Question. Where were the Ferries in Madison Co.
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One of the Joneses built the first ferry, called Jones’ Ferry, on South Fork, within the limits of the county, in 1820-21. This was west of Jackson. A ferry was established on South Fork, at Shannon’s Landing, by Thomas Shannon, in 1822, also one on South Fork, by J. G. Caruthers, in the same year. A ferry was established by John Murray, on the Hatchie, on his lands, in 1822, and one at Hatchie Bluff, by Wilson Jones. Ordinaries were opened by John Beding and Robert H. Dyer at their respective houses in 1822. The privilege of keeping an ordinary implied the privilege of selling liquors. Trade was carried on by wagon from Nashville or by keel-boats, by way of the Forked Deer River.
These boats brought flour, meat, coffee, sugar, domestics, etc., and carried away produce of various kinds. Barney Mitchell was for a long time owner of the principal line of boats. Newson perhaps brought the first boat, as he is known to have navigated South Fork in the spring of’ 1822. The corn crop of 1821 did not mature well, in consequence of which most of the bread stuff of that year had to be imported. It may proper to remark here that little of Madison County’s great staple cotton was raised during the first decade of its history, from the fact that it did not mature well. The virgin soil kept it growing too late without forcing it to maturity.