215 East Main St.  |   P.O. Box 177  |  Linden, TN 37096
   (931) 589-2453  |  (931) 589-2585 Fax

Perry County History


There is a very little to be said about the first settlers, as authenticated records are scarce. It is to be assumed they were of Scotch-Irish heritage. Early settlements were established in valleys along watercourses, the first known ones being located on Tom’s Creek. There is no account of settlements prior to 1818, but it is evident that a number of individuals were in the area before that date.

The settlers of Hickman and Humphreys Counties petitioned the state government for the creation of a new county and Perry County, named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a Naval Officer and hero in the War of 1812, was created by the Tennessee General Assembly on November 14, 1819. This land area included nearly all of Decatur County.

Soon after communities were thriving throughout Perry County. The town of Linden was established as the county seat in 1848. Britt’s Landing was the focal point for the peanut industry. Near the mouth of Cedar Creek, Wallace Dixon erected an iron furnace. The town of Lobelville was established as a Post Village in 1854.

The Civil War impacted Perry County in much the same way as the rest of the United States east of the Mississippi in that the local population experienced division in sentiment to both the Union and the Confederacy. When Tennessee seceded from the Union, the county first organized about six hundred Confederate troops. Later two hundred men joined the Union Army. In 1863 one hundred twenty Confederate soldiers had command of the post of Linden. In May of 1863 Union gunboats ferried a force of Calvary to the eastern shore of the Tennessee River. The Calvary attacked the town of Linden at dawn and burned the courthouse. There were also isolated skirmishes around Lobelville and Beardstown in 1864. After the Civil War, citizens resumed making a living based primarily on farming, logging, fishing, trading, and retailing.

From the era of Reconstruction through the Great Depression, there was little change in economic opportunities until construction of dams on the Tennessee River through the 1930’s and early 40’s which brought electrical power and flood control to the Tennessee valley.

Perry Countians, like the rest of America have persevered through World Wars I & II, Korea and Vietnam , and now the Gulf Wars. We are proud of our heritage of service.

We invite you to explore our history as you explore our county! For more information on Perry County history contact:

Perry County Historical Society
C/O Perry County Library
Route 10 Box 3-A, Linden, TN 37096
Phone# 931/589-5011, Fax-same

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