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Mudville

 

 


 

 

          
 

   Mudville is one of several small communities that developed in rural northeast Shelby County as a result of increasing growth during the period of 1870-1900. These communities often existed because of a convergence of transportation routes and at least one or more of three institutions: a church, a school, and/or a general store. Mudville had all three as early as 1858, a brush-arbor church existed in the community.

   In 1885 J.H. and S.V. Sink transferred property to the First District school officials so that a public school could be built. A story in The Commercial Appeal in 1908 identified the school as Muddville and its teachers as D.H. King and Ora Moore.
 

   Pleasant Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church has over 100 years of history. At first, Mudville Presbyterian was the name of the church. This was due to the location and to please some of the faithful members. It has been told that a huge mud hole was in front of the church back in the 1880s and that is when the name Mudville was given to the church. The earliest record that has been found was from 1867 when Mr. and Mrs. John Sink, part of the Farley Hill family, became the first couple to marry in the church.

   The first building was erected some time before 1867 and stood near the center of the Mudville Cemetery facing south. In 1912, the church was moved to the present location and was remodeled under contractor William McCreight, whose name runs throughout the history of the church. In 1936, the church was destroyed by fire due to a defect in the coal stove used for heating. Everything was burned and all church records were destroyed. During the time the new building was under construction, Sunday School members met in various homes. In less than a year, the church members erected the present church
building.

   On the north and south side of Pleasant Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church are situated two cemeteries – Rosemark Cemetery and Mudville Cemetery. Located on the north side, the cemetery known as both Mudville and Pleasant Union has been in existence since the mid-1880s. The church and cemetery separated themselves legally and financially several years ago, and the cemetery assumed the name Mudville Cemetery.

   Rosemark Cemetery was established in 1909. The initial cemetery property was deeded to Richland Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1907. Prior to the development of the cemetery, Rosemark residents and church members were most often buried in either private family cemeteries, Salem A.R.P. Cemetery or in the Mudville Cemetery. A cemetery committee recommended the purchase of two acres just south of Pleasant Union Church on Brunswick Road. A plat was drawn by T.C. McQuiston on linen cloth, and that drawing remains in the hands of those who oversee the cemetery. In 1976, a perpetual care fund was established and is managed through Richland A.R.P. Church.

   Later Anthony Chapel School was built in the area, west of Brunswick Road and just north of Mulberry Road, to educate African-American children from Mudville, Barretville and Rosemark. In May, 2015, a historical marker was dedicated by Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs, Inc. and the Shelby County Historical Commission stating:

    "Anthony Chapel School, Greenwood AME Church & Cemetery. At the turn of the 20th century, John Wesley Stewart, an African-American farmer, began lobbying for a school to educate African-American children in the Greenwood community. At the time the children were either taught by itinerant teachers or they walked to Tipton County schools. In 1925 the community became part of Shelby County in a boundary shift. In 1927 the family of Paul Barret, a county school board member, sold a tract of family land for the school. A year later a two-room building was opened and named Anthony Chapel Elementary School for Anthony R. Barret, an early settler of the area and Paul Barret’s grandfather. Near this site was the original brush-arbor Greenwood Cemetery with graves of individuals born before the 1865 Emancipation Proclamation."

  Greenwood Church originated as a brush-arbor church north of Mulberry Road in either 1874 or 1878.
A wood frame building which faced the east was constructed. At that time, Mulberry Road was a dirt road and the road to the church was a steep trail. Due to the difficulty of reaching the church grounds, the building was torn down in 1924 and the lumber was used to construct a new church at the current site of the Greenwood A.M.E. Church at 8017 Donnell Road, a more accessible location.

   A store owned by the Barrets that served the families in the area was built at the southeast corner of Brunswick Road and Redwood Road. It was known as J.H. Barret & Sons #5 Grocery Store and later operated by others who lived in the area. The store had the old grist mill brought over from the original store, used to grind corn into corn meal or chicken feed, depending on the setting. Mr. Bernard Sorrells on Tracy Road purchased the mill after its use was discontinued.

 

   Excerpts from the jacket of An Illustrated History of the People and Towns of Northeast Shelby County and Southeast Tipton County by Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs (H.A.R.E.):

   On October 19, 1818, the United States Congress ratified the treaty with the Chickasaw Nation ceding West Tennessee to the United States. What followed was the creation of Shelby County in1819 and, to its north, the creation of Tipton County in 1823. Settlers followed quickly. Along the border of Shelby and Tipton counties small communities developed around churches, schools, and country stores. This is the story of the people who have lived there. Over the last 180 years most of the schools and some of the towns of Northeast Shelby County and South Central Tipton County have disappeared. The churches and cemeteries remain and the land is still farmed.

   This illustrated history attempts to capture the stories of those people and places where they lived. Through a series of articles and interviews, maps, photographs, diaries, and letters, you can experience the people who lived on the farms and worked in the towns of Salem, Portersville, Idaville, Kerrville, Armourtown, Bethel, Tipton, Mudville, Macedonia, Gratitude, Barretville, and Rosemark.

 


   On June 14, 2013 the Rosemark Historic District was placed in the National and Tennessee Registers of Historic Places by the National Park Service the United States Department.

   The Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs is a non-profit organization whose mission is to document & preserve historic information & items of the Rosemark region for educational purposes. It is primarily responsible for the creation of the Rosemark Historic District. Please consider a tax deductible contribution to help them continue these efforts.

For more information about H.A.R.E.

www.rosemarkhistoricdistrict.com

Or, on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/RosemarkHistoricDistrict

 


 

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