xt7rv11vhq0v https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7rv11vhq0v/data/mets.xml Tipton County, Tennessee Tennessee Historical Records Survey 1941 Prepared by the Tennessee Historical Records Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration; Tennessee State Planning Commission, Sponsor; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration, Division of Community Service Programs; v, 166 leaves: illustrations, maps, charts, plans, 28 cm; Includes bibliographical references and index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW 4.14:T 256/3/no.84 books English Nashville, Tennessee: The Survey This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Tennessee Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the County Archives of Tennessee, Number 84 Tipton County (Covington) text Inventory of the County Archives of Tennessee, Number 84 Tipton County (Covington) 1941 1941 2015 true xt7rv11vhq0v section xt7rv11vhq0v E Ti   VK A 7 7 7 7 A V · _
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Prepared by
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey
? Division of Com unity Service Programs
Work Projects Administration
·e Sponsored by
Q Tennessee State Planning Commission
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iljif Nashville, Tennessee
S{j¥ 'si» The Tennessee Historical Records Survey
  July 1941
  it   UBRMW
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e§§‘ 5

 ii The Historical Records Survey Program
ig Sargent B. Child, National Director
iQ Madison Bratton, State Supervisor
5 Research and Records Programs
Q Harvey E; Beoknell, Director
U Milton W. Blanton, Regional Supervisor
  T. Marshall Jones, State Supervisor
Division of Community Service Programs b
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
Blanche M. Ralston, Chief Regional Supervisor
Betty Hunt luck, State Director
J Howard O. Hunter, Commissioner
_ R. L. MacDougall, Regional Director
5 S. Tate Pease, State Administrator

{ Foaswomu
¥j The Inventory of the County Archives of Tennessee is one of &
; number of guides to historical materials prepared throughout the United
States by workers on the Historical Records Survey Program of the Work
Projects Administration. The publication herewith presented, an inven-
tory of the archives of Tipton County, is number 84 of the Tennessee
The Historical Records Survey Program was undertaken in the winter
of 1955-56 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy un-
employed historians, lawycrs, teachers, and research and clerical workers.
In carrying out this objective, the project was organized to compile
inventories of historical materials, particularly the unpublished govern-
ment documents and records which are basic in the administration of
‘ local government, and which provide invaluable data for students of
political, economic, and social history. The archival guide herewith
presented is intended to meet the requirements of day—to-day administra-
i tion by the officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers,
businessmen and other citizens who require facts from the public records
for the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so designed that
it can be used by the historian in his research in unprinted sources in
the same way he uses the library card catalog for printed sources.
The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey Program
attempt to do more than give merely a list of records--they attempt
further to sketch in the historical background of the county or other
unit of government, and to describe precisely and in detail the organi-
zation and functions of the government agencies whose records they list.'
The county, town, and other local inventories for the entire county will,
when completed, constitute an encyclopedia of local government as well ‘
as a bibliography of local archives.
; The successful conclusion of the work of the Historical Records
Survey Program, even in a single county, would not be possible without
the support of public officials, historical and legal specialists, and
many other groups in the community. Their cooperation is gratefully
‘ acknowledged.
The Survey Program was organized by Luther H. Evans who served as ‘
Director until March l, 1940, when he was succeeded by Sargent B. Child,
who had been National Field Supervisor since the inauguration of the
Survey. The Survey Program operates as a Nation-wide series of locally
sponsored projects in the Division of Community Service Programs, of
which Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner, is in charge.
A .

