TNGenWeb Project
The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887
History of Tennessee

Rutherford County, Part II
Pages 825-840
Transcribed by Fred Smoot
Also See Part I

(Biographical Sketches, Under Construction)

       The Twentieth Tennessee Regiment was known as Battle’s regiment, and was organized at Camp Trousdale near the Kentucky line. Joel A. Battle was elected colonel; M. B. Carter, lieutenant-colonel; Patrick Duffie, major; Dr. D. B. Cliff, surgeon; J. H. Morton, assistant surgeon, John Marshall, quartermaster; M. M. Hinkle, commissary; Alex Winn, adjutant; John Edmonson, chaplain. The only company from Rutherford in the regiment was Company E. John S. Gooch was elected captain of the company at the age of nineteen, and was severely wounded at Fishing Creek. At the reorganization of the army in May, Capt. Gooch was elected lieutenant-colonel at the age of twenty. Col. T. B. Smith, of the regiment was only twenty-two. Col. Gooch was compelled to resign in a short time, and as succeeded by F. M. Lavender. On the promotion of Col. Gooch, William Ridley was chosen captain of Company E, and remained with the company during its term of service. Capt. Ridley received a severe scalp wound at Missionary Ridge; Lieut. Crosswaite was killed at Murfreesboro, and Lieut. Peyton at Chickamauga. A full history of the regiment is given elsewhere. Many other companies and parts of companies were recruited in Rutherford County, but their history is closely interwoven with other regiments.

       The battle of Murfreesboro began December 31, 1862, and ended January 2, 1863. The Confederate forces numbering about 35,000 men were under the command of Gen. Bragg, whose right was under Gen. Breckinridge, center under Gen. Polk, and left under Gen. Hardee. The Federals according to commander Rosecrans, numbered 27,977 infantry, 3,200 cavalry and 2,223 artillery. Rosecrans’ right confronting Hardee, was commanded by Gen. McCook, the center by Gen. George H. Thomas, opposite Polk, and the left, opposite Breckinridge, was commanded by Gen. T. L. Crittenden. Bragg anticipating Rosecrans’ intention of attacking his own right, hurled Hardee with irresistible force upon McCook, Rosecrans’ right, and crushed it. By night Rosecrans had lost, including stragglers, one-fourth his army and a large portion of his artillery. His right wing was almost at right angles to its position in the morning, but it had been so strengthened as to be impossible to drive it further. The battle so far had been largely in favor of the Confederates. January 1 was a day of comparative quiet except occasional artillery duel and some skirmishing. On January 2 skirmishing opened about 8 o’clock and grew warmer as the day advanced; the tide rolled toward the right. At about 3 P. M. the picket firing began, which was the signal for the celebrated charge made by Breckinridge on the right. Perhaps no more gallant charge is recorded in history than this one led by Breckinridge and his gallant subordinates. They swept everything before them, crossed the river and seemed ready to crush Rosecrans’ left, as had been done by his right, but he had skillfully massed fifty-eight pieces of artillery heavily supported by infantry. Upon this unseen enemy the troops rushed, but were compelled to fall back with much loss. The night was passed with anxious watching, the following day Bragg slowly began to fall back, leaving the field in the hands of the Federals. Bragg’s loss was reported by him at 10,000; Rosecrans’ loss was 1,533 killed, 7,245 wounded, besides 6,273 prisoners. On the ground where the battle was fought is now a National cemetery, where were gathered the dead bodies from the various points and buried there. The number thus buried amount to about 6,000. Near Murfreesboro is a Confederate cemetery, where now sleep 2,000 Confederate soldiers.

       The city of Murfreesboro was founded by an act of the General Assembly passed October 17, 1811, although no lots were purchased nor houses erected until in June, 1812. The town was originally called Cannonsburg, in honor of Gov. Cannon, but by an act of November 19, 1811, amendatory to the act of October 17, 1811, the name was changed to “Murfreesboro.” This name was given in honor of Col. Hardy Murfree, who was a Revolutionary soldier and held lands in the vicinity under military grant from North Carolina. His claim as well as many others, were signed by “Richard Dobbs Spaight, Esq., our governor, captain-general, and commander-in-chief;” such an array it would seem would make the title perfect. As is elsewhere mentioned, Joel Childress, Joel Dyer, John M. Tilford, Abraham Thompson, Carmichael, B. Sanaway and Blackman Coleman, were appointed commissioners (aldermen) of Murfreesboro. These constituted the first town board or council, the former commissioners having nothing to do with the government. The above act as repealed, September 28, 1815, and seven commissioners were chosen by the people. Previous to this, November 5, 1813, the election precinct at Black Fox Camp was ordered moved to Murfreesboro. On November 19, 1813, all money in the hands of the commissioners from the sale of lots, after paying these expenses, was ordered turned over to the town board for the benefit of the town.

       The act incorporating the town of Murfreesboro passed the General Assembly October 17, 1817. It was declared that the citizens of the town of Murfreesboro, of the county of Rutherford and the State of Tennessee were a body corporate and politic with authority to sue and be sued, etc. The town was organized with a mayor and aldermen. Annual elections were ordered to be called by the sheriff of the first Monday in January. On October 13, 1818, Isaac Hilliard and Mary Moore, his wife, of Halifax County, N. C., legatees of Col. Hardy Murfree, deeded Lots 46 to 70 inclusive, except Lots. 53 and 65, to the “Citizens, owners and Occupiers of certain Lotts or parcels of land” in the town of Murfreesboro. This was done for a love of the people of the place, a desire to make their titles perfect and for the remembrance of Col.Murfree in the name. On December 26, 1837, Isaac Hilliard’s enlargement was incorporated, containing Lots 1 to 24 inclusive. A further addition was made to the city January 10, 1851. On December 6, 1860, Bennett Smith deeded a lot near the Presbyterian Church to the city. On December 12, 1865, the city limits were extended three-quarters of a mile from the Public Square. Town officers: The first town officers elected were Joshua Haskell, mayor, but he resigned and David Wendel was chosen in his place; Burrell Gannaway, Nicholas Tilford, T. C. Watkins, William Barfield, Charles Niles and G. A. Sublett, aldermen; William Ledbetter, recorder; Benjamin Blankenship, town constable. Other mayors, David Wendel, 1819; Robert Purdy, 1820; Henry Holmes, 1821; William R. Rucker, 1822-23; John Jones, 1824; William Ledbetter, 1825; S. R. Rucker, 1826; William Ledbetter, 1827; John Smith, 1828; Edward Fisher, 1829; John Smith, 1830; John C. Moore, 1831; Charles Ready, 1832; Charles Niles, 1833; Marman Spence, 1834-35; Edward Fisher, 1836; L. H. CARNEY, 1837; E. A. Keeble, 1838; Edward Fisher, 1839; G. A. Sublett, 1840; B. W. Farmer, 1841-42; H. Yoakum, 1843; Wilson Thomas, 1844; B. W. Farmer, 1845-46; John Leiper, 1847-48; Charles Ready, 1849-53; F. Henry, 1854; E A Keeble, 1855; Joseph B. Palmer, 1856-59; John W. Burton, 1860-61; J. E. Dromgoole, 1862; * * * R. D. Reed, 1865-55; Charles Ready, 1867; E. L. Jordan, 1868-69; T. B. Darrach, 1870; J A. January, 1871; J. B. Collier, 1872-73; Dr. J. B. Murfree, 1874-75; H. H. Kerr, 1876; H. H. Clayton, 1877; N. C. Collier, 1878-79; J. C. Clayton, 1880-84; E. F. Burton, 1882-83; J. M. Overall, 1885-85, H. E.Palmer, 1886. Police officers: A. G. Miller, City Marshal; G. W. Myers, R. E. Beard and R. M. Nelson.

