yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

From Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978).
Special thanks to Constance Collett for permission to make these web pages.

In Memory of Lillye Washburn Younger 1912-1998.


This book has been compiled because of the dire need of the school children who desire to learn more of the yesteryears of Decatur County as well as assignments by their schoolteachers. Also it has been my desire to compile a history because of my devoted love to Decatur County.

Despite the fact that I am not a true native, having glimpsed at it the first time at the age of eleven, my main goal in life was to be able to come here to live and so I did at the age of seventeen, I have often said that those who have had the privilege to be born here cannot love the county any better than I do.

The first time I viewed the Tennessee River at Perryville, and it was old Perryville before T.V.A., through the eyes of a child I felt like I had reached Utopia and when I had to leave, after a two weeks visit, I longed to return before the next summer. The friendliness of the people, the splendor of the scenery and the home of my Uncle and Aunts, C.V. and Mae Maxwell combined, made a lasting impression to my tender young mind.

This book is written in simple English with the hope it will not only be a source of information but will be a pleasure for all ages to read. It has truly been a pleasure to me to compile it and also has been a crutch for me to lean on since the death of my husband in 1972. The hours have not seemed so long while doing research and putting it together.

The material has been accumulated in various ways. Some from old records, some from old newspapers, some from abstracts of early history and some handed down to me by the kind and honorable citizens who make up this county and some who once lived here but have moved away.

Before you read this book please bear in mind that it is not without error, which would have been humanly impossible since the courthouse burned twice and records have been very hard to secure. If you have never attempted to collected material and prepare a history, you have little idea of the obstacles to be encountered. I only ask one thing you bear in mind while reading it, "To err is human, To forgive is Divine".

It is impossible to even attempt to name each one who has helped me in completing it and I certainly would not want to leave anyone's name out. However, I am grateful to the Parsons News Leader and Jackson Sun for allowing me to serve as correspondents to their fine publications in which I slid in features of historical significance, that I used in this history. It was very helpful. Also, to those in Decatur County who worked so hard as they put legs to much of the research, especially that of the county officials and all other type.

Please note that all family histories were compiled by a member of the family, which gives it a family flavor that I could not.

I trust that you will enjoy this book and not be too critical of it for it is written with a heart full of love to the citizens of Decatur County as well as other counties.

I thank God for having given me the ability to complete it after its beginning in 1970. It was slowed up a bit due to the death of my father and husband in 1971 and 1972.

This book I leave to Decatur County, the greatest county on earth, to me.

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