Moore County, TN Information

After the Civil War, residents of the remote parts of BedfordFranklin and Lincoln counties petitioned the state legislature for the creation of a new county.  On December 14, 1871 Moore County was formed. To support their demand for a new county, the rural petitioners pointed to the distances to the county seats and described the treacherous road system that made travel difficult, and very often impossible. They argued that the distances and hazardous road conditions made legal protection offered by the courts and grand juries inaccessible to rural residents.

The rolling hills and plentiful springs attracted the pioneers from many states, but especially from North Carolina. Some families after settling in these southern Tennessee counties migrated south to Alabama. With a total area of only 129 square miles, Moore County is the second smallest county in the state. Set in the heart of agrarian Middle Tennessee, Moore County contains a diverse landscape, with nearly one half of the county lying along the Highland Rim and most of the remaining area part of the Central Basin. The Elk and Mulberry Rivers create fertile, heavily timbered ridges and farmland that contribute to the agricultural production as well as the lucrative whiskey industry that remains an integral part of the county’s heritage.

Maps used with the permission of Art Lassagne, The Gold Bug  AniMap Plus County Boundary Historical Atlas v. 2.5 (Win)

Slideshow imageAn act of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee was passed on 14 December 1871 to establish the county of Moore. It was finally formed from the counties of Bedford, Franklin and Lincoln and was named in honor of Major General William Moore, a Kentuckian who settled in Tennessee in 1808. Moore commanded a company of volunteers in the Creek War and finished the War of 1812 as a major general. He served two years in the state House of Representatives and lived in Lincoln County and in Tullahoma, Coffee County.

Elections were held in each of the fractions of the old counties to be included in the new to ascertain the will of the people on the formation of a new county. The votes cast reflect the ratio of settlers from each county that would be affected by the new county. In fraction of Lincoln County for the new county, 799; for old county, 51. In fraction of Bedford County, for the new county, 59; for old county, none. In fraction of Franklin County, for new county, 284; for old county, 6. After the subdivisions were made of the old counties of Bedford, Lincoln and Franklin, there were 11 districts formed.

Many people ask, “Did Moore County also come off of Coffee County?” The answer is no. That had been the original intention, however. The commissioners had the power to make any change in the lines, if found necessary, so as to conform with the requirements of the constitution of the State-i.e., that none of the old counties out of which the new one was to be formed should be reduced below 500 square miles; and that they should cause an actual survey of the county to be made, and an actual enumeration of the qualified voters in the limits of the county to be taken, to ascertain if the county contained 275 square miles, and 700 qualified voters. Accordingly, on January 6, 1872, the commissioners met and voted to employed surveyors to survey the boundary line of the new county. On January 23rd a plat of the survey was presented to them and was accepted. It was learned that Coffee County contained less than 500 square miles, and consequently no portion of it could be attached to the new county.

The county seat of Lynchburg came off that part which had been Lincoln. Thomas ROUNDTREE, was the original proprietor of the lands on which the town is located. He laid out the town about the year 1818. In December, 1883, a fire broke out, which consumed a large portion of the town.

The old red brick Courthouse built in 1885 sits in the middle of the town. The businesses along the four streets beckon the tourist with their handmade wares and country charm. The White Rabbit Saloon on the courthouse square is still open for business. These days, however, it serves soups, sandwiches and lemonade.

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