From Family Findings
Lake County, Tennessee Centennial Edition
Vol. II, No. 4, October 1970, p. 139
Copyright, Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society, 1970
Appears on this web site by permission


On June 11, 1970, County Court Chairman, Judge Richard Helton, issued a proclamation declaring the week of June 14, 1970 as Lake County Centennial Week, in commemoration of our 100th Anniversary.

Lake County is located in the extreme northwestern corner of the State of Tennessee. It contains 210 square miles of low level land between Reelfoot Lake and the Mississippi River. The northern boundary being Kentucky and extending to Dyer County on the south.

The first white men coming into the area were hunters and trappers. Reelfoot Lake was formed during a series of earthquakes beginning on the 16th day of December 1811 at 2 o tclock A.M., and lasting through the year 1812; therefore these early hunters called the area "The Shakes Country".

The first settler in what is now known as Lake County was Stephen Mitchell in 1819. He established a boat landing on the Mississippi River, 8 miles below New Madrid. Others coming prior to 1825 were: Enoch Walker, Evan Shelby, William Bone, Robert and Jefferson Nolen, John and R. J. Rivers, Reuben and Richard Anderson, Michael Peacock, William Box, Henry Walker, Jo Bone, Robert C. Nall, Ezekiel Williams, Thomas Wynn, Robert Thompson, Richard J. Hill, James Crockett, John Campbell, B. W. Nevill, Jessie Gray, Richard Sand, J. W. Bradford, C. H. and B. B. Bird, Frank Langley, G. W. L. Marr, and Richard Terrell Meriweather.

Obion County was organized Jan. 19, 1824, and extended to the Mississippi River. The county seat was Troy. It was not until June 9, 1870 that, under an act of the General Assembly, Lake County was formed from the portion of Obion County lying west of Reelfoot Lake. The first County Court was held Sept. 5, 1870, and Tiptonville was designated as the county seat.

According to Goodspeed's History, the first houses erected in Tiptonville were a store-house and dwelling built by William Tipton in 1857, and the town was named for him.

The above history written by Mrs. Abigail Rice Hyde of Ridgely, Tennessee.


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