The Cannon County, Tennessee Genealogy Project

~ Cannon County Gazetteer  ~

Communities: Past & Present*


Amity Auburntown Berra Bear Wallow Bethlehem Blanton
Bluewing Brady's Rock Bradyville  Braxton Browntown Brysonville
Burgen Burt Carman Cateston Center Hill Clearmont
Crisp Crossroads Culpepper Curlee-Denver Elkins Gassaway
Geedville Gilley Hill Half Acre Hardscrabble Hollow Springs Hopewell
Iconium Ivy Bluff Jernigan Jimtown Jones's Chapel Leoni
McMahan Manus Town Mechanicsville Moore Town Mt. Ararat  Mud College
Negro Gull New Hope Old Macedonia Osment Chapel Parker Hill Petty's Gap
Pleasant Ridge Pleasant View Porterfield Prater Prospect Rabbit Bluff
Readyville Red Hill Robinson Rocky Point Sheybogan Simmon's Chapel
Smith's Grove Sugar Tree Knob Summertown Talome Thomas Town Thyatira
Tolbertsville Tucker's Chapel Woods Woodbury
 

Churches: Past and Present

Baptist Methodist Church Of Christ Seventh Day Adventists
Church Of God Nazarene Presbyterians Jehovah's Witnesses

COMMUNITIES: PAST & PRESENT

  AMITY :

Amity is located on Highway 53, about 7.5 miles south of Woodbury. It was named in 1939 when the Kruthaup family founded a Presbyterian church there. Presbyterian services were discontinued in 1963. Today, the building is used by a Baptist congregation. The place has a cemetery and a store. A Church of Christ is located about a half mile away.

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AUBURNTOWN:

Auburntown is a village of about 300 people located in the extreme northwestern section of the county, where Marshall Creek flows into Sanders Fork. The first known building there was the Sanders Fork Baptist Church, built in 1822 when the town was known as Poplar Stand. The name was changed to Auburn a year later and remained so until 1919 when the post office was re-established as Auburntown so as to avoid conflict with threee other Auburns. In 1850, Auburn had three Blacksmiths (Francis Cooper, William Thomas, and C. B. Summars), a tailor (William Cummings, and a merchant (A. N. Fisher). It also had a saloon By 1874, Auburn was a post village, and had two or three stores, a school, and two or three churches. During the Civil War the town was on the direct military route between the Union forces at Murfreesboro and the Confederate forces of John Hunt at Liberty.

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BERRA:

Berra was once the site of a school and a church, on the upper reaches of Hollis Creek.   the school and the church were moved one mile downstream to a place named Sunny Slope, on the road to Woodbury. The school was discontinued with the consolidation of the county school program. The church is still there.

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BETHLEHEM:

Bethlehem is the site of a Church of Christ, on Horse Spring Branch, about one mile east of Burt.

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BLANTON:

Blanton was the site of a school on Good Ridge between Osment's Chapel and the mouth of Shinbone Hollow at Prater.

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BLUEWING:

Bluewing is five miles east of Woodbury on Highway US 70 South and two miles southeast of Center Hill. It was settled by William West .

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BRADY'S ROCK:

Brady's Rock is on the east side of Carson Fork, about one mile east of Burt, on a farm. During the Civil War, both Union and Rebel troops used the rock as a camp ground from time to time. It was named for a wandering preacher named Brady who preached there the first Christian Church sermon in the county. The rock had nearly disappeared under dirt and overgrowth.

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BRADYVILLE:

Bradyville is a village 11 miles southeast of Woodbury. It is about three miles from the original Sagely House. In 1806, Rutherford County built a road from Cripple Creek up the East Fork of Stones River to Hugh P. Brawleys mill on the Indian boundary line. Somewhat latter, it had another mill, run by Slias Patton, and a school. By the middle 1800's, the village and it's environs had 6 blacksmiths, 4 merchants, a wheelwright, two millers, and one of the largest schools in the County. The village saw considerable activity during the Civil War, being one of the strategic points in the Confederate line of defense while the Confederate army was encamped at Tullahoma in 1863. Skirmishes were fought there on February 16, March 1, and June 24 in 1863.

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BRAXTON:

Braxton was 4 miles west of Woodbury, on Highway U.S. 70 South. In the 1920's, it had a bank and a store, but both fell victims to the depression. Nothing of Braxton exists today except the name, applied to a small farm at the site.

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BROWNTOWN (CRISP):

Browntown was in the extreme Southeastern section of the county, near the Warren County line. It was named for a BROWN family who had considerable land holdings there before the Civil War. After the war, the former family slaves continued to live in the area and called their community Browntown. The place latter became known as Crisp, after a man who gave them land for a Church. Before desegregation and consolidation of schools, one of the counties three schools for blacks was located there. Today, it only has the Church.

