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

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Shelby County was named in honor of Gen. Isaac Shelby of Kentucky. It was erected by an act of the General Assembly, passed at Murfreesboro, November 24, 1819. The act creating the county, directed Jacob Tipton, surveyor of the Eleventh Surveyor's District, to run the boundary line of the county.

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This was done by William Lawrence, deputy surveyor, for which the county court allowed him the sum of $142.75. The work was completed July 30, 1823. The whole contained 625 square miles. A correct location of the thirty-fifth parallel added a fractional row of sections from the State of Mississippi.

On the third day of court $175 was set apart to Thomas D. Carr, with which to employ laborers and erect a temporary log courthouse, jury-room and jail on the public square. This house was ready for occupancy in August, 1821. In November, 1822, Lewis Williams received $72.50 for repairs on said courthouse. This house seems to have been wanting in capacity or comfort or both, as the courts frequently met at private houses. While sitting at Memphis, " Chickasaw Bluffs" was designated as the place of holding the first courts. In December, 1824, the commissioners, James Fentress, Benjamin Reynolds, William Martin and Robert Jetton, who had been selected by the General Assembly to choose sites for the various county seats for the counties of West Tennessee, selected Sanderlin's bluff, on the north side of Wolf River as the most suitable site for the county seat of Shelby County. The land embraced a little over fifty acres, twenty-nine of which was owned by Wilson Sanderlin and twenty-two by James Freeman. The town was laid out and the lots sold, the profits from which were to be used in the erection of public buildings. This new site was named Raleigh, in honor of Raleigh, N. C.. in deference to Joseph Graham, who was a native of that State. Raleigh was laid off by Frederick Christian, John B. Holmes, John R. Kent and Benj. Robins. In January, 1827, the commissioners of Raleigh were allowed to draw on the county for $180 to complete the public buildings; if found necessary they were allowed $370 more out of funds not otherwise appropriated. This house was a small frame building built by Joseph Coe. This was replaced by a good brick building in 1834-35, about 40x50 feet and two stories high. In 1836 the old house was sold for $231 and the money spent in building a fence around the new brick courthouse. This house served the county until the courts were brought back to Memphis. In July, 1860, a committee consisting of J. W. A. Pettit, A. H. Montgomery, J. S. Dickerson, J. H. Goodlet and W. H. Walker with the county judge and the justices of the peace, was appointed to consult with the municipal authorities of Memphis, on the question of erecting a new courthouse at that city for the common law and chancery court, and the criminal court. The committee was to report on the propriety or necessity of building a new house, the cost of grounds and building, the amount Memphis was willing to pay and the amount of rents that would have to be paid for buildings until new ones could be built. A lot was purchased of W. B. Richardson, and in April, 1861, a loan of $150,000 at 6 per cent, payable in two, three, four and five years, in bonds of Shelby County, was offered to raise money for the new courthouse. The war coming up about this time, the matter was delayed until after the reorganization after the war.

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In 1874 the large building known as the Overton Hotel was purchased at a total cost of building and repairs of nearly $150,000, and in September, 1874, all the courts were moved into that building. The federal courts, with their officers and effects, were moved into the same building in 1875.

At the August term, 1820, the court appointed Wm. A. Davis and Marcus B. Winchester commissioners to build a jail, and appropriated $125 for that purpose. They reported the completion of their work on November 6, 1821, and were paid $125 for the same. On the following day the court fixed prison bounds as follows: "Beginning and running so as to include the public square on which the courthouse now stands, and the two lots on which Sam'l R. Brown now keeps entertainment, and the street intervening between the two." On the removal of the county seat to Raleigh, a new jail had to be built. A permanent jail was built about the time of building the brick courthouse. This building stood east of the court square on the Somerville road. For the erection of these buildings a tax of 184 cents on each 100 acres of land, 37 1/2 cents. on each town lot, 18 3/4 cents on each white poll and 37 1/2 cents on each black poll was levied. On July 4, 1842, prison bounds one mile square in extent were established, the court square being in the center. In 1866 the present large, expensive jail was begun. J. B. Cook was the architect, and J. J. Powers the builder. The contract price was $144,000, but the total cost was largely in excess of that amount.

The first county court levied a tax of 64 cents on each 100 acres of land, also 64 cents on each white and each black poll for a jury and poor tax. The first official expenditure for the poor was the appropriation of $13 on February 7, 1821, for the support of Phillip H. Friend, a pauper of the county. The first commissioners of the poor were T. D. Carr, William Irvine and Jacob Tipton. The poor were kept by allowances made by the county court through the commissioners of the poor till 1836 when steps were taken to have them all kept at one place instead of farming them out individually to different ones throughout the county. No permanent asylum, however, was built till 1873—74 when the present asylum was erected. The county now owns forty acres of land on which stand the asylum buildings. These are mainly brick and are well kept. The farm lies about seven miles from Memphis on the old Raleigh road.

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The asylum contains about 200 inmates, including all classes. The superintendent is Dr. G. K. Duncan, under whose management the institution has been remarkably successful. A comparison of the number of inmates and the expense of keeping the same will illustrate this point. In 1875 with eighty-five inmates, the expense of the institution was over $29,000; with 200 inmates in 1886, the expense of the institution was but little over $9,000. This amount includes salary of superintendent and all other expenses.

