History Of The Court Square's South Side, Part 1

By Nell Morisette
Camden, Tennessee

Camden Court Square

Hello to all you faithful Tribune readers. I hope you have found a way to beat the heat.

Thanks to Theresa Holladay and Carolyn Warden for letting me use some of Mr. George Blanton (Blandy) Holladay's works. And thanks go also to the Register of Deeds office for the information concerning property sales and a copy of the map.

John Jackson owned forty acres of land in and around the court square, but held no deed. Commissioners were elected and appointed to survey Benton County and fix a county seat with a central election. These commissioners controlled the town for several years. In December of 1836 John Doherty and Burrell Beard made a survey of the forty acres and divided the property into lots. In January a public sale of those lots took place. In 1909 the forty acres were reserved. The picture of the map is from the 1909 survey.

The South Side Of Court Square

Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 are located on the south side of the square. Lot 1 was purchased for John McCaron by Col. Alexander Calwell. Calwell and McCaron told the commissioner to deed lot 1 to I.B. Carnes. He built a brick house and office on this lot. It was sold to Thomas K. Wiley by the Commissioners on December 7, 1840.

In Deed Book A, Page 226 in the Register of Deeds, there is a Deed from the Commissioners to Thomas K. Wiley which reads: "Indenture made this 7th day of December 1840, between the Commissioners for the town of Camden, and Thomas K. Wiley of the town of Reynoldsburg, state of Tennessee for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and seventy four dollars to use, in hand paid by Wiley, for a town lot in the town of Camden, known in the plan of the town by Lot No. 1, lying on the south side of the public square, opposite the southwest corner of the square, being the same lot where Col. Irvin B. Carnes built a brick house and office and other improvements on it, at the order of Col. Alexander Colwell, who was the last and highest bidder for the lot at the public sale of the town lot, who said it was for John Mcarnan. Ephriam Perkins, Green Flowers and John F. Johnston. Deed was acknowledged in open court on the 11th day of January, 1941 and registered on the same day. G.R. Kelsey Clerk and T. W. Utley, Register."

Several other people owned it later. Aaron Arnold was one of the owners and ran Arnold's Saloon on the corner lot. There were four saloons in Camden in 1 899. In 1872 Arnold sold to "Peoples Store," it burned in 1873. A few months later, another one was built. McDaniel and Thompson bought the store, and the Post Office was kept in a store on the south side for a while.

Continued next week.........


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Brian Nichols

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