Goodspeed's History of Stewart County

Published 1886

Part 8: Dover, Cumberland City, Tobacco Port, Indian Mound

Dover, the county seat, and only town of any importance in Stewart County, is situated on the south bank of Cumberland River, about 100 miles from Nashville, and an equal distance from the mouth of the river and has a population of about 500. It was laid off into town lots in 1805, the county court purchasing the ground at that time from Robert Nelson, to whom it had been granted by the State of Tennessee by land grant No. 2104, and the survey was made by John Scarborough and William Outlaw. The streets in Dover, seven in number, run east and west and north and south, and are Water, Spring, Tennessee and West, running east and west, and Cross, Main and Cumberland running north and south. The first house in town was built by George Petty, was of logs and stood on the river bank. The early business men of Dover, those doing business during the first twenty years of the town's existence were James Russell, Yancy Thornton, William Outlaw, Cullem Bayliss, John Garner, John W. Scarborough, John King, John M. Smith, and Wylie Bayliss, general merchants; George Petty, John Scarborough, William Haggard, Henry King and W. H. Henderson, tavern-keepers, and Francis Smith, blacksmith and wood-worker. From 1820 to 1830 the business men of the town were Q. C. Atkins, Jacob Shryock, George Weaks, and William Williams, general merchants; William Bailey, hatter; A. M. Wall, tailor; Yancy Thornton and John Scarborough, hotels. William Bailey also operated a wool-carding machine during that period, which was considered quite an industry at that time. Between 1830 and 1840 the general merchants were Ingram, Kay & Lee, H. M. Atkins, William Wynn, A. M. Wall, John Kercheval; tailors, W. R. Penix and Hop Turner (Turner was afterward elected to the United States Senate from East Tennessee); hotel keepers same as during the twenties. Between 1840 and 1850 the merchants were H. B. Scarborough, Nolen & Gorin, Ingram, Kay & Lee, Rutland & Rogers, H. M. Atkins and A. M. Wall; tailor, Samuel Graham; hotels, H. L. Atkins and J. H. Petty. Between 1850 and 1860; merchants, F. P. Gray, Tomlinson, Horn & Co., Horn & Outlaw, Wynn & Bayliss, and I. S. Banister; drug store. J. W. Parker; hotels, H. M. Hatcher, T. M. Atkins and R. T. Daniel. From 1860 to the present time in the order given: merchants, J. H. Weaks, Edward Walters, I. S. Banister, T. J. Duncan, John L. Smith, Walter & Scarborough, afterward Walter & Bro., J. B. Lane, Rolls & Co., R. A. Stone, W. S. Scarborough and Jeff Gatlin; undertaker J. M. Allen: drug stores, W. P. Bruton and Crow & Abernathy; saloons, G. C. Robertson and Robert Evans; saddles and harness, William Joshlin; livery stables S.D. Scarborough and William Cherry; blacksmiths, W. W. Linsey and Henry Carter; wharf boat, G. S. Dougherty; hotels, G. C. Robertson and J. H. Hobing. In 1878 Walter Bros. erected a large two-story brick flour and grist-mill at a cost of about $3,500, which is in operation at the present time and does a large amount of custom grinding.

Dover was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly of Tennessee, passed in 1836, the act fixing the corporation limits as follows: "Beginning at a point at low-water mark of Cumberland River, that a south line will include the grave-yard; continuing this course to a point that an east line will include the house that Fielding Sidebottom now lives in ; continuing this course to a point that a north line will include the building where William Kay now resides; continuing this course to Lick Creek; thence down said creek to Cumberland River; thence down said river at low-water mark to the beginning." The original charter is in force and effect at the present time, thought the corporation has at different times been suffered to relapse, only to be again revived.

In 1871 an agricultural association was organized at Dover, grounds were laid out and enclosed, and annual exhibitions were held until when the association was abandoned.