Public roads being a public necessity, early attention was given to them. On May 3, 1820, the county court ordered Thomas H. Persons, Charles Holman, Joshua Fletcher, M. B. Winchester, J. C. McLemore and William Irvine to mark out a road from Memphis to the county line in the direction of Taylor's Mill settlement on Forked Deer River. This was the first public road in the county. The second road in the county was established in May, 1821, by Jessee Benton, John Ralston, Nat. Kimbrough, John Kimbrough, E. Deason, Edward Bradley, D. C. Tradewell, Robert Mickberry and John Reeves. This road led from Memphis to the settlement on Big Creek and Loosahatchie, thence to Forked Deer River. Joseph Graham was appointed overseer to cut out a road from Memphis to the east line of the county in the direction of the old Cherokee trace and Colbert's wagon road. In 1829 post-roads were established leading from Memphis by way of Raleigh, Somerville, Bolivar and Jackson; also one from Memphis by way of Randolph, Covington, Brownsville and Jackson. The Memphis & La Grange Railroad was chartered in December, 1835. The road was to be about fifty miles in length, connecting Memphis and La Grange. The capital stock amounted to $250,000 individual subscriptions and $125,000 furnished by the State. The work was not begun till 1838 and it was not till 1842 that six miles of the road was completed. The road came into the city on Washington Street, and where said street crosses Main Street the cut was so deep as to require a bridge. The track or rails were of bar iron laid on streamers which rested on cross-ties. A few passenger coaches were run over the road and some cord-wood hauled from Col. Eppy White's plantation, the terminus of the road. The funds of the company having become exhausted the road was soon abandoned.

In 1850 the charter of this road was purchased by the Memphis & Charleston Railroad Company. In this the State gave 2,202 bonds of ,$1,000 each or $2,202,000, and in the same year the city of Memphis subscribed $500,000 stock in the same road. This road was completed and opened for traffic in May, 1857. The road was originally chartered by the State of Tennessee, February 2, 1846. The capital stock of the company, of which Samuel Tate was

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president, was $800,000. This company now owns 272 miles of road and operates 310 more under lease. The freight handled within the last year amounted to 68,000,000 tons moved one mile, and 18,000,000 passengers carried one mile. The earnings of ten months, ending November 30, 1886, was $1,228,851. The Memphis & Tennessee Railroad was chartered February 2, 1846. In April, 1852, the city of Memphis voted $250,000 stock to aid this road, and the State of Tennessee made it a loan of $97,500. This road connects Memphis with Grenada, Miss., a distance of 100 miles. At Grenada it intersects with the Illinois Central. The earnings of this road for the year 1886 were $425,718.

The charter to the Memphis & Ohio Railroad was granted February 4, 1842, and rechartered January 29, 1858. It was intended to run to the Kentucky State line in the direction of Cairo; work was not begun on this road till 1869, but was soon suspended. In 1871 it was consolidated with the Paducah & Gulf Railroad, and took the name of Memphis & Paducah Road. It was afterward sold under mortgage, and was reorganized as the Memphis, Paducah & Northern. It is now known as the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern. It extends a distance of 345 miles. The last report shows the net earnings to be $301,806. The original cost of this road was estimated at $30,000 per mile. Shelby County voted $250,000 stock to aid this road at its first organization. The Memphis & Little Rock Railroad was incorporated January 11, 1853. Besides the individual stock, and the stock owned by the city of Little Rock, also the contractor's stock, the city of Memphis took $350,000 stock, and the Government donated 487,000 acres of public land. This road, however, was not completed until a few years since. The first president of this road was J. M. Williamson; the present president is R. S. Hays, of St. Louis. The general offices of this road are in St. Louis and Little Rock. The road extends a distance of 135 miles, and is a great cotton route. The Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Railway Company was organized in 1882 with Maj. R. T. Wilson, of New York, as president. This company purchased the interests of the Tennessee Southern, the Memphis & Vicksburg, the New Orleans & Baton Rouge, the Vicksburg & Memphis, and the New Orleans & Mississippi Valley Railway, and they were consolidated in 1884 under the name of Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Rail-way. This forms a connecting link between the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Southern Pacific, these making a continuous line of 4,070 miles, said to be the longest line in the world—the main line with its branches, an aggregate of 6,354 miles of line. This company also owns 4,255 miles of steamship line. The company owns 750,000 acres of Yazoo delta lands, which have been reclaimed.

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The yearly tonnage of this line is 380,000 tons, and the number of passengers carried is 500,000 persons. The Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis, one of the new roads centering into Memphis, is one of the great systems of road belting the country. G. H. Nettleton is president of the road. The general offices of the company are in Kansas City. The gross earnings of this road, for the ten months ending November 30, 1886, were $1,338,831. This company purchased, in November, 1886, $50,000 worth of additional ground in Memphis. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad, which has a branch into Memphis, shows, by its report for the ten months ending November 30, 1880, gross earnings to the amount of $12,718,144 for the whole system of its roads, which amounts to 3,281 miles. There are two other important roads to the city, the Memphis, Birmingham & Atlantic Road, of which George H. Nettleton is president, and the Newport News & Mississippi Valley (C. and O. route), of which C. P. Huntington is president. The Iron Mountain Railroad Company also has purchased, in the city of Memphis, $80,000 worth of grounds for depot and other purposes. A charter has just been filed for the Baltimore, Memphis & Nashville Railroad. The incorporators are E. W. Cole, Jas. M. Head, Wm. Morrow, B. F. Wilson, A. S. Colyar and J. C. Neely. It is intended to build the road across the State, from Memphis to Bristol.

The first telegraph line into Memphis was chartered October 18, 1847, and built soon after. The capital stock of the company was $28,000. The president of the company was Thomas Allen; secretary, James Coleman; treasurer, J. W. Smith.

