This information being taken from a book written by Arahwana Hendren Ridens named the Dyer County and Newbern Tennessee, A history of the 39 earliest families in Dyer County. Part of this information was extracted from this publication, along with other documents and related stories and oral family histories. We continue with the entries of the McCorkle Diaries and what was entered about the from his perspective as a Newbern business owner. We pick up late in the year of 1880 and continue from our December 2015 issue.
When we ended last month, J.E. Harton had just purchased Judge G.B. Tinsley’s home and turned it into a first class hotel. We begin the year 2016 with the year in 1880 in Newbern.
In 1880 Mrs. Tide McCrackin was Post Mistress of Newbern as well as the one in Newbern to receive subscriptions and give receipts for the Dyersburg State Gazette.
In 1881, the school in Newbern was flourishing and had enrolled between 175 and 200 pupils. Mr. B. L. Van Eaton sold his land to Mr. J.E. McCorkle, then H. Shoffner sold his land to B. L. Van Eaton. In March, J. E. McCorkle, William H. Franklin and H. Shoffner all went to Texas. Mr. H. Shoffner decided to stay but he returned for his family and left Newbern for good the following year on Dec. 12, 1882.
In April of 1881 James H. Templeton and family -- six little girls -- one set of twins and John Dickey all started to Texas. There is no record of whether they stayed in Texas. Dr. A. F. Bone located in Newbern in 1881 and began to practice medicine.
A traveling drama group amused and entertained the people in Newbern by giving outstanding performances each night for a week at the Opera House.
About this time, mail was being brought to town in a hack. (A hired carrier usually delivering other goods to multiple stores. He would use a wagon similar to the one shown on the left). On September 18, 1881, to break the monotony of the lonely roads and to amuse himself while making his weary journey, the driver of the delivery wagon decided to drape the hack in mourning . (Considering he was delivering, he may have had all the goods on board. Black Canvas, Lanterns and maybe some fresh flowers for the funeral home)
When he got to Newbern, many inquiries were made as to the reason of the drapes and he told the folks that President James A. Garfield was dead. Newbern folks didn't think all that much about the hoax when was played. I am sure there was a lot of conversation and laughing over the day. The very next day it was to become a reality. The President died September 19, 1881 the day after the mail man passed through Newbern.
Some of the many business men in Newbern during the year 1881 were: J. R. Starkey practicing dentistry; W. H. Walker, attorney-at-law; G. D. Ferrell, attorney-at- law; Dr. A. B. Haskins; Dr. W. E. Johnston; J. W. Robertson, cabinet maker; Andy Cobb, running a Hack Line; J. S. Lockhart, painter; Walker and Company, druggist; Joe E. Sharp, seller of dry goods; W. T. Fields and Company, general blacksmiths; Wink B. Fields, saloon operator; Beach and Fowlkes, livery stable; E. N. Edwards purchased the Newbern Enquirer from W. H. Capelle and continued printing the news. On Nov. 1, 1881 James A. Scott and family left for Texas.
There is no record if they returned. On November 18, 1881 the first steam engine arrived in Newbern with only one passenger coach. November 18 was a cold and rainy day. The temperature dropped and the rain turned to ice in the middle of the night.