The Federal Historical Records Survey was inaugurated in Tennessee
· early in 1956; it expired, pursuant to an act of Congress, on August 51,
1959. By the provisions of the Emergency Relief Act of 1959, it became
I necessary for the project to become locally sponsored. The present proj-
ect, the Tennessee Historical Records Survey, succeeded the Federal
` Survey on September 1, 1959. It is sponsored by the Tennessee State Plann-
ing Com issicn and cosponsored by the counties and municipalities of the
State, and several libraries. The Tennessee Survey is engaged not only in
surveying county archives, but also municipal archives, church archives,
manuscript depositories and collections, and imprints, and preparing tran-
scriptions of selected early county court minutes. A list of the Tennessee
- Survey*s publications follows the indexes to this Inventory.
° While the new order has in no way brought about a change in the
’ standards of the Federal Survey, it has been partially responsible for
. certain revisions of editorial concepts. The Tennessee Survey, for example,
has instituted a series of special publications to make available certain
materials accumulated in the State Office editorial procedures which may be
of general interest.
“ The Tennessee Survey is now engaged in preparing a comprehensive state-
ment of the general law regulating county government in the State. It is
expected that this book to be entitled "County Government in Tennessee," will
serve as a handbook on the organization, structure, and evolution of county
government in Tennessee, and will make it unnecessary to repeat certain items
of general information in the various inventories. The essays in this In-
ventory are, therefore, limited to special legislation concerning Tipton
C- County or an exposition of the manner in which the general law has been, in _
effect, altered, and only such considerations of the general law as are
necessary to state the facts of existence of the offices, the dates of their
creation, their present status, the manner in which filled, and the terms.
The complexities of the school laws, however, have made it necessary for the
_ sake of continuity that the discussion of education be more detailed. This
, treatment has also been followed, but not as fully, with regard to highway
The arrangement of offices and entries in this Inventory is a result
of a process of trial and error and the pattern followed is one settled
‘ upon in earlier publications; however, the complex nature of some offices,
particularly those with divergent functions, precludes an absolutely logical
arrangement. In general, the arrangement of offices consists of grouping
those of a similar nature. For example, the quarterly county court, the
~ governing body, is followed by the county judge, the chief executive officer;
the courts are placed together, followed by the jury commission and the law
enforcement offices. Within the offices, related and similar records are
grouped under appropriate subject headings. The records entries indicate
the title, dates, number, contents, arrangement, indexing, method of record-
ation, size, location, and condition of the record if it is not in good

A., The original field inventory of the archives of Tipton County was com-
T., pleted by workers of the Federal Historical Records Survey in Tennessee in
"_ A October 1957, The inventory was rechecked in the spring of 1959, The
` , archives listed in this book are those available on April l, 1959,
T _ The field inventory in Tipton County was redo by Annie Sanford and re-
4 in checked by Clarence H,`Williams under the immediate supervision of James E.
[ _ Davis and the general supervision of mary Alice Burke, The record entries
yy were prepared under the supervision of Vylva Holland; the historical sketch,
yl Edmund C, Gass; the legal sections, Henry Hight and William Miller; the
4 Ayl alphabetical index, Ruth`Winton, assisted by Ruth Foster; and the housing
and care essay, floor plans, and chart, Charles G, Kimbrough and William H,
Etterj the typing and stencil cutting were done by Helen P. Allen, Patsy R.
Floyda and Lois B. Winters.
l_ T The Tennessee Survey gratefully acknowledges the help and cooperation
V of all the officials of Tipton County under whose administrations tho in-
i ventory and recheck were conducted, and without whose assistance this
inventory would never have boon made. Particularly helpful were former
y County Judge C. B. McClelland, the present Judge, J. B. Overall; County
p Court Clerk C, Y, Walker, and Deputy County Court Clerk Louise O'Neal.
4 The Tennessee Survey staff has profited in all phases of its work by
the constructive advice and criticism of the washington staff. The Tipton
S County inventory was made and preparation of this book instituted during
the administration of T, Marshall Jones as State Supervisor of the Survey
' ” before he became State Supervisor of the Research and Records Programs and
~ while Dan Lacy, Assistant to the Director of the Historical Records Survey
Program, served as Regional Supervisor,
, l The Inventory of the County Archives of Tennessee will, when completed,
consist of_a set of—§E—vblumes vHi5Y?FYZEhrEto'nunmerhfor each county in the
State. The number assigned this Inventory, 84, merely indicates the alpha-
’ J botical position of Tipton among the counties of the State, The publications
of the Historical Records Survey Projects in all states are limited in num»
ber and consequently are placed in designated centrally located depositorios.
Inquiries requesting the location of the nearest depository should be ad-
dressed to the State Supervisors or to the Division of Community Service
Programs, Work Projects Administration, Washington, D, C., for the attention
of the Director of the Eistorical Records Survey Program,
` Madison Bratton, State Supervisor
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey
_ July ll, 1941

