Goodspeed’s History of Chester County
Chester County embraces an area of 167,000 acres and is on the water-shed between the head waters of South Fork of Forked Deer River and the small tributaries of the Tennessee. It is surrounded by the counties of Madison, Henderson, Hardin, McNairy and Hardeman. The surface is comparitively level and has an elevation above the sea level of a little over 400 feet. The only broken parts of the county are in the eastern and in the western parts. The drainage is almost entirely through the Forked Deer River. The tributaries of this river are Ozier Creek, Horse Creek, Turkey Creek, Sugar Creek, Clark Creek and Jacks Creek. Middleton Creek flows east into the Tennessee, and Clover Creek west into the Big Hatchie. Owing to the level surface of the country these streams are generally sluggish and frequently are clogged by drifts of logs and brush. The channels of these streams are shallow and frequent overflows follow heavy rains. Sand Mountain in the northeastern part is the highest point in the county and is probably the highest point between Henderson and the Tennessee River. This is rather a bold knob of a hundred or more feet in height and is covered with a growth of “black jack” and other timber. The soil is generally of a light clayey formation, intermixed wtih sand. Vertical borings show the formation below the surface to be mainly orange sand or rotten sandstone. The entire formation is comparitively recent. Water is obtained mainly by borings made; this is found in abundance and of good quality. A few chalybeate springs are found, but none of any reputed merit for medicinal qualities. The soil is well adapted to the growth of cotton. The quantity of cotton raised is not as great as in other counties, yet the quality is excellent. It also produces an excellent quality of sorghum. Corn and the other cereals do well, yet they are not considered staples. The land is also well suited to the growth of grasses and for pasturage. Some of the ridge lands of the western part are covered with pine, while those of the east have oak, hickory and other hard woods. Along the streams are found cypress, poplar, elm, maple, gum, beach (sic), holly and sugar maple. There is also in some parts black walnut and the several varieties of the timbers before mentioned.
The first settlers in what is now Chester County came to the county about 1820-1824. These were from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and a few from Alabama. Many came from the STates above mentioned to Middle Tennessee, and afterward moved to West Tennessee. The first settlement in the ocunty was made in the vicinity of Mifflin about 1821. Col. J. PURDY, father of Robt. PURDY of Henderson, came to the vicinity of Mifflin about 1821. He was from Pennsylvania, and the village of Mifflin was named by him in honor of a town in his old state. He was a surveyor, a prominent business man, and a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1834. Within a few miles of Mifflin James THOMAS settled in 1824. He was originally from Virginia, but moved to Alabama and thence to Mifflin. James CLIFFORD came at the same time and settled down Ð a near neighbor to THOMAS. Jere HENDRICK and Micajah JONES also opened farms in the same neighborhood. The former came from Virginia about 1822; the latter left three sons, all of whom lived to be quite old. Wm. PHELPS, now about seventy years old, has spent nearly all his life in the vicinity of Mifflin. A little south and west lived Stephen BEAVER, Samuel NEILL and James NEILL. It is believed they were from North Carolina. Robt. JUNELL came to the county about 1825; he opened a farm and left a large family. The names of Wm. RUSH, John HUBBARD, Wm. Hall, Lemuel DEBERRY, John HALTON and Peter COLLINS are closely related to the history of the Mifflin neighborhood. James BROWN, from North Carolina, settled a short distance east of Mifflin. Wm. SPENCER was from the same state and settled near BROWN. Robt. McREA and Charles J. ALLEN, a relative of McREA, settled north of Mifflin. McREA built one of the first mills on Forked Deer River. Wm. BILLINGSLY settled with one and a half miles of Mifflin about 1821. James and Richard SHACKELFORD, Wm. ARNOLD and Charles RIDDLE all settled southeast, within four miles of Mifflin. The latter was a “Hard-shell” Baptist preacher and a celebrated hunter. As game became scarce he moved to Mississippi, where it was more abundant. George STILL, a pioneer, was a surveyor; he moved to Texas in 1838. James GLASS has the honor of having taught the first school in the new settlement in 1828. He afterward moved to Center Grove, thence to Lexington, Jackson, and is now living in Louisville. Thomas GARLAND, the first circuit rider west of the Tennessee, formerly preached at Holly Springs. Job Dean, a soldier of the Creek war, was a settler of the neighborhood above mentioned.
