Livingston Tennessee in 1933

In the early 1930's, a fellow in Livingston by the name of Hugh Hankins printed a publication he called "Reminder." A mimeograph machine was used for the printing. The copy I saw consisted of two legal size pages. Information across the top of that issue indicates it was published every Tuesday and Friday. Mrs. Nola Mae Needham saved a copy dated August 4, 1933, and has graciously given me permission to use it this week for my journal entry.

Mr. Hugh Hankins was the son of Millard H. Hankins and wife Maude Hankins, owners of the Hankins Hotel in Livingston. That hotel once stood in the area of the Community Center and was known earlier as The Commercial Hotel. The August 4, 1933 issue of Mr. Hankinsí paper has a headline that reads "To Celebrate 100 Birthday of Livingston on August 10." With Overton Countyís 200th birthday coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to use information from Mr. Hankinsí paper since it contains a lot of historical facts about the Town of Livingston. It reads as follows:

"Once upon a time there were two brothers named Ambrose and Joseph Gore. The two brothers, after serving their country in the Revolutionary War, looked about for a home site. While roaming around in the wilderness 100 years ago, they selected a spot where there was a good spring, in a beautiful valley, and near the spring they built a house, and the government granted them the land around this home for their pay for serving in the war."

"This home was built on the spot near the town spring, where Mr. McAlpin now lives. After getting settled in their house, they conceived the idea that around close to their home would be a good place for a town, so the town of Livingston, Tennessee, was laid off and the Gore brothers, Ambrose and Joseph, sold 40 acres to be used for the town site."

"The deed on record in the Registerís office shows that most of the markers and corners as set out in the deed were trees of the forest type. It is believed that all this plot was a wilderness at that time."

"Thus, a dream was consummated and the town of Livingston was started in 1833. At this time, the county seat of Overton County was located at Monroe, Tennessee. A year later, Livingston became a contender for the county seat. An election was called to determine whether or not the county seat should be moved from Monroe to Livingston. The day before election, Jess Eldridge, with some six or eight of his neighbors, who then lived on Kettle Creek, which was then a part of Overton County, started together to Monroe to the election. There being only a trail at that time through the wilderness, they did not reach Monroe till the day of election, but stopped to spend the night somewhere near Oakley is now located. Jess Eldridge being the only one of his party that was for the moving of the county seat to Livingston, arose early the next morning and turned out all the horses of his traveling companions, and himself rode on to Monroe. The rest of the party set out to find their horses, thinking a horse thief had stolen them, as it was common in those days. After finding their horses, they were too far from Monroe to get there in time to vote. The election carried by 4 votes to move to Livingston. Thus, Livingston, the county seat of Overton County ... the 100th anniversary of its founding which is being celebrated August 10, 1933, is a beautiful valley, on a riverlett, containing public buildings, manufacturing enterprises, etc. Its present population is about 2,000. It is located on the Tennessee Kentucky & Northern railway, a line extending from the Tennessee Central Railroad. Four churches, one elementary school, one high school, and a combined student body of 1,000. Practically all of the business buildings are of brick. The climate of the city and county is ideal, because of its high elevation. Itís citizens are of pure Anglo Saxon stock, there being no foreign disturbing element. The city and county has produced a number of illustrious characters, some of them famous in the state and nations history, present and past."

"In 1921, assessed valuation of the property in Overton County was $4,471,888.00. The area of the county is 376 square miles. In 1921, the total number of farms was 2,714. The principle products are: Corn, wheat, lumber and especially poultry and live stock."

"Progress has gone forward in the preparation for this celebration of the 100th birthday of Livingston and Homecoming for Overton County. People are coming from every state in the union to see and shake hands with friends of old. Unstinted praise is due to those who conceived the idea of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Livingston."

"It is indeed a happy thought that these forward looking people realized the intrinsic value of such a celebration, bringing together its own citizenship and the people of the county in a happy thought, and with one accord, the further progress of the community, just as did the original founders of the city 100 years ago, in whose honor this celebration is intended and whose names we revere. Likewise, on August 10, we will honor those among us who have given so liberally of their time, money, and talents, towards making this occasion the success it is bound to be, so it may occupy its place, though in a lesser degree, in the history and progress of our community."

"The following are the names of business houses and individuals who, by their free and willing cooperation, furnished the finances to promote the "Century of Progress and Homecoming for Livingston and Overton County."

"It is this spirit to work together that has caused this town and county to move forward through the century, and make this one of the best places in the world to live. They cordially ask you to make their places of business or offices your headquarters on August 10th, the date of Livingstonís BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY."

  • Union Bank & Trust Co. Dr. J.D. Capps
  • Fleming & Myers Co. Chas. Langford
  • Arnold Hardware Co. Willis Langford
  • H.M. Mofield & Co. Bilbrey Chevrolet Co.
  • B & O Drug Co. Dr. M. J. Qualls
  • Jenkins & Darwin Bros. C. C. Gore
  • Lansden-Myers Drug Co. W.M. (Kein) Wallace (barber)

  • Taylor-Holman Co. Bradley Lea

  • A.J. Mofield & Co. Walter Thompson

  • Ragland-Potter Co. Dr. A.B. Qualls

  • Speck Brothers P. H. Windle

  • Ramsey Grocery J. B. Moore

  • S. Baxter Smith Lester Garrett

  • Johnson Grocery Co. Tommie Dodson

  • Variety Store Sheriff Johnson

  • West Side Cafť M. H. Hankins

  • Livingston Enterprise Dr. C.H. Dowell

  • Winningham Service Station Judge L.D. Bohannon

  • Haskell McCormick Service Station R. D. Reed Filling Station

  • Copeland Motor Co. Chas. Poindexter Grocery

  • W.A. Dickens Service Station Livingston Bottling Works

  • Cash Feed Store C. C. Walters Radio Shoppe

  • B. L. Dillon Groceries Brown Freight Line

  • Eubank Bros. Service Station Abi Gore, telephone repair

  • Palace Barber Shoppe Continental Telephone Co.

  • Ideal Dry Cleaners Miss Fannie Pemberton

  • The Gate City Mills Stanley Carr

  • Dr. W. M. Brown T. K. Freight Line

  • A.K. Lea L. P. Jernigan

  • F. T. Williams Medlock Lumber Co.

  • W. H. Boswell Rooker Jones

  • A.F. Officer The American Legion

  • J. C. Bilbrey Bohannon Post No. 4

  • Many of these names and businesses I remember or Iíve heard of before. An interesting thing about one business in particular is that it is still operating under the same name as it did when it began many years ago and offers the same type service. Do you known which one it is? If not, look for a story about it in an upcoming issue of my journal. A helpful hint ... it is not Union Bank and Trust Co, even though that answer would not be considered incorrect, it just doesnít happen to be the one I referring to, and it is not The American Legion or Bohannon Post No. 4.

    The story written by Mr. Hankins is among those included in a booklet prepared by Mrs. Needham titled "I Remember When..." and will be sold for a very reasonable amount at the Bicentennial Celebration. Contact Mrs. Needham if interested in placing an early order or to obtain further information. Her telephone number is 931/823-1336.