       The town as originally surveyed by Hugh Robinson, contained seventy lots each 150 feet square, being numbered from the northwest corner to the northeast from one to twelve inclusive. The Legislature passed eighteen rules and regulations to govern the town while under the first town board. In 1815 the General Assembly passed an act for the relief of the seven commissioners of Murfreesboro against any claims that might arise against them while they were discharging their official duties. Capt. William Lytle built a mill, blacksmith shop and afterward a cotton-gin near Murfreesboro in 1808. The first house was built within the corporate limits of the town in 1811. A. Carmichael built the first tavern in Murfreesboro near the “Pump Spring.” Col. Joel Dyer moved his tavern from Jefferson to Murfreesboro in 1812; this building stood till burned in 1854. Col. Robert Jetton built a tavern on South Main Street of cedar logs, that stood till burned in 1853. J. Renshaw also built a tavern near the southeast corner of the Public Square. Porter & Spence moved their dry goods store from Jefferson to Murfreesboro in 1813. The town was now growing rapidly. A public warehouse was built near the creek on Main Street in 1813. All cotton and tobacco had to be placed in some one of the three houses in the county for inspection before sale. W. A. Sublett and L. Mathews were made inspectors in 1813. The fees for opening and recooperage was about $1.50 per hogshead for tobacco and cotton in a similar ratio. On November 15, 1817, J. Haskell deeded Lots 71 and 72 to Bradley Academy. In 1818 the market house was built, which, with some improvement stood till destroyed by the soldiers. Hugh Cabell was made sealer of weights and measures for the town and county. The rates fixed were for a bushel measure 50 cents; pecks, 15 cents; half peck, 12½ cents; gallon, half gallon and two quarts, 25 cents. In 1818 the town well was ordered begun, but was not finished till 1824; owing to a destructive fire all wooden chimneys were ordered pulled down, and brick or Stone substituted instead. Also a fire-watch of twelve men were put on duty. The Subletts were allowed $98 for printing the town ordinances in 1818. Stumps were ordered removed from the streets. Few buildings at this time were adorned with paint. The first brick house erected in town was built this year by John M. Telford, west of where the present National Bank now stands.

       Drs. W. R. Rucker, James Maney, Henry Holmes, J. King and L. P. Yandell were distinguished early practitioners. Lawyers - S. H. Laughlin, Samuel Anderson, S. R. Rucker, W. Brady, Andrew Childress, J. R. Martin, Charles Ready, John Bruce, John Haskell, P. W. Humphreys and I. H. Bute. Visiting attorneys - Rob Butler, John Bell, J. H. Eaton, Andrew Jackson and Felix Grundy. Merchants - David Wendel, Joe Spence, Hill, Snell & Co., M. Spence, Silas Loik, C. O’Flynn, C. R. Abbott, Falls & Christy, David Lineau, John Smith, J. C. Moore & Co., J. Currin, Benjamin Elder and Charles Gugger. Saddlers - Charles Niles, W. Gardner, A. S. & J. Davidson. Tailors - Reuben Bolles, Peter Campbell, Samuel Parrish, Samuel Jones. Hatters - Alfred Miller, A. Staller, Christopher Hist. Cabinet-makers - James Crichlow, Ed Fisher, Samuel Patton. Chair-Makers - E. A. Cochran, Isaac C. Brown Carpenters - Capt. J. Jones, George Anderson, J. McDermott. Blacksmiths - William Gilliam, John Kennedy, William Blanton, P. Parker. Boot and shoe-makers - Willis Barker, B. Kennedy, J. Jones. Tanners - V. Cowan, Rob Jetton, J. Bone. Wagon-makers - William R. Icemeyer, J. D. Scrape. Tinner - Lewis Sperry. Tavern- keepers - James Vaughn, R. Smith, Gen. Robert Purdy, W. C. Emmett. Gunsmiths - Ed Elam, George Baltes. Brick and Plasterers - J. Fletcher, T. Montague. Jewelers - A. Liddon, who made the county seal, and W. Manchester. Milliners - Mrs. A. Staller, Miss S. Warren. Wool-carder - Isaac C. Brown.

       The first General Assembly met in Knoxville May 28, 1797, and continued to meet there till 1813, when it changed to Nashville and remained till September 15, 1815, at which time it again assembled at Knoxville, but was changed to Murfreesboro September 19, 1819. It continued to meet at Murfreesboro till early in January, 1826, since which time its sessions have been in Nashville. The bill for fixing a permanent seat of government was called up October 4, 1843. The vote at the third reading in the House stood: Yeas, 40; nays, 34. In the Senate, on motion of Senator W. H. Sneed, for Rutherford and Williamson Counties, the vote on the question of locating the state capital at Murfreesboro stood eleven for and fourteen against. On reconsideration October 10, 1843, the bill was carried in favor of Nashville. During the session while in Murfreesboro the Assembly met in the court house, the representatives using the lower floor and the senators the upper floor. A call session was held August, 1822, but the court house having been burned, the session was held in the Presbyterian Church; the lower house met on the first floor and the Senate in the gallery. On the assembly of the Legislature at this place, Gov. McMinn took his seat as governor, and James McDowell was elected doorkeeper. During the session of 1823 Gen. William Brady was chosen speaker of the House.

       The acts were printed on a press owned by the State. This was brought from Nashville, and the work was done in a house on College Street. The year 1823 marked the first appearance of a “Dutchman” - Hoffman by name - into the town. He was a baker by trade, and the novelty of the man was as great as the ginger cakes he sold. Another historic character of this period was Peter Jennings, a free negro, who had served during the Revolutionary war, and for such service was awarded a pension. At this period Murfreesboro afforded two military companies, one of seventy-five men, the Murfreesboro Volunteers, commanded by Capt. G S Crockett; the other, the Murfreesboro Sentinels, commanded by Capt. Russel Dance, afterward by J. C. Abbot, and still later by Capt. John Childress. The former company took part in the reception given to Gen. Lafayette at Nashville in 1825. A great semi-centennial celebration was held July 4, 1826, at Murfree’s Spring under the auspices of the Sentinels, there was a parade by the company, and speeches made by M. Rooker and others. A committee visited the Hermitage, and invited the hero of New Orleans to visit here in Murfreesboro on January 15, 1828, the thirteenth anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. The invitation was accepted. Dr. William R Rucker was president on this occasion, and G A. Sublett, vice-president. Great preparations were made, and a large and enthusiastic assembly greeted him. A magnificent banquet was spread, and the beauty and chivalry of the place did honor to the occasion. Thirteen regular toasts were drank, and responded to with grace; twenty-four additional were offered. A poem was prepared and read for the occasion. “There was a sound of revelry by night,” and the reception closed with a magnificent ball. At this time the population of Murfreesboro was 955, and the revenues for the town was $355.81.

       In 1831 the Washington Cotton Factory was started by Mr. Lowery; this had a horse head-wheel for motive power. From the success of this a new company was formed, consisting of Messrs. Masterson, Christy, Lowery & Johnson. A large second-hand engine and machinery was placed in position, the whole at a cost of about $25,000. It was an unfortunate financial investment. It soon passed into the hands of Dr. James Maney, then to --- & Watson, next to Moore & Cox, and then to Field for $4,000. William Somerhall purchased the entire business for $1,500. In 1833 a report was made to the city council on the feasibility of establishing a system of water-works. A favorable report was made and the estimated cost was $1,000. It was proposed to raise the water from the Sand Spring in large tubs, to be conveyed to the top of Capitol Hill upon a wooden railway; the same to be elevated by horse-power. The water was to be led from Capitol Hill, by cedar tubes, into an air-tight tank in the court-yard square; thence, by hydrants, to the places of business. The work was completed and the Rose Water-Works were set in operation. After a short time they were found to be a failure. The first drug store was started by H. H. TREADAWAY, on the east side of the square, in 1837; another was soon after started by Avent & CARNEY, which was afterward sold to J. H.Nelson. The first grocery store was started by Jacob Decker in 1837; a large carriage factory was started the same year by H.Osborn & Co. Other jewelers than those mentioned were F. Garland, James Reed, A. O. H. P. Sehorn, R. D. Reed, William Roulet and J. Lukins. In 1850 a new drug store was started by John McDermott; a hardware and grocery store, by John C. Spence; a book store, by R. D. Reed; a second book store was owned by Craig & Fletcher, which was sold to Fowler & Davis. The livery stables at this time were owned by Todd & Carnahan, Todd & Barkley. A carriage shop was run by R. & S. Smith. The Cedar Bucket Factory was started by J. C. Spence in 1854.

