History Of Court Square's North Side

By Clara Nell Morisette
Camden, Tenn.

Hello readers, this past week has looked and felt like fall - I'm ready!

I have had the question asked five times now, "Why do you sign Nell sometime and Clara Nell other times?" I was born and raised as Clara Nell. I met my husband Charles who lived in Illinois. The only ones I knew there were his father and mother. When I moved with him to Illinois he introduced me as Nell; he didn't like Clara. After we moved back here, all who knew me still called me Clara Nell. New people we met he introduced me as Nell. I like Clara Nell best and since his death, that is the way I sign my name. It really doesn't matter what I'm called as long as it's at least three times a day (at mealtime).

This week I'm talking about the North Side of the Court Square. I want to thank those who've given me permission to use their materials: the ones I've thanked earlier along with Darhl Maraman and Tony Robinson for the use of his grandfather's photo.

On the north side of the square are lots 13, 14, 15 and 16. Lot 13 is northeast with 14, 15, and 16 going toward the northwest. On July 30, 1838, the commissioners, George Camp, Green Flowers, Epherian Perkins, Lewis Brewer, and John F. Johnston sold W.H.H. Burton Lot 13, deed book A page 88. Mr. Burton had a store on this lot.

W.H.H. Burton sold James Wyly lot 13, December 18, 1838, deed book A, page 113. C.K. Wyly had his first store on this lot in 1839.

W.P. Saunders bought a part of lot 13. Later H.F. Stigall bought lot 13 and more of 14. He operated a frame hotel for a long time, and later the Alex Bell family operated the hotel. W.A. Lashlee also operated the hotel. In the early morning hours of June 24, 1909, the Old Stigall Hotel burned.

Samuel H. Burton built the first brick building in town on lots 15 and 15, this being another hotel

Lots 15 and 16 were owned by John H. Farmer for many years. His residence and store were on these lots. After Farmers death, Felix G. Hudson bought the property. There he had his residence and office. Dr. Symthe started his practice in Camden on lot 15. At Hudson's death, this property went to his sons. T.D. Hulme bought it, then J.G. Thomas.

Back on November 2, 1840, lot 16 was sold to Henry C. Camp by the commissioners, deed book A, page 276.

Mr. A.V. Bowles owned part of the north side at one time and built two frame buildings, which housed the Ramsey-Wesson Mercantile Company.

Somewhere around 1955 A.W. (Tatter) and wife Renora Bridges bought on the north side of town and did a lot of remodeling. At the east side of the north square were several steps to go up before reaching the businesses. Close to the end of the west side, about where the funeral home was, the steps went down. Mr. Bridges had this leveled before he built his new buildings. The lived upstairs on lot 16 and Mrs. Bridges had her beauty shop there. The street Walnut St. behind the stores on the north side is sometimes referred to as "Tatter Hill."

Businesses on this side were: U.A. Potts, R.T. Flynn, R.N. Farrer and Putt Corbitt all had grocery stores. Jerry Thompson also had a grocery, with a poultry house at the back. Mr. Thompson would trade his goods for poultry. W.C. Bivens dry good and shoe store, Hale's Shoe Shop, Benton County Farm Loan Association, Cary's Jewelry, Kim Barker Jewelry, The Kiddie Shop, Hicks and Johnson Company, Bank of Camden, Liberty Savings and Loan, Fred Fowler Furniture, Brassfield Furniture, Bivens and Lindsey Funeral Home, later called Camden Funeral Home, run by Hugh and Ernie Bivens.

Mrs. Renora Bridges had a beauty shop at two different locations on this side of town. Mrs. A.P. Perry and Virginia Ward had beauty shops, Jo Ann Akers had a beauty school, and Clara Ruth Travis Lutter operated a beauty shop called Clara Lutters Connecting. Dr. Bray, Dr. Symith, Dr. Perry all had their offices. As did Dr. Owens who had a chiropractics office. A.W. Bridges' barber shop, later rented by Darhl Maraman, it became Maraman's Barber Shop, Daniel's Radio Shop, Mattie Robinson's Photo Studio, Virginia Davidson Real Estate, Tenasco Advertising owned by Bob French.

Some of the businesses were upstairs, Hanley Myers Office for Memorial Gardens, T.V. Cable, John Holladay and Billy McElroy attorney's at law, Dr. Robert Walker, Dentist, Hanley Myers Restaurant, Bufford and Linnie Douglas Restaurant, Smitty's Cafe owned by J.W. and Grace Smith, Mabrey's Men Shop, Jolly Rogers Mens Shop, Women's and Children's Consignment Clothes, Paul and Pat Goodman used paper back bookstore, later sold to a Jones (I think, but not sure). The western part of lot 16 was sold to the Camden Oil Company and had a filling station, a taxi service run by Cully Rushing, Andy (Gump) Harris, and a Hall.

Dickie Bivens bought the building from Mrs. Henry Hollingsworth in 1976 and in November of 1976 moved to State Farm Insurance Company to where it is now located.

Lois Flowers bought the beauty shop business from Virginia Ward, the building belonging to A.W. and Renora Bridges, which she rented. In the 70's Venson and Lois Flowers bought the building where her beauty shop, Petite Beauty Bar, and Maraman's Barber Shop, operated by James Guinn are not.

River Valley Physical Therapy, owned and operated by Mike Bogard.

Angel of Faith Thrift Store and Computer Solutions Sales and Service are in the building owned by Mrs. Lottie Thompson. The computer Solution business is owned by Kevin Kee.

Philip G. Hollis, attorney at law office, the building being his Making Waves Beauty Shop.

Charles L. Hicks and Jude P. Santana attorneys at law, is located on the north side as of this writing.

Thought for the week:

Work to live, don't merely live to work.


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

Brian Nichols

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