Lauderdale County History
(Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887), continued:
Ripley the county seat, was formed in June, 1836, upon fifty acres of land donated to the county by John Brown.  The town is centrally located on the Newport News & Mississippi Railway, fifty-two miles north of Memphis, 185 miles west from Nashville, and sixteen miles east from the Mississippi River, on the highest point between Memphis and Paducah, KY., on the railroad, and has a population of about 900. The town has been incorporated since 1849.  J. M. Smith & Co. were the first merchants in 1836.  Little business was transacted between that year and 1837, and from then until 1840 the merchants were J. M. C. Robertson, W. K. Dobins & Co., Mark Watkins and Devenport & Whitson. Joseph Wardlaw had a tannery during that period; William Cooper, a tailor shop; Henry Murphey, a hattery, and William P. Gains a blacksmith shop. Isaac Pinson erected the first hotel, which was subsequently run by Thomas Hart and Joseph Goodman, and then closed.  In the latter part of the above period, Joseph Wardlaw opened a hotel at his residence n Sugar Hill.  The merchants between 1840 and 1850 were John J. Nelson, Yancy & Langley, Thomas Hart, George B. Carson, Glass Bros., Joseph Clay, James McClelland, Robert Hall and W. H. Davis. Between 1850 and 1860, J. B. Clay, Glass Bros., B. A. Sinclair, G. D. Carson, Farmer & Wardlaw, Smith & Vanderbilt, Robert Hall, Joseph McClelland, O'Stein & Lunsford and William Vale. Between 1860 and 1870, Glass & Son, Macklin & Co., John W. Wylie, Sinclair and Son, Wardlaw & Scott, John Felsenthal, Wardlaw & Son, Carson Bros., McKinney & Co., Glass & Co., Barbee & Tucker, Barbee & Anderson, and Gray & Porter. Thomas Furguson, hotel; Jo. C. Marley, livery stable.  Between 1870 and 1880, Barbee & Co., Glass & Co., John Felsenthal, Porter & Co., Tucker, Adair & Co., Thomas Bird, James Johnson, Neighbors & McLeod, John E. Gray, Sinclair & Son, Carson Bros., Glass & Son, Maclin & Falts, Hall & Braden, Hearring Bros., Williams & Co., C. L. Strickland, Wheeler & Co., Branch & Woodard, Johnston & Rogers, Plant & Co., R. S. Porter, and Ward & Adair. Hotel and livery proprietors same as between 1860 and 1870. The business men of the present are J. J. Barbee & Co., dry goods and groceries; B. A. Sinclair & Son, Chapman & Campbell, Tillman Bros., I. Lang, dry goods; R. C. Klutts, Wm. Tucker, Wm. Robertson, T. L. Johnson, groceries; C. S. McKinney & Co., Porter & Henry, Byrn & Meadows, drugs; W. J. Campbell, hardware; Johnston & Co., furniture and undertakers; John Felsenthal, general store; L. H. Joragin, jewelry; D. R. Larrymore, tinware; Gus Hobbs, confectionery; R. C. Klutts, Berg & Shafer, meat markets; J. D. Trimble, harness-maker; J. M. Campbell, J. Haebt, boot and shoe-makers; Pierson & Furguson, J. W. Kirkpatrick, livery stables; J. D. Henry and G. C. Porter, hotels; Henry & Brown, R. M. Hughes, blacksmiths and wood-workers.

In 1871 James L. Green erected a steam saw and grist-mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1875.  The mill was at once erected a second time, and is at present in operation, being owned by J. T. Williams, who added a cotton-gin thereto. The other mill of Ripley is a large brick steam flour and grist-mill, valued at about $20,000, which was erected in 1880 by Johnson, Neal & McKinney.