In the vicinity of Jacks Creek, Hugh ROSS settled at a very early day. He was the father of S. L. ROSS, and was a member of the State Senate at one time. J. F. HAMLETT, John BRUMMER and John CROOK, father of Dr. CROOK of Henderson, settled about 1830. John KOOTZ is said to have built his own house with the aid of his wife and a yoke of cattle. Job TRICE, who is still living, reared a large family. John M. HART, father-in-law of Mrs. HART of Henderson, was an early settler of Jacks Creek. Maj. NEELEY, a prominent citizen, came to Jacks Creek about 1825. Robert McCORKLE, a Methodist Episcopal preacher, Norman McLEOD, and Dr. Alfred TABLER were among the earlier settlers of the place.
In the vicinity of Montezuma Joseph JOHNSON was perhaps the first settler. He was from North Carolina, and settled near Montezuma about 1826-30. Wesley and Nehemiah BURKHEAD and C. H. O’NEAL were from the same state and settled in the same neighborhood. Wm. CASON, father of Col. CASON, came from Middle Tennessee and settled near Montezuma in 1826. William McKNIGHT arrived about the same time. The STEEDS and BARRETTS came to the same neighborhood a little later.
The first road cut through the country was from Lexington, by way of the Jacks Creek and Mifflin neighborhoods to Montezuma, thence to Bolivar. Meats were largely of fame, such as turkey and deer, which were then numerous. The first mills in the country were those of Jere HENDRICKS and Richard McCLEARY, on Forked Deer, and that of Stephen BEAVER on Clark Creek. As an illustration of the capacity of these mills it is said HENDRICKS was in the habit of putting a turn of corn in the hopper and then turn on the water, when he would go about his farm work, and at noon he would put in a new grist and again return to his work till night. If not speedy it was not expensive.
The enabling act, creating Chester County, was passed March 1, 1879. Section 1 of the Act called for portions of Madison, Henderson, McNairy and Hardeman Counties to be cut off and to be erected into a new county to be known by the name of Chester. This name was given as a compliment to Col. R. I. Chester, of Jackson, who was at that time representative from Madison County. The same section further designated what portion of the respective counties should be attached to the new county. Section 2 of the Act named J. F. HEWLETT, Robert LONG, B. H. BROWN, J. H. FRY, B. J. YOUNG, A. B. PATTERSON, J. W. PERKINS, J. W. MITCHELL, J. M. SIMMONS, John PARHAM, J. W. SHERRELL, W. L. STEGALL, William RUSH, J. M. REAMS, M. D. PARE, and Abel STEWART as commissioners to run the boundaries. Section 4 caled for an election in the several factions, which required a two-thirds vote of all the voters in the faction to vote “new county;” those opposing were to vote “old county.” Section 8 required the new county to be divided into ten or twelve civil districts. Section 9 appointed person to hold election of county officers, and 10 selected commissioners to select a site for a county seat. They were ordered to select a place not more than three and a half miles from the center of the country, and were to have regard to health and convenience. Section 11 provided for the purchase and erection of public buildings; and (section) 12 required the voters of the several factions to vote at their old places until authorized by further instruction. The commissioners met and organized by electing William RUSH chairman and John PARHAM secretary. LONG, PARE and STEWART had moved away and their places were filled by W. L. CHERRY, J. M. and J. W. MAY. The first meeting of the commissioners was at Montezuma on June 18, 1879. The result of the elections on the question of the new county, on September 6, 1879, resulted in a vote of 263 out of 316 for the new county in the Madison faction, 408 votes out of 506 in the Henderson faction, 392 votes out of 510 in the McNairy faction, and 80 votes out of 103 in the Hardeman faction. The organization of the now county was delayed by an injunction suit filed by J. D. BROWN, John BROWN and Isaac PARRISH of the Henderson faction. The suit was brought before Chancellor NIXON and the suit sustained. An appeal was taken to the supreme court and the case brought before that body at Jackson at the April term, 1882. The judgment of the former court was reversed and the injunction dissolved. The election held on May 20, 1882, for choice of county officers resulted in the election of Robert CRINER for sheriff by a majority of 173 votes; of Ed ESTES for circuit court clerk by a majority of 285 votes; of John PARHAM for county court clerk by a majority of 34 votes; of W. S. RHODES for trustee by a majority of 94 votes, and of C. M. CASON, register, by 38 votes. The permanent organization was effected June 3, 1882, at the Baptist Church. On motion by John PARHAM and by order of Judge T. C. MUSE, who stated the customs of colonial times, the audience were led in prayer by Rev. J. H. GARRETT, after which the congregation joined in singing, “O, for a Thousand Tongues, etc.”