 - ]_ -
ldap of   COUIlt}r ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
2. The Present Governmental Organization of Tipton County .......... l5
Ch&I"b of   COuIl`{:·`y COV€Y`ILIY".€}l`b •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
Counties of Tennessee with Years of Creation .................. 19
3. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records ................. 21
Floor Plans of Tipton County Courthouse ....................... 25
4. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes ..................· 28
Tipton County Offices and their lhcords
Original Instruments. Court Proceedings. Official Bonds.
Financial Records.
Reports. Bond Issues. Accounts: receipts; disbursements;
unclaimed funds. Vouchers. Warrants: receivable; payable.
III. COllTlty COU.I`l] Clcrk ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••¤••••a••••••  
Automobile Records. Applications for Licenses. Bonds. Licenses
Issued. Professional Registrations. Vital Statistics: marriages;
births; deaths. Probate Record. Rbcord of Fees. Miscellaneous.
Original Instruments. Ebel and Personal Property: claims entered;
warranty deeds; trust deeds; chattcl mortgages; releases; leases,
assignments, and options; iians; judgicnts. Powers of Attorney.
Military Discharges. rinancial Rbcords.
-V-• Dj.S`bI`j.C'b Surveyor •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
  Eh.'].`b!°'y".b8.kOr and. Surveyor ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
Original Instruments. Bonds. Dockets. Enrcllmonts. Record of
Proceedings. Jury Service. Tax Records, Workhouse Records.
Countcrsignod Licenses. Financial Rbcords: witness fees; final
oxocutions; receipts and disbursements.

 .. 2 ..
Table of Contents
Original Instruments. Dockets. Fecord of Proceedings. Finan-
cial Records: witness fees; final executions; receipts and dis-
Original Instruments. Dockets. Bonds. Enrollments. Court
Proceedings. Delinquent Tax Records. Financial Records.
Original Instruments. Dockets. Court Iroceedings. Inhvritances:
wills; eppointnents of personal representstivies; bends and
letters; settlenents; receipts and vouchers; widows’ provisions.
Inheritance Tax. Land Sales. lnsolvent Estates. Insanity
Proceedings. Drainage. Financial Records.
Civil and Criminal Hbccrds. Civil lbcords. Criminal Records.
  COI-LE-E`bG.b].O ••••¤•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
Tax Records: realty, personalty, and polls; delinquency; drain-
age; road tax. Warrants. Releases. Reports.
  PDVCYIUO COIHILIISSIOII •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
  DGP€\I`lZI!lCZ'1.lZ of FGLUCUFOIOYI ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
_ Minutes. Hteords of Pupils. lbcords of Teachers. Records of
Property. Financial Ebcords: receipts and disbursements; war-
rants issued. Ebports. Hiscellfnoous.
XXD-T•   Ph'ySI.Cj.OZ'I •••••••••••••••••¤•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••  
Generel Index. Family Ebcords. School Records. Vital Statis-
tics. Clinic Records. Laboratory Ebports. Inspections. Fin-
ancial 1@cord. Misccllunoous.