The telegraphic interests have grown wonderfully. There are now located the offices of the American District Telegraph Company, the Gold & Stock Telegraph Company, and the Western Union Telegraph Company, in the Cotton Exchange Building. The system of which this i's a part has connection with nearly all the great cities. It sends over 1,000,000 messages yearly, and uses 3,000 cells of battery, and has invested $80,000,000 capital, and owns 75,000 miles of line. At this point are employed twenty-two skilled operators and thirty-three other persons.

The principal express company operating in Tennessee is the Southern Express Company, of which H. B. Plant, Augusta, Ga., and New York, is president; M. J. O'Brien, general superintendent; Geo. H. Tilley, secretary; Hon. W. S. Chisholm, general counsel, and C. L. Loop, general auditor. The accounting department is divided into two divisions, the eastern and the western. The western division is located at Memphis. Of this division Mr. F. J. Virgin is auditor, and Mr. A. J. Signaigo is cashier. The operating department is divided into five divisions, of which the southwestern division is located at Memphis, under the superintendence of H. C. Fisher.

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The general accounting department at Memphis employs about forty clerks. There are purchased and distributed from the same headquarters supplies to the value of $25,000 annually.

From about 1845 to 1860 great attention was paid to the building of turnpikes and plank roads through Shelby County. The first road chartered was the Memphis & Somerville Road. This road was chartered on January 28, 1846, and rechartered February 17, 1854. The Pigeon Roost & Chulahoma Road was incorporated on October 31, 1853, with a capital stock of $41,000. It was chartered by Thomas Holman, F. A. Owen and thirty-five others for a period of ninety-nine years. The Memphis & Horn Lake Road was chartered by W. L. Lundy, John Arnold, W. Mathews, H. D. Small and S. Bailey on January 28, 1854, with a capital stock of $50,000. Owing to the peculiarity of this soil, rendering it difficult to keep up these roads, and the disorganization caused by the war, these roads were allowed to fall into decay, and in 1866 the charters of most of them were dissolved. The Memphis & Wolf River Pike Road was chartered in December, 1866, by D. Pearson, W. M. James and others. Several roads were subsequently chartered, but all have been allowed to fall into decay. Under a general law of 1875, counties are allowed to build turnpikes and employ workhouse convicts in their construction. This law has worked very successfully in Hamilton and Shelby Counties and possibly a few others. Under the act of March 23, 1883, Shelby County began work on her roads. The levy of 10 cents on each $100 yielded about $20,000; to this may be added one-half the privilege tax, and a subscription of about one-half is usually obtained without difficulty along the line of the road from the property holders. This money is expended under the direction of the turnpike commissioners. These commissioners consist of the chairman of the county court, who is ex officio chairman of the commission, and two other commissioners, who are appointed by the county court. In this county the convicts are hired at 10 cents per day. Under this law from two to three miles of good pike have been built on each of the various public roads leading into the city. The average number of convict laborers is about fifty-five. The salary of the chairman of the committee is fixed by law at $1,000 per annum; that of the others at $250 per annum. Squire Thomas is the present superintendent. The county owns forty acres of ground in connection with the present workhouse building. It also owns twenty head of mules, wagons, farming implements and other supplies. The buildings are of brick, and are comfortable and substantially built. They are kept scrupulously clean and the inmates are furnished three good meals per day during the work season, and two while not at work.

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The convicts are worked on the county roads and on the farm, the product of which goes toward the support of the institution. The female inmates are employed mainly in the laundry and in cooking. The average cost of the institution is between $7,000 and $8.000. The labor of the convicts amounts to about $2 per day as estimated by railroad work. It will be seen that the profits of the institution almost equal the expenses. The following is a list of the county officers:

Sheriffs : Thomas Taylor, pro tem.; Samuel R. Brown, 1833 ; J. K. Balch, 1835; John W. Fowler, 1842; L. P. Hardaway, 1846; J. B. Moseley, 1852; W. D. Gilmore, 1856; J. E. Felts, 1862; P. M. Winters, 1864-66; A. P. Curry, 1870; M. J. Wright, 1871; W. J. P. Doyle, 1872; C. L. Anderson, 1875: W. L. Anderson, 1878; P. R. Athey, 1881; W. D. Cannon, incumbent.

County court clerks: John Read, pro tem.; Wm. Lawrence, 1823; Robert Lawrence, 1831; John W. Fuller, 1848; W. L. Dewoody, 1852; J. P. Trezevant, 1862; John Teague, 1872; James Reiley, 1878; Owen Dwyer, 1882; H. B. Cullen, 1886; P. J. Quigley, incumbent.

Circuit clerks : Joseph Graham, 1832; S. R. Brown, 1848; M. D. L. Stewart, 1870; Frank Taft, 1876; B. F. Coleman, 1878; Joseph Uhl, 1886; D. Schloss, incumbent.
Registers: Thomas Taylor, 1820; M. B. Winchester, 1831; Joseph Graham, 1836; A. B. Taylor, 1842; W. P. Reaves, 1852; Henry Lake, 1862; J. W. King, 1862; C. W. Johnston, 1868; G. M. Greeley, 1870; John Brown, 1877; H. W. Grible, 1879; F. R. Hunt, 1883; John Mc-Callum, 1886; N. F. Harrison.

Rangers: Alexander Ferguson, 1823; Tilman Bettes, 1825; L. Bostick, 1826; James Weaver, 1831; J. C. Cody, 1842; Hugh McAdam, 1848; J. A. Rudisill, 1854; A. S. Thomas, 1860; J. R. King, 1862.