The question as to the county seat was left to a popular vote. The only two places in nomination were Henderson and Montezuma. It was decided in favor of the former place by an overwhelming majority.
At the meeting of the commissioners in June at Montezuma, in 1879, A. B. PATTERSON, B. J. YOUNG, J. H. MITCHELL and J. W. SHERRELL were appointed to receive donations for public buildings. Several conditional bonds were tendered on condition that the new county should be made and that certain lots should be chosen. The injunction suit having been filed and the matter delayed, these could not be acted upon. The courts met at other places till April 13, 1883, when the county court, after receiving many propositions, finally accepted the proposition of Mrs. Hattie E. DUCKWORTH. This was for the residence and grounds of the late Dr. J. A. CROOK. This included the residence and grounds containing about four acres. The sum asked was $3,000, payable in one, two and three years, with interest at six per cent.
On July 2,1883. W. L. MESSINGER, Wm. M. SENTER and J. A. MILLER with the county surveyor were ordered to lay out the square and to examine the buildings. The building purchased is a large two-story frame building, having a court room and offices for the county officers.
The bell for the courthouse was received as a donation from Col. R. I. CHESTER, sent as a compliment in return for perpetuating his name in the county.
In January, 1886, the county court appointed Dr. J. A. CROOK, N. T. BUCKLEY, Wm. RUSH and C. G. TERRY a committee to select a site for a jail and to confer with builders for its erection. The place chosen lies a little north of the courthouse and embraces a portion of the lands purchased with the courthouse. The contract was let for the building on April 5, 1886. The building is a two-story brick about 48×20 feet. It contains two cells and the sheriff’s residence. The contract was let to J. M. WHEATLEY for $1,650. On the report of a committee, it was decided to build a cook and dining-room to the jail. This, with some trifling changes made in the original contract, brought the cost up to $1,900, which was paid in county warrants of $900 and $1,000 each.
The paupers of the county are so few, that as a matter of economy, they are farmed out to the lowest and most responsible bidder. The average number does not exceed five.
The, outlet for the produce and travel of the county is the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. This road extends through the central part of the county, a distance of twenty-nine miles. Its assessed value is about $106,000 or nearly $5,500 per mile. This road was built in 1856-58.
Thc total value of taxables for 1883 was $853,503 for 1884 $852,03l, for 1885 $776,4235, and for 1886 it was $704,435 exclusive of the railroad.
