Goodspeed's History of Tennessee

The Goodspeed Publishing Co., Nashville TN, 1886-1887

Shelby Co. TN

History of Shelby County

transcription donated by Rose-Anne Cunningham Bray

(page 875)

The unhealthfulness of Memphis previous to 1880, or rather the frequent recurrence of severe epidemics previous to that time, and its comparative healthfulness since then, have attracted wide attention through-out the country. So far as official records show, the first epidemic from which Memphis suffered was in 1851, when ninety-three deaths occurred from cholera. Yellow fever visited the city in each of the four following years, but from 1856 to 1865 inclusive there are no official records. In 1866 there were over 400 deaths from cholera. In 1867 yellow fever and cholera both prevailed, the number of deaths from the former being 259. In 1873 yellow fever was officially announced in Memphis on September 14, though a number of deaths had previously occurred from the disease, which was not recognized by the physicians until that date. The last case occurred in November, and the entire number of deaths from the fever that year was officially reported as 1,244.

But the most terrible experience from this dread scourge was Reserved for the city to undergo in 1878, when 17,600 persons suffered from the disease, of whom 5,150 died, the ratio of mortality to cases being one to three and three-tenths of those taken sick. The population of the city was believed then by those best informed to be 19,600. There were three patent causes for this great epidemic: First, the filthy condition of the city; second, the extreme heat of that summer; and third, the feverish excitement of the public mind which had existed through a period of twenty years because of the changing conditions of political life. Notwithstanding the previous epidemics the controlling authorities of the city either had not learned wisdom, or were not in a position to render practical the wisdom they had learned. The first case of yellow fever which occurred in 1878 was that of a colored man, on July 21. A young man, Willie Darby, was taken sick July 25, but neither of these cases proved fatal. The first case officially recognized was on August 2, and the first death appears to have been that of Mrs. Zack, on August 5. The following cases were reported on August 12: A son of G. B. Clarke, Mattie L. Isaacs, Roger Jones, J. W. Kearnes, George Mitchell (colored), Katie Neighbors, Mrs. Jennie White and Jung Yung Tah.

(page 876)

Twenty-two new cases were reported on the 15th, and the fear of the plague, already great, received a new impetus, and caused large numbers to seek relief in flight. Thirty-three new cases were reported on the 16th, and the entire population was precipitated into an indescribable panic. In numerous cases self preservation proved in reality to be the first law of nature. In the first forty-eight. hours fifty-five victims fell, and considering the experience of 1873, it is not to be wondered at that almost every one who could do so, by any and all means of conveyance, and even on foot, in all directions and to all conceivable points, sought safety in flight. By the 24th of August 25,000 people had left the city, and in two weeks more 5,000 additional ones were in camp in the vicinity. But the panic was over by the last week in August. All had gone who could get away, and there were in the city about 3,000 cases of fever. The temperature during August averaged 82.2° ; in September, 720; in October, 60.8° and in November 57.8°, being from 1° to 8° higher than during the same months in 1873. This long continued heat, combined with the fearful strain upon the nervous system, drained the vital energies of the citizens to such an extent that it was next to impossible for any human being to escape the dread disease.

Not more than 200 white people escaped the fever, and most of them had had it before. If there were, as there were, many cases of apparent and real selfishness, there were also many, and perhaps many more, cases of noble self-abnegation and devotion, in the face of almost certain death, every one of which is worthy of perpetual remembrance. Of the resident physicians who died at the post of duty and of honor were the following: V. W. Avent, A. J. Armstrong, P. D. Beecher, S.R. Clarke, S. R. Dawson, P. M. Dickerson, John H. Erskine, W. R. Hodges, H. R. Hopson, Dr. Ingalls, W. R. Lowry, Paul H. Otey, J. M. Rogers, W. H. Robins, John C. Rogers, P. K. Watson and J. W. Woodward. Volunteer physicians from abroad who died were the following: From Tennessee—T. W. Bond, Brownsville; O. D. Bartholomew and T. W. Menees, Nashville; John B. Hicks, Murfreesboro; T. H. McGregor, Tipton County; R. B. Montgomery, Chattanooga. From Alabama—J. S. Stevenson, Bankson. From Ohio—R. Burcham, Hiram M. Pierce, P. Tuerk and R. H. Tate, Cincinnati. From Georgia—L. A. Chevis, Savannah. From Arkansas—E. T. Easley, Little Rock; F. H. Force, Hot Springs, and L. B. Harlan. From Texas—J. G. Forbes, Round Rock, and — Heady, Sherman. From Indiana—J. O. G. Gorrell, Ft. Wayne, and J. G. Renner, Indianapolis. From New York—M. T. Keating. From St. Louis—J. W. McKim, Dr. Nelson and P. G. Nugent. From Kentucky—W. C. Mead, Hopkinsville and R. B. Williams, Woodburn. From Louisiana—Dr. Smith, Shreveport and R. B. Fort.

