Sumner County, Tennessee
Present Day Trousdale County, Tennessee
Contributed by Vernon Roddy
Trousdale County, Tennessee was formed in 1870 from Sumner, Smith, Macon and Wilson counties of Tennessee. Hartsville, which was situated in the extreme eastern corner of Sumner County from late 1799 until 1870, began in 1797 as Donoho's Mill. Hart's Ferry of the Cumberland River began shortly thereafter. Horse racing with Andy (Jackson) and others started about the same time or even before at the Goose Creek Track. The Hartsville post office was officially opened in 1807. In 1817, the state legislature declared Hartsville an "established' Tennessee town.
Donoho's Mill was standing on West Fork of Goose Creek (now Little Goose), at the present Hartsville, present Trousdale County, Tennessee, by the time of 1797. Charles, Patrick and Edward Donoho were around, and maybe Thomas, for a while, too. (Major Thomas Donoho died in 1825 in Caswell County, North Carolina.)
Charles, Patrick and Edward Donoho, when exactly did you fellows settle (or, rather, unsettle) here? And Thomas? Thomas, did you build that mill? Or, Charles, I bet you did it? (Most probably.) Charles, you transferred the mill to James Hart in 1800, we see. Patrick and Edward, it appears you settled on the East Fork of Goose Creek. (Edward deceased in 1803.)
James Hart, exactly when did you occupy the land you purchased in 1797 of Thomas Donoho? 1797, I bet. You opened your ferry in 1798, it seems, on the Cumberland River, of course, just south of the later Hartsville.
James, you must have been a rather popular fellow right from the beginning.
Now, confess. For in August, 1799, when the company of Capt. Thomas
Bradley desired another Justice of the Peace, you appear as the first choice
of a number of your neighbors. Or, at least, the following legislative
petition of the time would seem to say as much.
And, indeed, on October 26, 1766, John Seiver, Governor of the State of Tennessee, signed a commission appointing James Hart a Justice of the Peace for Sumner County. On Monday, April 7, 1800, recorded the Sumner County Court clerk,
"James Hart, Esq., appears in court and takes the
But let us always remember that James was not first, either in settlement or office, on lower Goose. In settlement, who can we say? In office, well, Charles Donoho served as Justice of the Peace in the Donoho Mill area from early 1798. You stayed put, too, now didn't you, Charles?
Note: The early James Hart of Hartsville, Tennessee, was born in 1756 and died in 1819, at Hartsville. He married Sarah Hamilton in 1788 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Sarah was born circa 1769 and died in 1822, at Hartsville. She was the daughter of one Patrick Hamilton who died at Hartsville in 1809 or shortly thereafter. James and Sarah Hamilton Hart had a number of children.