Henderson, the county seat of Chester County is situated on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad near the center of the county. The place is supposed to have been named from Henderson County. The town was not laid out until after the building of the railroad. The first lots were sold in 1857-58. The land was owned by J. D. SMITH. At this time the only cleared lands were the places of B. A. HICKS one and a half miles west; Jack GARLAND’s place known as the Murchiser property a little southwest; and that owned by the: Jordan H. GARLAND’s heirs, and the SIMMONS’ heir east and north of Henderson. The place was originally called Dayton but the name was soon changed to Henderson. Gholston built the first house in the place which stood just opposite the postofffice. Dr. T. A. SMITH, Polk BRAY, H. D. FRANKLIN, A. S. SAYLES and John WEST were among the first business men of the place. Like most other towns, Henderson received a check by the war but soon recovered its normal state. Henderson has had a steady and healthful growth but not rapid. It does not operate under a charter and thus avoids the sale of intoxicating beverages. From a moral standpoint few places reach the standard of Henderson. The business is largely of the cotton trade, this amounting to the sum of 5,000 bales some years. Cotton is by far the largest item of produce handled, yet there is a general line of produce handled every year which amounts to thousands of dollars. Henderson contains 227 lots which are assessed at $87,435. The business of the place is done by the following business houses: General stores: J. F. O’Neal & Co.; I. O. Galbraith & Co.; Cason, Estes & Co.; L. C. Rhodes & Co.; Ashcratt & Co.; W. C. McCullum & Co.; W. M.. Bray & Co.; and Rowsey, Robins & Co. Grocery stores: J. M. McCulley & Co.; G. L. Priddy & Co.; Estes & Ozier; W. H Thomas; P. J. Howard & Co.; and W. C. Crittenden. Drug stores: W. B. Shannon & Co.; Baird & Bro. Jeweler: A. H. McKinnon. Hardware: Carroll & McLeod. Henderson also contains several good. livery stables, hotels, boarding-houses, shops and is well supplied with professional men.
Mifflin is the oldest town in the county. It was laid out about 1828 by Col. PRIDDY who, with James BANK, opened a business house there about that time. James SMITHERS sold goods there possibly a little before the others. SPENCER and GLASS built a cotton-gin and a store about a mile and a half east of Mifflin, in 1832. From 1830 to 1840 Wm. PRIDDY, Ezekiel HALTON, William and Henry COLLINS, and Wm. WATKINS did business in Mifflin. Among the later ones were John WEST, Beaver, Carver & Co., John SMITH and J. M. PRIDDY. Following the war were Beaver & Carver, Ashcraft & Co. The late business men are Wheeler & Edwards, Beaver & Son, Bell & Bros. and R. C. Cooper. Mifflin is surrounded by. a good farming community and contains about 100 inhabitants, also a Methodist church and a schoolhouse.
Jacks Creek was named from the creek on which it stands. The first business house was opened there about 1830 by Col. Samuel Wilson and B. Gillespie. W. B. Terry followed later. He became wealthy from trade in Henderson and McNairy Counties. About 1840 Crook & Keeland opened a store at Jacks Creek. The latter was afterward a magistrate and died at Denmark. R. Anderson did business there about 1850. Gov. Stone, of Mississippi, taught school at Jacks Creek; he also clerked for Crook & Thomas before removing to Mississippi. The principal business of the place between 1850 and 1860 was done by A. C. McCorkle, and Hollis, Skinner & Co.; from 1870 to 1880 by H. J. Howard & Co., McCorkle & Thompson, W. S. Rhodes and J. M. McCullum. The present business is done by C. M. Kee & Co., J. M. McCorkle & Co. Jacks Creek, like Mifflin, is an old place and has but little growth. The Masonic Hall was erected in 1854-33. The lower part of the ball is used as a church. Friendship Lodge, No. 229, was organized in l840-50. A. N. Tabler, Richard Barham and H. D. Crook were among the first members.
Montezuma is supposed to have been named from the ancient Aztec capital. It lies about four miles west of Henderson. J. B. Wambler is believed to have been the first merchant in the place. He began about 1830, and continued for many years. Halton & Cason began business there about 1848 and continued till the war. Estes & Randolph also sold goods a number of years before the war, and E. Estes & Co. were there a short time. The business of the place is now done by George BROWN.
