A Stewart County Time Line

2000 B. C . - The Big Sandy phase of development named for the riverthat flows into the Tennessee River from the west. Projectiles found in the area signify human habitation during the ArchaicPeriod, and a Woodland Culture also seems to be evident, a period in which there was crude farming. Findings of ceramics indicate a Mississippi period. This is the period of the Mound Builders,with ample discoveries found in Stewart County.

1606 - Area known as Land Between the Rivers was included in a charter granted by King James I of England to the London Company, and confirmed in 1609.

1663 - King Charles II of England gave friends who had remembered him in exile, and those who had helped him regain his throne, the part of North America lying between 31 degrees and 36 degrees North latitude, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, calling the grant Carolina. It was divided into North and South Carolina, with the Mississippi River as the boundary line after whites came over from Europe.

1696 - A French coureur de bois, Jean Couture was known to have reached Carolina by this time, and may have made his way to the Mississippi.

1698 - By this time English traders had reached the Mississippi River.

1700- Evidence of occupation in the Tennessee-Cumberland area ended, prehaps due to pressure from eastern Native Americans already interacting with the coming Europeans, or as a result of the spread of communicable diseases of European origin.

1701 - By this time the Tennessee River is found on a French map and is described as a route by which French hunters and traders return to Carolina. Frenchmen were most likely the first European navigators of this river.

1778 - Several Europeans had arrived, most likely hunters or land speculators. They most likely arrived on rafts via the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

1780 - John Donelson's party made its way up the Cumberland. With him came Moses and Caleb Winters, whose descendents are yet found in the Stewart County area. This party met with another led by Colonel Richard Henderson, who had bargained with the Cherokee for the land, which they did not own.

1780 - Virginia and North Carolina sent surveying parties to settle their western boundary. Repesenting Virginia were Dr. Thomas Walker and Daniel Smith. Representing North Carolina were Col. Richard Henderson and William Bailey Smith. After the work began, disagreements in the survey arose and the North Carolina team abandoned the project, leaving Daniel Smith and Thomas Walker to complete most of the survey. The line that they surveyed, known as the Walker Line, though at times far from the intended 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, has remained virtually unchanged since 1780. Kentucky and Tennessee disputed the boundary for many years, with a compromise being reached in 1820.  But the actual state line remains as it was originally surveyed in 1780, despite widespread misinformation that the state line moved as a result of the compromise.

1783 - The "Cumberland Compact", a group of people organizing a form of government along the Cumberland at French Lick (Nashborough) organized "Davidson County of North Carolina", embracing all of Middle Tennessee north of the Duck River, with Nashborough as the county seat. By this time as well, North Carolina had sent surveyors to inspect the land it had reserved in present-day Middle Tennessee as payment to officers and soldiers of its Continental Army.

1787 - Col. James Robertson of Nashville reneged on a treaty with the Creek Indians and attacked Creek settlements in Alabama.  In retaliation, the Creek increased their counterattacks on the young settlements in the Cumberland River valley.  A party of surveyors from Clarksville and Nashville, surveying along present-day Dyers Creek, was attacked, with several survyeors killed.

1788 - A new county west of the mountains was erected and called Tennessee County, established by the General Assembly of North Carolina. It included either all or parts of what are now known as Robertson, Montgomery, Stewart, Dickson, Houston, Hickman, Humphreys and Cheatham counties.

The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Iroquois, Chickamauga and Shawnee nations all used this area as a hunting ground, with few permanent settlements. They were not pleased with the infiltration of white settlers, and assaults of both cultures continued.

1796 - Tennessee was made the 16th state of the Union, taking its name from Tennessee County, which was divided into Montgomery and Robertson Counties. Montgomery County also included what is now Stewart, Houston and Humphreys counties.

1798 - George Petty and James Andrews were living near the site of Dover. Samuel Boyd (Boyt) had settled on Panther Creek.  Brittain Sexton had settled on Standing Rock Creek. The first settlers had come about 1795.

