Early Land Owners of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park

Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Good rainy morning readers. We may not enjoy the rain, but it is needed as well as the sunshine. So let us count our blessings instead of raindrops.

This week's article covers more history of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park. Keep in mind that I am writing about before it became a state park.

Some of the early land owners of the part were: in 1817-1818, John and Sarah Melton Pafford and William and Mourning Melton Pafford. The Lewis Holland family settled in the area around 1818 or 1819. The first Wilson that came to Benton County also settled here.

Some Legal Land Descent

1. Pilot Knob was part of the "plant of survey" taken out by their heirs of John Green on June 30, 1821, for the 540 acres he received for his Revolutionary War services as show on the entry of Joshua Williams for 320 acres. This is recorded on page 24 of Land Entry Book, page 3, Survey Book 1821-1848.

2. The Green entry was never officially cleared and was allowed to lapse. Pilot Knob was taken for granted, as it was in the early days, but was finally taken up as one of the consolidated entries made by Christopher K. Wyly of Camden, July 21, 1847; surveyed December 22, 1846, Land Grand No. 5484 for 2015 acres issued to Wyly, under Governor Neil S. Brown's signature, April 15, 1841, surveyors district 12, ranger 8-9, Section 4-5.

3. Pilot Knob was included in the acreage sold by Christopher K. (Old Whit) Wyly to Lewis Pafford for $500 on May 9, 1868, as shown in Deed Book H, page 385.

4. Pilot Knob fell in that section of land sold by Lewis Pafford to William Henry Cherry for $600 on February 15, 1875, Deed Book J, page 260. This deed was re-entered as a "more perfect and correct deed" on April 21, 1875 (1 BID), page 304.

5. Sarah Jane, widow of William H. Cherry, and his other heirs sold to the State of Tennessee for $45 some eight acres on August 3, 1829, in Civil District 10. This included the site of Pilot Knob. Entered in the Tennessee Secretary of State's office in its Deed Book 2, page 335.

6. Other land was bought adjacent to the Cherry tract in 1929 and hundreds of acres have since been acquired, enlarging the park to a total of 523 acres.

Thought for the week:

We don't need more to be thankful for, we need to be more thankful.


If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write County Host

Brian Nichols

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