       The Rio Mills were erected in 1855 by W. S. Huggins & Co. The building was a large four-story brick, and was run by two twenty-five horse-power engines, and had a capacity of about 200 barrels of flour per day. The whole cost about $25,000. These mills were sold to William Spence, who, in 1860, added a distillery, and at this place fed many hogs. These mills were used by the armies during the war and were greatly damaged. 1855 was noted for the great fire in this city, in which the City Hotel, as well as many other buildings, was burned. The first gas-works were built in this city in 1857. Mains were laid and the business was started by making gas from resin oil and cotton seed, but, the war interfering, the matter was not fully tested. The war made Murfreesboro a great military camp. The troops enlisted were usually sent to Camp Trousdale for instruction. The first appearance of Federals in the place was March 7, 1862, and on the 10th Gen.Mitchell took formal possession of the place. July 13, 1862, he made his celebrated raid upon the town, capturing a large number of prisoners. This strange coincident occurred during the engagement: In the attack upon Mancy Springs 21 Federals were killed and no Confederates; in the attack upon the court house 23 Confederates were killed and no Federals; in the fight at the river 2 on each side were killed. After the battle of Stone River the city was again in the hands of Federals, they having taken possession January 4, 1863. All the churches and the colleges were used as hospitals for the sick and wounded, first by the Confederate, afterward by the Federal Army. In 1866 the Cedar Bucket Factory passed into the hands of the Stones River Utility Works. It was started in the old cotton factory, but has since moved to its present building. April 15, 1869, marks the era of the “great fire,” in which a large number of business houses were destroyed.


       Business of 1870: Attorneys - Charles Ready, H. P. Keeble, J. B. Palmer, J. C. Cannon, B. L. Ridley, G. S. Ridley, E. H. Ewing, E. D. Hancock. B. F. Lillard, R. Beard, F. R. Burrus, J. E. Dromgoole, J. M. Avent, J. W. Burton, T. B. Darrach, J. D. Richardson, J. W. Childress and J. A. Leiper. Physicians - G. D. Cisthwait, J. B. Murfree, W. C. Cook, J. E. Wendel, M. Ransom, L. M. Knignt, W. D. Robinson, R. S. Wendel, H. H. Clayton, W. Whitson and N. H. Lytle. Dentists - A. Hartman and S. H. Bears. Hotels - City Hotel, J. A. Crocket; and Planters, W. A. Rapp. Dry Goods - Rosenthal & Bro., T. C. Goodrich, E. Rosenfeld, W. Smith, J. Allen, Miles & Mckinley, Rich & Wright, Eagleton & Byrn, Tobias & Bro. and A. G. Rosenfeld. Drug stores - J. McDermott, J. W. Nelson and William Wendel. Bakers and confectioners - H. Raymond, G. S. Mcfadden and H. Osborn. Saddlers and harness-makers - John Kelley, Mosby & Co. and J. H. Boehms. Grocers - L. Burgsdorf, Lane & Crichlow, J. S. Mcfadden, J. I. C. Haynes, Henry Elliott, James Tompkins, Collier & Eagleton, James & Collier, R. N. Ransom Smith & Hodge, Jetton & Clayton, Pearce & Abbott, John Barber, H. H. Kerr, Carney & Ransom and W. A. Ransom. Stoves and tinware - Daniel Kelley. Hardware - Street, Andrews & Co., T. B. Ewbanks. Milliners and dress-makers - Mrs. McDougal and Mrs. R. W. January. Jeweler - William Roulet. Commission merchants - Reed & Tally, Leiper & Menifee. Lumber dealer - William A Ransom. Coal dealer - Rob Martin. Marble and Stone - David Nugent. Blacksmiths - W. J. McKnight, N. C. Blanton. Carriage factories - W G. Garrett, Thomas Spain, Bock & Walter.

       Present business: Dry goods - B. F. Paty & Co., T. Tobias, J. Frank & Co., M. Hirsh & Co., Moses Henlein, I. Rosenfeld, M. Nathan & Co., --- Fleishman. Grocers - Spain & Co. (also grain and seeds), Henderson & Co., H. Arnold, B. B. Kerr, Butler & Dumwright, J. M. Overall, M. Rosenfeld, Bell & Huggins, Haynes, Hollenell & Co., Mcfadden & Son, Todd & Morgan, John Johnson, J. B. White, J. Osborn. Groceries, grain, cotton and produce - William Mitchell, Hodge & Smith, Clayton & Overall & Co. Grain dealer - W F. Leiper. Grain and machines - D. H. Tally. Drug stores - William Wendel, J. Nelson, J. T. Merchant, H. H. Kerr, J. Kerr. Hardware - Street, Burns & Co., Nelson & Ivy. Harness and saddlery - Street, Burns & Co., J. Mosby. Buggies and carriages - Adam Bock, George Walter, W. B. Garrett. Wagons - Rob Blanton, V. Dill. Stoves and tinware - Cantherin & North, Beard & Co. Jewelers - W. R. Bell, W. B. Paty. Book stores - O. P. Hill, W. B. Smith. Grist-mills - J. A. Ransom, Belmont Mill Co., Murfreesboro Mill. Cotton-gins - Ransom & Co., J. T. B. Wilson, D. H. Talley, White & ___. Cedar Bucket Factory - Stones River Utility Works. Lumber dealers - W. B. Earthman & Co., Kirkpatrick & Ranson. Liverymen- J. H. Allen, Roberts & Oslin, W. R. Fox, James McKnignt. Hotels - Miles House, New Ready House. Gas-works - ___ Collins. Butchers - W. B. Jones, Mathew Nelson. Milliners - Mrs. L. Gifford, Mrs. Bettie Shelton. Dress-makers - Miss Nannie Prim, Mrs. P. Hooper. Opera house - Jordon & Elliott. Tannery - ___ Smith Professional attorneys - Palmer & Palmer, Avent, Avent & Smith, Ed Hancock, Ridley & Richardson, H. P. Keeble, Burrus & Woods, Cannon & Son, P. P. Mason, Sheafe & Smithson, E. L. Jordan, Jr., B. L. Ridley, B. F. Lilliard, Ervin Burton and R. Beard. Physicians- Wendel & Wendel, C. C. Clayton, J. B. Murfree and Dr. Burns. Dentists - Alexander Hartman and J. Bryan.

       A new industry is the Stones River Creamery, started in 1884. This establishment is now in successful operation, using about 4,000 pounds of milk per day. Financially, the town has always been solvent; morally, the grade is high; intellectually, it has few superiors. It educated one President and gave him a wife, and has been socially intimate with several. It has recently furnished a prominent character in the field of letters, Charles Egbert Craddock - Miss Mary Murfree.

