xt7xks6j442n https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7xks6j442n/data/mets.xml Bedford County, Tennessee Tennessee Historical Records Survey 1940 Prepared by the Tennessee Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Tennessee State Library, Sponsor; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration, Division of Professional and Service Projects; vi, 152 leaves, illustrated, 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.2 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 2 Bedford County (Shelbyville) text Inventory of the County Archives of Tennessee, Number 2 Bedford County (Shelbyville) 1940 1940 2015 true xt7xks6j442n section xt7xks6j442n   »wwxm¤ »m»w    

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A NO. 2 BEDFORD COUNTY (Shelbyville)
j * * * * * * * * *
* - Nashville, Tennessee
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey Project
May l94O

 The Historical Records Survey
Sargent B. Child, Director
Madison Bratton, State Supervisor
Division of Professional and Service Projects
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
Blanche M. Ralston, Chief Regional Supervisor
Betty Hunt Luck, State Director
F. C. Harrington, Commissioner
Malcolm J. Miller, Regional Director
Harry S. Berry, State Administrator

The lpyiptppy pf phi County Archives of Tennessee is one of a number -
of bibliographies of historical m§€E?EEi§`§¥é§E?EH"€E¥bu;n¤at the United
States by workers on the Historical Records Survey Program of the Dork
· Projects Administration. The publication herewith presented, an inventory ~
i of the archives of Bedford County, is number 2 of the Tennessee series. ‘
The Historical Records Survey Program.was undertaken in the winter
of lU55—56 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unem-
ployed historians, lawyers, 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inventories of historical materials, particularly the unpublished govern»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, A
economic, and social history. The archival guide herewith presented is
intended to meet the requirements of day—to-day administration by the
officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers, business men 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 catal0§ 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 T
unit of Hovernment, 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 country
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 his appointment as Director of the Legislative Reference
Service of the Library of Congrers. He was succeeded on March l, 1940,
by Sargent B. Child, who had served in the capacity of 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 Pro-
fessional and Service Projects, of which Hrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant
Commissioner, is in charge.
F. C. Harrington

Patrice !
The original field inventory of the archives of Bedford County was
completed by workers of the Federal Historical Records Survey in Tennessee
in October 1957. To bring the listings up to date, as a preliminary step
to publication, and to insure the accuracy of descriptions already made, -
the county was reopened in the early summer of 1959. The recheck was
completed in August. The Bedford County Inventory was made, and the
book prepared during the administration of T. Marshall Jones as State
Supervisor of the Survey Project before he resigned in February 19hO,
to become State Suoervisor of the Research and Records Section of the
Division of Professional and Service Projects. _ I
The Federal Historical Records Survey was inaugurated in Tennessee I
early in 1956; it expired, pursuant to act of Congress, August 51, 1959.
By the provisions of the Emergency Relief Act of l959, it became necessary
for the project to become locally sponsored. This was done, and the pres-
ent project, the Tennessee Historical Records Survey, sponsored by the
Tennessee State Library and cosponsored by the counties and municipalities
of the State, succeeded the Federal Survey on September 1, 1959. ‘
While the new order has in no way brought about a lowering of the I
standards of the Federal Survey, it has been partially, although not
wholly, responsible for certain rearrangements of editorial concepts. For
example, the Tennessee Survey has instituted a series of special publica- ,
tions to make available certain material accumulated in the State office
editorial procedures which may be of general interest. Too, the county
archives inventories are assuming a somewhat different form.
The Tennessee Survey is now engaged in preparing a comprehensive
statement of the general law regulating county government in Tennessee.
It is expected that this book will serve as a handbook on the organi-
zation, 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 Inventory are, therefore,
limited to special legislation concerning Bedford County or an exposition
of the manner in which the general law has been in effect altered, and .
Only such consideration of the general law as is 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 com-
plexities of the school and land laws, however, have made it necessary
for the sake of continuity that the discussion of education be more de-
tB.j.lG Cl;
Bedford County's records, which have suffered severely in the past,
are now satisfactorily housed. Since the county has a new fireproof court-
house there is substantial reason to believe that tho wholesale destruction
which took place in 1850, lB65, and 195h will not recur.