(page 877)

The priesthood, both Catholic and Protestant, was characterized by most admirable earnestness and devotion, as were likewise the sisters of the various orders. The names of the Catholic clergy who died were the following: Revs. Martin Walsh, M. Meagher, Father Asinus, Father Maternus, J. R. McGarney from Harrodsburg, Ky.; J. A. Boekel, Baltimore; Rev. Vantroostenburg, Kentucky; J. P. Seawell, Louisville, Ky. ; Rev. M. Riordan and Father Marley. The nuns who died were Mother Alphonso; Sisters Rose, Josepha, Bernardine, Mary Dolora, Mary Veronica, Wilhelmina, Vincent, Stanislaus, Gertrude and Winkelman, the latter of St. Louis. The Protestant ministers who died were Revs. Mr. Parsons, Mr. Schuyler, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Moody, A. F. Bailey, E. C. Slater, David R. S. Rosebrough, P. T. Scruggs, Victor Bath and S. C. Arnold with his wife and child.

The Citizens' Relief Committee, the Howard Association and the police all labored heroically in the performance of the most unpleasant but the most sacred duty—the nursing of the sick and the preservation of order and of life. The Citizens' Relief Committee was burdened with the greatest responsibility, in caring for and distributing the supplies sent with such a prodigal hand from all parts of the world. As showing the magnitude of the work entrusted to their hands, which was performed with the most scrupulous honesty and fidelity, the following summary of donations to Memphis is introduced:

Arkansas contributed $6,690.37; Arizona, $5; Alabama, $6,281.45; California, $29,047.30; Colorado, $3,950.95; Connecticut, $5,070.28; Dakota, 663.50; Delaware, 41.02; Florida, $1,516.83; Georgia, $11,414.-34; Illinois, $52,307.60; Indiana, $13,787.69; Indian Territory, $5; Iowa, $6,407.58; Kansas, $6,559.67; Kentucky, $8,810.52; Louisiana, $1,427.15; Maine, $817; Maryland, $495.98; Massachusetts, $3,964.28; Minnesota, $2,651.77; Mississippi, $727.65; Missouri, $16,891.37; Michigan, $11,200.43; Montana, $987; miscellaneous sources, $9,607.18; Nebraska, $4,509.41; Nevada, $1,374.94; New Hampshire, $1,607.50; New Jersey, $3,983.67; New Mexico, $134.30; New York, 56,804.16; North Carolina, $7,190.76; Ohio, $26,020.72; Oregon, $2,514; Pennsylvania, $11,770.33; Rhode Island, $6,513; South Carolina, $6,039.66; Texas, $11,400.30; Tennessee, $23,847.97; Utah Territory, $2,774.70; Virginia, 9,524.55; Vermont, $829.31; Washington, D. C., $1,775.30; West Virginia, $2,990.55; Wisconsin, $10,592.57; Wyoming, $875.75; a grand total of $400,412.54. . The entire amount received by the South in 1878 from all parts of the world on account of the yellow fever was $4,548,703.

(page 878)

Under the new form of government called the " Taxing District," the board of health was organized in February, 1879, which as soon as practicable commenced the work of sanitation, though for various reasons much valuable time was consumed without accomplishing much for the city's good. Upon the subsidence of the epidemic of 1878 the sanitary condition of the city was worse than it had ever been, and as six months had been suffered to pass without anything being done, the new board found its hands more than full, though in five weeks from the time of commencing the work the surface cleaning of all the streets, alleys and public grounds had been completed at a cost of $2,449 and a garbage service instituted to prevent similar accumulations. The citizens themselves also accomplished more sanitary work than they had ever done before, impressed with the necessity of doing something to prevent the return of the plague. But in July, 1879, the fever reappeared in spite of all that had been done, which seemed to demonstrate the possibility of its holding over from one summer to another despite the cold of the intervening winter. The first case occurred on the 9th of the month, known as the Mulbraden case, and the Ray, and Tobin cases occurred very soon afterward. The exodus of the people for the next few days was very large, not more than about 1,500 unacclimated remaining; and when the Hester cases were reported the flight began again. It was considered with apparently the best of reason, by Dr. T. J. Tyner of Memphis, in a paper read by him at Nashville, on the " Etiology of Yellow Fever," that the chief causes for its appearance in Memphis were the privy vault system, many of which, dug to the depth of forty feet, had not been emptied of their accumulated excreta for from ten to forty years; and he also said that the cistern water was contaminated by seepage from these vaults. The work of emptying the vaults went on very slowly. There were 6,000 of them in use, 3,668 of which were in a very foul condition, and a very large number of unused vaults, the contents of which only imperfectly covered with a thin layer of ashes. Three thousand five hundred and eight cisterns were within contaminating distance of these vaults, and the cisterns furnished the most of the water consumed.

