Brief History of Lynchburg, Moore County, Tennessee

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Thomas Roundtree, who lived in the log house on the lot where Dr. E. Y. Salmon now resides, was the original proprietor of the lands on which Lynchburg is located. He laid out the town about the year 1818, and, as the famous beech tree, used as a lynching post, where early offenders were punished, stood over the spring near his house, he very appropriately named the town Lynchburg. Lots were laid out and numbered on the street south of the court house and sold at public sale; but, no records having been preserved, it is impossible to give date of sale and names of purchasers. For the early settlement of the town and its first business interest, the reader is referred to “early settlements.” It being a rural town, without an outlet for its commerce, its growth has been generally slow. Lynchburg was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly of the State, at its session in 1841-42.

The charter was amended in 1872, by the Chancery Court of Moore County, in conformity with an act of 1870-71, Chapter 54, Section 1, and following, it was so amended as to confer all the rights and privileges, powers and immunities conferred upon municipal corporations, from Sections 1358 to 1399 inclusive, of Thomson and Steger’s Code. The early ordinances and record of proceedings of the municipal authorities were destroyed in the fire of 1883. The revised ordinances, now in force, were adopted January 12, 1885, and published in the Falcon of January 16, 1885. Within a few years, about the time of the organization of Moore County, the population of Lynchburg more than doubled. The fact of its becoming a county seat gave it an impetus to improve. In 1874 it contained five dry goods houses, whose signs read Parks, Eaton & Co., Hiles & Alexander, J. L. Bryant & Co., D. B. Holt, M. N. Moore & Co.; one drug store, Salmon & Frost; three drinking saloons;. two good flouring mills, under the firm names of Hiles & Berry, Womack, Dance & Co.; two planing mills, Spencer & Co. and Bobo & Steagall; one tannery, by M. L. Parks; the boot and shoe shop of M. T. Allen; the saddle and harness factory of Stafford & Cummins; one cooper shop, by Colsher Brothers; a tin shop; two wagon shops, and three blacksmith shops.

In December 1883, a fire broke out, which consumed a large portion of the town, including the old Christian Church, then owned and used by the county as a court house. The town has been rebuilt and the business reestablished. In 1867 Womack, Dance & Co. erected a cotton mill with a capacity of over 300 spindles. It required about a dozen hands to run it, and did a flourishing business until 1870, when it burned down. Then in 1871 the flouring mills now owned by Dance & Waggoner were erected on the same site.

Dr. S. E. H. Dance commenced the practice of medicine here in 1856, and still continues. And Dr. E. Y. Salmon, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work, began practicing here in 1857. Dr. J. N. Taylor began the practice in April 1872, and is still in practice.


History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of from Twenty-Five to Thirty Counties of East Tennessee. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1887.

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