       The charter granting the Murfreesboro Tennessee Bank was issued November 15, 1817. The capital stock was $400,000, divided into shares of $50 each. The limit of the bank was to run till January 1, 1841, with the option of closing sooner, if thought best by the directors. The directors were John Fisher, Joshua Haskell, Samuel P. Black, John Clopper, E B. Clark, Benjamin McCulloch, Joel Childress, Nicholas Tilford, William Barfield, John Smith and Edmond Jones. The officers elected were Benjamin McCulloch, president; Samuel P. Black, cashier. The bank began business on the north side, but afterward built a house of their own on the northeast corner of the Square. Business with the bank was continued about five years when the directors began closing the business. On the closing of the bank loan-agencies were established in its stead. The agents of these often enriched themselves at the expense of their creditors. In 1838 the Bank of Tennessee was established. Branches of the bank were opened in the leading cities. The capital stock of this bank was $5,000,000. These branch banks took notes at a discount, which were made payable on the installment plan. Notes or tickets on the bank were also issued for a time. The stringency of the money market at that time made these banks a great relief to the business world. A branch of the Planters’ Bank was established in Murfreesboro in 1859, with J. W. Childress, president, and William Ledbetter, cashier. The bank continued in successful operation till the war, when the capital was moved to Nashville. After the close of the war the business of the bank was closed out.

       The Exchange Bank was established in the summer of 1852, under the free banking system by William and Joseph Spence. The bank was started with a capital stock of $50,000 but was later increased to $100,000. The bank did a prosperous business till 1857, when by some improper management and bank became embarrassed and suspended for a time, but resumed business again in 1858, but was permanently suspended in a short time. Much loss and dissatisfaction grew out of the management of this institution.

       The First National Bank was established in March, 1869, with a capital stock of $100,000. The first board of directors were J. B. Kimbro, W. N. Doughty, J. W. Richardson, J. R. Collier, J. R. Dillon, J. E. Dromgoole, J. B. Palmer, W. A. Ransom, M. L. Fletcher, W. B. Lillard AND A.M. Alexander. The officers were J. B. Kimbro, president; W. N. Doughty, vice-president; J. B. Collier, cashier. In July, 1871, the capital stock was increased to $160,000, and in March, 1872, J. B. Kimbro died and was succeeded by J. W. Childress as president. In 1879 Collier, the cashier, died and was succeeded by H. H. Williams, the present cashier. J. W. Childress resigned in January, 1880, and was succeeded by E. L. Jourdan. In 1877 the capital stock was reduced from $160,000 to $100,000, at which it now stands, with $50,000 surplus. The present board of directors are E. L. Jordan, J. B. Palmer, J. M. Avent, J. M. Haynes, Joseph Ransom, R. C. Blackman, N. C. Collier, J. W. Sparks, J. T. Byrn, J. A. Moore and George Beasley.

       The Stones River National Bank was organized May 1, 1872. The directors were W. N. Doughty, J. P. Rice, W. R. Butler, W. C. Eagleton, T. C. Goodrich, Theodore Smith, J. I. C. Haynes, D. D. Wendel and C. B. Huggins. Officers were William Mitchell, president; A M. Overall, vice-president, and J. B. Fowler, cashier. The board of directors were William Mitchell, A. M. Overall, Alex Hartman, J. I. C. Haynes, W. N. Doughty, C. H. Byrn, J. H. Reed, Horace E. Palmer, W. C. Harrison, Jr., W. Barton and C. M. Holden. The Stones River National Banking Company was organized May 1, 1872, with a capital stock of $50,000. The officers were W. N. Doughty, president; D. D. Wendel, cashier, and C. B. Huggins, teller; directors: J. P. Rice, W. R. Butler, W. C. Eagleton, T. C. Goodrich, J. I. C. Haynes and Theodore Smith. The officers were William Mitchell, president; A. M. Overall, vice-president; J. B. Fowler, cashier. Directors: William Mitchell, A. M. Overall, Alex Hartman, J. I. C. Haynes, W. N. Doughty, C. H. Byrn, J. H. Reed, H. E. Palmer, W. C. Harrison, Jr., W. Barton and C. M. Holden.

       The first newspaper ever published in Murfreesboro was The Courier. The initial number of this little sheet made its appearance June 16, 1814. It was issued from the office on the corner of Vine and Lebanon Streets, by G. A. and A. C. Sublett. The Courier was like other papers; at times it gave the news rather than the expression of opinions. The press was one of the Franklin style, not unlike that on which was printed the Declaration of Independence. Mail service was furnished once a week at this time, but to facilitate exchanges private carriers carried papers to Nashville. The Weekly Times was established in Murfreesboro in 1837, and was the organ of the Democratic party. It as edited by Thomas Hegan. The Tennessee Telegraph said: “The union of the Whigs for the sake of the Union.” Its motto signified its politics. It was edited by E. J. King. This editor, like the modern editor, saw the salvation of the country depended upon the support of his paper and his party. The National Vidette was established by G. A. Sublett in Murfreesboro in 1828. It favored the election of Andrew Jackson for President in opposition to John Quincy Adams. It was an “anti-administration” paper. The Murfreesboro News was established in 1859 by A. Watkins, and was edited by G. T. Henderson, as a neutral political paper, but in 1852 it was changed to a Democratic paper. The paper was conducted by Mr. Henderson till it was suspended on account of the war, the type and press having been destroyed by the Federal Army. The Telegraph was the Whig organ of the county and was edited first by T. Taylor and afterward by R. S Northcott. This paper continued till the war. The Murfreesboro News was again started in Mr. Henderson in January, 1866, and was continued till 1878, when it was sold to other parties. The News is now owned and edited by W. C. Frost, a young and vigorous writer, who conducted the paper in a very successful manner. The Free Press showed that the Messrs. Henderson knew how to edit a paper. The Gold Eagle was the organ of the colored people. It was begun in January, 1886, but suspended publication until the middle of February on account of machinery. The paper was a seven column edition and was edited by Dr B. Andrew Franklin. It was issued from the office of Russell & Ransom.

       The scourge of cholera first threatened the place in 1832, but fortunately did nothing more than to frighten the inhabitants. A general clearing up and fumigating of the foul place was begun. The cholera went away only to gather strength for its return in 1835, when it came like a terror in all its horrors. Men and women frightened fled from their homes as though they were pursued by a devastating army; business was suspended; relief committees were formed; G. J. Cain, a prominent merchant, died; Gen. William Brady, a prominent lawyer and candidate for Congress, succumbed to the disease; Dr. A. Hartwell, who did yeoman service for the sick, was himself attacked and died. A committee of young men, James and John Holmes, D. D. Wendel, William Spence, W. T. Leiper, John Leiper, Robert Loik, Samuel Eagleton and James W. Hamilton were formed to act as nurses and attend the needs of the sick, and right nobly was the work done. The women, too, did their share. Providing coffins, digging graves and nursing the sick took all their attention. The town seemed depopulated by the disease and fright. Soon the destroying angel raised its wings and fled, but sadness was left in nearly every household.

       Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 18, was chartered in the year 1817, on petition of F. N. W. Burton, M. B. Murfree, B.F. McCulloch, John Lytle, A. C.Sublett and John L. Jetton. The lodge met on the north side of the Public Square in their room till about the year 1832, when the discredit attached to the order, by the community, caused it to suspend after a prosperous existence for more than a dozen years. After the excitement above mentioned had died away the lodge again reorgnaized in 1840. They met for a time in a room on the northwest corner of the Square, then on the west side in a room on the third floor of a building; this room and contents were burned in 1859. The lodge net procured new regalias and filled a room on the east side of the Square. This lodge was compelled to suspend during the war, but was soon after reorganized, and now has a membership of about forty members. The present officers are William Mitchell, W. M.; T. H. Woods, S. W., George Walter, J. W., J. H. Allen, Treasurer, J. T. McKinley, Secretary; J. R. Thompson, Chaplain; J. J. McKnignt, S. D.; J. C. Dunn, J. D., W. F. Leiper, S.; J. W. Wigg, T.