The first death in 1879 occurred July 9, at No. 204 De Soto Street. Three cases occurred at one house, No. 425 Wellington Street, and two at No. 55 Bradford Street, the latter being about a mile from either of the other two. One death occurred at each place about the same time. At the outbreak of this epidemic the population of the city was estimated at 40,000, and at the close of the month of July, there were living in the city but 16,110 persons.

(page 879)

Two thousand two hundred and fifty-four went to the various camps in the vicinity, and the rest to various points at a distance by rail, river and other means of transportation. In order to prevent the spreading of the disease, every article of baggage was fumigated with sulphuric acid gas for three hours in a close room, and the mails were subjected to a similar treatment. In this work, including the infected houses, rooms, etc., there were consumed thirty-four barrels of sulphur, and about 1,200 pounds of sulphate of zinc. Nine thousand privy vaults were disinfected during the continuance of the epidemic, one or more times, 19,581 visits being made. In this work, 9,343 barrels of lime, 135,250 gallons of zinc solution, and 212,000 pounds of sulphate of iron were used. Of the sixty or more laborers, mostly colored, employed in this disinfecting process, but few had had the fever, not one was attacked with the disease. The disinfection of infected houses, bedding and wearing apparel was also pursued to such an extent that 2,383 articles, embracing one flatboat, three houses, two bedsteads, and every description of bed clothing and wearing apparel, were consumed by fire. On the 29th of July a census of the people showed 4,283 white people, and 11,28 colored people, of whom 9,743 had had the fever before. An important feature of sanitation was the emptying and filling up of privy vaults, 1,644 of which were thus treated, and the destruction of houses and other buildings which were in an unsanitary condition, 138 of these being destroyed in 1879. The expense of this work was $21,584.62. The deaths from yellow fever in 1879 were as follows: whites 391, colored 106, total 497. The number of cases was 860 whites, 680 colored, total number of cases 1,540.

Commencing in 1875 the death rate for five years for Memphis, excluding mortality from yellow fever, was 34 per 1,000, estimating the population at 35,000. In 1880 the death rate for the whites was 20.38, and for the colored people was 32.55. In 1881 the death for the whites was 30.22 and for the colored 44.77. In 1882 it was for the whites 14.85, and for the blacks 39.45. In 1883, estimating the population at 62,335, the death rate for the whites was 15.19 and for the blacks, 35.83. In 1884 it was for the whites 18.80; for the blacks, 41.66; and for 1885, it was for the whites 16.56, and for the blacks, 36.96. But this excessive negro mortality is not peculiar to Memphis. The same general facts are noticeable in Nashville, Chattanooga and other southern cities. Investigation by the best physicians into the causes for this excessive mortality among the negro population, shows that consumption and pneumonia play an important part toward the production of this high death rate as do debility, marasmus, dentition, inanition and premature births. Lung diseases are accounted for by the exposed and improvident life led by the colored people. And it is further noticeable that both the young and old among them are more liable to die than the same classes among the whites. This is fully accounted for by the general 'poverty of the race as yet, and the want of care in many cases where such proper care might be given, but is not, because. of the looseness of family ties among them. The wonderful improvement made since 1879, in the sanitary condition of Memphis, is summarized under the head " Taxing District," elsewhere.

(page 880)

South Memphis was incorporated January 6, 1846, and an election for mayor and eight aldermen was held on the third Saturday of the same month, resulting in the election of Sylvester Bailey, mayor, and A. B. Shaw, H. H. Menus, George W. Davis, W. Howard, J. E. Merriman,, John Brown, J. P. Keiser and James Kennedy, aldermen. The boundaries of South Memphis were defined as follows: On the east, south and west the boundaries are the same as the South Memphis tract, and on the north the boundary line commences in the center of the Mississippi River,. opposite the rise of Union Street; thence east with the center of Union Street, as at present laid off until the same intersects with the Pigeon Roost road; thence with the south side of Pigeon Roost road to the east line of the South Memphis tract of land. On September 4, South. Memphis was divided into four wards. The treasurer for the first corporate year made a report showing that the revenue amounted to $6,266.17, and licenses, etc., to $3,750.50. John T. Trezevant was mayor in 1847–48 and A. B. Taylor in 1849. The last meeting of the mayor and aldermen of South Memphis took place December 31, 1849.