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BRYSONVILLE:

Brysonville was located at the mouth of Bryson Hollow near Dividing Ridge on Saunders Fork. A post office was located there from the 1880's to about 1905.

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BURGEN:

Burgen use to be the site of a store, which was discontinued around 1950. The general area, still called Burgen, is on the upper reaches of Carson's Fork on a road which forks to lead to Parker Hill and Hollow Springs on the Highland Rim. The place was named for Burger Shelton who operated a store there.

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BURT:

Burt is a hamlet on Carson's Fork and Horse Spring Branch in the Southwestern part of the county, about 8 miles from Woodbury and three miles northeast of Bradyville. The Brawley's Fork Baptist Church (later Marion) established in 1808 was relocated there in 1907. Until recently, the place had a general store and a school. It was named for Burton McFerrin, who at one time ran a store there.

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CARMAN:

Carman was a telephone exchange located inside the community of Ivy Bluff from 1915 to 1953.

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CATESTON:

Cateston is located about a mile and a half south of US 70 South, on the road to Bradyville. It was named for J.M.D. Cates, a local Baptist minister who lived there from the 1840's to the 1880's. Cates founded the Marion Academy there in 1850, which did not survive the Civil War. Brawleys Fork Baptist Church we relocated there from Baker Road in the 1850's, and latter relocated to Burt. The only remains of the town are a store and the Cateston Cemetery.

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CENTER HILL:

Center Hill, which has no hill, is located on the Highland Rim some three miles south of Short Mountain, two miles northeast of Bluewing, and about a mile from the heads of Parchorn and Shinbone Hollows. It has two churches, a store and a small clothing factory. It had at one time also a school.

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CLEARMONT:

Clearmont was the site of a water powered gristmill just off the Ivy Bluff Road from US70 South.

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CROSSROADS (Tucker's Chapel):

Located at the East end of the East spur of Short Mountain at the intersection of Blues Hill and Purser Hill roads, Crossroads was at one time home to the Tucker's Chapel Methodist Church and a school.

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CULPEPPER:

Located about 4 miles North of Woodbury on US 70 at the mouth of Lock's Creek, Culpepper was once the home of the Readyville school. At one point it had a post office, and a toll booth from the old Woodbury - Murfeesboro turnpike.

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CURLEE-DENVER:

Located on Brawley's fork, about halfway between US 70 South and Bradyville. It was named for Calvin Curlee, who built the Christian Church at this location after breaking with the Baptists of Brawley's Fork. The name Denver comes from a general store at this location. Both the Church and store are still standing.

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ELKINS:

          Located on US 70 South, about 4 miles east of Woodbury, this is the location of a former school and a
          church (which is still there).

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GASSAWAY:

        Gassaway is located on the Clear Fork Creek (right before it joins the Cannell Branch) just off
        the road to Liberty about eight miles Northeast of Woodbury. Named in 1880 for the Benjamin
        Gassaway family who settled the area, when a Post Office was opened there. The small
        downtown has a general store (still in operation), the old Melton Bank Building, a church and
        several other buildings that are no longer in use. At one point there was a high school located
        there which was closed after a fire in the 1970's.

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GEEDVILLE:

        Geedville was the name applied to a school situated on the Highland Rim, about 4 miles south on highway
        70 South near the Warren County line, in the southeastern part of the county. It is on a road between Red
        Hill and McMahan.

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GILLEY HILL:

        Gilley Hill is on a ridge between the Highland Rim and the hills, about a mile west of Hollow Springs, just
        before the road to Bradyville takes a dip down the Shelton Branch. It has a church and a cemetery.

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HALF ACRE (Mechanicsville):

       Located on the Highland Rim in the extreme northeastern section of the county, at the base of the east spur
       of Short Mountain and on Smithville road, Half Acre or Mechanicsville was a site of Methodist camp
       meetings in the early 1800's. In the 1850's, it had a wagon maker, two or three stores, a gristmill, a saddle
       shop, a tannery, and three or four blacksmiths. During the Civil War, it was on a direct line of military
       communication between McMinnville and Liberty and also the home and sanctuary for a gang of guerrillas
       headed by Hiram Taylor (Pomp) Kersey and Jack Neely.

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HARDSCRABBLE:

       Hardscrabble is at the mouth of Bryson Hollow on the upper reaches of Sanders' Fork.
       It is the site of the Sanders' Fork Baptist Church and about a mile south of the Shiloh Baptist Church.
       When a post office was established there in the 1880's, it took the name of Brysonville.

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HOLLOW SPRINGS:

      Hollow Springs is south of Woodbury, near the Coffee County Line and on the Highland Rim east of Gilley
      Hill. It has two churches, a store, and a sawmill and at one time a school.