Chairmen: William Irvine, 1823; M. B. Winchester, 1825; Isaac Rawlings, 1832; John Pope, 1838; J. S. Edwards, 1848; J. B. Hodges, 1854; Sylvester Bailey, 1858; J. W. A. Pettit, 1862; J. W. Smith, 1866; Thomas Leonard, 1870; T. C. Blackley, 1874; Thomas Holeman, 1880; C. E. Smith, 1885; D. C. Slaughter, incumbent.

Attorney-generals: James P. Perkins, 1822; Alex. B. Bradford, 1824; V. D. Barry, 1832; T. J. Turley, 1836; E. W. King, 1843; J. P. Caruthers, 1848; D. M. Leatherman, 1852; J. L. T. Sneed, 1855; G. M. Hardin, 1856; B. J. McFadden, 1858; J. L. Harris, 1860; W. F. Talley, 1862; George W. Reeves, 1868; Walker Woods, 1870; Luke E. Wright, 1878; G. P. M. Turner, 1886; Geo. B. Peters, incumbent.

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Circuit judges: Joshua Haskell, 1826; Parry W. Humphreys, 1832; William B. Turley, 1834; L. M. Bramblett, 1840; W. C. Dunlap, 1850; William R. Harris, 1858 ; William Reeves, 1866–68 ; George W. Reeves, 1870; C. W. Heiskell, 1878; James O. Pierce, 1$86; L. H. Estes, incumbent.

Commercial and circuit judges: E. W. M. King, 1846-50; J. C. Humpheys, 1862.

Criminal judges: J. R. Flippen, 1872; J. D. Adams, Thomas H. Dogwood, P. T. Scruggs, J. E. R. Ray, J. M. Greer, L. B. Horrigan, A. H. Douglass, J. J. Du Bose, incumbent.

Chancellors: Andrew McCampbell, 1840–47; Calvin Jones, 1850; W. It. Harris, 1854; J. P. Caruthers, 1862; William M. Smith, 1865–68; E. M. Yerger, 1870; W. L. Scott; S. P. Walker, 1872; Charles Kortrecht, 1878; W. W. McDowell, 1886; H. T. Ellett, present judge.

Clerks and masters: Joseph H. Talbot, 1847 ; James M. Williamson, 1854; John C. Lather, 1860; M. D. L. Stewart, 1862; Augustus Alston, 1865–70; E. A. Cole and Robert J. Black, 1876; E. L. McGowan, 1882; S. I. McDowell, incumbent.

Probate judges: J. E. R. Ray, 1870—78; Thomas D. Eldridge, 1886; J. S. Galloway, incumbent.

Pursuant to an act of the General Assembly, passed November 24, 1819, the court of pleas and quarter sessions was organized on May 1, 1820, at Chickasaw Bluffs for the new county of Shelby. Jacob Tipton having been qualified before and having made proclamation, proceeded to open court. He did so by taking his seat and administering the oath to Anderson B. Carr, Marcus B. Winchester, William Irvine, T. D. Carr and Benj. Willis, all of whom took the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, the constitution of Tennessee, the oath against dueling and the oath as justice of the peace. The organization of the court was made known by notice posted on the courthouse door and signed by the chairman. For temporary organization John Read was chosen clerk, and Thomas Taylor, sheriff. On the next day William Irwine was made permanent chairman; William Lancaster, clerk; Samuel R. Brown, sheriff; Thomas Taylor, register, and Alexander Ferguson, ranger. Paul Bayless and William A. Davis each received the same vote for trustee, but the following day Davis was elected. Gideon Carr was chosen coroner. William Bettes and William Dean received a tie vote for constable but the matter was settled the next day by electing both to that office. J. P. Perkins was chosen solicitor. The bonds for the clerk and constables were fixed at $2,000 and the other officers $5,000 each, and but one man outside the officers was on a bond.

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Deeds from Andrew Jackson el al. to Benjamin Foy for Lot 55; Peggy Grace to T. D. Carr for Lot 43 were ordered recorded. The court made the rule that the county business should be attended to on the first Wednesday of each term., Ordinary licenses were granted to Joseph James and to Patrick Meagher, at Memphis. On May 3 the court granted a ferry license to William, Irvine across the Mississippi at the public wharf called Irvine's Landing. The rates allowed would seem rather high now, as $1 was allowed for a man and horse, 50 cents for loose horse, 50 cents for each head of cattle or hogs, $3 for a two-horse carriage loaded, and $5 for a four-horse carriage loaded. The ordinary rates fixed for the above were, board and lodging per week, $3.50; board alone, $2.50 per week; board and lodging per day, $1; lodging per night, 12 cents; horse feed, 25 cents; French brandy or gin, 25 cents per half pint; whisky, 12 cents per half pint; apple or peach brandy, 18 cents; Jamaica spirits, 25 cents per half pint. The first jury " to inquire into the body of the county " consisted of J. W. Padam, John Bettes, Patrick Meagher, T. F. Person, Charles Holiman, Joshua Fletcher, Russell Bean, Gideon Carr, Joseph James, John M. Riddle, Robt. McAllister, Humphrey Williams, William Thompson, Jacob Bean, John Grace, L. Bettes, George Allen, B. Ashford and Thomas Swarford. Benj. Willis resigned his office as justice of the peace and Thomas Carr was appointed tax-lister for the county. The first bill of sale was made by Jacob Bean to William Irvine for a negro boy. Two offenses against the State were tried at the May term of court; one against Henry Gibson and the other Patrick Magee for assault and battery. On May 4, 1820, the court appropriated $175 to Thomas D. Carr with which to build a courthouse, jury-room and jail. On the same day an indictment was found against Thomas Patterson, but the case was not sustained; however the court insisted on charging the defendant with the costs of his prosecution. Marcus B. Winchester filed notice of contest against Thomas D. Taylor for the office of register to which Taylor had been elected. The ground for contest was that at the time of his election Taylor was sheriff of White County, and as Winchester had the next highest vote he claimed the office. On November 1, 1820, the court declared Taylor was not constitutionally elected and ordered a new election the next day at the house of William Lawrence. At this time Winchester was elected " during good behavior in office." In February, 1821, the court met at the house of William Lawrence. The sheriff, solicitor and clerk were each allowed $37.50 for ex officio services to January 1, 1821. D. W. Maury was admitted to the bar as an attorney on August 2, 1821. At the August term F. W. Master was fined for assault and battery but took an appeal to the circuit court. At November term, 1821, M. B. Winchester and Wm. A. Davis were allowed $125 for the completion of the new jail.