 - {5 -
Table of Contents
-}DCVI•   Depar-blnenib ;•••••••••••;•••••••••••••|••••••l••••O•|•••!  
Commission Proceedings. Construction and Maintcnance Ebcords.
Gas and Oil Record. Financial Fbcordsz invoices and vouchers;
warrants issued. Maps and Plots. Workhouse Hccord.
  V‘4rOZ°khOU.S@ COIT`LTl'lj.SSj.OI'l •••••••••••••••••••¤¤••••••••••••••••••••••  
)QG/’III• Poor COI`fHTLj.SSj.OI] ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••¤•••••¤•  
m• h-ngGr •I••••••••••¤••••••••••n•••••••••••••••••••|••••I••••••••  
XX-.XI• Ag1"j.CLl].€IJ.I‘€>‘ DGp9.I"bIl'l$I'J.`b ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••¤••••••  
County Farm Agent: cotton contracts and agreements; corn-hog
contracts; soil conservation program; 4-H clubs, Home
Demonstration Agent.
Publications of the Tonnosscc Historical  bcords Survey ........ 165

 Q - 4 —
Q (First entry, p. 34)
{V Tipton County lies in southwestern Tennessee, next to the southern-
y most of that tier of counties sometimes referred to as the "river
oounties," all bounded by the Mississippi River. The western portion -
of the county comprises rich bottom lands, while the West Tennessee
plateau touches the fringe of its eastern extremity.1 The central por-
tion of the county is rolling country dotted with bluffs. The elevation .
of the county varies from two hundred to three hundred and fifty feet
above sea 1evel.2 The mean annual temperature is approximately 60
degrees Fahrenheit,$ and its mean annual rainfall is close to 50 inches.4 (
Its 442 square miles give it rank as fifty—second among the state's 95 ;
counties in area.5
Tipton County is bounded on the south by She1by6 and Fayette? 4
Counties, and on the east by Haywood County, which is only a few weeks
younger than Tipton.8 As originally created, Tipton County embraced an
appreciable area north of the Hatchie River-approximately the southern
half of present Lauderdale County and touched Dyer County.9 But when
the General Assembly in 1835 created Lauderdale Countylo pursuant to a
special constitutional provision,11 the Hatchie River was designated
as the northern boundary of Tipton County. Tipton County's western
boundarv, coterminous with a portion of the State's, is the Mississippi
1. C. E. Allred et al., Tennessee, Economic and Social, pt. ii, The A
Counties, in Uhiversity—of_Tennessee Record, Exte¤EEEh Series, II, l5{_—- p
2. Ibid., 14.
I` 4:g Ibid., lg- I
i 5. n>"'1'd'., zo.
E 6. P.A. 1821, ch. 32, sec. 7; Pr.A. 1823, ch. 126, sec. 1; Pr.A.
  1823, chfzds, 'sec. 1; P.A. 1se7··se,'E1·f.I s‘o'““, Sec. 1; Acts 1883, CET 'S'1,
Q sec. 1; Pr.A. 1925, ch._4E4, sec. 1.
if 7. _I¥:A. 1824, ch. 36, sec. 1; Acts 1883, ch. 81, sec. 1.
f 8. IZA: 1821, ch. 32, sec. 6; Pr.A. 1823, ch. 126, sec. 1; Pr.A.
Q; 1823, ch.—l71`5, sec. 1. -—-— -_-_
Q 9. Pr.A. 1823, ch. 126, sec. 1.
  10. EAT ieeefss, ch. 28, Sec. 1. see aim Acts isvz, ch. sz. =
· ll. Const. 1834, art. 10, sec. 4.
I 12. P.A. 1821, ch. 32, sec. 7; Pr.A. 1823, ch. 132, sec. 1. Owing
to the faEt_that the river's course hEs—from time to time changed, some-
times gradually as a result of "natural causes," and at other times
suddenly as a result of an avulsion, the precise location of the county's
western boundary, and consequently of portions of the Tennessee—Arkansas
interstate boundary, has on occasion been in doubt. The Supreme Court of
f the United States adjudicated the question in Arkansas v. Tennessee,
1 246 Lp S. 158; 247 U. S. 461; 269 U. S. 152; 271 U. S. 629. Insofar as
we Tipton County was ozncerned, the cEse_invo1ved arEas_between the Towhead
A of Island No. 35 and Island No. 36.
Q ‘