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HOPEWELL:

      Hopewell is on the headwaters of Brawley's Fork, two miles south of Bradyville. It is the site of
      Hopewell Church and at one time had a school.

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ICONIUM:

     Iconium is on the Highland Rim just above the headwaters of Hill's Creek. It is on or near the route
     of the Old Stage Road, built in 1811. The name Iconium is fairly new and was given a church there when its
     name was changed from Woods' Church in 1927. In the 1930's, Iconium had a store, a church and a
     school.

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IVY BLUFF:

     Ivy Bluff is situated on the Highland Rim in the extreme southeastern section of the county, near the Warren
     and Coffee county lines. It was the center of Methodist activity in the first half of the 1800s. In the 1930s, it
     had two churches, a store, a sawmill, and a school.

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JERNIGAN:

     Jernigan was in the extreme southwestern part of the county, on Dug Hollow road between
     Bradyville and Beech Grove and near the Rutherford County line. At one time it was the site of a school.
 

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JIMTOWN

    Jim Town was located in the southwestern part of the county near Burt on Horse Spring Branch and near
    Bethleham Branch which was located upstream. It was named for Jim Jamerson who operated a legal still
    there in the 1890s.
 
 

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JONES'S CHAPEL:

     Jone's Chapel was on Dividing Ridge, about five miles north of Woodbury and between the headwaters of
     Hurricane Creek to the north and Doolittle Branch to the south. It is used to have a church and school,
     meeting in the same building.

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LEONI (formerly Bear Wallow):

     Leoni is on Highway U.S. 70 South, six miles east of Woodbury. It is the site of a church and cemetery and at
     one time had a school.

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McMAHAN:

     McMahan is on the Highland Rim in the southeastern section of the county, on McMahan Creek,
     and two miles north of Ivy Bluff. It got its name from a church which is still there and at one time had a
     school.

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MANUS TOWN:

     Manus Town was a community along a one and one half mile stretch of road and woods between Bluewing
     and Iconium. It was mostly peopled by Manuses and Davises, families who made chairs and baskets and
     sold them to local stores and peddlers. The town is no longer there.

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MT. ARARAT (Pea Ridge):

     Mt. Ararat is a small community strung along Pea Ridge north of the west spur of Short Mountain near the
     DeKalb county line. It now only has a church.

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MUD COLLEGE:

     Mud College was at the base of the north side of the west spur of Short Mountain, on a
     road leading around the mountain from Halfacre to Sugar Tree Knob. It acquired its name when it was a
     subscription school. Later, when it became a county school, it retained the name. It is no longer there.

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NEGRO GULL:

     Negro Gull, was a little southeast of Center Hill. It got its name from a family of freed slaves
     from Virginia named Sandridge who bought 1200 acres of land from William Bates in the early 1930s and
     settled on it near a spring. A member of the family, William Hulda (who later called himself William
     Houchin), became one of the richest businessmen and greatest benefactors of McMinnville and Warren
     County in the late 1800s.  The spring came to be known as Houchin Spring.

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NEW HOPE:

     New Hope is the site of a church one mile east of Readyville, on Highway U.S. 70 South.

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OLD MACEDONIA:

     Old Macedonia was a school located where the Highland Rim joins the hills about two and one half miles
     south of Sheybogan (Mooretown) on the road to Hollow Springs.

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OSMENT CHAPEL:

     Osment Chapel was a site of a church on the Highland Rim and on the road from Half Acre to Center Hill. It
     was named for the Osment family, who established it.

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PARKER HILL:

     Parker Hill is nine miles south of Woodbury, at the western edge of the Highland Rim, where the hills begin. It
     has a store and used to have a school.

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PETTY'S GAP:

     Petty's Gap is on the Highland Rim at the head of Horse Spring Branch, south of Woodbury, and a little west
     of Sheybogan. It is on an old road to McMinnville.

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PLEASANT RIDGE:

     Pleasant Ridge, formerly known as Mt. Pleasant is on the Dividing Ridge at the heads of Cavender,
     Rockhouse, Cannell, Sycamore, and Hurricane branches.

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PLEASANT VIEW:

     Pleasant View is on the Highland Rim, eight miles southeast of Woodbury and two and a half miles south of
     Highway U.S. 70 South.  In the 1930's, it had a gristmill, a store, two churches, and a school.

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PORTERFIELD:

     Porterfield is in the extreme western part of the county, on the Rutherford-Cannon County line. Although the
     area saw early settlement, the place did not receive the name until a post office was established there in the
     late 1800s.

