thorn, the late Thomas Brooks, Y. A. Jackson, W. R. Wilson, Mrs. L. T Fielder, A H Fuller, C. P. Patterson, W. H. Dennison, 0. E. Holmes, J, O Brown and the present R. E. Powers who with the new county board of education is laboring still to make the schools of Henderson County still better, for in addition to the schools at Lexington, there are good schools at Wildersville, Sardis and Scott-Hill carrying Grammar and High School work, besides ninety schools scattered throughout the county in reach of every boy and girl, which means that the cit­izenship of Henderson County is growing better.


Now, we will say something of the men who have administered the affairs of the people in the different offices in order as the peo­ple saw fit to change and put them in.


The County Court and its Clerks were: The first John A. Wilson, Jesse Taylor, A. H. Roberts, Asa Davis, J. W. Page and the present nominee, subject to the regular August election 1922, J. W. Dyer, a splendid gentleman and former Circuit Court Clerk.

The county registrars were O. H. Orton, J. H. White, J. A. Henry, Major T. A. Smith, then his son, Tom B. Smith, John A. Jones, J. C. Peterson, J. L. Sullivan the present incumbent and who has held the office for twelve years.


The Circuit Court Clerks were E. H. Tarrant the first, who fill­ed the place till 1836, then R. B. Jones, who served till 1865 when James Priddy was elected, till 1870 when E. J. Timberlake came in and served one term Next came Ike T. Bell, and after one term was routed out by J. A. Teague. The next clerk was W. R. Britt. Then J. R. Wilkerson, then R. A. Lewis, next P. O. Roberts, follow-'ed by W. F. Appleby, who was elected County Judge in August, 1910, and was succeeded by J,. W. Dyer, and Joshua Haskell was the first Circuit Judge, and the present Clerk and Judge is J. B. Scott and N. R. Barham respectively. The latter serving in that capacity since 1910.


Then the office of Sheriff was honored first by John T. Harmon, who served until 1826. After Harmon came Robt. Marshall until 1830, then S. M. Carson until 1837, then R. B. Jones until 1840, next in 1846, W. B. Hall came in for two terms and then W. H. Shelby, whose four years ran the time up to 1852, when A. H. Rhodes was put in two terms. J. H. Galbraith came in next and a two term man, and in 1860 Levi McClure came in and was the last Sheriff before the war, from after the war until the present time the office has been filled in the following succession: A. E. Aydelo-tt, R. J. Dyer, G. W. Moss, J. A. Teague, J. M. Wadley, A. G. Douglass, G. W. Es-sary, H. C. Dindsey, W. E. Azbill, J. O. Carlton, G. W. Goff, J. D. Franklin, H. J. Tate, W. H. McBride (who filled out the term of Tate resigned S. F. Rosson, J. F. Martin, W. H. McBride, (assassinated while doing his duty) and then was appointed W. R. Wright to fill out the unexpired term of McBride, and then was elected two terms in succession when in the general election n August 1922 T. R. Sisson was elected, and is servng the people of Henderson County as their present Sheriff.


Then the office of trustee and its officials in the past and up to the present time as we are able to name them are: Samuel Howard, Andrew J. Long; then came A. G. Douglass, G .W. Essary, T. Ed­wards, W. T. McPeake, S. F. Rosson, W F. Appleby and the present nominee, F. M. Davis, subject to the regular August election.


The chancellors and clerks are: Judge Andrew McCarnpbell served until 1848; then came Stephen C. Parratt, who -served until 1854 and he was succeeded by Calvin Jones until 1861, then R. H. Thorn, and in 1868 came James W. Daugherty, and he was succeed­ed by George H. Nixon of Lawrenceburg, who served sixteen years. Then A. G. Hawkins, who died in the office and Gov. Cox appointed E. L. Bullock who was elected until 1912, when J. W. Ross, was elected and served until appointed in 1921 to the Federal Judgeship of the Western division of the state when W. H. Dennison was appointed to fill out the unexpired term and is a candidate for re-election.

The clerks of the Chancery Court are J. W. G. Jones, Owen Haney, then Jones again, then W. F. Brooks, C. R. Scott, E. F. Bos-well and the present place is honored by the efficiency of W. V. Barry.