1802 - James Gatlin and son Ephraim Gatlin had reached the area, as had Samuel Skinner and his brothers.

1803 - Montgomery County was divided by a line starting on the Ky. boundary, 13 mi. west of the meridian of Clarksville, running south to the border of the state, and extending west to the Mississippi River. This new county was named Stewart, in honor of legislator Duncan Stewart. John Acree owned land in the county by this time.

1804 - The Stewart Co. line was altered by the legislature from 13 miles to 16 miles west of the Clarksville meridian, with a zig-zag line southward. Later Humphreys and Houston would encompass some of Stewart's land. The first county court (Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions) met on March 12, 1804.

The first license to operate a ferry at Dover was granted to Mason Bennett. George Petty received permission to operate a ferry and to keep a tavern at what would later become Dover.

1805 - Land was purchased from Robert Nelson for the purpose of establishing a county seat. The Tennessee legislature wished it to be named Monroe for President James Monroe, but instead it became known as Dover, for reasons unknown. George Petty built the first house in the town.

1806 - John Ferrill opened a school in Dover. First courthouse of logs built. First jail built. William Pryor obtained land on Cumberland River at the Kentucky line, in the area where Model would later be located.

1810 - Licenses for operating cotton gins were being recorded. Charles E. Watson had come from Virginia, settling on Neville's Creek. Futrell and Willis families settled on Crockett's Creek. George and Christopher Brandon settled at what would later become Tobaccoport. Mitchussons were land owners in the area by now. James Boyd had built a blockhouse near Panther Creek for protection against Native Americans.

1812 - Great New Madrid earthquakes. James Gray, militia officer, had responsibility of defending the area against Indians. James Russell operated one of the earliest stills near Dover.

1814 - Cumberland City established and originally called New Lisbon.  Area was enjoying relative prosperity and supplied beef and pork to New Orleans during the War of 1812. Local militia companies were sent to New Orleans. Seventy-five flatboats filled with Tennessee militia passed through Dover on the way to New Orleans.

1815 - A law passed by the General Assembly provided for schooling for orphaned children of the War of 1812. William Williams and William Bailey engaged in the hat making business in Dover.

1816 - Second courthouse at Dover built, replacing the initial log structure.

1818 - The first steamboat reached Dover. It was the"General Jackson". Land along Pryor's Creek was obtained by Jethro Bass. This would later be known as Model. Jethro Bass became the first postmaster of the town of "Bass". Nathaniel Burgess had land on Nevil's and Cub Creeks. A treaty reached with the Chickasaws (Jackson-Shelby Purchase) contributed to the removal of the Indian threat.

1819 - Hardin, Humphreys and Perry Counties received some of Stewart's land. Musseling became an important activity along the river, being used for such things as buttons.

1820 - The first iron furnace, the Dover Furnace, was established about eight miles east of Dover by the Woods-Yeatman Company. New school built in Dover. The first of several jails burned in Dover. Colemans were large planters in the county. Kentucky and Tennessee resolved their dispute over the Walker Line, with the land remaining in Tennessee but Kentucky being allowed to issue any grants for vacant land. Jacob Geurin built a large still on Bear Creek. An abundance of spring water, a supply of grain and white oak for barrel staves made distilleries and still houses popular in the area.

1821 - Henry, Carroll, Henderson and Madison Counties were created, once again cutting into Stewart's domain. Dover was known as an important port of call. New jail built in Dover. A depression was felt in the area due to bad crop years, and earlier problems with the Indians making times harder for land speculators. Masonic Lodge No. 39 established at Dover.

1823 - Contract let for building of a brick courthouse in Dover.

1825 - Elias Smith owned land in the Big Rock area by this time. Thomas D. Beauchamp owned land on Indian Creek. Financial situation in the area somewhat relieved, but a distrust of bank notes apparent.