The following magistrates who composed the first county court met at Henderson on June 3, 1882: P. McNatt, J. D. Shelton, R. N. Reed, H. L. Massengill, Benj. Robertson, M. D. Davis, N. T. Buckley, H. C. Trice, C. R Narborough, J. H. Fry, Hiram Johnson, F. H Weir, J. S. White, A. L. Bean, W. M. Senter, R. M. D. McNatt, Wm. Kerr, Martin Reams, Wm. Rush and P. Gatham. The court organized by electing Wm. Rush chairman, and proceeded to make the bonds of’ the several county and district officers. H. L. Hendricks was then chosen surveyor; F. N. Ballard, ranger; J. S. Jester, coroner; J. N. Wheatley, sealer of weights and measures, and W. R. McNatt, superintendent of public instruction. The constables first chosen were N. Shelton. Calvin McCann, J. T. Stansill, R. D. Bell, J. D. Smith, C. C. Jones, M. M. O’Neal, Robert Mitchell and S. H. Moore. July 24 the court canvassed the vote cast for the location of the county seat. It was found there were 796 votes east in favor of Henderson and fifty-five in favor of Montezuma. The county court, January 1, 1883, memorialized the General Assembly, asking that Chester County be allowed to remain in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and in the Tenth Chancery Circuit. The first venir summoned by the county court called for John Short, S. J. Thompson, J. R. Bland, John Newsom, J. H. Deberry, Stanton Lee, W. B. Fry, J. W. Ozier, J. R. Edwards, J. F. Holloway, Benj. Rhodes, W. C. Christopher, E. C. Wamble, R. C. Ball, F. M. Putnam, A. D. Barnett, Wm. Senter, N. C. Caygle, Martin Reams, K. S. Jackson, Henry Garner and J. Rush. The first’ court also fixed a schedule of privilege taxes, these ranging from $5 to $150, the amount charged for circuses. The first marriage license issued in Cheater County was to Joe Glover (colored) and Rachel Sandford. This was June 5, l882. The minister officiating was Rev. Henry A. Jackson. The second license was to R. B. West and M. A. Perkins June 6.
The first circuit court (Eleventh Circuit) met at Henderson on July 17, 1882, Hon. Thomas P. Bateman presiding. The other officers present were Robert Criner, sheriff, and E. A. Estes, clerk. The first venir facins embraced the names of Wm. Cash, W. C. Johnson, John Criner, G. W. Smith, T. J. McCorkle, B. Robertson, Jacob Young, R. P. Hunter, S. J. Bishop, H. J. Dean. A. J. Peddy, John McCall, J. R. Bray, J. W. Shull, J. P. Thomas, G. J. Patterson, J. C. B. Nailer, F. M. Cherry, R. M. D. McNatt, W. C. Caygle, C. Wilson, G. C. Butler, L. D. Simmons, J. H. Mtchell and James Fry. The grand jury chosen was, composed of L. D. Simmons, R. P. Hunter, W. J. Young, F. M. Cherry, J. C. B. Nailer, A. J. Peddy, H. T. Dean, J. A. Criner, T. J, McCorkle, B. J. Bishop, W. C. Johnson, C. Wilson and J. R. Bray. This court did no further work than to approve the several official bonds and adjourn till September at a special term. Said term met at the appointed time with Judge T. C. Muse on the bench. The other officers at this time were A. A. Anderson, sheriff; A. E. Estes, clerk, and M. H. Meeks, attorney-general. The first civil suit was the case of B. S. Hite against N. P. Ingram on a note; a similar one was brought by H. G. Hollenburg against N. P. Newsom. Fines of $50 were assessed against George Green and J. Christopher for carrying concealed weapons. At the January term, 1883, Will Willoughby (colored) plead guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the killing of Will—, on December 24, 1882, and received a sentence of three years to the penitentiary. At the August term of the same year, M. Prewitt was lined $50 for carrying weapons, and Frank Combs one cent, and costs for maintaining a nuisance. Charles McLellan received a sentence of one year to the penitentiary for petit larceny. Willis Richardson was fined $100 for selling goods without license. The first case to the penitentiary was Ben West (colored) for stealing a $l0 bill, and the last was Oliver Garland for a similar offense.