F; .. 5 ..
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 34)
_ Because of its location, Tipton County's history is a part of the
_ larger history of the Mississippi Valley and of West Tennessee. Lying
in the heart of the Mississippi Valley, the region of which Tipton
County is a part, was a scene of conflict in the epic struggle between
the French and the English during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
In 1735 Major Pierre d*Artaguette, preparatory to launching an attack
against the Chickasaw Indians, established a base near the mouth of the
Hatchie River.l5 This base, known as Fort Prudhom e seems to have been
1 located near the site of the present town of Fulton,i4 within the origi-
nal limits of Tipton County. It is probable that the vessels of the
French force were moored in the Hatchie River15 which for some years was
known as Riviere d'Artaguette.1G
Even with the triumph of Great Britain in the Seven Years' War, white
settlement of the region of Tipton County did not follow immedia:ely.17
_ Permanent white settlers did not come to the area in appreciable nu bers
for nearly a full generation after the conclusion of the American Revolu-
tion. Several factors probably operated to retard the influx of white
residents. The ever formidable Chickasaw Indians continued to claim the
area and to occupy its key defense positions until near the end of the
second decade of the nineteenth century. The parent State of North Caro-
lina was slow to cede her western lands to the Federal Government, and
for a number of years after the cession was effected, there was a compli-
cated dispute over land claims in the area.18 Events of international
scope also played their part; Spanish policy respecting the Old Southwest, I
the brief threat of Napoleon's domination of the mouth of the Mississippi '
and of the trans-Mississippi west, and the War of 1812 all retarded settle- 1
ment of the region.
_ By the beginning of the third decade of the nineteenth century, how-
ever, conditions were eminently favorable to the rapid settlement of West “
W Tennessee, especially the riparian regions on the east bank of the Miss-
y` issippi. Indian title to the area was extinguished by a treaty negoti-
1 ated with the Chickasaws in 1818 by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson•19
~ ¥ European threats against the lower Mississippi Valley were eliminated by
Q the War of 1812; the United States had established its hegemony in that
V Q area and west of the Mississippi River by the Louisiana Purchase. The
_ 13. Samuel Cole Williams, The Beginnings pf West Tennessee: ln_the
Land of the Chickasaws, 1541-18Zl, 21, 22,hereinafter cited as Williams,
BeginHIn§§§ Philip M. Hamer, Tennessee: A History, 1675-1932, 28.
lea "Williams, Beginnings, 22. ._
‘ 15. Ibid., 22 fn.
' 16. Ibid., 25 fn.
17. Ibid., Z2.
p 18. Thomas Perkins Abernethy, From Frontier tg Plantation ip
W Tennessee, 44-65 ff.
j 19. Henry D. Whitney, ed., The Land laws pf Tennessee, 43-45. `