1827 - Earthquake, reportedly "hardest felt since the previous one that formed Reelfoot Lake."

1828 - The Cumberland River overflowed five times in the winter and spring of this year.

1830 - The Woods-Yeatman Co. established the Bear Springs Furnace and the Rolling Mills Furnace about five miles east of Dover on the Cumberland River. Stewart Co. was receiving state funds for common schools. Second jail burned in Dover.  Scarboroughs were in the county by this time. Futrells and Askews were in the Crockett's Creek area. Aaron Winters, a descendent of Moses and Caleb, owned land in the Lick (later Byrd) Creek area.Thomas and son Albert Brigham were landowners by this time.

1831 - Winter of 1830-1831 brought heavier than normal snows.

1833 - La Grange Furnace was established by the Stackers of Pennsylvania.

1836 - The first incorporation of Dover was accomplished. A Methodist Church was established in Dover.

1840 - Professor McDougal established a male and female Academy in Dover. Hard times in the area attributed to the national depression of 1837. Rise in religious sentiment. Malaria, cholera, smallpox frequent epidemics.

1846 - The Rough and Ready Furnace was built in District No.1. A mill was established in what would become known as Bumpus Mills. Jail burned in Dover again. Eighteen volunteers from the county went off to fight in the Mexican War.

1847 - The Peytona Furnace was established on the head of Bear Creek.

1850 - Great river trade between Nashville and New Orleans had contributed to making Dover a well known steamboat and river trade town. Demand for beef, pork and grain produced in the area was great in the South, contributing to the trade. 1850 Census records show there were 30 Methodist Churches, 9 Presbyterian Churches and three Baptist Churches.

1853 - The Saline Furnace was erected on Saline Creek about nine miles north of Dover. Clark Furnace was built on Leatherwood Creek.

1854 - The Great Western Furnace was completed by 1854. The Iron Mountain Furnace was established.

1856 - The Great Western Furnace closed. Jail burned in Dover again. Slave insurrection led to the hanging of as many as nineteen at Dover. Twenty-five furnaces closed, at least temporarily.

1860 - All public schools were closed until 1865. John Bell, who lived for a time in the Bear Spring community, was a candidate for President of the United States. The building of the railroad changed the name of Bowling Green to Cumberland City. New jail built in Dover. Final controversy between Kentucky andTennessee ended over dispute of boundary line.

1861 - Civil War began. As an area along the border between the two factions, there was much guerilla warfare in the area, contributing to loss of farm commodities, and livestock. Production of Tennessee hams became important as troops foraged for food. Tennessee voted to leave the Union on June 8. Maj.William F. Foster began surveys at Dover for the location of a fort. In June, construction of Fort Henry began. Three companies of the 14th Tennessee Regiment were from Stewart County.

1862 - The Battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in February gave the Union Army its first major victory and passage into the south. Several hundred of the 13,000 Confederate prisoners were Stewart Countians. In August, Union soldiers burned the courthouse and jail in Dover, among other buildings, when Col. Woodward attempted unsuccessfully to retake Dover.

1863 - An attempt in March by the Confederates to take Dover, known as the Second Battle of Fort Donelson or the Battle of Dover, failed.The area suffered from guerilla activity.

1865 - Civil courts resumed in July after the end of the war, meeting for the next 5 years at the Planter's House Hotel on Petty St. until a new courthouse was built.

1866 - Post office of Cumberland City established as a 4th class office with William H. Marshall as postmaster.

1867 - Fort Donelson National Cemetery was established.  Surveying teams scoured the area around Dover, noting Confederate graves and moving Union graves to the new cemetery.

1870 - James P. Flood, a Civil War officer, settled in Dover and soon began the newspaper, the Weekly Record. Third courthouse built in Dover. Sixth jail built in Dover.

1880 - A severe winter in the area.

1883 - The first Negro school building was built.  Industry in railroad ties was becoming prevalent in area.

