Robertson County Tennessee
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Springfield Robertson County, Tennessee


Springfield, the County seat, was founded in 1798, on a tract of sixty acres of land, donated by Archer Cheatham and Thomas Johnson, Sr., and named for the many springs which broke out on the town site. The town is pleasantly located on the south side of Sulphur Fork of Red River, in a high and rolling, healthy and fertile section, near the geographical center of the County, and about 30 miles north-west from Nashville. The first settlers in Springfield were Archer Cheatham, John Hutchison, Thomas Dickson, Jonathan Ferguson and Thomas Johnson. Corneal Cheatham was a farmer, hotel keeper, and land speculator. 'Squire Hutchison was a hotel keeper at an early day in the town, but whether he oi* Cheatham was first, is not now known. He subsequently held sundry offices of trust in the County. Mr. Dickson was a one legged man, and a farmer by occupation. John Ferguson was a hatter, the first in the place. Dr. Levi Noyes was the first physician to locate in Springfield, about 1802. He was succeeded by Dr. Archibald Thomas. The Martin Brothers were the first merchants in the town, beginning business about 1800. James McMeans was the first attorney at this bar, about 1811. Springfield grew very slowly, and as a consequence the educational facilities were meager. The first school was taught here by Avery Clark, about the year 1809. The first postmaster was Nicholas Conrad, who was among the first merchants, at an early date, but the exact time cannot now be ascertained. The Methodists erected the first church in the place, about 1822, and the Rev. William Peters was the first pastor to preach in it. Previous to this the Court house had been occupied by the ministers of all denominations.

Springfield was incorporated in 1853, and Eaton A. Williams elected the first mayor. The first newspaper the "Cumberland Presbyterian'' published in the County was issued in 1839, Rev. David R. Harris, editor and proprietor. It was a religious paper, devoted to the interests of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and was subsequently removed to Lebanon, Tennessee; thence to Nashville. The first bank, Springfield National Bark was established in 1872; capital, $60,000; John Woodard, President. Springfield is directly connected with Nashville and St. Louis by the St. Louis & South-eastern Railroad, constructed in 1857-S, and with other points by its connections.

Springfield has grown but slowly, the construction of the St. L. & S. E. Railroad connecting it with Nashville and St. Louis having but little effect upon its growth. It has never suffered severely from fire, only a few houses having been burned. It is now in its most prosperous period, building up slowly but substantially. Her business men have generally been successful, and the credit of her merchants as good as in most of her sister towns. She has a number of handsome private residences, as well as public buildings.

Springfield has now 4 dry goods stores, 8 grocery stores, 3 drug stores, 1 furniture store, G saloons, 2 millinery shops, 1 undertaker, 1 silversmith, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 wagon shop, 2 livery stables, 3 hotels, 2 shoe and boot shops, 3 saddler and harness shops, 2 steam flour-mills, 1 tobacco warehouse, 4 wholesale whisky houses; 3 schools, with six teachers and about 160 pupils; 3 churches, Methodist, Baptist, and Cumberland Presbyterian; 1 colored school, with 1 teacher and about 50 pupils; 2 colored churches, Methodist and Baptist; 5 preachers, 4 physicians, 12 lawyers; 1 newspaper, Springfield Record; postal, express, and telegraphic facilities; and a population of about 1,000, of which about one-fourth are colored.

Courthouse. The first Courthouse was a log building, 18x18 feet, covered with boards. It was the "temple of Justice" until 1819, when the present Courthouse, an old fashioned brick building, 40x10 feet, with court room below and Sheriff and Clerk's offices above.

Jails. Robertson County has had three jails, one wooden, one brick, and one stone, the latter very substantial, with nice brick apartments for Jailor.

Robertson County | AHGP Tennessee

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Source: American Historical Magazine, Volume V, No. 1, editor W. R. Garrett, Peabody Normal College, Nashville, Tennessee, 1900.


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