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The following attorneys were admitted in May, 1822; Robt. Hughes, Alex. B. Bradford, R. C. Allen, Thomas Taylor, John Brown and William Stoddert. Bradford was solicitor and was for many years a resident of Jackson. Stoddert was also a member of the Jackson bar. In November, 1822, an indictment was filed for assault and battery upon the body of Robt. M. C. Stewart by Jesse Benton. Jesse Benton was a brother of the distinguished Thomas H. Benton. He was justice of the peace of Shelby County from 1822 to 1824 and was the owner of a considerable tract of land on Big Creek. The February term of court of 1823 met at the house of Thomas D. Carr. The rate of taxation for 1823 was 18 3/4 cents on each town lot, 18 3/4 cents on each 100 acres of land with-out regard to value, 6 1/4cents on 100 acres land for the poor and 61 cents on each $100 of the destruction of wolves. The elections of 1823 were held at the houses of Jacob Tipton, Robt. G. Thornton and Thomas C. Person. The first commissioners for the poor were T. D. Carr, William Irvine and Jacob Tipton. In 1824 the court met at the house of T. D. Carr again and ferry rates for Wolf River and the Loosahatchie were fixed. Deeds of conveyance for Lots 1 and 2 in the town of Memphis were made by N. B. Winchester attorney in fact for Andrew Jackson, John Overton and the heirs of James Winchester. Sam. Gibson was fined $1 for beating Thomas Johnson and was refused a new trial. The plea entered was that the time was not proven in the evidence. The court held that such proof was not necessary. Polly Spira and others were fined $5 and costs, and the sheriff returned a nulla bona when the State was compelled to pay the costs. On January 18, 1830, Abram Bayless was allowed $5 for holding an inquest on the body of John Barrow. Seth Wheatley was admitted as attorney on April 29, 1829, and W. C. Dunlap, July 19, 1830, H. W. Moseley in April, 1830, W. H. Humphries, July, 1831, and John D. Martin in April, 1832. The record of sale of Charlotte, a negro girl ten or eleven years old, to Au-fat-char or Brown Sam, a Chickasaw Indian, by Jesse Benton was confirmed July 28, 1825. Lewis Shank and Neil McConnell, free negroes, were given permission to live in the county on giving bond for good behavior. Ferry license was granted William Irvine to keep a ferry across the Mississippi at the public warehouse, otherwise called Irvine's Landing. Jacob T. Swarford and Patrick Meagher each gave bond in the sum of $1,250 to keep an ordinary; rates for ferries and ordinaries are given above. The first grand jury consisted of Thomas H. Persons, foreman; William Roberts, John Grace, John W. Oldham, Drury Bettes, Patrick Meagher, Thomas Palmer, Humphrey Williams, J. M. Riddle, J. Letcher, Joseph James and Robert Quimby. August 4, 1820, Patrich Meagher was fined $1 for retailing spirits.

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Isaac Rawlings, John Ralston and Thomas Persons were the first commissioners to settle with the trustee and collector of taxes. The sheriff, county court clerk and solicitor were each allowed $42.50 for ex officio services for 1821. R. Reynolds was allowed $12 for four full grown wolf scalps. The coroner was allowed $16 for burying a man named McCrere who had committed suicide. Russell Bean, William Dean, J. M. Riddle, Joab Bean, J. W. Oldham and John Mazles were appointed patrollers of Shelby County. Benj. E. Person was licensed to practice law May 5, 1823. The following marriage licenses were issued from May to July, 1820; 0. W. Carr to Mary Hill, Russell Bean to Mary C. Harklerood, John Chandler to Sarah Cockraham, William Irvine to Mary Carr, Thomas W. Floyd to Polly Campbell, Jacob Beard to Peggy Grace, and Lindsey Shoemaker to Jane Moore. The marriage ceremonies were performed by Jacob Tipton, John Ralston, A. B. Carr and M. B. Winchester, justices of the peace respectively. The commissioners before mentioned selected Sanderlin's bluff on Wolf River as a site for the seat of justice for Shelby County, and on July 17, 1826, Frederick Christian, John B. Holmes, John R. Kent and Benjarnan Robbins were appointed commissioners to lay off the county town. Elijah Bunch was fined $50 for trading with slaves. The county court met for the first time at Raleigh, Jan. 19, 1829. In Jan., 1827, the court levied a tax of 25 cents on each 100 acres of land for the improvement of the navigation of Wolf River and appointed Daniel Dunn, Robert Fearn and Charles Boulton as commissioners of navigation. The idea of fixing a specific tax on land having no regard to its value seems now absurd ; also an attempt to improve the navigation of Wolf River seems equally ridiculous. The Raleigh Academy was established in 1829 with William Battle, David Dunn, Jas. S. Lamaster and James Rembert as trustees. Abram Bayless, coroner, was allowed $5 for holding an inquest on the body of J. Barnes, on January 18, 1830. H. W. Moseley was admitted as an attorney in April, 1830, H. W. Humphreys in July, 1831, and J. D. Martin in April, 1832. The jury for the first circuit court was drawn on August 7, 1823, to meet the fourth Monday in October following. The following composed this jury; Tilman Bettes, Geo. Allen, Henry James, W. B. Dare, Daniel Burns, Wm. Hunter, John Davis, Jacob Hunter, John Bledsoe, Samuel Smith, James McKinzie and William Harris. It is probable Joshua Haskell was the first judge, but Minute-book A of the circuit court is missing and the fact can not be ascertained. The circuit court met for the first time at Raleigh in 1828 with P. W. Humphreys on the bench, Joseph Graham as clerk, and V. D. Barry as solicitor, a position to which he had been elected in 1824.

