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Putnam County Celebrates 179th Birthday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam County Celebrates 179th Birthday

Happy 179th Birthday to Putnam County today!

County Archivist Glenn Jones said in 1842, Putnam County was carved out from parts of Jackson, Overton, White, Dekalb and Fentress County. However, Jones said some of those counties were not too happy about the decision.

“Jackson County didn’t like the new county of Putnam for so much of their good land,” Jones said. “They did a lawsuit in the Chancellery Court in 1842. Livingston also did one in their Chancellery Court in 1842. Those judges in those two counties tried to dissolve Putnam County.”

Jones said that Putnam County actually dissolved but was reestablished in 1854. Jones said State Senator Richard Fielding Cooke brought the topic before the state legislature.

“They decided that the Chancellery Courts in those counties in Tennessee had no jurisdiction to dissolve a county,” Jones said. “So, they just reestablished it. It really wasn’t out of business but they thought it was but they reestablished it in 1854.”

Jones said that Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam has a unique connection to the county. In that, Jones said Putnam had no ties to the county.

“He’s never been to this county, ever,” Jones said. “No one believes he’s ever been here. There are seven Putnam Counties in the United States. So, there are seven states that have a Putnam County, named after him.”

However, Jones said the lack of a connection does not diminish the legacy of General Putnam.

“We’ve heard other people say, we’ve even heard Andrew Jackson quoted as saying, ‘Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes,” Jones said. “But he’s the notable one for first saying that because they were low on ammunition at the Battle of Bunker Hill.”

Jones said one interesting piece of county history many might not know is that Double Springs was at one time an incorporated town. He said Double Springs is actually the oldest community in the entire county.


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