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Maury County, Tennessee
Court Records

Early Courts

The first court convened Dec. 21, 1807, at the house of Col. Joseph Brown. This building was three miles south of Columbia, where Gen. Isaac Roberts, as chairman, convened the court. The first session was largely occupied in proving deeds, probating wills, etc. Col. Brown was licensed to keep an "ordinary" inn, and "executed a bond to give "good, wholesome, and clean lodging and diet for travelers, stabling with hay, oats, corn, fodder, or pasturage,, as the season of the year may require, and not to suffer or permit gambling, nor on the Sabbath day permit any person to tipple or drink more than necessary."

W. W. Thompson was elected register; Edmund Harris, coroner; Joseph B. Porter, clerk; Jno. Spencer, sheriff; Jos. Brown, ranger; Benj. Thomas, treasurer; and Peter B. Booker, solicitor. Jos. Kincaid, Thos. H. Hardin, and David Orton were appointed constables. A jury was appointed to locate a road from Benj. Smith's, on the Natchez Trace, to Joshua Williams' place, on Snow Creek.

Dec. 23, 1807.—Wm. McDonald was appointed overseer on the road from Palmer's Ferry to Francis Gideon's. Jno. Douglas and Jas. Love were made assessors. Wm. Frierson, Wm. Dooley, Jno. Lindsey, Lemuel Prewett, Jos. Williams, Jno. Miller, and Isaac Roberts were made viewers for a road. Deeds were entered for record and stock marks registered.

Mar. 21, 1808.—Court convened at Brown's. A long list of deeds were entered, tax assessments returned, rates made for taverns— "each diet, 25 cents; lodging, 6 1/4; horse feed per night, 12 1/2; peach brandy, per 1-2 pt, 12 1/2 c." Abram Whiteside, Jas. Hughey, Richard Churchwell, Jno. Elliot, Harrison Blackgraves, Geo. Zollicoffer, and Geo. Bradbury were appointed constables in different districts. Records were made of the marriages of Saml. Srygley to Rachel McClus, Sept., 1808; Dutton Smith to Sallie Haroldson and Matthew Sharp to Sallie Norris, Nov., 1808.

Dec. 19-22, 1808.—Court convened at Brown's, but on the 20th adjourned to meet on the 21st at Columbia, in a large log house on the east side of Glade St., just one year from the date of its first session at Brown's. Ordered that Jas. Welch oversee the clearing out of Market and Main Sts., and that J. W. Craig, Perry Cohea, and Saml. McClosky serve as patrollers for the town.

Dec. 19, 1809.—A bill of sale from Geo. Cockburn to Jas. Gullett for a negro named Harvey was recorded. In addition to justices before named, we now find Saml. Polk, L. B. Estes, Jno. Matthews, Gabriel Bumpass, Simon Johnson, Wm. Bradshaw, Robt. Sellers, Jno. White, Benj. Smith, James Sanford, Robt. Hill, David Craig, Edward Hudson, Robt. Steele, Amos Johnson, and Somerset Moore as members of the County Court. It was " ordered by the court that no person be allowed to retail spirituous liquors within 50 feet of the courthouse on pain of forfeiting $2 for every such offense."

Dec. 17, 1810.—Andrew Jackson, later President of the United States, brought suit against Jno. Allison, and gained his case. Dec. 18: " Ordered that Saml. Williams, high sheriff, be allowed the sum of $125 for his ex-officio services for the year 1811." Peter Booker was voted $25 for extra services as county collector.

June 18, 1811.—Rezin Davidge and Jno. A. Eaton were admitted to practice in this court. On June 24 Nath. and Thos. Casey were recommended as candidates to read law and later be admitted.

Source: [Century Review: 1805 – 1905 Maury County Tennessee- written by David Peter Robbins. Published by Mayor Board of Aldermen of Columbia, Tennessee 1905] Transcribed by Veneta McKinney