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The Birth of Houston County

By: Mrs. Bettye McKinnon

In January 1871 the state legislature was as busy as a bee

They wanted another county in Northern Middle Tennessee


In May they told the border counties - give us part of your land and a miracle you will see

Stewart, Dickson, and Humphreys did all agree, to donate the land for this greatest county to be


After many lawsuits and trials, they all said the same

and the land became a new county and Houston was its name


In April of ’71, the county held his first election

for Chairman of the Court, Normandy McKinnon was named


R.C. Rushing was appointed sheriff

Then, business became the name of the game


In October, Houston County Court needed a place to meet

And Arlington was selected as the new county seat


In May of ’72, the county court held its first session

and the L&N railroad said you made a bad decision


In 1874, Houston County had its first newspaper

The Houston County Times was published by James Faxton

It contained news of death, marriages, gossip, and all the political action


The trains could not stop in Arlington coming down that steep drop

And in 1878 the county seat had to move to Erin where the trains could finally stop


In 1881 Mr. Hollister and Jacob Buquo donated the land for the building of the new courthouse in the square to stand

A county jail was built up on the hill ready for anyone caught with the moonshine still


During the World War II years, Houston County’s young men volunteered from the start

Some were just young boys wanting to do their part


Many of them answered the call

Some returned home and sadly some gave their all


In 1953 our own, Lucille Christianson, became the first lady of Tennessee

And when her husband, Frank Clement, returned as governor she represented us again in 1963


In the 50s the county went on a building spree

Three new schools and the courthouse were built

and they’re all still there for us to see


The new courthouse was dedicated in ’57

and the old cold stove in the courtroom was sent to potbelly heaven


In the spring of 1962, Mayor Price and Doctor Luton agreed - there is something we need to do

We should honor our Irish relation and they began planning a big celebration

It will be the greatest we have ever seen,

and we will call it the wearing of the green


It all came together in March of ’63, one year later

And after 57 years it has become even greater


Houston County had its own hospital in 1968 and it was appropriately named Trinity


In 1990 the county commissioners all did agree that we needed to build but also an up-to-date library


Located on Tennessee Highway 149 on the Northeastern Houston County line, proudly stands the county’s state of the art high school, jail, highway department and head start


Equally proud we are of the Western county line, there is the Danville park where the duck hunting and the fishing are fine


We have an RV and a primitive place to camp and a double-wide concrete launching boat ramp


Another amenity we have for all is an airport and thousand-dollar hamburger that is at your beck and call


2020 has been a difficult year

We have all had the corona virus to fear


This is not our first test and trials that have been made

In 1873 we had the yellow fever and five years later a cholera plague


We are very proud and resilient people and we will once again bounce back

So, if you’re visiting or just passing through for a snack


It is said if you unpack for a brief stay you will become a citizen and will never ever want to go away


God Bless Houston County and God Bless America

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