1 I f - 6 -
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 54) `
difficulties respecting land claims in West Tennessee which had led to a
tripartite dispute between North Carolina, Tennessee, and the Federal Gov-
ernment were well on the way toward settlement.2O Finally, the Panic of
1819, felt most acutely in the older centers of population, coupled with thv I
general westward surge of population, caused thousands of persons to migrate
from North Carolina and East Tennessee to the river communities.21
In this setting, Tipton County came into existence. In 1821 the
General Assembly of Tennessee enacted a measure providing that a new county
might be created north of Shelby County.22 The boundaries of the future
county were described, and it was declared that until the new county should
be created, the area was to be a part of Shelby County, and that its in-
habitants should "enjoy all the privileges, and be subject to all the
duties as citizens of Shelby County," except that no tax was to be imposed
in the proposed county for the purpose of financing the erection of public
buildings in Shelby County.23 On October 29, 1825, the new county was
created, named in honor of "Captain Jacob Tipton, who fell at St. C1air's
defeat ...."24 It was stipulated that for the time being the county and
circuit courts were to be held in the house of Nathan Hartsfie1d,25 and
provision was made for the allocation between Tipton and Shelby counties
of taxes for the year 1825.26 It was also enacted that those persons who,
at the time of the creation of Tipton County, lived in the new county and
held commissions as justices of the peace in Shelby County, should be
justices of Tipton County.27 _
The organization of the county took place at a meeting on December l,
1825, in the home of Nathan Hartsfield where the justices of the peace,
Hartsfield John T. Brown, John C. McKean, (borge Robinson and Jacob Tipton
assemb1ed.é8 McKean was chosen as chairman of the court, Andrew Greer was
selected as countg court clerk, and the court proceeded to choose other
county officers.2 John Brown was appointed sheriff, William Henson ranger,
George Robinson was named coroner, Nathan Hartsfigld was designated as
register, and John Robinson was selected trustee.°O ·
20. Abernethy, op. cit., 184, 185, 252-254.
21. Williams, Beginnings, 116-118, 122, 125.
22. P.A. 1821, ch. 52, sec. 7.
zz. Tele. """
24. Pr.A. 1825, ch. 126, sec. 1.
25. Ibid., sec. 2.
26. Ibid., sec. 4.
27. Ibid., sec. 5.
28. Minute Book, vol. A, 1-5, in Minutes, entry 4 in this Inventory.
The Jacob Tipton who attended this meeting was the son of the man for
A whom the county was named.(Wi1liams, Beginnings, 154)..
. * 29. Minute Book, vol. A, 1-5, in Minutes, entry 4 in this Inventory.
I 50. Ibid.

 - 7 -
Historical Sketch (First entry p. 34) .
In November 1825, the General Assembly appointed commissioners to
` select sites for permanent seats of justice in several of the new West Z
Tennessee counties, including Tipton.$1 The commissioners were instructed
to select a site near the center of eachcounty with discretionary power
lregarding the selection of some other site, and they were authorized to
" acquire title to land in the selcted locality upon which the county build-
ings were to be erected.$2 In December 1824, the com issioners reported to
the Tipton County court of pleas and quarter sessions that they had selected
a site for the county seat on the lands of John C. McLemore and Tyree Rhodes,
the community to be known as Covington.$$ The court advanced funds for
° the building of a temporary courthouse,$4 and in July 1825, that body moved
from the house of Nathan Hartsfield into its new quarters.$5 In 1831, the
General Assembly authorized the Tipton County court to appropriate county
funds for the building of a permanent courthouse at Covington$6 and em-
powered the commissioners of that town, who were by law authorized to erect
public buildings for the county, to draw upon the trustee for such funds as
were necessary for that purpose.$7
Covington is located a few miles south of the Hatchie River on a hill
' from which flowed, in the town's early years, a cold spring.58 Among its
early residents were Jacob Tipton, Robert Sanford, Major Armsted Morehead,
and Marcus Calmes.59 The town was laid off in 1825,40 and the sale of
lots by the town commissioners reputedly brought $8,500.41 Early Covington
seems to have been a center of cultural influences remarkable in a frontier _
community. A "Female Seminary," headed by the Rev. James Holmes, a gradu-
ate of Dickinson College, was located there.42 One authority claims that
no town in the region had better schools at the time than Covington.4$
There is evidence, too, that religion appealed strongly to early residents
‘ of the town, and that the social life of the people found expression in an
. eminently respectable manner under the tutelage of the town's dancing
- a master.44
31. Pr.A. 1823, oh. 206.
I- g 52. I5iH}, sec. 1.
55. Minute Book, vol. A, 27, in Minutes, entry 4 in this Inventory.
54. Ibid., 33.
35. Ibid., 41.
56. Pr.A. 1851, ch. 44, sec. l.
57. Ibid., sec. 2.
· Z8. Jeseph S. Williams, Old Times in West Tennessee, 145, hereinafter
cited as Williams, Old Times:——— —_
- se. Ibid., l46T_l477·.-—
40. Ibid., 145.
A 41. Williams, Beginnings, 155.
. ; 42. Williams, Old Times, 177, 181.
_ _ 42. reid., 1497- """'
—` 44. Igid., 148, 149.

