The Old Town of MONTGOMERY
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"Actually, there have been two towns by the name of Montgomery - and they have both served as the County Seat of Morgan County. When the county was organized in 1817 the legislation that created and named the county specified that the county seat be named Montgomery in Honor of Major Montgomery who was killed while serving with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. The first town was located on the old Knoxville-Nashville Turnpike on a tract of land that is reported to have been donated to the county by Daniel S. Lavender as a location for the town. The only remains today, a pile of rocks from the courthouse chimney, is near the Davidson property on the road that leaves Highway 62 at Fairview Church west of Lancing. Most of the records of the development of the town and of the conduct of county affairs at that first site have been lost or destroyed. There is no indication that any commercial or residential building was ever done. One can find the mention of a log courthouse and jail and that seems to have been the extent of development. Almost from the beginning complaints were voiced about the inconvenience of the courthouse to the majority of citizens of the county. The heaviest concentration of population was along Crooked Fork Creek and its tributaries and on Emory River, well to the east of the county seat. Just two years after the town was established, a petition with over a hundred names, was filed asking for the removal to a more central location. When Fentress County was formed in 1823, taking a large area from the western part of Morgan County, it became obvious that the county seat was located too far to the west. The Legislature authorized the removal to a location on Emory River near Samuel Scott's home. By the middle of 1826 the court was meeting at the new Montgomery. The town had been laid off into 13 one-half acre lots plus a one acre public square. The sale of lots seems to have gone well. Within a few years the better lots were selling for as much as $150 to $200 each. Montgomery remained the political and economic center of the county for many years. After the establishment of the German-Swiss Colony in 1845, Wartburg gradually grew until it became the dominant town. Records of unique business enterprises that operated in Montgomery can be found. Amont these were two whiskey distilleries, a maple sugar refinery, a tan yard, a bark mill, a cigar factory, a turpentine distillery and a blacksmith shop. Several attmepts had been made to move the county seat to Wartburg prior to the Civil War without success. Within a few years, after the war, enough non-German residents had moved into Wartburg to change the attitude about the movement of the county seat. Another vote was taken and the move approved. In 1870 Wartburg officially became the county seat of Morgan County. Within a few years, Montgomery was a ghost town..
Taken from page 19, "The Heritage of Morgan County Tennessee, 1817-1999