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Numerous civil cases were tried. Isaac Rawlings obtained judgment against B. B. J. Robins for $26,777 on an appeal from the county court. A forfeiture of recognizance for $250 was entered against William Savage and J. M. Gillam as sureties for J. P. Porter charged with house-breaking. A. W. G. Davis was fined 1 cent for an affray with costs. On June 17, 1829, a jury of J. Messick, A. Smith, J. H. Markham, J. D. Graham, J. Young, Benj. Robins, I. B. Nickerson, J. C. Doty, J. B. Edwards, Thomas Perkins and James G. Shepherd found J. W. Allen guilty of murder in the first degree. A motion for new trial, also for arrest of judgment, was overruled by Judge Haskell and he was ordered to be hung at Raleigh on September 25, 1829. Jacob B. Painter was indicted for horse stealing but died before trial. Indictments were found, and fines of $5 each were assessed against Milton Coleman, Eppy White, John Wilson, William Powell, William Berryman, John Gregory, William Davis, Joe Porter, William Harris and John Wilford for riot, June 21, 1832. James Chandler brought suit against his wife Rachel for divorce about the same time. Wm. B. Turley appeared as judge of this court from 1832 to 1834. The opening of the State penitentiary in 1832 furnished a new field of punishment.

In that year Oliver Griffith, A. A. Norris and Joe Blackwell were sent to that institution for grand larceny, the former for four years ; the second for two and the latter for three years ; R. Valentine got ten years for murder in the second degree and B. Bunch three years for passing counterfeit money. Judge L. M. Bramblett appeared on the bench in December, 1834. James Walker was convicted of murder in the second degree and sentenced to the penitentiary for ten years from December 23, 1834. Sam, a slave, was convicted of manslaughter on June 8, 1835, and was ordered to be branded in the hand with the letter "M" and lie in jail till the next morning. On September 8, 1836, a jury consisting of William T. Turner, Isaiah Day, J. W. Guthridge, Thomas Loyd, J. M. Hunt, J. Pennington, J. McNeal, David Bently, John Groom, William Menton and Samuel Acock found Nimrod Hooper guilty of negro stealing and he was ordered hung in the vicinity of Raleigh on December 1, 1836. The bill of cost on this amounted to $360.99, a large sum for the time. George W. Payne and B. Huskey, were sentenced to the penitentiary, the former for five years and the latter for eight years for arson in January, 1837. E. Fraser got three years for horse stealing at the same time. Suits of foreclosure were

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brought by the Bank of Tennessee and Planters Bank against individuals amounting to more than half a hundred in 1837-38. These were doubtless hastened by the financial embarrassment of the times. On October 4, 1842, Abram Spiers was indicted for the murder of Simon Cannon by cutting him with a knife on September 26, 1842; Thomas S. Wynn for stealing two slaves from John B. Person, and Patrick Hay for biting off the ear of G. S. Oldham, all of whom were eventually acquitted. More naturalization papers were issued in 1844 than for all previous time. The very curious will of Andrew Rembert was made October 12, 1844. It is divided into three parts, one of which is in verse.

W. C. Dunlap became circuit judge in 1840. W. H. Looney was appointed special judge in October, 1844, for the trial of W. M. Mill for the murder of William C. Claiborn. On June 6, 1846, a meeting of the bar was called to take suitable action on the death of Andrew Jackson. W. C. Dunlap was called to the chair and E. J. Shields was made secretary. A similar meeting was called on May 13, 1846, in honor of E. J. Shields who had just died in Texas. J. R. Christian was indicted for shooting F. P. Stanton with a pistol on July 30, 1845, and escaped punishment on a $1,500 forfeiture. W. G. Parr received a sentence of four years for stealing a horse from E. D. Wade. James Hunter and William McBride got a three years' sentence on December 4, 1845, for stealing an ox from Charles D. McLean. The commercial and criminal court was established February 16, 1846, with Ephraim W. M. King as judge. The first important case before this court was W. C. Covington for stealing a slave, Maria, the property of James Dollar. A sentence of five years was imposed on him February 24, 1846, and also the case of William Brown for horse-stealing who also got five years. Samuel H. Forbes killed Martin S. Goldsby with a knife on September 6, 1846, and was sent to the penitentiary for a term of fifteen years. In 1848 there were forty-eight suits brought by the Planters Bank against individuals and forty by the Union Bank. The cases of Stephen Ross for putting out the eye of Jacob Sawyer, Peter D. Wynn for shooting Marcus D. Bolton, Thomas Osborne et al. for an attempt to murder A. Greenlaw were all nollied. Sterling, a slave of Bailey Anderson, was indicted for killing his master at the navy yard February 18, 1850, and was hung at Raleigh June 22, 1851.

