In 1811, the Tennessee General Assembly passed an Act (Acts, 17 55.1) approving the incorporation of the town of Elkton on the Elk River (the only other town in the county at that time being the county seat of Pulaski at “the shoals” of Richland Creek to the north). William PRICE, who owned land at the mouth of Richland, agreed to relinquish 100 acres for the town, which was laid out and some lots sold prior to the death of William Price. Some area residents came to believe that the location was unsuitable, and the following year, 136 signers subscribed to a petition that the town of Elkton be located four miles farther up river at Menefee’s Ford. Dr. William Purnell and others laid off a town and sold lots at Menefee’s, and the two towns became known as “Lower Elkton” and “Upper Elkton.” Lower Elkton became a shipping point for both Giles and Limestone (Alabama) Counties for a number of years, but the eventual cessation of shipping by flat boat dwindled caused the population of Lower Elkton to shrink commensurately; and Upper Elkton eventually became known as Elkton. (Ref: Giles Records, McCallum)

Reprinted from Ansearchin, Vol 31, No 1, 
courtesy The Tennessee Genealogical Society

Petition to
The General Assembly of Tennessee 

31 Jan 1812 Petition of citizens of Giles? County to change locations of a proposed “trading town.”

In 1811 an Act was passed granting the establishment of a town on the lands of William PRICE, near the confluence of Richland Creek and Elk River. Due to the sudden death of the father of the petitioner (William PRICE), who died intestate, the plan cannot be carried out; only two or three of the nine legal heirs live in Tennessee. In addition, the original site was marshy and sometimes under water; therefore, the petitioners ask that a town may be established on lands of Justin KEARNEY and John CHILDRESS on Elk River where the Main Post Road from Pulaski to Huntsville crosses Elk River at Manefees Ford, about four miles above Richland Creek; plats are included. 

Subscribers were: 16 Sep 1812 (12 pages)

Guston Kearny
J. Childress
William Pennell
David Sims
John Temple
William Menefee
James Stark
Jacob Almon
Isaac Lamb
Larkin Evert
Hezikiah Robinson
Daniel McCollum
Duncan Brown
Early Benson
Thomas Bulman
Valentime Huff
Benjamine Benson
Prew Benson
Harvey Benson
Jessee Lamb
Samuel Fain
Sam Mitchell
George Flint
David Martin
Chas Manson
H. Hagen
William Phillips
John Paine
John Nance/Vance
Georg William
Benjn Long
Isaac James
John Brown
Abner James
James Neill
Robert Hunecutt
John Perry
Capel Murray
N. Fain Junr
Josiah Temple
Alexander Hood
Samuel James
Abraham James
Joshua Galyean
Abner Galyean
Joshua Gallion
Wm Watson
Michael Rork
Philip Payne
John A. King
William Paine
Thos Payne
Joseph Payne
Isham Atkins
Isham Atkins
Isaac Atkins
Wm Sawyers
John Sanford
George Stanford
F. Harwell
G.H. Beards
Gabriel Bumpass
Micajah Ezell
Dudley Smith
Abel Wilson
William Webb
Nicholas Jackson
Hinson McVay
John Daugherty
George Sanders
Howsen Kenner
Wm Vance
Isaac Adams
Thomas Williams
D.L. Blue
Williams R. Cox
James Paine
Wm Stanford
Danl Molloy
Alexander Perry
John Stanford
Thomas Stanford
James Maddray
Thomas Stanford Jr
Thomas Stanford
Gabel Long
James Stanford
George Earnest
George Stanford
Jonathan Ruck
Thomas D. Maxwell
John Shoemaker
William Maddry
John Birmingham
C. Friley
Thos Fox
James Friley
John Birdwell
Wm Birdwell
John Halbert
Joel Halbert
Jessey Halbert
Richard Armstrong
Jessee Craft
Joseph Kelley
Thos Harwood
John Q. Talbot
Jno Hawkins
Bernard M. Patteson
Thos Bullmam
Isaac Lamb
James Mcdanniel
Moses Hambleton
Thos Boid
John Birdwell
Jerimah Killingsworth
John Lamb
William Lamb
John Manasco
Silas McGuier
George H. Daugherty
James Long
William Long
John Williams
George Williams
John Wadkins
Elisha Farris
Hiram Farris
Curneus Gatliff
John Dillion
Gabreil A. Daugherty
Jacob Winterbower
Georg Winterbower
Alexr Laughlin
Wm Slone
John Slone

Additional Notes and References

1. Based on the 1812 Giles Tax List (correctly or otherwise), Pennell is Purnell; Nance/Vance is probably Vance; Evert is Averett; Almon is Almond; Kearney is Carney; Hunecutt is Hunicutt; Kenner is Keener; Killingsworth is Killingworth; Maddray is Maddry; Mcdanniel may be McDonald; McGuier is McGuire; Neill is Neal; Robinson is Robertson; and William (as a surname) is Williams.2. A number of names on this list are not on the 1812 Giles tax list. Among those are Alexander Laughlin and Benjamin Long, sons-in-law of William Menefee, Sr. (McCallum’s Sketches…) Reasons for names being missing vary, but may include: (a) They did not live in Giles County, but in Lincoln (or possibly even in Alabama); (b) they were levy-free (not required to pay due to age or occupation); or (c) they were landowners, but not residents.

3. All of these men did not live near one or the other of the Elktons. This petition was signed by those who had an interest in the development of a town on Elk River, in many cases probably due to a need for shipping products. See the 1812 Giles Tax List, particularly Nos. 853-1056 for those who may have lived in Elkton, but also in Pulaski, on Indian Creek, etc.

4. Some of these men were among the 1809 Intruders removed by the federal government (for having settled on Chickasaw Indian lands). Those include: Larkin Evert (Everet and Every in 1809 and Averett on the 1812 tax list). John Manasco and George Winterbower (Winterbower and Winterbowe in 1809), and possibly James Neill (Neil and Niell in 1809 and Neal on the 1812 tax list) and William Paine (Payne in 1809 and on the 1812 tax list).