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 Civil War from soldiers perspective from Newbern. We pick up late in the year of 1871 and continue from our June 2015 issue.
In the June issue we ended with the first train to arrive in Newbern was a low locomotive with flat cars carrying railroad ties and supplies to the workmen laying tracts south of Newbern. The next entry in the McCorkle Diary.
On Feb. 11, 1874, a big fire at Trenton, Tenn. burned out all the buildings from Burgess Drug Store on Jackson Street and the square, to Coon's Shop and then north to the alley on the east of the courthouse. It was a $100,000 loss with only $25,000 insurance. In March of that year a big tornado hit Obion. April D. H. Stevens was in Newbern to contract to build the new school house for $575. In July D. E. Parker was nominated to represent Dyer County in the legislature.
On Sept. 13th 1874 the Newbern Methodist Church held its first service in the newly built brick church. Money for the church had originally been advanced by Dr. A. Harris, Guy Douglass, James Tucker, Thomas Cotton, William Payne and L. M. Williams. R ev. W. W. Scott was pastor and Capt. L. M. Williams was Sunday School Superintendent. The Methodist Church lot was purchased from John R. and Martha C. Westbrook for $416 and was described as being on the Yorkville-Dyersburg Road.
The following month after the new Methodist Church opened its doors and Rev. S.G. Bearney preached the first sermon in the New Cumberland Presbyterian Church. These two churches were the first brick churches in Newbern.
In the fall of 1874 the Baptists were still holding their services in a wood frame building on South Monroe then located across from the old Academy (school). This property is where the old gin was once located on South Monroe and directly behind the old Westbrook home located at 109 South Jackson, the original church building has been gone for many years.
To our records the Baptist Denomination built the first permanent church facility within the corporate limits about 1862. We were unable to locate a photo of the original Baptist Church. Since that time they have outgrown their church twice. First in 1909 and now have a new modern Sanctuary dedicated in 2012.
The first known churches in the area were Hopewell Baptist Church (1851) on what is now Atkins Cemetery Road, they would relocate to Newbern about 1862 and become the Baptist Church Listed above.
The Poplar Grove Cumberland which was located just across the railroad on Highway 77. The church cemetery still remains. The Church Grove Methodist Church located on Church Grove Road and the area that was known as Camp Bell during the Civil War. These churches were also started between 1850 and 1857. Both Churches burned but the Church Grove Church was re-built on the same site.
Other Churches in early Newbern were the Christian Church which was located on the site of the existing 1st Baptist Annex Building on Jackson Street, The first Church of Christ Church was located on Tyler Street then relocated to Main Street, St. John’s Baptist Church on Monroe, Jones Street Church of Christ and the former, Methodist CME Church also located on Jones. We hope to have more history on these churches in the future.