On the organization of the county it was directed that Chancellor H. J. Livingston should open the chancery court of Chester County on July 10, l882. Five weeks notice had previously been given in the Brownsville Democrat. On the meeting of the court Dr. Joseph A. Crook was appointed clerk and master. The solicitors appearing before this court were J. M. Troutt, M. F. Ozicr, J. W. Pace, A. W. Stovall and J. S. White. The Court ordered this rule, that all processes except final processes should he filed on the first Monday in each month, and that the clerk and master should open such Processes accordingly. After fixing the bonds of the several officers, the court adjourned to meet in special session in December, 1882. Suits of divorce came up at this court before Chancellor Livingston. Abel Cook had the bonds of matrimony between himself and wife, Nancy, dissolved, also J. S. Barrett was divorced from Saille Barrett. The Court again met in regular session in May, 1883, before Chancellor T. C. Muse, of Jackson. A very interesting and peculiar suit is pending in the chancery court, involving an estate of $23,000. It is the suit of Carroll Beaver against Nancy Denver for divorce on the alleged grounds of impotency on the part of defendant. A suit to which Chester County is a party is now pending in the supreme court of the United States. It is the suit of the several counties through which the Mobile & Ohio Railroad passes against that road and the Farmers’ Trust, Company of New York. The suit was begun in the chancery court at Humboldt. The suit was brought to recover taxes against the road amounting to the sum of $130,000. Chester County’s apportionment is $10,000. This road was chartered in 1852, and was granted immunity from taxation for twenty-five years, or until it could show a dividend of 8 per cent on its stock. It is claimed that the giving the mortgage to the above trust company was done to defraud the counties out of their just dues.
The common schools of Chester County operated under the counties to which the respective factions belonged until the organization of the county was effected in 1882. Public and private schools supplied the wants of the people until the organization of the public schools after the war and the more perfect organization on the adoption of the new constitution in 1872. On the organization of Chester County the schools were put under the superintendency of R. McNatt who was followed by W. D. Ross, who was succeeded by J. S. White. The county is divided into thirty-two school districts and has about sixty schoolhouses. Two of these houses are brick, a few frame and the remainder are log houses. The scholastic population by the last enumeration is 3,133. The male white population is 1,270, the female l,270; the colored male population is 334, the female is 304. There are from sixty to seventy teachers employed and the average length of school term is only about fifty days. Owing to the fact that many of the schoolhouses are not in a condition suitable for cold weather the schools are taught out in the summer months, A. natural result follows — the attendance is not good nor is the work effective. The two schools at Henderson take the place of the public schools and are run partly as consolidated schools. The public funds are divided between the two in proportion to their attendance. The matter of’ attendance at either school is optional with the parent or guardian. There is a consolidated school at Montezuma — the old Jackson District High School, and two in the Second District, the Howard Seminary and the Clear Springs Academy. There is also a consolidated school at Mifflin. The short term of school and insufficient schoolhouses have caused a great number of persons to sell out their farms and move elsewhere to have better school advantages. The operations of the four mile law have effectively driven the sale of whisky from the county.