The first legal hangings took place in Memphis on May 31, 1861. It was the hanging of Moses, a slave, for killing an Italian organ-grinder and Isaac, a slave, for killing his overseer near Horn Lake in Nonconnah bottom. The crimes were committed in 1858 and the cases were taken before the supreme court at Jackson and the decision of the lower court confirmed. A man named Stover or Stephens was hung on June 20, 1861, for the murder of a man on Presidents Island in 1857. This case had also been to the supreme court. Two criminal executions occurred in 1866, James Galvin and Samuel Moody, each for the murder of a policeman.

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The chancery court was established for the city of Memphis by an act of the General Assembly December 15, 1840. Joe H. Talbot was appointed clerk and master. On March 8, 1847, Calvin Jones became chancellor and in that year Joe H. Talbot by "visitation of Divine Providence was deprived of his reason " and James M. Williams was appointed clerk and master in his stead. The business of this court has grown wonderfully within the last twenty years entirely out of proportion to the circuit and criminal courts. One of the most interesting suits ever before the chancery court was a suit growing out of the rights of title to the Nashoba lands which were purchased by Frances Wright in 1824. In 1827 these lands were deeded to Gen. Lafayette and others in trust. In 1832 these lands were redeeded to Frances by the trustees. Frances married Count Phiquepal d'Arusmont but separated from him afterward. In 1852 she deeded her possession to her beloved but " estranged daughter, Frances Sylva." In 1853 Frances Wright died. On January 1, Sylva conveyed the remaining part, 1,422 acres of the Nashoba lands to Eugene d'Lagerty for the sum of $30,000 to be paid in installments annually of $5,000 each. d'Lagerty soon after leased the lands to Charles Patton for twenty per cent of profit from the lands. d'Lagerty was to furnish supplies for cutting lumber, brickyards, etc. Miss d'Arusmont and d'Lagerty moved to New Jersey and in 1867 they went to Scotland for an estate belonging to her. On December 23, 1873, he died while they were in Italy. In 1865 Charles Patton brought suit against the estate to enforce a claim amounting to $25,000. The land was sold under decree of court on October 5, 1866, and purchased by Charles Speer of Cincinnati for $21,335 and all claims settled by him in February, 1867. In 1874 Nelson Speer conveyed his interest to Charles Patton by deed. In 1871 the heirs of d'Lagerty brought a bill to set aside the decree to Speer as procured through fraud. This suit finally resulted in a compromise between the heirs and Charles Patton and a division of the property. In a short time Miss d'Arusmont appeared in Memphis where she had not been seen since 1860 and filed a bill against Patton and d'Lagerty heirs, seeking to enforce her claim against d'Lagerty. The claim which she endeavored to enforce amounted to $50,000. The case finally resulted in a decree providing that she could recover lands on payment of certain debts, amounting to about $10,000, against the estate. Some minor points are still unsettled. The case for the defendants was managed by T. W. Brown, H. M. Hill and Geo. Gillham.

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A partnership was formed in business in 1850. Parties connected with this firm were Wade H. Bolton, Isaac Bolton, Washington Bolton and Thomas Dickens. The firm continued till 1857. Washington Bolton died and Sarah W. Bolton filed a bill in the chancery court in 1868 for her share in the property of the firm. Thomas Dickens filed a cross bill for the same purpose. On August 10, 1868, Wade H. Bolton made the following extraordinary will. A part only of this is given. It contains eighteen different clauses as follows: "I, Wade H. Bolton, at my home and place in Shelby County, Tenn.. being in good health * * * First, it is my will and desire after all my just debts are paid that my ashes repose in Pleasant Ridge Church burying-ground * * * Second, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Lavinia Ann Bolton. * * * a life time dowry in my Hoboken plantation. Second, I give and bequeath to her * * * $10,000 in fee simple. Third, I give * * * to her $10,000, my life policy. Fourth, I give and bequeath to Seth W. Bolton $5,000, provided he lends an assisting hand and helps to defeat the gigantic swindle of old Tom Dickens and his tool, Sarah W. Bolton, has instituted against her father's estate and mine. In event Seth W. Bolton be married or does marry a white woman of his own choice, the $5,000 shall be invested in a piece of land for them. But if Seth W. Bolton remain in a state of celibacy which he is likely to do, my executor is instructed to loan the $5,000 and pay him the interest annually. Fifth, I. give and bequeath to Mary L. Bolton, wife of E. C. Patterson, $5,000 provided * * * Sixth, I give &c., to Lucassa Bolton $5,000, provided she help to defeat that gigantic swindle of old Tom Dicken and his tool, Sarah W. Bolton * * * Seventh, I give * * * to my niece, A. Wade Bolton, $5,000, provided * * * I also give her my gold watch. Eighth, I give and bequeath to my niece, Josephine Bolton, now wife of the notorious Dr. Samuel Dickens (the Judas of the family) $5, one sixth of what Judas Iscariot got for betraying the Lord. Poor Jo, her cup of iniquity will be full after while if she ever gets time to stop in her mad career, trying to help swindle her sister out of her money, and will let her mind reflect back upon her childhood days when she sat under the shade trees and roof of her father and saw the streaming tears and heard the bitter sobs of her father and her mother portraying in the ear of her father that some distant day that old Tom Dickens would swindle them out of all they had and bring them to want. The prophecy is fulfilled in 1868 and her daughter is lending a helping hand. Eleventh, I give and bequeath to the widow of Gen. T. J. Jackson, who fell at the battle of Chancellorsville, $10,000. Twelfth, I bequeath * * * to my loyal servants now called freedmen * * * Fourteenth, I give and bequeath my Hoboken farm for the public schools of Shelby County and $10,000 to build a college to be called Bolton College. Fifteenth, I give and bequeath the rest of my estate to the chairman of the county court to be a perpetuity for the education of the poor white children of the First District. Eighteenth, I appoint E. M. Apperson my executor without security, and Beecher & Belcher my attornies."