Pr ef vic st Q
The arrangement of of icos und entries in this Inventory is P result Q
oF S yrocesi of tridl und error and the pdttorn follo ed is one settled
¤Uon in eurlier publications; however, the complex nrture of some offices,
particularly those with diverqcnt functions, precludes un absolutely
loricnl urrdngement. ln general, the srrwrjegent of offices consists of U
wrouying those of s similar nature. For exanple, the quarterly county
court, the govrrning body, is followed h ··,»· the county judge, the chief
executive offiror; the courts are nlocod towethtr, followed by the jury
conmission und the luv enforcement offices. Within the oilices, related
and similar records nre grouped under swnropriute subject hesdinps.
The Inventory of the County Archives of Tannessee will, when
coupl#tcdj“cor$E];F HT ;hsld*d;F~ninotyi?ive volu;es—;ith e scnurste num~
ber for each county in th; Stste. The number assigned to this lnv¤ntory,
Z, merely indicntes the alphabetical position oi Bed{ord among the coun-
ties of the Stute.
The usristcnce rf all the Bedford County officials, vithout whose _
cooperation and pwtieuce tyis Inventory would never hive been completed, C
is gratefully echnorlcd ed. Psrticulurly helpful re·c Commissioner ,
C. W. Thillins, of the Stdte Department of Highways and Puhlic Works,
under whose administration es county judme the i;ve;tory was undertaken;
the incumbent, Jodie Clarence Cortnor; and Ur. Eugene hix, the county
court clerk. In their erocutive corucities, Jud·c Thillips und Judge
Cortner gave the Survov ell the cooper tion vtich could he desired.
Hr. fix, whose office, ss for os records are corcerned, is perhaps the
west imiortont in the county, was of gre t ussistunce during the recheck.
That all record—koepinj officers of Bedford Countv evidence s more ihan
ordinary i torts? in sufngunrding the county's orcrives is d source of
cenernl {ratification.
The field invnrtrry ir dodford Courtv wss carried forward by Beulah
O'Etc€r and Alhvn S. Clark, undtr the supervision of sary Alice Burke.
Th2- gi·rCg>sxr:;t;io:; of tha. record m;t.1·‘es and the ‘_uhl.ico.tion of this Inventory
warn done under the supervision of Tvlvs dollund; thn lchul sections undcr
the suttrvision oi`Wjlli¤n ziller, assisted hy hurl P¤nd; snd the housing
WIC Curr essuy, tht flwor nldns, und c§¤ri, Jeecoo Ala? oder; one the alth-
nbvt owl i det, ich rl Cdssoll, assist d M *,r* 'uul hinnnt. Thu final draft
rms sat up by idrycrvi Ab rndthy. The si xcils wart cut hy Patsy R. Floyd.
The T 5
Bcdfcrd County lics entirely, but just barely sc, in thc {
Tennessee Valley; the northern border of thc county is, roughly, thc 7
dividing linc bctwccn thc Cumberland watershed and that cf Duck Rivcr,(Z8)
a mujcr tributary of thc Tennessee. The DucV mcgndcvs sixty—fivc miles §
through thc ccunty in a gcncrcl ucsb to wcst dirccticn.(§9) %
Thc cnqbling act cf Dsccmbcr 5, 1BO7,(hO) directed that "fcr thc 7 .
duc administration cf justice, thc first court [thc court cf pleas und 1
quarter sessions], cmd all subsequent courts shall bc held in scid ’
. county of Bedford, until thc and cf the next Gcncrql Assembly, qt thc
improvement lutcly made cmd cccupicd by Mrs. Puyne, ucar the head of
Bwlbcrry CrccV, and a11 courts held in cnd For scid county cf Bedford,
shall bc held by commission tc thc said justiccs, in th, scmc manner, 1
and under the same rules cmd restrictions, cmd sh;11 hcvc and exercise
_ thc sumc powers and jurisdiction, as arc cr shall bc prcscribcd for §
thc courts cf the scvcrql counties in this statc "(Q1) Lmlbcrry Crcck A
rises in present Hccrc County, u short distance ncrth cf Lynchburg.
Thus thc act of 1809 which detached thc Elk wxtcrchcd ,»l, from Bedford
C0unty,(L2) probably placed Bedford Ccu¤ty's first ccurbhcusi in 01d
Lincoln County. Although thc carly records cF tha court cf p1c¤s qnd
quurtcr scssicns hnvc bccn 10st, probably in thc ccurthcusc Firc cf
1865, it is virtually ccrbuim that tho county WQS crgnnizcd cgrlf in
ZM. Born, Mineral Rcscurccs, 7.
55. Hcusc 1ii;T—Z§€:—72Y§TT—_
56. §€§E?t_E? tHE_Ucimt Committee on thc Invcstigaticm cf thc 7
» TcnncsscE—VE1Tc§*LE$EbF1¥§T 7ZHETYi§E§[T_1E€T EEE], Ecn:—E$cT-55T—Ch1rt
1§T—HC?$Zf€E?_c1£EH*EE—7$~Ccn;., lst sos., Scn. D0cT_§6.—”— —_
57. Ibid. _——- ——·- ——
58. Acts 1807, ch. 57, scc. 1; 76 Ccng., lst sca., Scn. Doc. Bc,
chart 19T——__—— ; -_—· -.4
59. Killcbrcw, Resources, 62h.
LO. Acts 1807, ch. 57.
M1. Acts 1BO7, ch. 57, scc. 2.
M2. Acts 1EO§, Scpt. sca., ch. 51, scc. 1.

