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 1883 and continue from our April 2016 issue.
When we ended last month, we listed the businesses operating in Newbern in 1883. Newbern‘s leaders have just returned from the Southern Exposition in Louisville.
In 1884, Mrs. John Christie advertised in the State Gazette in Dyersburg for all who were in the county in 1827 to meet at her table at the Fair Grounds in Dyersburg on October 17th. Only 7 answered her call. They were Mrs. Boggus, Mrs. Mulherin, Willis Davis (oldest one at the table), C. P. Clark, and H.R.A. McCorkle. The group decided to perpetuate the meeting and agreed to meet at the fair on its second day. The oldest person present, (Willis Davis) was to furnish dinner at the next meeting.
Earlier that year, The State Medical Society had requested the doctors in the county to organize a County Medical Society and Dr. R. H. McGaughey and Dr. J. C. Walker were elected President and Secretary.
Grover Cleveland was elected President of the United States. James R. Green’s 1st house burned in Newbern.
In November of 1885 John W. Burney was elected Mayor of Newbern for the second time and in January of 1886 David McCorkle was elected County School Superintendent.
That Winter and Spring of 1886 was one of the worst on record. Snows piled up 14 to 15 inches deep in places. The drifts measured from 3 feet to 6 feet. Some said it got to 6 feet on a level. For days no one traveled the roads to or from Newbern. It snowed until April and then the heavy rains set in. The month of June was stormy with rains which made it unseasonably cool. When the weather began to warmup and moderate, the Buffalo gnats got very bad. (Buffalo Gnats or Black Flies are small 1/6” at maturity, are blood sucking varmints, will bite humans, dogs, cows, cats and carry all sorts of nasty sickness.) On June 3, 1886 the thermometer was 68 degrees. Cool for June. Wheat sold for 65 cents a bushel.
Temperance meetings were being held in Newbern and neighboring communities and a big picnic and temperance meeting was held at Pace 1s pond which was a grand success. The National Prohibition Party, formed soon after the Civil War, and was working hard to get state and National legislation against the manufacture and sale of liquor.
In August the county elections were held: Bracken won Sheriff, Wilkerson was elected Circuit Clerk, Tarrant was Elected Trustee, Boon won Register of Deeds and Crockfoft was elected State’s Attorney General.
In September 1886 a convention was held in Dyersburg and John N. Parker was nominated for Representative . Later a convention was held in Brownsville to nominate the Honorable J. H. McDowell of Obion for State Senator and H. Parks, Jr. for Floater from Dyer, Obion and Lake County. Mr. McCorkle recorded the following: "Election Day in Dyer County: For Governor— R. L. Taylor 1743 / Alf Taylor 806…..For State Senator—J. H. McDowell 1024 / Jonathan Gardner 744 / T. E. Richardson 716 / Floater, H. Parks, Jr. 1063 / A. G. Harris 686 / R. R. NcNeely 738…… Election for Representative was John N. Parker got 985 followed by R. L. Fowlkes with 789 and J. L. Sinclair having 772.
Other 1886 happenings, John Deere Died, California oranges are first shipped East by rail, W. Marshall patented a 'grain binder.' , The Tuxedo was created, The Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled, Clarence Birdseye was born, malted milk was created, the dish washer was patented, and it rained snails in Cornwall England.