We might now say something of the noted lawyers of Lexington and Henderson County or who were familiar figures in Lexington court as early as 1830. Micajoh Bullock who was prominent for fif­ty years, the Hawkins, Adam Huntsman, A. G. McDougal and Elijah Walker, Milton Brown, whose names were household names in that day and time, and the one Bradbury who practiced right in Lexing­ton before the Civil War. Then Judge John M. Taylor who began the practice of law in Lexington about the beginning of the Civil War, through which he served and out of which he came a cripple for life and after him W. T. Logan, John E. McCall, the latter dying in 1920 while serving on the Federal bench. The present lawyers or the ones that are with us now are: T. A. and W. H. Lancaster, W. F. Appleby, who was recently appointed as U. S. Marshall for West Tennessee, L. B. Johnson, and who is the present judge of the County Court, John F. Hall, E. W. Essary.


The churches and their history—Perhaps the oldest church or­ganization was the Missionary Baptist Church, dating from 1847 and this was at Lexington but probably there is some church history be­fore that time as many ministers were here many years before that time, but since that time many different denominatons have sprung up among our population, among them or the ones that have built houses of worship are Baptists, Christian, Methodist, Presbyterians, and these congregations and their excellent divines have dotted our hills with church houses and have done much toward bettering the moral welfare of our people.


The county's railroad history dates back to 1889 when the Ten­nessee Midland railroad was built from Jackson to Perryville and later extended across the county to Hollow Rock Junction, and the manifold advantages afforded us since the building of the railroad can hardly be estimated, and is known as the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway and covers a distance about 42 miles in Hen­derson County.



Lexington, the county seat, boast the same as the Missouri city of St. Louis, both having been founded in the year 1822 but by some means the community on the bank of the father of running waters has outstripped us in population and wealth.

Lexington like forty other towns of the name in other states was named for historic Lexington, Massachusetts, where was fired the first gun of the Revolution that freed this country from Brit­ish yoke.

Into an unbroken forest in the year 1821 came one Samuel Wilson, and the rich spot of Lexington, then but a hollow on a hill, was selected as his future abiding place. When'the county'was author­ized, by Act of the General Assembly, and a committee appointed to select a .county site, Lexington was chosen and the land purchased from Samuel Wilson. The chartered government of the town dates from Oct. 9, 1824 and by change or abolition of the charter the sale of whiskey has been put out twice — the last time in 1901, when the final doom was sounded.

Another peculiar piece of Lexington history is that in 1842 James Gallaway, the county surveyor, under Act of 1839 laid off "prison bounds" for prisoners for debts. Said.bounds had the Lexington courthouse as the center and were one mile square. It happened that in selecting a town government for Lexington, that of Winchester, in Franklin couty, was chosen from which to copy. The early business men of Lexington were: Gladdin Gowin, R. W. Hall, and James Glass moved away, as did James Glass, William and John Brooks, John S. Fielder, who died at Lexington in 1881. Dr. John West and William Collins, and in the days before the Civil War Lexington was a good business center, and is now. Right after the war it was like all other West Tennessee towns. Every first Monday was one of drunkenness and brawling and too often human blood was spilled but with her efficient leaders and for many years previous her history has been growing better, for, besides the many residencse, business houses, well laid streets, and the small estab­lishments, too numerous to mention, there is, as we have already stated good schools and churches, in which her 2000 citizens will maintain, and work for a still better Lexington, Tennessee.


Wildersville, located on the N. C. and St. L. Railway, twelve miles north of Lexington was founded about 1860, about one mile from the present site, it having been moved after the railroad was built, about 1890. The first bit of early history cannot be verified, but the town was named for Ed Wilder, and the first or among the first merchants was the late Priestly Parker, father of Joe P. Parker, who ran a mercantile b.usiness at Wildersville for forty years, and only retired about two years ago. Other notable men have been connected with the history of Wildersville, but we are not able to recall all their names, and as they come and went for their betterment we will not mention any. The town was incorporated in 1921, and has three churches, a good s.chool, and while the business part of the town was destroyed by one of the greatest conflagrations in the history of the county on May 13, 1921, it has been built back by still better modern structures and her 800 citizens are growing proud of their residence there, as no better business town of its size can be found in the state.


Sardis, in the southeast part of the county, is a flourishing town of about 600 population, and its good schools, churches, business establishments and together with its good people is a credit to the county.


Scotts Hill, located about twelve miles south of Lexington, is a country town of about 400 population, with a good school, churches, and many good business houses besides it has many comfortable res­idences, but like Wildersville, in 1916 fire destroyed a great portion of the town, but her good citizens have rebuilt much of the waste portions.


Darden, on the Perryville branch of the N. C. & St. L. Railway is also a flourishing little town of 250 people.


Warren's Bluff, Chesterfield, Juno, Bargerton, Rheagen, Stegall are trading centers, and have churches and schools, and doing much toward promoting community interest and making a better Hen­derson County.