Ripley Lodge, No. 100, F. & A. M., was instituted in 1842, and removed to Durhamville in 1849.  Fuller Lodge, No. 269, F. & A. M., was instituted October 6, 1858.  Ripley Chapter, No. 66, R. A. M., was instituted December 8, 1866. Ripley Lodge, No. 66, I. O. O. F., was instituted in 1856, and soon abandoned, but reorganized in 1868, and abandoned a second time after a few years' work.  Ripley Lodge, No. 1011, K. of H., was instituted in March, 1878; Diamond Lodge, No. 137, K. & L. of H., in February, 1879, and Lauderdale Lodge, No. 16, N. O. G. C., in May, 1880. Ripley has two weekly newspapers - the News and Enterprise. The News was established August 9, 1871, by J. L. Sparks, Jr., and P. T. Glass. At the death of J. L. Sparks, Jr., in 1883, J. L. Sparks, Sr., succeeded to the proprietorship of the paper, and T. M. Sparks became manager and local editor, and continues as such at present. The News is a six-column quarto, Democratic in politics, and has a weekly circulation of 700 copies.  The Enterprise is a seven-column folio, and was established by L. A. Palmer August 28, 1885.  Though but a few months over a year old, the Enterprise has built up a splendid business, and has now a weekly circulation of 1,000 copies. It is Democratic in politics.  Drs. James Lackey and John McCall were the first practicing physicians of Ripley, they beginning in 1836, the former continuing until his death in 1885, and the latter until about 1850. Dr. R. H. McGaughey began to practice in 1844, and continued to 1847; Dr. W. C. Fain, from 1846 to 1866; Dr. John J. Nelson, from 1850 to 1857, and Dr. Stephen H. Steele from 1858 to 1862. The present practitioners are Drs. B. F. Lackey, D. B. Steele, A. H. Young and G. A. Lusk.  Dr. A. W. Smith, dentist.

Fulton, the oldest town in the county, is situated on the Mississippi River, three miles above the mouth of Hatchie, twenty-five miles southeast from Ripley, in the Fourth Civil District, and has a population of about 150. Fulton was founded in 1827, upon a tract of 760 acres of land entered in the name of James Trimble. Its founders had hopes of make the town the great city of the West, and advertised extensively its advantages and offered great inducements to people to settle there. In an almost incredibly short time the town had upward of 600 inhabitants, all living in shanties and keel boats. Between 1829 and 1831, however, the citizens were stricken with a deadly fever, and about 200 died. The balance moved away, and by 1832 there was not a single inhabitant. The town was resurveyed and founded in 1835.

In about 1837-38 Dr. W. W. Lea opened a general store in Fulton, and sold out to E. K. Dodge in 1834.  Dodge sold out to J. M. Alexander in 1846, who continued in business until the war. Albert and Joel Lea engaged in business at the close of the war, and since then the business men have been P. A. Crow & Co., Samuel A. Givins, Slaughter & Coleman and A. Lea & Co., the present business firm.   From 1830 to 1840 the Fulton Bank was in operation, of which A. Lea was president and W. J. Donelson, cashier. A. Lea & Co. erected a large saw-mill in 1869, which burned in 1876.  Dr. Henry W. Sanford is the one practicing physician of Fulton and vicinity.

Durhamville is the second oldest town in the county, having been founded in 1829-30 by Col. Thomas Durham, who had a store on the town site in 1826. Durhamville is situated in the First District, six and one-half miles southeast from Ripley, and has about 150 inhabitants.

The merchants of the town have been as follows: Thomas Durham, T. D. Fisher & Co., A. Phillips, David Merriweather, John W. Durant, D. M. Henning, Henry C. Cage, Thomas L. Clark & Co., Wardlaw and Greaves, Wardlaw & Cage, Borum Bros., E. Fitzpatrick & Co. The present merchants are J. L. Holmes & Co., and E. R. Anthony.  A. M. Durham & Co. operate a steam grist-mill and cotton-gin.

Ripley Lodge, No. 100, F. & A. M., was instituted at Ripley in 1842, and removed to Durhamville in 1849.

Drs. D. P. Phillips, D. M. Henning and T. A. Anthony were early physicians of Durhamville, and Drs. J. W. and N. W. Walker are the present.

Ashport, on the Mississippi River, sixteen miles west from Ripley, in the Fifth District, was founded in 1836 by John W. Campbell, Joseph Jones, William Connor and Matthew Pickett, they owning, jointly, 5,000 acres of land, 200 of which were laid off into lots, of which about 50 were sold in 1838.

The first merchants were Campbell and Harrolson, in 1838.  Then followed Patton & Taylor, a Jackson firm, and John Duncan. Capt. William Tichnor is the present merchant.