       Murfreesboro Commandery, No. 10, was chartered May 12, 1870, and was organized by V. E. Sir David Cook assisted by Sir Knights A. B. Martin and Alex W. WICK, of Baldwin Commandery, No. 7. The first officers were Sir J. B. Palmer, E. C.; Sir J. D. Richardson, G., and Sir J. B. Murfree, C. G. The officers for 1886 are W. F. Leiper, E. C.; John Bell, Jr., G.; William Mitchell, C. G.; W. D. Robinson, P., H. C. Jackson, S. W.; Richard Beard, J. W.; H. W. Kerr, Treasurer; William Ledbetter, R.; Charles King, S. B.; H. Weakley, S. B.; T. M. King, W. Past Commanders: J. B. Palmer, J. D. Richardson, J. B. Murfree, T. H. Woods and H. H. Kerr.

       Stranger Rest Lodge, No. 14, I. O. O. F., was instituted December 25, 1845, with the following charter members. J. N. Champion, Andrew Donaldson, J. A. Harrison, S. A. Bivens and R. G. Buchanan. On December 27 W. W. Earthman became a member, the oldest now living. Funds paid to Grand Lodge since its inception, $16,570.51; relief funds, $3,389.65. Two fires within the last decade have made a report on the orphans’ educational fund impossible, yet there has been expended under this head $980.35. The lodge now owns a $3,000 building on the South Side. Present officers are R. M. Ransom, N. G.; J. B. Cosbey, V. G.; M. Hoehnlein and W. B. Drumright, treasurers. Orphan fund trustees: N. C. Collier, E. C. Cox and Adam Bock. This body has expended for orphans now under their care, $1,289.55. The Refuge Lodge has furnished the following Grand Masters: Benjamin Johnson, A. O. H. P. Sehorn, E. G. Budd and J. H. Crichlow, the only one now living, and these three grand representatives to the Sovereign Grand Lodge: A O. H. P. Sehorn, E. G. Budd and J. H. Crichlow, now lieutenant-colonel upon the staff of John C. UNDERWOOD, the lieutenant-general and commander-in-chief of the army of Patriarchs Militant. Not withstanding the mis- fortune of fires, etc., the order has had a successful career, and now numbers sixty-five active members.

       The G. U. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 1822 (colored) was instituted in October, 1878. The lodge now numbers about 200 members.

       The origin of temperance societies in Rutherford County dates as far back as 1827, as mentioned in the history of the Presbyterian Church. In this church was organized the first formal society having rules and by-laws. A society was soon after formed called the “Washingtonians,” or Washington Temperance Society. After a time the interest in the matter somewhat died away, but was renewed again in 1847 under the name of “Sons of Temperance.” This society prospered, and higher degrees were formed in 1851. In that year the degree of Knight Templar was opened in the court house, and in 1857 the K. of H. was organized. These societies continued to prosper till broken up by the war. In 1867 the order of G. T. was organized in the court house, and in 1868 the order of S. of T. was revived. To the efforts of these good people the State owes no little to her excellent temperance legislation.

       Lodge No. 161, K. of H., was organized in Murfreesboro, September 25, 1875, with the following charter members. H. H. Clayton, F. H. Crass, W.B. Garrett, S. B. Bowers, J. O. Oslin, T. N. Crichlow, John Mcdermott, E. Rosenfeld, J. W. Childress, G. H. Baskett, Dr. J. B. Murfree, J. B. Clayton, E. C. Cox, J. R. Osborn, J. T. Rather, R. L. Martin, S. N. Lawing, S. G. Mcfadden, Ed Obrenne, H. Hirsch and W. C. Osborn. The present officers are J. M. Wigg, P. D.; H. C. Finch, D.; H. Hirsch, V. D.; E. C. Cox, A. D.; S. W. Lawing, R.; J. J. Mckinley, F. R.; J. W. Ewing, C.; Dr. R. S. Wendel Treas.; G. S. Ransom, G. H. Eickhoff, I. W. and D. W. Donaldson, Sentinel. Present membership ninety-five. The A. O. U. W. was organized May 2, 1877, with the following members: C. O. Thomas, Dr. J. B. Murfree, J. R. Osborn, J. N. Crichlow, R. F. Osborn, W. Roulet, F. H. Crass, W. B. Earthman, H. Hirsch, W. C. ___ and S. N. Lawing. This popular fraternity now numbers thirty-nine members.

       Jefferson Jefferson is located at the forks of Stones River. The place was selected, as stated elsewhere, as a seat of justice for the county and remained the same from 1804 till 1811. Col. Robert Weakley and Robert Bedford entered the land about Jefferson and had a town platted. A courthouse, brick, about 40x40 feet was begun in 1804, and ready for use in the summer of 1806. A jail and stocks were also built. Rude houses were rapidly built. The town proper embraced forty acres of land. William Nash opened a store near the place in 1803, said to have been the first in the county. An ordinary was kept in the place by Mitchell in 1805. As communication and travel at this time was mainly by river, Jefferson was an important trading post. Numerous keel and flat-boats were seen at her wharves, many were also built there. Goods were bought largely at Pittsburgh and brought to Jefferson by river; produce, grain, meat, etc., were shipped to New Orleans and sold. These voyages required months to complete. After the removal of the seat of justice to Murfreesboro the town began to decline. In 1815 the old court house was transformed into a seminary of learning under the name of “Jefferson Seminary of Learning.” The Legislature made John Coffee, Peter Legrand, S. Crosthwait, George Simpson and Walter Keeble trustees of said institution and to govern the same. The school was of short duration; the old building stood till about 1835.

       In 1824 Constant Hardeman built the first and only steam-boat at Jefferson and floated the same down to Nashville to receive her machinery and finishing touches. The boat was of about 100 tons burthen. The broad-ax by which most of the timber was hewed is now in the hands of David Neugent. The town now contains a shop, one or two stores, a postoffice and an Odd Fellow Lodge.

       The little village of Milton is situated fourteen miles southeast from Murfreesboro. The first settlers came from North Carolina and Virginia about the year 1790. Among the first were James Doran and ___ Roach; the former entered land and built a house about one mile from where the village now stands; a Stone spring-house bears “J. D., 1807,” and is still standing. The latter, it is thought, entered the land where the village now stands. The first house was built about 1810. Little is known of the place until 1830, when Howard and Benjamin Morgan purchased the land and laid out a town, to which was given the somewhat classic name “Milton”. The town was incorporated and “constituted a body corporate and politic under the name and style of the mayor and aldermen of the town of Milton.” The town soon assumed metropolitan airs, but after an existence of about a half-century the charter was revoked. The place now contains only about 200 inhabitants. The village contains an I. O. O. F. Lodge, Presbyterian Church, a drug store and two general stores. The amount of business in the place amounts to about $40,000 annually. The pride of the village is its seminary, which was erected and incorporated under the “four mile law.” This school is in a flourishing condition under the management of Prof. N. D. Overall, assisted by Miss Mattie Hill; in the music and art departments are other competent teachers. The high moral standing, the people, their social culture, the fine lands surrounding and good mail facilities, make Milton a desirable place in which to live. Historically Milton marks the place of a hotly contested engagement between Gens. Morgan and Blackman in the late war, in which the former was defeated. Some of the Confederate dead lie buried in a beautiful grove near the village.

       The village of Eagleville, consisting of about thirty families, is situated in the southwest part of the county. The first settlements made in that neighborhood were made about 1790. Pioneer settlers were William and Thomas Jordan, Henry Ridley, James Shepard, Robert Donaldson, James Neal, Daniel Scales, Ab Scales, John Guy, Robert Wilson, James Gillespie, Joe Carson, ___ Burgess, George and Robert White.

