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80 Years Ago

Archives 08-06-2003

70 Years Ago


July 29, 1933 to August 4, 1933
70 Years Ago In Overton County
(from the files of the Overton County Library)

For more information on 70 years ago contact Bob at bobncl@hotmail.com



Livingston will celebrate its 100th birthday next Thursday, which will mark a century of progress, since the day Jess Eldridge turned some horses out and allowed Livingston to be voted county seat of Overton County.

From a wild, mountainous country, Livingston and vicinity has turned into one of the garden spots of the world, where every resource known to the mind of man is abundant.

The beginning of Livingston dates back to August 10, 1833, when Joseph and Amber Gore deeded 40 acres of land to the following commissioners for the town of Livingston: Jonathan Douglas, John Copeland, Adam Gardenshire, Henderson Bates, Jacob Smelser, John B. Murphy, and John Jackson. The consideration was $200.

The commissioners laid off the town into 128 lots, all of which were sold except one, located at Big Spring. A lot 298 feet square was reserved for the court house and public square.

A post office was established December 11, 1833, and was named Overton. William B. Miller was appointed postmaster.

Livingston was named for Edgar Livingston, a native of New York, but who moved to New Orleans, LA, in 1804. When Jackson fought his great battle there, Livingston served as an aide on his staff. In 1833, he was appointed minister to France. With the founding of Livingston and the establishment of a post office, Livingston grew and soon became the county seat of government, which was located at Monroe.

An election was called in 1835 to determine the desires of the voters in the matter. The election carried by four votes to move the seat of government to Livingston, and by an Act of the General Assembly, Livingston was made the county seat of Overton County.

A small brick courthouse was erected on the site of the present courthouse and a jail was built on the lot just north of the present post office. In 1857 or 1858, the first courthouse was torn down and a larger two-story brick structure was erected. This building was destroyed by a fire near the close of war between the states, by a small band of the Confederate soldiers under John Francis.

At a session of County Court in January 1868, a contract was let to William E. Upton to the jail building for a sum of $1,602.

The present courthouse was built in 1868-69 by Joseph Copeland for the sum of $9,999. The building of the railroad from Algood to Livingston in 1905 made the town a shipping center for a large territory and furnished a means of transportation for large boundaries of timber, making Livingston a famous lumber manufacturing center. Staves, heading, poles, handles, golf sticks, and rough and dressed lumber were shipped in abundance. Many of the handles were exported to European countries.

Today, Livingston is a thriving town with a population of approximately 1,500. Paved highways head in all directions. An excellent water system was installed in 1931 at a cost of about $60,000 and a fire department added at a cost of $6,000.

Livingston Academy is one of the best high schools in the state and the grammar school is one of the best.










Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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