From 1839 to 1847 Ashport gradually washed into the Mississippi. In the latter year a sand bank appeared before the town, which checked the washing until its disappearance in 1850, when it began again.  All of the original 200 acres of lots have washed into the river. The population at present is about 100.

Henning, situated on the railroad, six miles southwest from Ripley, in the Third District, has a population of about 400, and is an important shipping point. The town was founded in 1873 by Dr. D. M. Henning, and was incorporated in 1883, remaining so for one year, when the charter was surrendered in order to prohibit the sale of whisky by the establishment of a chartered school. The town was totally destroyed by fire May 7, 1886, but has since been almost rebuilt.

C. L. Strickland was the first merchant in 1874. During the same year Wilson & Bowers opened a store, and from 1876 until 1886 the following parties were in business at various times: Alexander, Barfield & Co., L. R. Coleman & Co., S. M. Roy & Co., R. W. Smith, J. R. Matthews & Co., Lipscomb & Bro. and S. W. Sanford.  The present business men are Wilson & Bowers, dry goods; S. M. Roy & Co., groceries; J. T. Martin & Bro., R. B. Lipscomb & Co., G. C. Jennings & Bro., T. W. Rice, general stores; S. G. Nevils, drugs; Lipscomb & Co., livery stable. T. F. Scott erected the Henning steam saw and grist-mill and cotton-gin in 1873.

Fulton Lodge, No. 448, F. & A. M., instituted at Fulton in about 1840, was removed to Henning some time during the seventies, and was in active working order until 1881, when it was abandoned. Henning Lodge, No. 1059, K. of H. was instituted in 1878.

The practicing physicians of Henning are Drs. Samuel Sanford, R. W. Martin and N. M. Johnson.

Gates is situated eleven miles north of Ripley, on the railroad, in the Twelfth District, and has a population of about 350. The town was founded in 1882 upon the lands of Drs. J. N. Wardlaw and D. M. Henning, and was incorporated in 1884.

R. S. Porter, druggist, was the first merchant, in 1882, and from that year until the present time the merchants have been as follows: W. B. Campbell & Co., Campbell & Bro., Campbell & Carter, C. H. Witt and S. B. Carson; the present merchants being Wilson & Rawles, C. H. Witt, Wells & Bro., groceries and dry goods; Campbell & Carter, general store, and Campbell & Co., drugs.  Dr. E. K. Williams is the physician.

In 1885 Milner & Gardner erected a large store and heading factory, which has a capacity of 20,000 staves and 10,000 heads per day.

Hall's Station, on the railroad, twelve miles northeast of Ripley, was founded in 1882 by Hansford R. Hall, J. S. Stephens and S. A. Jordan, and has about 400 inhabitants. E. Stanfield, general merchant, was first to engage in business at Hall's in 1882, and the next merchant was J. Wiggins, in 1883. Then followed Wm. Stephens, T. E. Salsburry, H. R. Hall and John Davis.  The present merchants are Glass & Stanley, general store; W. F. Waggoman, groceries; Mrs. J. J. Brooks, drugs; W. A. Blair, drugs, groceries and hardware; S. E. Williams & Co., dry goods and groceries. The manufacturers are Young & Sawyer, steam cotton-gin; D. P. Shoffner, steam saw-mill and wagon material; J. H. Farmer, saw, grist and planning-mill and cotton-gin.  Shannon & Farmer's mill was established in 1886.  The sawing department has a daily capacity of 15,000 feet of lumber per day, the planing machine of 20,000 feet, and the cotton-gin of ten bales. Shaffner's mill was established in 1882, and saws on an average of 30,000 feet of lumber per month, and Shannon & Russell's mill was established in 1883, and has a capacity of 15,000 staves per day.

Other villages are Flippin, in the Second and Third Districts, and Curve, in the Seventh District, on the railroad, Plumb Point and Golddust in the Fifth and Hale's Point in the Ninth, all on the Mississippi River; Glympville in the Tenth, Double Bridges in the Tenth, Dry Hill in the Seventh, Edith in the Seventh, Mack in the Fourth, Orysa in the First, Hurricane Hill in the Third.