       The Missionary Baptist Church was organized one and one-half miles north of Eagleville November 7, 1839, by Rushing James Keal and John Landrum. The first members were Thomas and Sophia Jordan, Elizabeth Williams, Josiah Johnson, Drury Bennett, William Cullom, Robert and Nancy Palmer, John and Rhoda Hazelwood. It was then called Harpeth Baptist Church, but on removal to Eagleville, in about 1866, it was called Eagleville Baptist Church. Eagleville Lodge, No. 17, I. O. O. F., was organized May 20, 1846. The charter members were John Nunn, William Nunn, Samuel Rankin, Thomas W. Maxfield, S. S. Morgan, Thomas Cheatham, Thomas Moore and William Taylor. Business: Charles Williams sold the first goods in the place in 1832. His old stand is now occupied by his sons, J. C. & R. E. Williams. R. S. Brown has also sold goods for a number of years. Other branches of business are a drug store, cabinet shop, machine shop, tobacco factory, flouring mill, two blacksmith shops, livery stables and a boot and shoe shop. The school, now under Prof. G. M. Savage, was chartered several years ago. It employs seven teachers, and the curriculum embraces the entire course of mathematics, natural sciences, English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, German and Anglo-Saxon languages, metaphysics, logic, music and art. This school is furnished with a commodious boarding house for girls, and a row of ten rooms for boys, beside the family buildings. The school building has eight rooms besides the chapel.

       Readyville is situated on the Woodbury Pike in District No. 19, in the eastern part of the county. It was named in honor of Charles Ready, who was one of the seven justices that organized the first court in the county, in 1804. He settled in that county not far from the beginning of the present century. In 1833 this was on District No. 6, and George Brandon, A. Tenneson and Joe Macey were made inspectors of elections at that place. Readyville is situated in an excellent farming community, and maintains a flourishing school.

       La Vergne was founded after the building of the railroad, and lies in District No. 3, near the Davidson County line. It was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly passed February 28, 1861. It contains several hundred inhabitants, two churches, stores, shops and other business houses. It was at this place that skirmishing began between the armies of Gens. Bragg and Rosecrans previous to the great battle of Stones River. The town fared badly during the war.

       Salem is situated five miles southwest of Murfreesboro, on the Salem & Eagleville Pike. Salem is near the western part of District No. 11. Versailles is the name of a postoffice near the center of District No. 10. It contains a store and other places of business. Middleton is situated near the southern boundary of the county fourteen miles south of Murfreesboro. It contains a Baptist Church, postoffice, store and shops. Christiana lies on the east side of the railroad ten miles from Murfreesboro. It is in the northern part of District no. 20. It contains a postoffice, a school, one or two stores and is a good shipping point on the railroad. Fosterville is a thriving little village situated thirteen miles southeast of Murfreesboro on the railroad. It contains a church, store, postoffice and shops. Carlocksville is situated near the southeastern part of the county fourteen miles from Murfreesboro and in the most thickly settled portion of District No. 24. It contains business houses, a Baptist and a Methodist Episcopal Church and a postoffice.

       Stewartsboro, near the Nashville Pike on Stewart Creek, was formerly a place of some little business, but since the completing of the railroad the business has been transferred to Smyrna. In point of population and wealth this is now the second town in the county. It contains a school of excellent merit, a Presbyterian Church, a Masonic Lodge, stores and other business houses. Florence, on the railroad midway between Smyrna and Murfreesboro, has a fine location and is surrounded by excellent farming country. It supports an excellent school.

       Rutherford County is divided into forty-three school districts, and has 150 houses for the education of children in the public schools. The schools were organized under the present system in 1869, and put into effective operation in 1873. Besides the 150 schoolhouses above mentioned the county supports seven graded schools, i.e., one at Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Milton, Eagleville, Fosterville, Lavergne and one at Florence. The school population for the year ending July, 1885, was White males, 4069; females, 3,824; colored males, 3,398; females, 3,281. This makes a total school population of 14,572. There was expended for the year as above the sum of $39,556.82. In these schools there were employed 43 male White teachers and 44 females, and 31 colored male teachers and 44 females, making a total of 139 teachers. The total number engaged in both public and private schools amounts to about 200. The average salary for teachers in the public schools for 1885 was $25 per month, the minimum being $18 and the maximum being $60 per month. The average length of term for the year is four months. Excellent private schools of high grade are maintained the greater part of the year at Milton, Readyville, Eagleville, Florence and Smyrna.

       The public schools were put in operation soon after the war, but for want of proper accommodations were not efficient until within the last year. An elegant brick building was erected on the site of the old Female Academy, and an efficient corps of teachers employed. The present corps of teachers are Prof. W. W. Millam, principal; Miss Sallie Ralston, assistant; other teachers, Misses Mary Jones, Nannie Wade, Allie Wade, Ida Clark and Janie Murfree. The colored schools are under the charge of Prof. Carney and three assistants.

       Soule’s Female College was organized in 1825, and was known as the “Female Academy.” The first trustees of this school were F. N. W. Burton, Dr. W. R. Rucker, M. B Murfree and Dr. James Maney. This school was for girls exclusively, those heretofore being mixed schools. Besides the ordinary branches taught there were in addition rhetoric, philosophy, belles-lettres, painting, ne edle-work and music. The teaching was done by the Misses Mary and Nancy Banks.

       The Female County Academy was founded in 1829. One acre of ground was purchased in the north part of town for $100, and a two-story brick building of four rooms was erected thereon. A suitable course of study was prepared, and the services of Miss Keyser was obtained. The school was soon in successful operation. The Rev. Mr. Baker, who became the husband of Miss Keyser, was also employed as one of the teachers. After Mr. and Mrs. Baker retired from the institution Mr. and Mrs. G. T. Henderson conducted the school successfully, after whom Mr. and Mrs. Blackington took charge of the school. In 1850 the school had grown to such proportions that an enlargement was found necessary, and one acre of land was purchased of William Lytle and added to the grounds, on which additional buildings were erected. The first teachers in the academy after the enlargement were Mr. and Mrs. Fellows.

       In 1852 steps were taken to have a female school of more extended limits. The Rev. Thomas Madden was said to have taken the initiative in this matter. The charter was obtained in 1854, and the following trustees appointed: L. H Carney, B. W. Avent, D. D. Wendel, Levi Wade, W. R.McFadden, Joseph Watkins, William Spence, W. S. Huggins and W. F. Lytle. The school was founded on a liberal basis, four of the above being Presbyterians, four Methodist, and one belonging to neither. The school was named in honor of Bishop Soule, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The following faculty were employed: J. R. Finley, president; Mr. J. Hoffman, Misses Jane and Phoebe Raymond, Julia Knapp and Jane DeWolf. The school was opened in the Female Academy, but owing to disagreement with the trustees of that institution, it was decided to erect a new building. About three and a half acres of ground was purchased where the old Methodist Church stood, and a large brick building, three stories high, about 100 x 110 feet, was erected at a cost of $25,000. Dr. Finley resigned before the college was completed, and was succeeded by Dr. S P. Baldwin, who conducted the school successfully two years, and was succeeded by C. W. Callender, who remained two years, and was succeeded by Rev. John Naff. Rev. Naff conducted the school till his death in 1862. Owing to the war the school was suspended, the building having been taken first by the Confederates as a hospital, afterward by the Federals. The building was greatly damaged by the war. The school was reorganized by the Rev. J. R. Plummer after the war, who conducted a school for two years. Owing to a debt overhanging the building it was sold, the Rev. D. D. Moore, D. D., being the purchaser, for $15,000. Dr. Moore managed the school six or seven years, when it passed into the hands of J. D. West, D. D,. and later into the hands of Prof. J. R. Thompson, its present owner. The institution has a faculty of nine instructors, the Rev. J. R. Thompson being the president. The school has a preparatory and a collegiate department. In the collegiate department is a freshman, a sophomore, a junior and a senior class, embracing the usual course of a school of its kind. Since 1877 there have been forty-seven graduates from the college. Under management of Prof. Thompson the school has been eminently successful. The location, the surroundings, the high professional training, the social refinement, and the Christian influence that is brought to bear upon pupils at this institution make it a desirable place for the training of young ladies for the higher duties of life.

