About Crockett County
Crockett County consist of five cities: Alamo, Bells, Friendship, Gadsden, Maury City and two communities: Fruitvale and Crockett Mills. Continue below to learn about the history of Crockett County and its towns.
There are few places left in America like this wonderful community in West Tennessee where children still play in their yard and neighbors greet each other on the street and in the local grocery. As you will soon learn, there are a lot of great stories to tell about Crockett County.
Crockett County is located in the heart of West Tennessee. Those familiar with the area say it's just twenty minutes from Jackson or Dyersburg. Others say it's between Humboldt and Brownsville. If none of those places sound familiar, we'll just say it's between Nashville and Memphis. However you say it, folks around here call it home.
The earliest European settlers in Crockett County arrived in the early 1800's. Lured by the rich Delta land, they created West Tennessee's first incorporated town, Cherryville. The area continued to grow and it soon became clear that a new county should be formed.
Taken from four neighboring counties, Crockett was formed in 1871. It's named after the famous Davy Crockett. The county seat, Alamo, is named after the town in Texas where Crockett and many other brave Tennesseans volunteered in the war for Texas independence. Most, like Crockett, did not survive.
Crockett County has an intriguing history, but its future is even more exciting. Located in one of the fastest growing areas of the state, Crockett has much to offer its residents and visitors alike. With a peaceful landscape, pleasant people and positive outlook, Crockett County makes its mark as one of the finest communities in Tennessee.
Crockett's county seat was first incorporated a century and a half ago, in 1855, before the county was officially formed. The town was named Cageville after one of its prominent citizens, Lycurgus Cage. After the county was created in 1871, Cageville was renamed Alamo in honor of the place where Davy Crockett gave his life.
Today Alamo has the largest population of the towns in Crockett County with just over 2,400. The courtsquare, where the county courthouse sits, is an active business area.
The town boasts its own school system and a clean city park, complete with tennis courts and a ballfield. There's also the Crockett Golf & Country Club located nearby for swimming and golfing enthusiasts.
Founded in 1855 and incorporated in 1868, Bells Depot was named after William Bell, who built the first house in the town. Later the name was shortened simply to Bells.
Before Bells was formed, Cherryville, a few miles away on the Forked Deer River, was the main shipping point for the area. William Bell and his brother John are said to have visited Daniel Cherry at his store on the way back from scouting for fertile land to purchase. Cherry told them about "the best land they could want." The brothers bought the 1,000 acres where Bells now stands for $1 per acre.
Bells is the second largest town in Crockett with a population of nearly 2,200. It has its own school system with modern facilities for both the school and city hall.
A vital city, Bells continues to grow. It is home to the county's largest employer and a new speculative building and industrial park.
Recreation is plentiful at the city's ballfield, tennis courts, parks and pool.
Crockett Mills was heavily influenced by founder J.F. Robertson. In 1867, he built a general store which became the start of the town. It was originally named Robertsonville; however, when they applied for a post office, it was discovered that there was already a Robertsonville Post Office in Tennessee.
Because the town had a saw mill, flour mill and handle mill, "Crockett Mills" seemed an appropriate new name.
Mr. Robertson was well known as a generous gentleman of Crockett County. One of his many businesses was the rolling flour mill, which ground a great deal of wheat. The two brands produced were "White Satin" and "The Belle of Crockett."
J.C. Hamlett was a partner in the Robertson & Hamlett Store, which was at the heart of Crockett Mills. He was also known as a valuable member of the community.
The school at Crockett Mills was named after Mr. Robertson and Mr. Hamlett. Today it serves as the Crockett Mills Community Center
Today Crockett Mills is a friendly and well-kept community. In addition to a number of active businesses, it has its own ballfield, saddle club, bank and post office.
Working together, its citizens have turned the old school into a community center which is used by people from all over the county.
The West Tennessee Cotton Festival is held here each August to raise money for the community center. The fair draws visitors from the county, Tennessee, and other states.
Settlers first arrived in the area that is now Friendship in 1824. They set up a saw mill, cotton gin and general store.
In 1844, the government was set to put a post office in the area. At the time, there were two stores and they were doing business about a mile apart from each other. By mutual consent, they split the distance and moved their stores to the site of today's downtown. This act of friendship inspired the town's name.
Friendship was first incorporated in 1859. The town's first school was opened in 1870. Electric power was first sent to residents from a small plant in 1910. And, in 1912, Friendship's first automobile was driven to town.
Today, Friendship continues to be a community that takes pride in its accomplishments. It has a ballfield and city park. The town is also home to Crockett's newest industrial heavyweight, Advantage Manufacturing.
In the early days, Fruitvale was a stopping place on the L & N Railway. It was especially known as an area devoted to small fruits and the tomato industry. The produce grown at that time included asparagus, strawberries, apples, peaches, pears, plums and cherries. In 1903, the town boasted three groceries, a blacksmith, a sawmill, a shipping agent, and a telegraph office that was open during June and July for the shipping season.
Today, Fruitvale is still a center for agricultural excellence. Today, cotton is king, as in the rest of Crockett. But you can still find more fruit here than anywhere else in the county. Among the goodies that hungry consumers look forward to are peaches, muskadines and apples in season.
Gadsden is the historical site of the first large scale strawberry growing operation in the state of Tennessee. The town was incorporated in 1867. A 1903 business directory lists 6 groceries, 1 druggist, 3 doctors, 1 blacksmith, 1 barber, a livery stable, a harness ship, a hotel, 1 undertaker, 3 pastors, and a depot agent for the L&N (Louisville & Nashville) railroad.
Today with a ballfield, city park and nearby Davy Crockett Lake, Gadsden residents have always found it a pleasant place to live.
Located on Highway 70/79, it may be one of the first towns in Crockett to experience significant expansion due to the growth of Jackson's population. Already, several new homes have gone up near the Madison COunty line and more are expected.
Maury CIty was established in 1876 and incorporated in 1911; however, its history dates back to the early 1800's. In 1825, according to the best available information, the territory of what is now Crockett County did not have even one religious organization or church building. At that time, the circuit rider of Jackson Methodist Church began to preach, by appointment, once every four weeks in a home near the present location of the town. In 1830, the county's second regular meeting house of worship was erected and shared by all the denominations in the area.
Today, Maury City has two schools, a primary and an elementary school, a ballfield, city park and tennis courts for recreation. The town also boasts its own medical clinic. With the completion of the expanded Highway 412, Maury City is poised for growth. The town's government has made positive steps to take advantage of the new highway and create economic and community expansion.
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