Memphis was incorporated by act of the Legislature of Tennessee, December 9, 1826, as the town of Memphis. The substance of this charter was as follows: Section 1 incorporated the town and conferred upon it its name as above. Section 2 gave the town authorities power to pass all kinds of needful legislation for the government of and the preservation of the health of the town. Section 3 required the sheriff of the county to hold an election on the first Saturday of March, 1827, and on the same day in every subsequent year, for members of the board of aldermen ; at which election any person holding a freehold in the town, who was entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly, should be qualified to vote for mayor and aldermen. Section 4 is rather curious in its grammatical construction. It reads " that the seven persons having the highest number of votes at any election shall be taken to be elected, and the sheriff of said county shall within two days thereafter, and a majority being present, shall proceed to elect a mayor from their own body for said corporation for the time the aldermen were elected."

(page 881)

This charter did not reach Memphis until after the first Saturday of March, 1827, and the election for aldermen, which according to its provisions should have been held on that day, was not held until April 26 following. The members of this first board, elected on April 26, were Joseph L. Davis, John Hooke, N. B. Atwood, John R. Dougherty, George F. Graham, William D. Neely and M. B. Winchester. The first meeting of this body was held May 9. The certificate of election was presented as follows:

We, the undersigned, being judges of an election, opened and held at the old court-house in the town of Memphis, on the 26th day of April, 1827, for the purpose of electing seven persons to serve as aldermen for the said town of Memphis, do certify that upon counting out the votes M. B. Winchester, Joseph L. Davis, John Hooke, N. B. Atwood, George F. Graham, John R. Dougherty and William D. Neely were duly elected.


S. R. BROWN, Sheriff

At this first meeting M. B. Winchester was elected mayor by the board in accordance with the requirements of the charter, and the first resolution passed was that it was important to the interests of Memphis that ordinances be passed. Notice was given that on May 12 an election would be held for treasurer, recorder and town constable, the election when held resulting in the choice of Isaac Rawlings for treasurer; Joseph L. Davis, recorder and John K. Balch, town constable.

On the 30th of May the Board of Mayor and Aldermen had some difficulty over the question of the legality of their organization. They had been elected on the 26th of April, instead of on the first Saturday of March, as required by the charter. But after a sufficient amount of discussion and subtle logic had been brought to bear upon the question, the board themselves finally decided the question in their own favor, by the following process of reasoning: That the charter did not reach Memphis until after the first Saturday of March ; it was evidently the intention of the Legislature that the corporation should be organized during the current year; that the judges held the election legal and the sheriff had so certified; hence it was declared proper on the part of the board that they consider themselves a legal body and proceed to business to pass the ordinances needed by the new town.

The first ordinance passed related to the classification of property, into taxable and non-taxable, the following being ordained to bear their proper share of the public burdens: All town lots; all free males between the ages of twenty-one and fifty; all slaves between the ages of twelve and fifty; wholesale and retail stores, including medicine stores; peddlers and hawkers; members of the learned professions, who practice the same for profit; tavern-keepers; retailers of spirits; stud horses and jacks. Taxes were levied in the following proportions: improved lots with buildings, 10 cents on the $100; unimproved lots, 10 cents; each free male inhabitant, 25 cents; each slave, 25 cents; each wholesale and retail store, $8; each trading boat, peddler, or hawker, $10; each lawyer or doctor practicing for profit, $2; each tavern-keeper $3; each retailer of spirits without. tavern license, $10.

(page 882)

The limits of the corporation were fixed by the ordinance as follows: "Beginning at the intersection of Wolf River with the Mississippi River; thence with Wolf River to the mouth of Bayou Gayoso; thence with said bayou to the county bridge; thence with the line of the second alley east of and parallel with Second Street to Union Street; thence at right angles to Second Street to the western boundary of the tract of land entered to John Rice by grant No. 283, dated April 25, 1789 ; thence with the said western boundary up the Mississippi River to the Wolf River."

The editor of the Memphis Advocate was then chosen public printer and the recorder elect was required to give bonds in the sum of $500 and the treasurer in double the sum liable to come into his hands during the current year. Other ordinances were passed which the curious may find in the public records, and all were signed by all the members of the board, including M. B. Winchester, mayor.