       Union University was organized by charter dated February 5, 1842, under the title “Union University in Tennessee.” The trustees named in the charter were William Martin, Robert Boyd, Crawford Howell, C. C. Trabue, J. H. Marshall, J. H. Shepard, D. W. Dickson, B. Gannaway, H. Maney, J. J. Whittaker, W. W. Searcy, P. F. Norflest, L. Reneau, Charles Watkins, B. Kimbro and L. E. Abernathy. The trustees had power to select a location. It was intended for a Missionary college. That denomination being numerous in East Tennessee Somerville was selected as the site, and G. W. Wilt began teaching a primary grade of work intended as a branch of the college. Owing to the failure to raise the necessary funds for West Tennessee the school was never properly begun at Somerville. A more liberal basis was made, and it was proposed to erect the college at Murfreesboro, still to be under the control of the Baptists, but it was to be in the main non-sectarian. The new name given the college was Union University. The following new board of trustees was appointed: Charles Trabue, Rev. Hiram Young, Rev. B. Kimbro, Hon. W. L. Martin, P. F. Norflest, C. K. Winston, James Avent, E. H. James, T. Vaughn, Rev. W. L. Perry, Thomas Ashford, Rev. T. B. Ripley and Rev. Samuel Baker. The Rev. M. Hillsman was elected treasurer, and J. F. Fletcher secretary of the board. The required subscription $25,000) being obtained the work of building the university was begun. The corner-Stone was laid in June, 1849, with imposing ceremonies by the civil societies of Murfreesboro. The address was delivered by Dr. Eaton, its first president. The building is a fine brick structure, 80 x 110 feet, and three stories high. The first faculty were Rev. Dr. Eaton, president; Revs. William Shelton, G. W. Jarman, David Bridenthall and P. W. Dobson, professors in the various departments. The Rev. J. H. Eaton, who was chosen the first president, was at the time managing the Bradley Academy, and by an act of the Legislature the Bradley was placed under the same management as the university. The school under President Eaton had a prosperous career. On his death his remains were deposited in a tomb in the college campus, near the scene of his labors. The Rev. Pendelton was chosen the successor of Dr. Eaton, and managed the school successfully till 1861, when it was closed on account of the war. During the period of the war the university building was used as a hospital by the army. In 1853 Eaton College or the Baptist Institute was founded and managed by the same board of trustees as the Union University. For the institute two acres of land was purchased of Dr. James Maney, in the north part of town, on which was erected a brick building, 50x80 feet, and two stories high. The building furnished accommodations for about 100 pupils. This institution passed into the hands of the Christian denomination a short time before the war. School at this place, as elsewhere, suspended during the war, during which period the building was used as a hospital or for other purposes, and was greatly damaged. After the war the Cumberland Presbyterians managed a school there for a time, and then it again passed into the hands of the Christians. The university and its branches has ceased as a university, but instead of the university proper there is in its stead the “Eclectic Normal School,” which is now being successfully carried on by Dr. James Waters. The school has a good corps of teachers, a full course of study and a good attendance.

       The work of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church began in this county in the early history of the organization. Preaching was at first held in private houses. Norman’s camp ground was a favorite place of meeting for a long time. The denomination has churches at Mount Vernon, Jackson’s Ridge, Rockvale, Lebanon, Rockspring, Fosterville, Lytle’s Creek, Mount Tabor, Lascassas and Jerusalem. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Murfreesboro on May 30, 1858, by delegates from Nashville and elsewhere. The first pastor chosen was J. C. Provine; the deacons were C. N. Brooks, J. H. Green, H. Osborn, R. N. Ransom and W. A. Reed. The members were J. N. Clark and wife, C. N. Brooks and wife, J. Reed and wife, H. Osborn and wife, J. Hooker and wife, R. N. Ransom, W. A. Reed, R. D. Reed and some others. Preaching had been held in town as early as 1840-45,by Rev. George Donnell and others from Lytle Creek congregation. The church was begun under the pastorate of Rev. J. P. Campbell, and a lot was purchased in 1859. A Sabbath-school was organized September 25, 1859, with the pastor as superintendent, and H. Osborn and R. N. Ransom, assistants. The school had nineteen scholars and six teachers. The church was only partially completed at the outbreak of the war, but being less damaged than others, services were held in that church the Methodist Episcopals and Presbyterians for a time. In 1865 preaching was resumed, the church and soon after steps were taken to repair and complete the building, which was done in 1868-69. The class now has a house of worship worth about $9,000, a strong membership and maintains a good Sabbath-school.

       Soon after Alexander Campbell began his wonderful career as a minister and theologian, converts began to be made to his doctrines in Rutherford County. The first church organized in Murfreesboro January 1,-1833, and consisted of twelve members. Steps were immediately taken to build a church. Lot No. 59 of the original plan of Murfreesboro was purchased of F. E. Bicton for $50, and deeded to Peyton Smith, George Morris, William Smith, Thomas Rucker, Sr., Joseph Ramsey, Thomas Rucker, Jr., and G. W. Banton. The church was completed in due time, and the members began worship at their new home and continued till 1859-60, when the church built a new house of worship on Main Street. Services were interrupted here for a short time during the war, but were resumed again in 1865. This denomination has churches at Antioch, Miles Hill, Rock Hill, Science Hill and elsewhere. It is a strong and influential body.

       One of the earliest church organizations in the county was the Primitive or Regular Baptist Church. Its first members were from North Carolina or Virginia. The early ministers labored with an apostolic zeal, and were known for their simplicity of habits. The first church organized in the county by the Baptists was McCoy’s, in the Norman settlement. This was before 1800. Elder William Keel is believed to have been the first minister. He remained with these people some time and then went away, but returned in s old days. This church grew rapidly, and soon became one of the leading churches in the county. In consideration of $1, love and affection, on May 8, 1813, Thomas Rucker deeded two acres of land to John Warren and Drury Vaugh, deacons, or their successors in office, of that branch of the Baptist Church who believe in the “final preservation of the Saints in Christ, and Baptism by emersion.” This church house was erected near Cumming’s mill on the east fork of Stone River. This was called Providence. Other early members were the Lillards, Claytons and Clarks, also Dr. Yandell, father of the distinguished Dr. Yandall, of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Watson, one of its early ministers, was. distinguished as a physician and a minister, and respected as a citizen.

       Beasley’s church was built four miles west of Murfreesboro about 1820, on the Beasley farm. There is still a house of worship near the same place. Among the early members of this church were Chrisnhall and wife; Posey, wife and family. Elder Whitesett was one of its first ministers. The denomination is quite strong at this place. Enon Church was built at a later date. The building is a frame structure, and stands about six miles north of Murfreesboro. The membership here is small. Early members were the Reeds, Barksdales and Searceys. Peyton Smith was one of its early ministers. He afterward joined the Methodists, and later the Christians. Lett Bond was a later minister of the church in Murfreesboro. The first church of this denomination was built near the southeast corner of the Public Square, and stood for some years. On the failure of the Bradly Academy early in the decade of 1830, th at building was used by these people till the creation of the church which now stands in Murfreesboro. This was built in 1850-51. Prominent among the early families belonging to this church were the Brooks, Powells, Morgans, Lethermans, Ruckers and Claytons. Dr. Watson was a leading spirit in the erection and maintenance of this church. The membership of this denomination has greatly decreased within the last few decades.