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PRATER:

     Prater is a good example of what happened to many of the original hamlets in the county. It thrived for a time
     and vanished. Prater is located about half way between Woodbury and Short Mountain, near the mouth of
     Shinbone Hollow (formerly called Elledge Hollow). It was on Stone's River Road, the first road built into the
     future county. Prater ceased to exist in the 1930s, after the state and county built a road that no longer
     required the traveler to cross the river 19 times between Woodbury and Short Mountain.

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PROSPECT:

     Prospect was on Hill's Creek, about half way between Woodbury in the hills and Iconium on the Rim. It got its
     name from the old Prospect Methodist Church established there in the early 1800s. The Old Stage Road ran
     by or down Prospect in 1811. The church has long since vanished.

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RABBIT BLUFF:

     Rabbit Bluff was at the confluence of Wilmouth Creek and Turkey Branch, about half way between Sugar
     Tree Knob and Gassaway. It was the site of Rabbit Bluff school.
 
 

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READYVILLE:

     Readyville is on the Stone's River, six miles west of Woodbury, on the Rutherford-Cannon County line. It
     was, in succession, on the Stone's River Road (built in 1806), the Old Stage Road (built in 1811), the
     Murfreesboro-Woodbury Turnpike (built in the 1850s), and Highway U.S. 70 South (built in 1923-24). It is
     probably the oldest village in the county, antedating Woodbury, being settled as early 1802.  Charles Ready
     built a gristmill on the river bank across from his house. In 1829 he built a large colonial brick house and the
     house and his gristmill are still standing.

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RED HILL:

     It is on the Highland Rim, where there's no hill at all, on the road between Sheybogan and Geedville. In 1921,
     it had a church, a store, and a school.

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ROBINSON:

     Robinson is on Robinson Ridge in the Tennessee Basin Divide between the Cumberland River
     watershed and the Duck River watershed. It is near the site of the vanished Old Fort Nash established in
    1784 by North Carolina to help protect the Cumberland Settlements. There is only a cemetery there now.

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ROCKY POINT:

     Rocky Point was situated in the southwestern part of the county on a rocky knoll where Duck Branch joins
     Carson's Fork. A Methodist church was established there, probably in the 1830s or 1840s.

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SHEYBOGAN (Mooretown, Smith's Grove):

     Sheybogan, Mooretown, and Smith's Grove -- all of these names refer to just about the same place. It is four
     miles south of Woodbury, on the HIghland Rim where it joins the hills of the Central Basin.
 
 

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SIMMONS CHAPEL:

     Simmons Chapel is on the Highland Rim at the edge of the hills, between Sheybogan and Hollow Springs. It
     is the site of a church.

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SUGAR TREE KNOB:

     Sugar Tree Knob is located a mile or so from the western foot of the wets spur of Short Mountain. On the
     narrow ridge between the knob and the mountain is a church, once called Acre Church, but now called Sugar
     Tree Knob Church.

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SUMMERTOWN (Springtown):

     Summertown was a short row of houses on Sycamore Creek, about one mile west of Sycamore Church.

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TALOME:

     Talome was located about half way up Rockhouse, a south flowing branch into the Stone's River
     from Dividing Ridge which separates it by a few yards from the head of Cannel Branch, flowing north toward
     Gassaway.

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THOMAS TOWN:

     Thomas Town was a community without a store, blacksmith shop, school, church, or any other community
     service, along a one mile strip of ridge road between Center Hill and the head of Parchcorn Hollow. It was
     peopled by Thomas's, who like the Mansus's and Advis's of Manus Town, made baskets and chairs and
     sold them in the local markets. The town has disappeared.

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THYARITA:

    Thyarita is located a little north and west of Bradyville, near the Rutherford County line. It was the site of the
    Thyatira Presbyterian Church. The church is no longer there and the name is now applied to the
    cemetery.

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TOLBERTSVILLE:

     Tolbertsville was a community made up mostly of Tolberts who lived in Tolbert Hollow on the headwaters of
     Brawley's Fork in the extreme southwestern part of the county, just north of the Cannon-Coffee County line.
     It existed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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WOODS:

     Woods is located on the Highland Rim directly on the north side of the head of Dug Hollow of the East Fork of
     Stone's River. For long, it had a school as well as a church, in the same building.

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WOODBURY:

     Woodbury is the only town in the county. It was originally called Danville but was renamed Woodbury soon
     after Cannon County was authorized in 1836. It is located on the South side of Stone's River near the center
     of Cannon County. U.S. Highway 70S runs directly through Woodbury. In 1886, the population of Woodbury
     had grown to about 600 people and remained nearly constant until about 1940. Since then it has increased to
     2,000.+ It has one radio station, WBRY, and a weekly newspaper, The Cannon Carrier.

 

 

* gleanings from "History of Cannon County, Tennessee"  1984 Robert L. Mason  and
"History of Woodbury and Cannon County, Tennessee"  1936 Sterling Spurlock Brown

 

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