In the matter of educational facilities, Lauderdale is below the general average of West Tennessee counties.  the common or public schools are of an inferior grade, are in session not to exceed three months during the year, and depend almost entirely upon State aid, as the county levies only a poll tax of $1 in their support. The high or chartered schools are of recent establishment, few in numbers, and are supported by subscription and public money, each pupil in attendance being allowed a pro rata share of the State and county funds.

The first school of the county was taught by Mrs. Edith Kenely, a daughter of Hugh Dunlap, one of the pioneers, at the home of her husband, two and a half miles north of the present town of Double Bridges, in 1825.  In 1826 John Rutherford taught a school in a log cabin near the Alonzo Dunnevant place in the Seventh District, three miles south of the above village, and in 1827 a log schoolhouse was erected, where Ellan Church now stands, near Double Bridges, and a school taught there the same year by James w. Hearndon. The next early schools of consequence, of which there remains any record, were those taught in 1837-38 in the Durhamville District  by Charles Baird and James Byers.  At a very early date a school was taught at Mount Pleasant Church, in the Eleventh District. But it was not until the establishment of the male academy at Ripley, in 1850, under a charter, that a classical school was taught in the county.   As early as 1841 Joseph Wardlaw, father of Dr. J. N. Wardlaw, present clerk and master of the chancery court, donated a lot for the purpose of founding the male academy. The building, a frame, was not erected until 1850, and cost upward of $1,500. School was taught there until 1863-64 when the house was destroyed by fire by Confederate soldiers. In 1868 the trustees exchanged the lot upon which stood the old academy, for more extensive grounds in the southern suburbs, and, erecting another frame building, continued the male school until 1875, when female pupils were admitted. In 1882 the building gave place to the present two-story brick building, which cost about $5,000. The building is divided into three large study and recitation rooms on the first floor, and a laboratory, which is supplied with necessary modern apparatus. The second floor is one large hall, used for commencement exercises and public occasions.  A splendid library and extensive museum are among the features of this excellent school, which has been approximately named the Lauderdale Institute. The school is conducted under the auspices of the Methodist Church, and is supported by the State fund and tuition. The faculty, Profs. E. H. Randle and J. C. Cheek and Miss Mattie Folts, are experienced instructors, and are building up one of the best schools in West Tennessee.

The Hatchie Academy at Orysa was established by the farmers of the neighborhood in 1880 for the purpose of giving their children a good practical education. It is emphatically a school for farmer's children, and since the first has been under the able guidance of Isaac L. Case, M. D., principal.  The citizens take great pride in it, and sustain it liberally.  Hon. C. S. O. Rice is president of the Board of Trustees, and G. W. Young is secretary.

In 1850 A. D. Lunsford and Hiram Partee donated a lot to the Ripley Female Academy, and in 1853 a two-story frame building was erected by a stock company.   This building stood about one-eighth a mile north from the court house, and was destroyed by fire in 1872 and never rebuilt.

In 1855 a church and schoolhouse combined was erected at Union Hill, in the Eleventh District, one mile west of Ripley, the lot having been donated the year before by J. H. Graham, and in 1867 a lot was donated by A. W. Posey and J. A. Jeffries, upon which a schoolhouse was erected in the Third District, and a good school was established under supervision of the Methodist Church, known as Hurricane Hill Academy, which school is in operation at the present.

In 1881 Mrs. E. R. Lewis founded a subscription school in Ripley, which also shares the public school fund, and continues the same successfully at the present.

The schools of the county are working under charters granted under the Four Mile Law, all of which are graded, and the date of their establishment is as follows: Orysa, in the First District, chartered in 1880; Fulton, in the Fourth District, chartered in 1881, Lauderdale Institute, chartered in 1882; Henning, in the Third District, chartered in 1885; Double Bridges, in the Eighth District, Chartered in 1885.

The scholastic population of the county June 30, 1885 (the last report) was white: Male 1,801, female 1,590; colored: male 1,233, female 1,247; total 5,871.

The semi-annual apportionment of public school money for the county in 1885 was for April $736.12, for October $736.12.

The number of teachers employed in the county in 1885 was, white: male 22, female 14; colored: male 21, female 5.  The number of schools taught the same year was, white 36, colored 26, total 62.

