GOING BACK TO TIME Jackson and Madison Tn.

Going back in time ..Jackson/Madison Tn

d n english

From a journal of an explorer that came down the Hatchie River in the 18th century “as we came down the River at night we heard the sounds of the wolves, the scream of the big cats the Indian guide said that the  big black cats called panthers. He went on to say there were  bears in the woods this is why he did not encourage us to tie up at the banks at night.”

West Tennessee was untamed territory with wild animals and of course Indians that were not thrilled to see the settlers.

We know there were families who had settled on land around Madison Co.before the territory was a State.

Let’s start in 1821 when the State General Assembly created a new county in the middle of the Western District. This county was named Madison after James Madison. In Madison there was a settlement called Alexandria on the banks of the Forked Deer River. This settlement was named for Adam Alexander, the registrar of deeds for the territory. Settlers were drawn to the land because of the timber. It is reported the first settlers paid .50 an acre for land.

In 1822 it was decided there was a need for a County Seat for this new government. The “founding fathers” decided to create the “town ”  two miles east of Alexandria away from the river.

After obtaining the land the powers that be set aside four acres for the public square and a plot for a jail. The remaining

10 plus lots were sold on August 1 and 2nd  then on August 17,1822  a town was created. The General Assembly changed the name from Alexandria  to Jackson in honor of Andrew Jackson.

Jackson ‘s first courthouse was built on the east corner of the pubic square. The courthouse had a dirt floor, at one side was a Judge’s bench. The walls were made of board with mud as mortar. The chimney was made of stick and mud the cost of construction $135.00. As the town grew the Courthouse was replaced with two story brick building that was repositioned in the center of the lot. The first jail was built by Thomas Shannon in 1822 south of the courthouse for $95.00.

The first newspaper in Madison Co.  was the Pioneer followed by the Gazette .

(More facts to follow.. 73 year old eyes are tired..)

Research from the JMCL 


Yes, Mr Billy I know Denmark was larger than Jackson at one time.

part 2

In 1867 the City of Jackson was incorporated. In 1872 the first gas company was established. The first method of sending gas was hollowed out logs. In 1873 the gas house exploded soon it was rebuilt and iron pipes replaced the logs. In 1875 the gas company was closed down because of the flood. Once again the pipes were replace soon the gas lights were on downtown and through the city. Yes ,we did have a gentleman that went around lighting the street lights.

.In 1883 the federal government purchased the lot at the corner of Market (Highland) and Baltimore to build a state of the art postal center.

The first telephone service was established in Jackson in 1884 (Jackson Telephone Service) just 8 years after the invention of the telephone. The first telephone operators were men in 1884 there only 20 families that had the service.

In 1887 the first electrical plant was built. The started out with 200 customers in the downtown area . In 1888 with 27 wells with 2 powerful pumps were furnishing Jackson with running water. Soon indoor plumbing was being installed in some of the fine homes and businesses in Jackson.

In 1890 the first horse drawn fire truck was put into service. In 1897 horse drawn street cars were replaced by electric streetcar. There was an uproar by the ladies who just knew the electrified street cars with there rails and wires would sent out a signal and kill all all the flowers in their front yards.Of course it did not and the street cars were enjoyed by all.

In 1900 Jackson was a “hub” of activity with all their beautiful parks, beautiful hotels, the new routes of the rail lines, public utilities and public transportation. The city of Jackson was growing.

Research from the JMCL


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