On October 17, $80 was set apart for the improvement of Chickasaw Street and $120 for a wharf from high to low water mark at the lowest steamboat landing. On May 19, 1828, David Banks was elected constable, and the office of town surveyor established. January 16, 1829, a superintendent of the graveyard was provided for. At the second election for mayor, M. B. Winchester was again selected, the other aldermen being Samuel Douglass, William A. Hardy, John D. Graham, Augustus L. Humphrey, Joseph L. Davis and Robert Fearn. On the 4th of March, 1829, Isaac Rawlings was elected mayor, by a vote of four to three of the board, and he was again elected in March, 1830. On the 16th of August following, the town was divided into three wards as follows: Ward No. 1. comprised all that part of Memphis northeast of a direct line from the Mississippi River to Overton Street, thence with said street to the Bayou Gayoso: Ward No., 2, all that part of Memphis south of the aforementioned line to Overton Street, to Bayou Gayoso, and northeast of a direct line from the Mississippi to Winchester Street and thence with Winchester Street to the eastern boundary of the town;. Ward No. 3, all that part of Memphis south of the last mentioned line.

(page 883)

In March, 1831, Seth Wheatley was elected mayor, and Robert Lawrence in 1832. Isaac Rawlings was then elected mayor for three consecutive years. Enoch Banks was elected in 1836 and 1838, John H. Morgan intervening in 1837. On August 6, 1838, a board of health was appointed as follows: Drs. Christian, Sappington, Frazier, Hickman, Dewitt, Mabry and Shanks. The extent of the business transacted by the corporation at this time is indicated by the receipts and disbursements of the treasurer for 1838, the former being $5,957.48, and the latter $5,452.95. In March, 1839, Thomas Dixon was elected mayor, and on the 4th of March, that year, a list of the taxable property of the town and the taxes thereon was as follows: 411 town lots, valued at $587,400, taxes thereon $2,950; 152 slaves, value $91,800, taxes $223.50; five carriages, taxes $20, and 231 white polls, taxes $231. The reader of the general history will remember that the constitution of 1834 disfranchised the free colored men, hence at this time there was no poll tax except upon white polls. Thomas Dixon was again elected mayor in March, 1840, and on the 25th of April the Legislature passed an act changing the title of the place from the town of Memphis to the city of Memphis. The tax list for this year was as follows: 499 lots, value $552,425, taxes $4,143.184; 221 slaves, value $107,500, taxes, $268.75; 324 white polls, $324 ; 6 carriages, $24. In March, 1811, William Spickernagle was elected mayor. All the previous incumbents of this office appear to have served their city without a salary, but now the town having become a city, the aldermen at last began to think that his duties had become sufficiently valuable and onerous to deserve a pecuniary compensation, and to learn whether this sentiment was also entertained by the people, it was resolved on the 15th of September, that the recorder be required to ascertain as nearly as possible the sense of the people on the subject of giving the mayor a salary and to inform the board at the next meeting. The sense of the people appears also to have been in favor of the salary, for on the 12th of November 1841, it was resolved that the mayor be paid a salary of $500 per annum, "from the 15th of September last."

On the 5th of February, 1842, an act was passed to amend the charter of the city of Memphis, by which the city was divided into five wards and each ward entitled to elect two alderman, who, with the mayor, were required to prescribe the limits of the wards. The power to elect the mayor was now conferred upon the people. In March, 1842, Edwin Hickman was elected mayor, and also in 1843 and 1844; in 1845, J. J. Finley; in 1846, Edwin Hickman; in 1847, Enoch Banks, and in 1848, Gardner B. Locke. At the popular election held on March 4, the candidates and votes for the office of mayor were Enoch Banks, 356; Gardner B. Locke, 356; E. Hickman, 87; James Seawell, 80, and W. F. Fannehill, 61. On the 11th of March, Mayor Banks still presiding, the salary of the mayor for the twenty-second corporate year was fixed at $1,000, and on the 13th the board went into an election for mayor on account of the tie in the popular vote, on the second ballot electing Gardner B. Locke, he receiving six votes, a majority of the entire board.

(page 884)

An act was passed January 21, 1848, reducing all the charters of Memphis into one act or charter. By this charter the limits of the city were thus defined: Beginning at a point in the middle of the Mississippi River opposite to the center of Union Street; thence eastwardly with a line passing through the center of Union Street, to the western bank of Bayou Gayoso; thence down said bayou with the western bank of the same to the point of its intersection with Wolf River; thence down Wolf River with its northwesterly bank to its intersection with the Mississippi River; thence down the Mississippi River to a point opposite the north side of Market Street; thence to a point in the main channel of the Mississippi River opposite to the said north side of Market Street, and thence down the said main channel of the said river to the beginning." The mayor and aldermen, two from each ward, were to constitute a city council, each alderman to be a bona fide resident of Memphis, and all to be elected by the qualified voters of the city. The tax levy was limited to three-fourths of one per cent upon all property taxable for State purposes, and the city council was given authority to borrow money to the amount of the annual revenue of the city, and no more in any one year, to establish hospitals, to establish a system of free schools and to regulate the same in such manner as to avoid sectarian influence, and to create an annual fund not exceeding one-eighth part of the annual revenue of the city for their support.

