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Yesterday's Tennessee

The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee, 1886
History of Henderson County

transcribed by David Donahue

This first paragraph of the Goodspeed History of Henderson County mentions the Hinson Springs.

THE surface of the county is somewhat diversified. The county occupies the highest lands between the Mississippi and the Tennessee Rivers. It attains an elevation of 720 feet above the sea level at Lexington. The highest lands are found in the highland Ridge, which extends nearly due north and south through the center of the county. From the peculiar surface the streams of the county flow in almost every direction. Beech Creek, a river, rises about ten miles west of Lexington, and flows almost in a direct line east through Decatur County, and empties into the Tennessee near Perryville. Beech is the largest stream in the county, and was so named from the growth of timber on its banks. Its principal tributaries from the north are Big Creek, Brown Creek, Lick Creek and Haley Creek. The first of these was named from its size, the second from a settler, the third from its deer licks, and the last also from a settler. The tributaries from the south are Wolf, Piney and Cane Creeks. The first of these was named from the animal, the second and last from the growth. In the south and west are Doe, Hurricane and Jacks Creeks, which flow into Forked Deer. The principal streams in the west and north are branches of the Forked Deer. From the central of the north part are Sandy and Beaver Creeks. The ridge above mentioned forms a water-shed between the Tennessee and the Mississippi systems. The soil in the valleys of the various streams is very fertile, while the higher lands have a much lighter soil which, owing to the amount of sand, washes easily, and where It has been in cultivation long is badly washed. Until worn and washed even the uplands are highly productive. From a want of proper care in the growth of grasses and fertilization these lands have greatly depreciated in value. Perhaps the most valuable lands are found along Beech River. Geologically the formation Is later than the subcarboniferous or even the carboniferous period but belongs to the cretaceous period. There is little, if any, of the coffee sand, but the rotten limestone, or green sand, and the Ripley group make the principal formation. This is followed by the Flatwood clays and the La Grange sands of the Lignitic period. Immense beds of the orange sand appear mixed sometimes with gravel but all unstratified. The whole surface shows evidence of drift formation containing lignitic beds, red and white sand Intermingled with various marine shells. The water is generally freestone and is obtained by digging or boring, or from natural springs. White Fern Spring, in the western part of the county, and H[i]nson Springs, about three miles west of Lexington. are both reputed to possess highly medicinal qualities, and are favorite summer resorts. No minerals of any value are suffered to exist in the county, a soft sand rock being the only thing of any quantity found in the county. In the valleys of the streams, and even on many of the ridges, large quantities of valuable timber are yet to be found; the most valuable of this is the oak, consisting of the various species also hickory, beech, pine and many other. Formerly cotton was the staple production and is yet an important factor, but its exhaustive nature has led farmers to give more attention to stock, grain and fruits. The main hindrance to these things is the want of a railroad for transportation to the great commercial centers. As the county has no navigable streams, turnpikes nor railroads, it has always labored at a disadvantage in regard to markets. The building of Virginia Midland Railway, for which the county is asked $75, 000, will, if completed, open up a new field of enterprise. The county is surrounded almost entirely by counties having lines of railroads, and, in consequence, its resources are shown at a disadvantage, as the more favored places tend to sap the county and to rob it of its most enterprising and energetic business men.

Full Goodspeed History of Henderson County

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