-7- y
Historicul Sketch (First entry, p 55) 1
Merch 1808, since the oldest surviving record, s deed record, which 1
would have oocned immediutcly dfter the county was organized end 1
which cpoeers to be complete, dutes from Eurch 15, l808.(h5) {
The first settlements in present Bedford County were supposed to 1
heve been mede in ubout 1805 or 1806.(hh) This may be true even 1
though the region wes sufficiently populated in 1807 to be erected into {
e county(h5) end in 1810 Bedford end Lincoln Counties, which together V
from 1808 until 1810 constituted the originel eree of Bedford County, hed 1
e combined populdtion of 1h,5h6.(h6) lt is probable thet the settlement I
of Bedford County occurred in e north to south end not in en eest to {
west migration. Thet is, the movement into the region of Bedford County 1
wes south from the Cumberlcnd country, rether than southwest from upper 1
Eest Tennessee. It wes not until the decudc 1800-1810 thet the two i
fingers of settlement--one centering in the Cumberlund country end }
developing in ell directions, the other moving west from the north- 1
eastern port of the State-—net.(h7) ,
The first enumerdtion ufter the orgsnizetion of Bedford County, that 1
of 1810, found 8,2hE persons in the county.(h8) To this figure might I
be edded the 6,10h inhebitsnts of Lincoln Couoty,(h9) who were, well 1
into the ycer 1810, residents of Bedford County.(50) During the next E
decade the populution incrcesed to l©,012, und durin; the decude of the fl
eighteen—twenties to 50,59é,(5l) mdking Bedford, in 1850, the stdte's 1
lurgest county, followed by the other basin counties of Duvidson, Ldury,
Willidnson, Rutherford, end Wilson, in thet ordcr.(52) By 18hO, the
populution hed fallen beck to 20,5hé und Bedford hed slipped to eleventh
place nmong the then seventy-one counties of the Stete.(55) 7
M5. Deed Boot, vol. A, p. 1, in Deed Record, entry 107 in this
hh. Goodsp:ed's History, 862.
M5. Acts 1807, ch. 57T—
ho. Twelfth"Census of the United Ststes, 1, 1900, Populution, pt. i, ,
washington, 1901, 5o, L10, he1~e1r·¤s1- creed ls rweireii c‘é?{§5§“F£§Eu11t1O¤.
M7. Preliminury Populution Report, Section I-A, churts 5, h. Between
1795 snd-1800*5 ched the southern border of the
Stute.(lbid., chart. 5) During the decude 1790-1800 the populetion of V
the Stdt$_ihcreesed from 55,791 to 105,602 (Stutisticel View of the I
United Stetes ... Being e Compendium of the Czyenth Census ..75 "`
WEshingt8nT—l85h, EDj“HeFcETEE?'ET¥Ec'Zs`EEh@EHHTEH of the Seventh
g_gps,y_;), und from ieoo to 1810 from 105,6T. 1%; 2Ei, T7T(`fb`iH.5
118. Twelfth Census 1, Populetion, pt. i, 59. "~_”“
lie. 1b1¤1.,L10. ‘
50. K8t€ 1809, Sept. ses., ch. 51, See also *inuter, 1810, county
court cl;;ETs_8ffice, Lincoln County Courthouse, fuyetteville.
51. Twelfth Census, I, Populution, pt. i, 59.
$2. ism., 50, ho. °"
55. lgld., 59. This loss wss of course due to the 1858 pirtitions