On the 21st of February, 1849, the ward boundaries were rearranged as follows, because the city was growing more toward the south, and the southern portion was not adequately represented: Ward one—all north of Jackson Street; Ward two—all between Jackson and Market Streets; Ward three—all between Market Street and Market Place alley; Ward four—all between Market Place alley and Carr's alley; Ward five—all between the Fourth Ward and Finley alley; Ward six—all the remainder of the city north.

An election for mayor and twelve aldermen was held March 5, 1849, at which Enoch Banks received 462 votes, "more than was received by any other candidate." The corporate year lasted from March, 1849, to July, 1850. On May 22, the city council passed an ordinance defining 'taxable property and levying taxes as follows: Taxable property—real estate, slaves, pleasure carriages, piano fortes, gold and silver plate, watches and jewelry, and capital loaned or deposited at interest; taxes to be three-fourths of one per cent for general purposes, and an additional annual tax of one-eighth of three-fourths of one per cent for the support of schools; upon all free white males qualified to vote in the city of Memphis a poll tax of $1.50 for general purposes, and an additional tax of 19 cents for school purposes.

(pages 885-886)

Exemptions were as follows: property used for religious, educational or hospital purposes; that belonging to the United States, to Tennessee, to Shelby County and to Memphis, to any regular organized fire company, all slaves under twelve and over fifty years of age, and all others incapable of rendering service to their masters. Ministers of the Gospel and free white persons in the army of the United States were exempt from poll tax. Privilege taxes were provided in various sums according to the business followed, and an additional tax of one-eighth of the privilege tax was levied in each case for the benefit of the free schools.

E. Hickman was elected mayor in 1850 and 1851, and A. B. Taylor in 1852, 1853 and 1854. In 1855 A. H. Douglas was elected over James Wickersham by 745 votes to 607. In 1856 Thomas B. Carroll was elected, receiving 973 votes to 583 for A. H. Douglas. In 1857 R. D. Baugh was elected, receiving 827 votes to 619 for Samuel F. Magen. In 1858 Mr. Baugh was again elected by 1,187 votes, to 843 cast for George Dixon and 307 for John Martin. In 1859, R. D. Baugh received 1,139 votes, John Park 1,039, and J. B. R.--563. Mr. Baugh was again elected in 1860, but the record of the vote is missing. John Park was chosen mayor in 1861, 1862, and 1863, receiving in the latter year. 1,553 votes to Charles Kortrecht's 670, but previous to the time for the qualification of officers chosen at an election in 1864 the city was placed under martial law. Following are the several orders under which the civil government was for the time being set aside.

MEMPHIS, TENN., July 2, 1864. Special Order No. 70:

I. The utter failure of the municipal government of Memphis for the past two years to discharge its proper functions, the disloyal character of that government, its want of sympathy for the Government of the United States, and its indisposition to cooperate with the military authorities have long been felt as evils which the public welfare required to be abated. They have grown from bad to worse, until a further toleration of them will not comport with the sense of duty of the commanding general. The city of Memphis is under martial law, and the municipal government existing since the armed traitors were driven from the city has been only by sufferance of the military authorities of the United States. Therefore, under the authority of General Orders, No. 100, dated War Department, Adjutant-General's office, April 24, 1863,

It is ordered, that the functions of the municipal government of Memphis be and they are hereby suspended until further orders.

The present incumbents are forbidden to perform any official acts or exercise any authority whatever; and persons supposed to; be elected officers of the city at an election held on June 30, 1864, will not qualify. That the interests and business of the city may not be interrupted, the following appointments of officers are made:

Acting mayor, Lieut.-Col. Thomas H. Harris, assistant adjutant-general United States Volunteers; recorder, F. W. Buttinghaus; treasurer, James D. Davis; comptroller, W. O. Lofland; tax-collector, F. L. Warner; tax-collector on privileges, John Logue; chief of police, P. M. Winters, and wharf-master, J. J. Butler, who will be fully respected in the exercise of the duties assigned them; and all records, papers, moneys, and property in any manner pertaining to the offices, government and interests of the city of Memphis, will be immediately turned over by the present holders thereof to the officers appointed to succeed thiem, etc.