 .. 8 -
> Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 54) T
Tipton County grew rapidly. According to the census of 1850 its i
population was 5,517,45 which by 1840 had arisen to 6,800.46 In the i
latter year, white persons numbered 5,637,47 slaves, 51,152,48 while there (
were 51 free negroes in the county.49 The county had one academy and
seven common schools, with a total enrollment of 195 "scho1ars," and only
8 white persons over 20 years of age were recorded as illiterate.5O Even
then Tipton County produced 1,015,892 pounds of cotton.51 There were post
offices at Durhamsville and Richland G ove,52 and the stage route from
Jackson to Memphis passed through both Covington and Rando1ph.55
It was the town of Randolph, however, rather than the county seat
R that for a decade was Tipton County's most thriving community. Randolph
was a commercial rival of Memphis, and the struggle between the two towns
~ for supremacy was dramatic. Randolph is located on a bluff overlooking
the Mississippi, a short distance south of the mouth of the Hatchie River.
That stream served a rich and populous area and was navigable as far up-
stream as Bolivar, in Hardeman County.54 Founded in 1825,55 the town was
named in honor of John Randolph of Roanoke.56 Until about 1850 it was scarce-
ly more than a small river hamlet. Then, suddenly, Randolph became a boom
town. For a few years it shipped more cotton than Memphis and served as the
steamboat depot of West Tennessee.57 At one time it contained 22 business
houses.58 It was the entrepot and forwarding center for a rich and vital
trade area conmrising flourishing inland com unities.59 F. S. Latham
established the Randolph Recorder in 1854 because he thought Randolph _
c better situated than any other town in the area for a paper.6O Editor
Latham promised his readers a weekly report on "the arrival of all steam
boats at the port of Randolph, the price current of cotton in our own and
V 45. Eastin Morris, Tennessee Gazeteer, or Topographical Dictionary, lxx.
45. Department of State, Compendium . {_: o the Sixth Census, 70.
47. Ibid., 68, 69. __'-—
48. Ibid., 70.
49. Ibid., 69.
Y 50. Ibid., 71.
I 51. Ibid., 252.
` 52. Morris, op. cit., 162.
` ez. Ibid., A';S“§enH£. °
54. Williams, Old Times, 194. `
55. Gerald M. CEperE:_jr., The Biography pf-? River Town; Memphis:
Its Heroic age, 57. —_
56. `Williams, Beginnings, 155.
. 57. Capers, op. cit., 57.
58. Ibid. -_` —__-
I 59. `Williams, Old Times, 194.
4 60. Randolph ReE5rder, June 21, 1854. For this and subsequent
1 citations to the Recorder, unless otherwise noted, grateful acknowledge-
E, ment is made to M;:—55Eeph Sharp, of Knoxville, for the use of his notes
é taken from the files of the newspaper in the Cossit Library, Memphis.

   ~vV·¤   —;;%  _ 
   ,‘V‘»    7
gz, - 9 - i
,4‘_ Ji Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 54) q
y Foreign markets," as well as "Miscellaneous, Literary and Political news,
together with a little of everything Calculated to interest & amuse ,
f . . . ."61 The advertisements in the paper attest to the growth and pros- ‘
* perity of Randolph.A Com ercial and business houses acquainted the public
I with their serviceS.62 Such was the prosperity of Randolph that Memphis'
Q boast of volume of cotton handled was answered by the disdainful comment
that "half of it comes from Randolph."65 Iatham was ardently attached to
u the town's future, proclaiming editorially that "Randolph, at a time not
far remote, will be a place of much wealth & great resort."64
Randolph, meantime, had been given a charter of incorporation by the