Now in conclusion we might recall the names of the men that have labored to make Henderson County what it is, but the fore­going is sufficient, for each and every official from the first to the last and every citizen with few exceptions have administered their affairs, from the humblest to the highest in a creditable way and each deserve and has deserved the citizenship in the grand old coun­ty of Henderson from the time of Joseph Reed to the present with her 20,000 population, and in furnishing men to look after the affairs of the state and nation she has done a noble part, and had the mate­rial to do much more, but the political game is played in such a way now that Henderson County cannot always compete. There has been gubernatorial timber often and on for many decades, and strong solicitations, and when John E. McCall took his seat in Con­gress, the greatest law making body in the world, he showed his merit, and afterwards placed on the Federal bench for life, and in the General Assembly, despite a few disadvantages has played a con­spicuous part, and upon many other errands of importance have the names of some Henderson Countians been heard, and the editors of the Lexington Republican, and the Lexington Progress are heard and dreaded when some political leader is trying to put something "rotten" on the people. In fact Henderson Countians have been heard from various angles—her sons whether they remained at home or have gone to other fields have proved well, their grand inheri­tance, and no historian can ever pay the just tribute to the pioneers and others that have administered the affairs of Henderson county these one hundred years, yet, her present and future sons, will, as their fathers have done, continue to labor to bring Henderson Coun­ty into the highest standard of ctiizenship by establishing better grammar schools and more high schools, by taking more interest in the church and its affairs, by building better roads and by cooperation, achieve any other good that will make a better Henderson County.

For such are living monuments, and serve better to the memory of the past and future Henderson Countians than the brazen words of the Historian.



The following is a historical sketch of old Pleasant Exchange (now but a "narrow" place in the road, about one mile northeast of Wildersville), given to us by R. D. Cozart through mayor W. R. Wilson of Wildersville.

William D. Carrington established a business at Old Pleasant Exchange about 1824. He built the first hotel or inn, perhaps that was ever built in the county. He bought his goods or merchandise out of New Orleans and had them shipped to a point on the Ten-nes'see River, since called Brodies Landing. A little later two men named Philpot and Fairbanks came and bought up a large tract of land and built a mill on Dabbs Creek, since known as Philpot's mill. They also established a distillery that ran full time the entire year. At one time there were three stores, three saloons, one tailor shop, one blacksmith shop and two shoe shops. In the year 1822 a brick school house was built by the neighbors of the community. A man by the name of Bobbie Jones taught a very successful school here for several years. Bobbie Jones was the father of the late G. W. Jones. Strange it is that Mr. R. D. Cozart is the only living per­son that we know of that ever remembers this old brick college at Pleasant Exchange. A few remember hearing Wiley Carrington speak of it, yet Mr. Carrington has been dead for thirty years. Plea­sant Exchange assumed its name from a statement made by some gentlemen, who, not being satisfied with his boarding place, changed, and on being asked concerning his new boarding place said, "I have made a very pleasant exchange." Pleasant Exchange being located on the road from Brodies ferry to Jackson gave it considerable prominence. At one time the lo.cation of the county seat here was seriously considered; the reason for not being located there was probably the nearness to the county line of Carroll and Henderson. Pleasant Exchange up to the Civil War was a noted resort for horse racing and gambling. But after the war it ceased to exist as a town for civilization seeks better location.

Mr Cozart has a letter in his possession dated in 1832, and mail­ed at Pleasant Exchange before the day of postage stamps. This letter was written to relatives in North Carolina, after they arrived here from that state.

Thus, it can be seen that this bit of history contradicts some thing's already stated, but not much variation.

The mail route was from Decaturville via Pleasant Exchange to Red-Mound where J. I. Fesmire now lives.


W. H. Dennison, a native of Henderson County and present Chancery Judge and whose name appears elsewhere was the first man in Tennessee to make a plea for high schools of this state as a part of our public (free) school system. Henderson County was also the first county in the state to make it compulsory upon the County Court to levy enough tax for the maintenance of a high school. This law now applies to the entire state. It means that each county in the state must levy enough tax to maintain at least one high school, and Henderson County was the first to take such action.

Thus again we have right to be proud, for no better law regarding schools has been passed since 1873.


We have done our part not so conspicuous as some but never shirking our duty. We have recorded a few names of Henderson Countians in the Mexican war, and many more in the civil strife — on both sides they went. The battle of Cross Roads havng been fought on Henderson County soil. In the Spanish-American war we were no less famed and in the World War there were no slackers— the soldier at his post, the civilian doing his duty, and a few of Henderson Countians were never able to return and tell the story of one of the greatest wars of all time—but of them we are proud, and to them and all others that saw servce in foreign lands, we dedi­cate this Volume.