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The greatest feud was connected with the suit resulting in the death of seven persons. In 1857 a man named McMillan was killed, and in 1868 one Wilson and a servant girl, Nancy, working for Wade H. Bolton; were also killed. Soon after, two men, Inman and Morgan, were tracked into a cave in North Alabama and killed. On July 14, 1869, Wade H. Bolton was shot by Tom Dickens at the gate of the court square and mortally wounded. On July 30, 1870, Dickens was waylaid and killed in the Hatchie bottom, a short distant from Memphis. For the killing of Bolton, Dickens was arrested and put under bond of $5,000. After a trial of twenty-seven days, in which the ablest attorneys were engaged, Dickens was declared "not guilty." The trial ended February 12, 1870. In all the litigation but one conviction was secured. The estate involved in the various suits amounted to over $226,000. These were tried before Chancellor McDowell and appealed to the supreme court. The style of the suits before the supreme court were Cannon vs. E. M. Apperson and Maddox vs. E. M. Apperson. The executor of the will refused payment to some of the legatees on the ground that they had not fulfilled their part in the "infamous lawsuit." The supreme court confirmed most of the clauses of the will. The provision of the will providing for Bolton College in the First District are being carried out. The sale of lands and the other funds amount to about $65,000. Of this $10,000 is to be spent in erecting buildings on the Hoboken plantation about twenty-five miles northeast of Memphis.

In 1879 the city of Memphis had become so involved in debt from the visitation of the yellow fever, and the public improvement rendered necessary from it, also from extravagant and corrupt city government. that it was bankrupt. The taxables of the city amounted to about $21,000,000, and the debts were about $5,800,000. Mandamus after mandamus was heaped upon the city officials demanding increased levies of taxes to meet the indebtedness. To put a stop to further increase of indebtedness and liquidate the old on an equitable basis there was passed "An act to establish taxing districts in this State and to provide the means of the government for the same."

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This was a part of "An act to repeal the charter of certain municipal corporations and to remand the territory and inhabitants thereof to the government of the State." This act passed the General Assembly January 29, 1879, and received the signature ,of the governor January 31, 1879, and the sanction as to its constitutionality by the supreme court of the State May 31, 1879. A receiver was appointed who proceeded to wind up the affair of the old corporations. The assets of the city amounted to something near $2,000,000. Severe tests as to the constitutionality of the taxing districts were made by them holding claims against the city, and the matter was carried to the supreme court of the United States, but the new corporation stood the test and the larger claims have been compromised at 50 cents on the dollar. The debt has been refunded in bonds against the taxing district, drawing five per cent interest. These bonds are now about par. The first receiver was Minor Merriwether, who was succeeded by Lawrence Lamb.

The criminal court docket for the last two decades has been quite full. Among the most noted cases may be mentioned the cases of J. W. Davis, J. C. Creighton, Ed Titus, John Cosgrove, Graves & Poston, J. Schoefield, E. J. Eason, Angello Morrow, J. W. Brown and Charles Clinton. In 1882 the execution of Shin Forrest for the murder of David Cruise and Jane Forrest was ordered, also Bill Rivers, for the murder of Amanda Jenkins, and Sandy Matthews was also executed in 1882. Robert Wilson was hung in the jail July 20, 1883, for the murder of Frank Russell. The last person hung was John McKeever, for the murder of Wm. T. Trainor on December 17, 1884. The crime was committed about four miles south of Memphis while the two were hunting. The case was worked up on circumstantial evidence but resulted in conviction. The judgment of the lower court was affirmed by the supreme court. Before his execution on June 26, 1885, McKeever made a full confession. It appears from the docket that for the last eight years the criminal court has convicted 350 persons per annum. Cases in which vast sums of money were involved, were the State vs. Proudfit; State vs. Anderson, public administrator, and the Extein-Norton bond cases vs. Shelby County. In the Anderson case about $200,000 were involved; the latter nearly as much, which was gained for the county by Gen. G. P. M. Turner, for which he has since been allowed $1,000 in fees.

A few of the distinguished dead among the judges and lawyers may be mentioned: W. T. Brown, W. C. Dunlap, V. T. Berry, Ed Yerger, Henry Barry, Henry Small, L. H. Coe, R. Topp, W. B. Turley, E. W. M. King, E. J. Shields, D. M. Leatherman, J. C. Humphreys, J. P. Caruth-,ers, W. R. Harris, Seth Wheatley, B. N. Hart, J. D. Adams, T. H. Logwood, P. T. Scruggs, J. E. R. Ray, L. B. Horrigan, J. L. Wheat-ley, G. D.' Searcy, F. D. Kortrecht and Archibald Wright. Many others deserve mention. It would be impossible to do justice to the distintinguished living members of the bar. Judges A. H. Douglass and J. L. T. Sneed are among the oldest and most distinguished.