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Weakley County History

Early Settlers and Civil War Times

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Weakley county was ceded to the white settlers from the Chickasaw Indians (Jackson Purchase of 1819), who were the prominent tribe in Western Tennessee. The Indians used this land, which was very fertile, for their hunting grounds.

The first settlers in the  county were Ruben Edmonston, who settled near Mud Creek at the Edmonston settlement, and his brother-in-law, John Bradshaw and family, who settled near the present site of Dresden. Mr. Bradshaw built the first log cabin in the county, and he also raised the first patch of corn. These families were firmly established by the fall of 1819.

Settlers southeast on upper Spring Creek were Thomas Osborne, A. Denning, Isaac Crew, Robert Gilbert, Jonathan Gilbert, James and Alfred Smith, William Hamilton, Francis Liddle, John O'Neal, James Kennedy and Tilghman Johnson.

At the approach of the Civil War, a majority of the people were opposed to secession, but after the "dogs of war had been let loose" the majority sympathized with the southern cause, although a minority remained steadfast with the Union.

A Federal Army under Gen. Smith encamped a few days at Dresden and foraged heavily on the citizens of the area. Guerilla bands and bushwhackers infested the County during the war, and did much more damage than either of the armies. The guerillas frequently made their headquarters in the Courthouse. Some 10 or 20 people lost their lives in Dresden and vicinity at the hands of outlaws.

A fair estimate would show that Weakley County furnished 1,100 men to the Confederate Army and 400 for the Federal Army.


Shoe Store: "Uncle Dick Dunlap"


Once located in the building where the bank is now and later in Albert Trevathan's store under the hotel.

The history of the Gleason community provided in Oakwood-Gleason: A Look Back provides an account of Gleason's history up through the time the book was originally published. As some 20 years have now passed since its publication, Gleason Online is providing a "History Update" feature, for each section of the book, for those wishing to add important historical information relevant to the Gleason community. Contributions can be submitted via E-mail attachment by clicking on the "Website Visitor Comments" graphic, provided above.



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