       Owing to a difference of opinion in regard to missionary work, Sabbath-school work, and other minor matters, there was a division in this branch of the church, the one branch being known by the public as Primitive, Regular or “Hard Shell” Baptists, and the other as Missionary Baptists; the latter are characterized by Sabbath-schools, educated ministry and foreign missionary work. This denomination is now the strongest in the county, and has from fifteen to twenty churches and a large membership. This denomination was first organized in Murfreesboro, January 7, 1843. Church organizations already existed at Enon, Bethel and Overall Creek. Delegates were sent from these as well as from Nashville to assist the organization in town. The sermon was preached by R. B. Howell, and the deacons assisting in the organizations were J. H. Marshall, J. Thomas, C. C. Trabue and James Avent. The membership enrolled were S. D. Crosthwait and wife, Thomas H. Maney, Fanny Maney, Thomas and Priscilla Dickson, Mary L. Bell, R. Smith, Lorinda Smith, J. H. Eaton, W. H. January and J. F. Fletcher. The first deacons were B. Gannaway, John Malley and Frank Fletcher. At the first meeting J. H. Eaton was ordained to preach, T. H. Maney was elected clerk, and R. B. Howell was chosen first pastor. Steps were soon taken for the erection of a church, which was completed in 1848. This was duly dedicated, and was occupied till April, 1862, when services were interrupted by the war. The church was greatly damaged by the armies, and was afterward sold to the colored people. Services were resumed after the war at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the Rev. A. Vanhoose officiating as pastor. In 1868 the church began the erection of a new house of worship on Alain Street; this was completed at a cost of about $10,000. ’The membership of this church is now about 135. A large church is maintained at Braley’s Creek, Antioch, Concord, Eaglesville, and in fact in nearly every district in the county.

       The origin of the Presbyterian Church is due to the labors of Rev. Robert Henderson, who began his work in June, 1811. The church was organized near Murfrees Spring, in April, 1812, with the following members: Robert Wasson, John Smith and William D. Baird, elders; others were Joseph, Margaret and Mary Dixon, John, Susana, Henry and Frances Henderson, May Stewart, Abigal Baird, Margaret Jetton, Margaret Wilson, Grace Williams, Elizabeth Kelton, Margaret Wasson, Jane and Elizabeth Smith. In 1813 Rev. Henderson gave the church half his time; in 1814 he was succeeded by Rev. Thomas J. Hall, and he, in 1815, by Revs. James Beuman and George Newton, each of whom gave the church one-quarter of his time. In 1816 Revs. George Newton and Jesse Alexander rendered like service, and in 1817 Jesse Alexander gave one-third his time. In 1818 Rev. Henderson again took charge of the church. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was first .administered to this church in October, 1818. The first public collection, amounting to $22.08¾, was taken up to defray the expenses of the church for the last six years. In December, 1823, the Rev. J. W. Hall became pastor. The number of church communicants, at this time was ninety-one; the number in 1828 was 138. In 1819-20 the church erected a fine brick church in Murfreesboro; this was 40x60 feet, with gallery and cupola; in the latter was hung a 560-pound bell in the year 1831. This bell cost $220.31. This building stood till destroyed by the ravages of war. It was used as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. In 1822 this building was used for the meeting of the General Assembly. Aside from the Rev. Robert Henderson, who was a teacher as well as a pastor, the Rev. William Eagleton was the most noted. The Rev. Eagleton began his labors, December 29, 1829, on the resignation of J.W. Hall, and continued with the church till 1866, the time of his death.

       No church history of the place would be complete without mention of this godly man. Many others deserve mention. D. D. Wendel was clerk of the sessions from 1846 till his death in 1873. The church was reorganized after the war by Rev. J. H. Neil, and a new building erected in 1870. This building at that time cost between $17,000 and $18,000. The church is new and out of debt, and has contracted for a $600 pipe organ. The membership at present is about 300 communicants. The Presbyterian Church deserves credit for being the first temperance society in Middle Tennessee. At a meeting of the synod, October 5, 1827, after reciting the evils of intemperance, it was “Resolved, that they will abstain from the use of distilled liquors; that they will not permit them to be used by their families or servants except as medicine; that they will not provide them as articles of entertainment for their friends, and they will discountenance the use of them in the community.” Another very old church is Cripple Creek, which has a membership of 37; Stone River has 63; Hopewell, 78; Hall, 38, and Smyrna, 69. In the days of camp-meetings the Presbyterians had a camp ground at the Sulphur Springs and one in the McKnight settlement, near Milton.

       The progress of the church was slow till December, 1828, when the first conference met in Murfreesboro, at which a great revival was begun, and the church was greatly strengthened. John Lytle, Airs. Wasson and the Rev. John Lane deserve mention for their zeal and piety; also Capt. Jones, who conducted the first public prayer-meeting at the old Bradly Academy, in 1818. The Rev. Baker was the first stationed preacher in Murfreesboro; he began his work in 1829. Other prominent ministers of that day were the Revs. F. E. Pitt and Alexander. The old church becoming insufficient for the demand, a new church was begun in 1843, on a lot bought of Daniel Lernean, and deeded to F. Yoakum, William Rucker, R. B. Jetton, L. H. Carney, James W. Hamilton, S. B. Christe, John Leiper, W. J. Lytle and John Jones, trustees. The new building was erected at a cost of about $5,000. Preaching was begun in the basement in June, 1843, the Rev. T. W. Randle then being pastor. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. M. L. Andrews, on June 23, of the same year. In 1862 services were discontinued on account of the war, the church having been used at first by the Confederates as a hospital for the sick and wounded, afterward by the Federals. During the period of the war the church was greatly damaged, but in 1873 the house was completely remodeled and rededicated. This church now has the largest membership of any in the city. Special mention should be made of the Rev. Sterling Brown, who held one of the most remarkable religious revivals ever hold in the State, at the old Windrow Camp Ground, about the year 1824 or 1825. At this there were over 300 conversions. Meetings were held at that place regularly from about 1812 till 1873, except during the interval of the war. It was long the “Mecca” of the Methodists. The churches of this denomination now dot the entire county.

       The organization of this very popular branch of the church in this county dates back to about1812. At that time there was held a camp meeting at the Windrow Camp Ground, at which there were many professions of religion. Other camp meetings were held at which itinerant ministers of the Methodist faith were present and worked with that zeal that was peculiar to the pioneer ministers of that faith. Rev. Robert Paine, who became bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a circuit rider over a district embracing Rutherford County. During the session of the General Assembly, he preached in the court house, and many members were present and took a part in the exercises, among them Felix Grundy, the distinguished lawyer and statesman. A class was organized at a house on College Street in 1821. The following are the charter members: Benjamin Blankenship and wife, Edward Fisher and wife, Thomas Montague and wife, John Lytle and wife, Martin Clark, Willis Reeves, John Jones, William Ledbetter, G. A. Sublett, D. Henry Holmes, Dr. W. R. Rucker, Levi Reeves, J. D. Neugent and David Hannis. Preaching was furnished by traveling preachers at first, and services were held either in the court house or in private dwellings till the year 1823. In 1823 John Lytle deeded a lot, near where Soule’s College now stands, for the purpose of having a church erected thereon. The lot was deeded to John R. McLaughlin, Samuel McLaughlin, Simpson Simons, Benjamin Rucker, S. Ogden, A. Childress and Edmond Jones as trustees. A brick house, one story high, with gallery for negroes, and bell, was completed at a cost of about $1,800.


Rutherford County History, Part I

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This page last updated on Wednesday, August 12, 2015