1886 - Seven black churches served the area.

1887 -Dover's charter repealed.

1890 - Iron Mountain Lodge No. 544 founded at Tharpe.

1892 - The depletion of the area's timber was beginning to be of concern. Carroll Parker engaged in the undertaking business in Dover.

1893 - Cumberland City Academy established.

1895 - Dover incoporated again.

1897 - St. Mary's Methodist Church built.

1898 - Prominent attorney at Dover, James W. Rice, owned the ferry over the Cumberland River at Dover.

1901 - Dover's charter again repealed.

1903 - The first automobile arrived in Dover.

1906 - The Model Telephone Company was in operation.

1907 - Night riders visited the homes of farmers demanding allegience to the tobacco-grower's association.

1912 - Big A school was constructed.

1913 - Construction of Lock "D" and Dam on the Cumberland was begun near Dover. Dover incorporated.

1914 - Passage of the Smith Hughes Act by congress provided for teaching of Vocational Agriculture, Home Economics and the establishment of Future Farmers and 4-H, all boons to the agricultural community. Cumberland City Academy closed. First high school in county established, a two year institution in Model.

1915 - A rolling mill went into production at Tharpe, supplying flour to a wide-spread area.

1917 - The Agricultural Extension Service provided an extension agent to the county. The new Dover High School opened.

1918 - Flu epidemic. A number of young men from the area are lost in the first World War.

1919 - Dover's charter repealed.

1920 - An inflationary period followed the war. A decline of the railroad tie industry contributed to mass exodus. Many inhabitants begin a migration to such industrial cities as Granite City, Illinois to find work.

1921 - The first class graduated from Dover High School. High school established at Cumberland City, as were high schools at Big Rock and Indian Mound.

1923 - Telephones appeared in the county.

1924 - Dover Furnace reopened by John C. Ralls. Typhoid fever epidemic. The Southern Trust Company of Clarksville acquired a good deal of land due to forced sales for indebtedness.

1927 - Great flood.

1928 - Road improvements began in earnest. A road was to be built by the State of Tennessee between Paris and Dover by way of the mouth of the Sandy River. Fort Donelson National Military Park was established by Congress. The Hobing Hotel property in Dover (present-day Surrender House) was deeded to the Fort Donelson House Historical Association for the creation of a museum.

1930 - Completion of the Sidney C. Lewis Bridge at Dover, and the Scott Fitzhugh Bridge across the Tennessee River at Paris Landing.  Wyatt's Chapel Methodist Church was built.

1933 - The Tennessee Valley Authority was established. Fort Donelson was transferred from the War Dept. to the care of the National Park Service.

1934 - Paved road extended from the upper ferry at Dover, along Petty St., Spring St., Main St. and Church St. to Fort Donelson National Military Park. This road was for years called the Government Road.

1935 - There were seven one-room school houses, five two-room school houses, and one five-room school house.

1937 - Another great flood. Plans are developed by T.V.A. for the construction of dams, including the Kentucky Dam, meaning that much land would be taken in Stewart Co., both farm and timber land.

1941 - A number of Stewart County men saw service in WorldWar II, several receiving great honors.

1945 - Electricity was introduced to the county.

1949 - Electricity became available all over the county.

1956 - County Health Department organized.

1957 - Land acquisition for Barkley Dam began.

1959 - The Surrender House property was sold by the Fort Donelson House Historical Association to the National Park Service.  The Banister store house in Dover, a survivor of the Civil War, was razed to make way for the new post office.

1960 - Tourism and recreation began to develop in the Land Between the Lakes area.

1961 - Idea germinated for forming a recreation area in the land between the the lakes formulated by the Federal Government.

1962 - Land acquisition for the new recreational area developed by T.V.A. was in full swing. Area residents expressed turbulent emotions at the loss of homes that had been in their families for generations.

1978 - "The Homeplace", a working farm, opened in Land Between the Lakes.

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