The number of pupils enrolled during 1885 was, white: male 686, female 630; colored: make 592, female 562, total 2,470.

There are in the county thirty-one schoolhouses, of which one is brick, eighteen frame and twelve log.

Since 1873 the office of county superintendent has been filled as follows: H. T. Hanks, 1873-78; Jason Thompson, a few months during 1878; Henry Sanford, 1878-84; George Young, 1884-86 and present incumbent.

In the language of William Turner, who is probably the oldest living pioneer of Lauderdale County: "We were two years without law or gospel. Mr. Turner came to the county in 1826, and the two years referred to were from that year until 1828. In 1829 the first church was erected. It was a small, rough, hewn-log hut or cabin, and stood near Mr. Turner's present home, two and one-half miles from Durhamville.  It was built by the Methodists, and called Turner's Chapel. Wm. Taylor, commonly called "Billy Taylor" was the first preacher, and was instrumental to the organization and erection of the church.  Subsequently Turner's Chapel was removed to Durhamville and given the name of St. Paul's.  Probably the second meeting-house built in the county was the Durhamville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in 1830, which continued until 1840. Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Church, four miles west of Durhamville, was erected in 1830. Between 1830 and 1835 Elam Missionary Baptist Church, three miles east of Durhamville, and Mount Zion Hard Shell Baptist, four miles northwest of Ripley, were erected.  Bethesda Methodist Episcopal, three miles northwest from Gates, was erected in 1847; Ellan Church, used by all denominations, in 1850, near Double Bridges; Union Hill in the Eleventh District, in 1851, and Antioch Methodist Episcopal, one mile west of Henning, in 1869. At an early date the Christians, or Campbellites, erected a church near Flippin's Station. The Ripley churches were erected as follows:  Methodist, erected in 1853 upon a lot donated by Joseph Wardlaw, was a frame, and stood until 1886, when it was removed to make room for the handsome brick edifice now in course of erection, which is to be completed December 1, 1886, and will cost $4,500. During the construction of the new church, the congregation held services in the Lauderdale Institute. Cumberland Presbyterian, erected in 1855 at a cost of about $1,000 is of frame, and in use at present. The lot was donated by Jacob Byler.  Episcopal, erected in 1858, is of frame, and cost about $1,500.   ________ is a frame, and standing at present upon the lot donated by Samuel Oldham.  Missionary Baptist, erected in 1859, and still in use, is of frame, and cost $1,500; lot was donated by Hiram Partee. G. W. Stone donated a lot to a Presbyterian Church in 1853, but no church was organized or erected. Previous to the building of the above churches, the different denominations held services in the court house. When Ashport was laid out, the founders donated a lot to every denomination, only one of which took advantage of the donation.  A log church was erected by the Methodists, but it afterward washed into the river, and was not rebuilt. The Durhamville Methodist Church was erected in 1847, and replaced with a new frame one in 1859, and the Missionary Baptist in 1860, both good frame buildings. The Henning Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 1879, the Christian Church in 1881, and the Missionary Baptist in 1884. The Fulton Presbyterian Church was erected in 1880, and the Missionary Baptist in 1881. Hall's Station Missionary Baptist Church, known as Berea, was organized in 1883, and they have a frame building almost completed. There are no churches at Gates, but the Methodists have an organization, and a church will be erected next year.

The churches of the county and their denominations, by civil districts, are as follows: First District, Graves Chapel, Methodist Episcopal; Second, Hurricane Hill and Cross Roads, both Methodist Episcopal; Third, Antioch, Methodist Episcopal and Salem, Missionary Baptist; Fourth, Green's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal; Sixth, Grace and Walnut Grove, Missionary Baptist, and New Hope, Methodist Episcopal; Seventh, Concord, Methodist Episcopal and Cumberland Presbyterian; Eight, Melville, Missionary Baptist and Methodist Episcopal; Bethesda and Ellan, Methodist Episcopal; Ninth, Union, all denominations; Tenth, Western Valley and Pleasant Plains, both Missionary Baptists; Eleventh, Mount Pleasant and Asbery, Methodist Episcopal; Herman, Missionary Baptist, and Union, Cumberland Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal; Twelfth, Beach Grove, Christian an Cates, Baptist.

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