The first newspaper established in Stewart County was the Dover Record, the first number of which was issued February 2, 1870, and of which James P. Flood was editor and proprietor. The Record was a five-column folio, of Democratic proclivities. On July 1 of the above year the record was enlarged to a six-column folio, and on the 30th of the following September, another column was added. The Record suspended in June 1877, and September 14, of the same year, the Dover Courier was established by its present proprietor, C. W. Crockett. The Courier is also a seven column folio, and like its predecessor is Democratic in politics. It has a fair circulation and receives support from all classes.

Dover has both white and colored schools. An excellent brick school building was erected in 1820 at a cost of about $500, which was destroyed during the late war. In 1868 a substantial frame building was completed, which cost upward of $600 and a movement is on foot at the present time to build a new school building. The colored school is provided with a suitable frame building.

Two religious denominations have churches in Dover-the Methodists and Christians. The former denomination erected their first building in 1836, which was destroyed during the war in common with almost the entire town. The building was again erected after the war at a cost of about $800. The Christian Church is a handsome brick building which was erected in 1872, costing upward of $1500. The African-Methodist Episcopal denomination also has a building in which are held regular meetings.

The Masonic, Knights of Honor, American Legion, and colored Odd Fellows have organizations in Dover. During the Rebellion Dover was almost, if not quite destroyed by fire, and the town laid in ruins. The houses have since been rebuilt and but few of any traces of the war are now visible in the town.

Cumberland City lies on the south bank of Cumberland River and on the Memphis branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railway, being the only railroad station in Stewart County. The town is situated in the Sixth Civil District, sixteen miles southeast from Dover, and has about 150 inhabitants. As early as 1812 Cumberland was a shipping and trading point. Some time about 1815, Nathan Thomas, who owned the land caused a town to be laid off into lots. William Martin was the first merchant in the town. He established a general merchandise store some time in 1812. Martin was afterward murdered in this store one night, the object being robbery. A white woman and a colored man were arrested on the charge of murdering Martin, but were eventually acquitted. From 1815 to 1850 the merchants were Nathan Thomas, Jefferson Gentry, Nathan Allman and D. Lowery. Up to the building of the railroad the town was known as Bowling Green, but was then changed to Cumberland and the word city was added by the citizens, who saw in the town a "future greatness". During the fifties quite a number of stores were opened in the town, and from then until the present the business men have been as follows in the order given: Nathan Allman, Joseph Newberry, John Parchman, William Parchman, Fritz & Baker, Andrew Halliday, Stacker & Carter, W. T. Thomas, Thomas & Bros., J. L. Thomas, Pattison & Lowery, Pattison & Sikers, John F. Bishop, Daniel Lowery and W. H. Glasgow. The Methodist Episcopal Church erected a frame building in 1876, and the African Methodist Episcopal congregation have a frame church house. The town is supplied with common school educational facilities only. There is a Masonic lodge in the town.

Tobacco Port is situated on the north bank of the Cumberland River, in the Fourth Civil District, and has a population of about 100. The land where now stands the town was originally owned by Christopher Brandon. The first merchants were Brandon, Rutland, & Rogers, who kept a general store. The merchants up to the present have been N. Brandon & Co., Greenwood & Linsey, E. P. Weaks, Q. L. Kingins, and Newman Brandon. The Methodists have a church and the Masons a lodge in Tobacco Port.

Indian Mound is a small village of about fifty inhabitants, and is about ten miles northeast from Dover in the Second Civil District. The business men are Dr. W. A. West, W. T. Vaughn and R. H. Sexton. There is a Union meeting-house at Indian Mound, which is used by all religious denominations. The Masons also have an organization and lodge-room in the town.

LaGrange Furnace has a population of about 600, made up of laborers and their families employed at the iron works. The only store is the Furnace store, owned and operated by the Furnace company. The colored people have a church at the Furnace, recently built at a cost of $500. There are also white and colored common schools situated in the vicinity of the furnace.

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