The officers herein named and appointed will constitute a board, which shall discharge the duties heretofore devolving upon the board of aldermen, and Ithe acting mayor shall be chairman thereof, and their acts, resolutions and ordinances shall be , valid and of full force and effect until revoked by the commanding general of the district of West Tennessee, or superior military authority.

Maj.-Gen. C. C. WASHBURN.
W. H. MORGAN, Asst. Adj.-Gen.

By order of

Official: W. H. MORGAN, Asst. Adj.-Gen.
XIII. L. R. Richards is hereby appointed register of the city of Memphis and a member of the board, constituted by Special Order No. 70, part I, of this date from these head-quarters.

Maj.-Gen. C. C. WASHBURN.
W. H. MORGAN, Asst. Adj.-Gen.

By order of

To Lieut.-Col. Harris, A. A. Gen. and Acting Mayor.

(page 886 - continued)

On the 16th of July, 1864, Special Order No. 83 were issued, so far modifying Special Order No. 70, as to constitute a council to discharge the duties of the board of mayor and aldermen. They were to be known as the Provisional Mayor and Council of the city of Memphis. Following are their names:

First Ward—J. P. Foster, Andrew Renkert.
Second Ward—G. D. Johnson, S. T. Morgan.
Third Ward—B. F. C. Brooks, A, J. Miller.
Fourth Ward—I. M. Hill, J. G. Owen.
Fifth Ward-W. S. Bruce, William W. Jones.
Sixth Ward—J. E. Merriman, C. C. Smith.
Seventh Ward—G. P. Ware, Joseph Tagg.
Eighth Ward—Patrick Sherry, H. T. Hulbert.

On the 28th of July, E. T. Morgan was appointed city attorney for the city of Memphis, and on the 12th of August, J. P. Foster was appointed chief of police, vice P. M. Winters, relieved; Henry G. Smith was appointed councilman, vice J. P. Foster, and J. B. Wetherill was appointed councilman, vice W. S. Bruce, resigned; on the 6th of September W. M. Farrington was appointed alderman in place of A. J.' Miller, de-ceased. This was the last order issued here by Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn, and on the 4th of October, Brig.-Gen. Morgan L. Smith issued Special Order No. 159, by which W. R. Moore was appointed councilman vice H. G. Smith, resigned. On the 19th of October Lieut.-Col. Harris was relieved as acting mayor, and Capt. Channing Richards, of the Twenty-second Ohio Volunteers appointed, and on July 3, 1865, Special Order No. 70, and Special Order No. 83, were revoked, the officers appointed by them were commanded to cease to exercise their functions, and to turn over to the officers elect all books and papers pertaining to their several offices. This revoking order was signed by Maj.-Gen. John E. Smith.

(page 887)

The officers elect referred to above were in part as follows: mayor, John Park, who had received 1,356 votes to W. O. Lofland's 835; recorder, John C. Creighton, 1,049, to Sam Tighe's 368, and chief of police, B. G. Garrett, 1,021 to Dan MoMahon's 920. By default of an elcction John Park continued to serve as mayor until October 15, 1866, when W. O. Lofland, elected October 13, 1866, was qualified and served until January 1868. John W. Leftwich was then elected and served until 1870, when John Johnson was elected and served through the years 1870-73. John Logue was elected in 1874 and served two years, when he was succeeded by John R. Flippin, who was elected in 1876 by 5,909 votes to John Logue's 1,564, and was the last mayor Memphis has had.

In 1879 Memphis was in a very bad shape financially as well as otherwise. Her credit was entirely gone and she was bankrupt. This state: of things had been brought about in part by very bad management on the part of her municipal government, and in part by the terrible scourges. to which she had been subjected. By the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, following close on the heels of that of 1873, the city had been almost de-populated of its white citizens, and she was encumbered by an enormous debt, a statement of which is here introduced: 6 per cent Post Bonds, $2,426,000; 6 per cent Paving Bonds, $743,500; 6 per cent School Bonds, $95,000; 6 per cent Mississippi River Railroad Bonds, $80,000; 6 per cent Funding Bonds, $341,000;10 per cent School Bonds, $20,000; other 10 per cent bonds, $5,000; total bonded debt, $3,710,500; floating debt, embracing innumerable items, $2,074,872.67; total debt, $5,785,372.67. The assets of the city at the same time amounted to $2,194,639.07, leaving the city's net indebtedness, supposing the entire assets to be available, $3,590,733.60. Most of the citizens felt sure, and in fact knew, that much of this enormous indebtedness had been unjustly created, and were desirous of devising some means by which they could be relieved of its payment,. The idea of a " taxing district " was conceived and put into operation as an experiment. It was not because of anything intrinsically corrupt in the old form of municipal government, that a change was sought and effected. No form of government can be in and of itself corrupt. But one form of government may furnish opportunities for corruption and be of necessity more expensive and burdensome than another, and this is really the difference between the old form of government of Memphis and the taxing district.