West Tennessee Christian College is a continuation of a school begun in 1869 by Miss Helen Post and A. S. Sayle. The school thus started was afterward incorporated as the Masonic Male and Female Institute, which won an extensive reputation during its fifteen years existence. The name Masonic in connection with the institute was merely nominal. This school was under the management of Prof. Geo. Savage, now of Eagleville. On August 4, 1885, the school was incorporated as the West Tennessee Christian College by I. J. Galbralth, John Parham, L. G. Thomas, H. Robertson, J. W. Galbraith, W. L. Hill, E. B. Fuller, J. B. Inman, R. J. Parham, J. W. Ozier and J. A. McCulley. The officers of the executive board are I. J. Galbraith, president; J. H. Fuller, secretary, and J. W. Ozier, treasurer. The faculty consists of J. B. Inman, president; J. H. Fuller, A. M.; R. J. Haynes, A. M.; Miss Sue Inman, Miss Mattie Boothe and Miss Laura Ivey. The corporation owns good buildings and campus. A boarding hall for young ladies is under the care of the president of the college. The curriculum embraces the usual college course. The attendance at the college is about 100. The ability of the faculty, the cheapness of living, the healthful moral and physical atmosphere make the West Tennessee Christian College a desirable place at which to educate young ladies and young gentlemen.
Henderson Male and Female College. The Jackson District High School was established at Montezuma about four miles west of Henderson in 1874-75. A good two-story brick building was erected at that place and a good school maintained there till 1885. The building erected was a stock concern and is still used for school and ‘church purposes. The necessity of having railroad communication led to the erection of the college at Henderson. The present college building was erected in 1885. It is a two-story brick building, and well adapted for school purposes and was erected at a cost of about $2,500. It was built by a stock company, the shares being $25 each. It was incorporated in September, 1885 as the Henderson Male and Female College by J. F. O’Neal, H. C. Ashcraft, W. T. Cason, J. M. Troutt, T. A. Smith, J. M. Cunningham and J. D. Johnson. It is recognized as the school of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, yet it is not rigidly denominational. Its aim is to enlighten, to make pupils wiser and better. The school is under the management of a board of trustees who look to the interest of the pupils. The faculty consists of Rev. G. W. Wilson, A. M., president; Rev. L. S. Taylor, A. M.; Miss Sue Cason, Mr. W. T. McGee and Mrs. H S. Taylor.
The curriculum embraces a full course in English, Latin, Greek, French, bookkeeping, mathematics, natural sciences, etc. The classic’ course is divided into the freshman sophomore. junior and senior years. The degree of A. B. is conferred on those who complete the entire course; B. S. on those who complete all except the Greek, and certificates of proficiency on those who complete parts of the course. The enrollment of the school is now over 100, which is considered flattering for the first year’s work.
The Missionary Baptist Church was organized at Henderson by a Presbytery consisting of Revs. William J. Hodges, Samuel Bray and David J. Franklin, on August 15, 1867. The following names were enrolled as members of the first organization: Hugh McKnight, A. B. Crook, John D. Smith, David J. Franklin, A. S. Sayle, L. J. Anderson, Mary V. Crook, Melvina McKnight, Sarah B. Franklin, Rhoda F. Ewing, S. E. Anderson, M. C. Smith and Rosa F. Graham. W. J. Hodges was elected moderator, A. S. Sayle clerk, and A. B. Crook deacon. A. B. Crook was ordained deacon by W. J. Hodges, Samuel Bray and D. J. Franklin in accordance with the customs of the church. After appointing delegates to the Unity Association the church adopted the articles of faith of the church. The first additions to the church were M. McKnight, John D. Smith, Amanda F. Smith, Robt. W. Smith and C. T. Lovelace, all by letter in September, 1867. The church house was begun in August 1867, but not completed till some time in 1868. The lot was deeded by J. D. Smith to A. B. Crook and Hugh McKnight as trustees. The building committee consisted of A. B. Crook, D. J. Franklin and A. S. Sayle. The value of church property is estimated at $900. The membership as reported to the last association is seventy-seven. A Sabbath-school is maintained by this church, numbering sixty-four. H. D. Franklin is both church clerk and Sunday-school superintendent. The pastor is Rev, W. G. Inman.
