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 1878 and continue from our October 2015 issue.
We ended last month with the fact, In spite of the yellow fever scare, or maybe because of it, there were 36 additions to the Newbern Baptist Church that year -- 25 by baptism and 11 by letter, indicating that Newbern was still a thriving community.
Fields and Walker had opened a new restaurant and a square meal could be had for 25¢. W. T. Fields and Company, opened a new saloon, and Gregory and Dickey bought out N. Porter and Sons, general store. White clover in 1878 was selling for $6.75 bushel and Red Top (pasture grass) for 85¢ per bushel. Sheep were selling for $1.50 a head; whole hogs for 4-1/2 ¢ per pound cash-in-hand and 5-1/2 ¢ on time.
A. S. Marks was elected Governor of Tennessee, Senator was C.C. Moss; Congressman, C. B. Simonton and Representative, B.B. Watkins. Officials in Newbern in 1879 were Mayor, A. E. Dickson; Recorder, J. F. Johnston; Treasurer, James Faircloth; and Town Marshall was James A. Odell. Aldermen were John H. Hamilton; G. M. Keenan, H. C. Porter, and Joe W. Robertson. The year 1878 ended with a 3 inch snow on the ground.
Three new millinery shops opened in 1878 and were owned by Mrs . B. Cox and Miss Mollie Harris, Mrs. M. D. Jones and Mrs. Scrappie Fowlkes & Compay. In early January 1879 John T. Gregory bought Dr. Maxwell's farm.
The Louisville Exposition (indicating a growing city) was attracting large crowds from Newbern and the Louisville and Great Southern Railroad, with offices in Humboldt, advertised in the Newbern Enquirer, published at the time by W. H. Capelle, announcing special rates good for 30 days to the Exposition . James Green erected a nice residence in the northwestern portion of town, and J.F. Williamson, who had been making coffins in Newbern for 24 years was still advertising for patronage. His shop was on East Main Street, "at the mulberry tree."
Other business men in Newbern in 1879 were E. N. Edwards, druggist; J. E. Sharp, general store; J. A. W. Williams, surgeon and dentist, whose office was 2-1/2 miles west of Newbern; Thomas Cotton, proprietor of Planter's Mill; A. F. Dickson, dry goods; Lewis Glass, druggist; Bob Wilkinson's clothing and notions; Gregory and Dickey, general store also selling lime, cement, plaster and lumber; Dr. H. M. Dickey, dentist, whose office was his residence on Main Street; J. L. McDearmon, attorney-at-law; W. H. Walker, attorney-at-law; William E. Copeland, attorney-at-law; Dr. J . R. Westbrook, physician and surgeon with offices on Main Street at McDavid and Company; A. B. Haskins, physician and surgeon; W. E. Johnston, physician and surgeon with his office at Edwards and Company Drug Store or at his residence at the east end of Main Street; J. S. McCorkle, physician and surgeon; J. F. Williamson, coffin and cabinet maker; J. S. Lockhart, painter; C. A. Barger, shoe and boot maker.
Other merchants between 1870 and 1880 were George Parker, Mat Wells, A. F . Dixon, J . N. Wyatt & Co., Westbrook and Radford, Smith & Son, A. G. Harris, Gregory and Dickey, and Hamilton and Cunningham.
The year 1880 opened with a balmy and unseasonable 70 degrees followed by torrential rains and hail which caused a 25 degree drop in temperature. Water ran over the Newbern-Trimble levee. The Centennial opened at Nashville. Professor C. M. Arnold of Eminence, Kentucky came to Newbern to take charge of the school. Yellow fever was raging again by July and by September there had been 1,005 cases in Memphis with 272 deaths.