(page 888)

The taxing district has no authority to levy taxes, this authority being vested in the Legislature. Then under the charter granted in 1869, a council was created, consisting of ten aldermen and twenty councilmen, a form of government almost cumbersome enough for a State. The act creating the taxing district was passed January 29, 1879, and approved January 31. It consists of twenty-five sections, providing that cities might form taxing districts in certain cases. It said that the several communities embraced in the territorial limits of all the municipal corporations in this State, which had or might have their charters abolished, or such as might surrender them, under the provisions of that act were by it created taxing districts, in order to provide local government for the peace, safety and general welfare of such districts, and that the necessary taxes for the support of such local government should be imposed by the General Assembly of the State and not otherwise. This act provided for:

1. A board of fire and police commissioners. 2. A legislative council of the taxing district, consisting of the commissioners of the fire and police board, and the supervisors of the board of public works. 3. A board of health to consist of the chief of police, a health officer, and a physician. 4. A board of public works.

The board of fire and police commissioners was to consist of three commissioners at least thirty years of age, and tax-paying citizens of the district, for at least five years. One of these was to be appointed by the governor of the State, and to be president of the taxing district, and was to devote his entire time to the duties of his office at a salary of $2,000 per year. In the act a wharfage tax was provided for as follows: All steamboats, barges, and hulls used as barges, were to pay 5 cents per ton, which should entitle them to the privilege of the wharf and landing for six days, and 2 cents per ton per clay for each day they remain after the expiration of the six days, the county trustee to collect the tax.

The first government of the taxing district was composed of D. T. Porter, president, John Overton, Jr., and W. W. Gay, until the death of Mr. Gay, when M. Burke was appointed to fill the vacancy which lasted from 1879 until the end of the first half of 1881. From this time until January, 1882, the government was composed of John Overton, Jr., president, M. Burke and R. C. Graves. In January, 1882, the officers of the taxing district were all elected as they have been ever since, being David P. Hadden, president, M. Burke and R. C. Graves. In 1883 they were, David P. Hadden, president, M. Burke and James Lee, Jr. The third government consisted of David P. Hadden, president, James Lee, Jr., and H. A. Montgomery, and the fourth elected in January, 1886 was the same.

(page 889)

The first board of public works of the taxing district was composed of C. W. Goyer, John Gunn, R. Galloway, J. M. Goodbar and M. Burke, until Mr. Burke was appointed to the city government, when W. N. Brown was appointed to this board. The present board is as follows: R. F. Patterson, J. E. Randle, Q. J. Graham, Charles Kiley and Symmes. Wallace.

The president of the board of health has been G. B. Thornton, M. D., ever since the organization of the district. P. R. Athy was chief of police up to 1880, when he was elected sheriff; since then W. C. Davis has been chief of police. M. McFadden was chief of the fire department until his death in 1882, since when J. E. Cleary has filled the position. The city attorneys have been C. W. Heiskell, 1879-84, and S. P. Walker, 1884-1887. Niles Meriwether has been city engineer from 1879 to the present time, and P. Kallaher, wharf-master. The registers have been W. A. McCloy, 1879; A. R Tack, 1880; B. K. Pullen, 1881 to September,. 1886, and B. K. Pullen, Jr., from September, 1886, to the present time. The inspectors of weights and measures have been G. J. Mallory, S. B. De Groat and J. C. Mhoon, from 1884 to the present time, and as hospital physicians have served A. A. Lawrence, 1879 to February, 1883, and J. E. Black from February, 1883, to the present time.

At the time the taxing district government went into operation the streets were in a very bad condition. Since then there have been paved miles of street as follows: In 1879-80, 5.28 miles, costing $158,456.45;. in 1881-82, 5.22 miles, costing $190,554.26; in 1883-84, 6.85 miles, costing $200,853.89, and in 1885-86, 5.37 miles, costing $150,028.84, making a total of 22.72 miles, at an aggregate cost of $699,893.44. Besides this street pavement the following work has been done at an expense of $324,398.30:

New sewer lines (miles) 39.38
Old private sewer lines (bought by T. D.) added (miles) 4.1
Sub-soil drains (miles) 35.9
Water closets 6344
Privy sinks (latrines) 51
Bath tubs 568
Washbasins 476
Elevators 11
Cellars and house drains 74
Flush tanks 198
Man holes 67
Observation openings 445
Catch basins 6