The Church at Cave Springs was constituted in 1868. The membership is forty-four. Church property is estimated at $500. M. V. Davison is church clerk. The church at Friendship was constituted in 1846. The present membership is seventy-two. J. S. McGraw is pastor and D. M. Marsh is clerk. The value of the church property is $300. The church at Hopewell has a membership of thirty and church property worth $100. This church was constituted in 1860. L. D. Nash is church clerk and John Henry, pastor. The church at Woodville was constituted in 1885 The membership of the church is forty-nine. The pastor is Abner Lambert, and J. M. Gratham is clerk. There are also churches at Mount Gilead, Hepsebah and Bethel, but their strength is not reported.”
The Methodist Church was organized at Henderson about 1874-75. The pastors, in order, have been B. A. Umstead, George W. Wilson, from November 28, 1874, to November 23, 1875; B. F. Blackman, November 23, 1875, to December 9, 1878, to November, 1879; Richard W. Newsom, 1879 to November, 1881; John H. Garrett, November, 1881, .to 1882-83; James Perry, 1832-83 to 1884; B. A. Hays, 1884; ____ Blackard, 1885; G. W. Wilson. The church was built in1882. The first trustees were C. M. Cason, W. C. Walsh, M. F. Ozier, F. A. Smith and Hiram Johnson. Among the first members were Henry C. Ashcraft, Mattie M. Asheraft, A. Brashears, Mary C. Bland, William Cason, Mary Cason, Caleb M. Cason, Mary H. Cason, William T. Cason, Charles M. Cason, William Cason, May J. Campbell, Hattie E. Crook, Alice C. Cauthorn, Harriet A. Conner, Sophia V. Davis, Fannie Ewing, Mary H. Hamilton, Hiram Johnson, J. T. Jester, John H. Hendrick, Mary J. Mason, Bettie Ozier, Mary C. O’Neal, Robert Purdy, Rebecca Purdy, Margaret J. Priddy, T. A. Smith, Elizabeth E. Smith; Martin, Mary, Joseph W. and Mary C. Stewart; Mary C. and Hugh N. Sherrill, Mary B. Simmons, Ann Spencer, Joseph W. and Hattie B. Temple, Catharine Vance, William C. and Hattie Walsh, J. A. and Maggie Worley, and Thomas and M. J. Worsham. This church has a good house of worship, and a membership of over 100. A. flourishing Sabbath-school is also maintained.
The church at Montezuma was organized about 1830. To this church belonged the families of the Burkheads, Casons, Wamblers, Steeles and some others. The first was a log house, which was afterward supplanted by a frame building. This frame building served until a few years ago, when the institute which had been erected for the Jackson District High School began to be used as a church. This is a brick building and is very well suited for church services. This church has a good membership.
The Methodists also have churches at Mount Pisgah, Big Springs, Mount Pleasant, Mifflin, Mount Gilead, Holly Springs, Burkett’s Chapel and Holton’s Chapel. The whole membership in the county is nearly 600.
The only Christian church in Chester County is at Henderson. This was organized at Jacks Creek in 1871 by Rev. R. B. TREMBLE, of Mayfield, Ky. The first members were R. J. BARHAM, John BARHAM and wife, Holcombe ROBERTSON and wife, John MCCULLY and wife, I. J. GALBRAITH and wife, J. N. GALBRAITH and wife, W. A. BRUMMER and wife, James Wheatley and wife, W. J. Hodges and wife, R. I. Stow and wife, Miss Lou Ross and Miss Bettie Ross. The first elders were R. J. Barham and H. Robertson; the deacons were John Barham and John McCully. The organization was moved to Henderson in 1883, and a nice new frame building erected for church services at a cost of about $1,500. The present elders are R. J. Barham, H. Robertson and E. B. Fuller. The deacons are J. W. Ozier, J. N. Hodges, I. J. Galbraith, S. G. Thomas and Hugh Ross. The church maintains an excellent Sabbath-school. The church register shows a membership of 292 since its organization; of these, seventy-two have moved away, died or have been dropped from other causes. J. B. Inman, president of the West Tennessee Christian College, is pastor.