The Town of Ashland City
101 Court Street
Ashland City, TN 37015
A Look Back
By an act of the General Assembly, passed December 3, 1859. Ashland became incorporated
as a city under the name of Ashland City, the original name having been only Ashland. The
act provided that a mayor and six aldermen should be elected, and at the election held in
January, 1861, for that purpose, W. C. Charlton was elected mayor and John C. Hale, G. W.
McQuary, W. W. Sanders, Jesse Chadoin and James Gray were elected aldermen. In a few years
the city officers grew negligent and failed to meet and perform their duties as such,
their record showing that the last meeting held by them was in April, 1870. By an act of
the General Assembly, passed March 29, 1883, the act of incorporation was repealed and the
The history of Ashland City begins and is connected with the organization of the
county. It was surveyed and platted in 1856 under the direction of the commissioners
appointed by the first county court for that purpose. The public square on which the court
house stands is 300x600 feet. and the town lots are of various sizessome 50x135
feet, some 50x150 feet and some 50x300 feet, there being 160 in all. The town is located
on the north side of the Cumberland River, on a regularly inclined plane from the base of
the high hills and the river. The court house is two-thirds of a mile from the river
landing at the foot of Cumberland Street. Two public sales of town lots were made the
first October 6, 1856, and the other November 1, 1858. At these sales sixty-five lots were
sold for the aggregate amount of about $10,000. The lots were sold on twelve months
time, and the purchase money, when collected, was paid into the county revenue, as
required by law. The first lot sold was No. 9, and it was purchased by Joseph Willis for
$155. The lowest price paid for a single lot was $32, and the highest, $400. Thomas N.
Hooper purchased Lot No. 2 for $400. The most liberal purchasers at these sales were G. W.
McQuary, B. F. Binkley, William Stewart, J. T. Carney, Cooper Gupton, A. H. Williams. G.
W. Connell, David Nichol, A. F. Carney, Thomas N. Hooper and W. H. Townsend. The balance
of the town lots were sold from time to time at private sale. Among the first to build
houses and take up their residence in the town were James Smith, Jesse Shadoin, John C.
Hale, J. N. Alley, Arnold Allen and A. J. Bright. For the erection of the public buildings
the reader is referred to that heading. In 1856 David McKelly and William De Munbreun
opened the first blacksmith shop in the town. The first merchants were Burk & Yergin,
who opened a general store in the temporary court house, on the corner of Main and
Cumberland Streets. W. W. Sanders opened a general store in 1858. G. W. Hale, J. N. Allen
and Arnold Allen were also merchants before the war. In 1860 J. J. Lenox commenced
merchandising in a general store, and in 1865 his store, building and goods, located on
the corner of Main and Cumberland Streets, were consumed by fire. He immediately purchased
goods and opened a new store, and in 1868 formed a partnership with William W. Sanders
under the firm name of Sanders & Co., and this firm has continued in business ever
since. They are the leading merchants and have a capital of $15,000 invested in the
business. E. B. Carney & Son were in mercantile business from 1867 to 1877. Wilson
Maxey was a merchant in the decade of the sixties. The first boot and shoe shop was opened
in 1857 by J. N. Alley. J. W. Smith opened a boot and shoe shop about the year 1867. W. 0.
Morgan, the only boot and shoe-maker now in the town, opened his shop in 1879.
Excerpts taken from: Cheatham County History of Tennessee
THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO. 1887