Dickson County

Dickson County

Dickson County was formed in 1803 from
Montgomery and Robertson counties

(Acts of Tennessee 1803, Chapter 66)

The county seat is Charlotte.

There was a fire at the Dickson County courthouse in 1830.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Bellsburg, Dickson County, Tennessee (Fults, 1976)
  • Dickson County, Tennessee 1803-2003: Two Hundred Years of Family (Hollis, 2003) [surname index]
  • Goodspeed Histories of Montgomery, Robertson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, Houston Counties of Tennessee (Goodspeed, 1972) [name index]*
  • Goodspeed's Dickson County History (1990) [name index]
  • Heritage of Dickson County, Tennessee, 1803-2006 (Dickson County Heritage Book Committee, 2007) [name index]*
  • History of Dickson County, Tennessee (Corlew, 1956) [name index]*
  • History of Dickson County, Tennessee (Corlew, 2013) [name index]
  • Over Eighty Club (Canady, 2006?) [name index]
  • Pictorial History of Dickson County, Tennessee 1803-2013 (Dickson County Historical and Genealogical Society, 2013)
  • Those Who Served: World War II News Reported in The Dickson County Herald [Vol. 1 Sept 1940 - Dec - 1943; Vol. 3 April 1945 - Dec 1946] (Baker, 2013) [name index in each volume]

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Dickson County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  


Published Local Records
  • 1850 Census for Dickson County, Tennessee, with Index (Baker, 2001) [name index]*
  • 1860 Census for Dickson County, Tennessee with Index (Baker, 1999) [name index]*
  • 1870 Census for Dickson County, Tennessee, with Index (Baker, 2000) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census for Dickson County, Tennessee, with Index (Baker, 2000) [name index]*
  • Bible Records of Dickson County, Tennessee (Dickson County Historical Society, 1984?) [surname index]
  • Cheatham County, Tennessee, Dickson County, Tennessee, Hickman County, Tennessee, Humphreys County, Tennessee, Lawrence County, Tennessee [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1992) [name index]
  • Confederate Burials in Dickson County, Tennessee (McCauley, 2003) [alphabetical listing]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee 1836 Civil Districts 1839 Tax Listing (Douthat, 2012) [name index]
  • Dickson County Handbook (Garrett, 1984) [name index]*
  • Dickson County in World War I  (Baker, 2018)
  • Dickson County Marriages ... [vol. 1 1817-1900; vol. 2 1901-1935; vol. 3 1936-1977; vol. 4 1978-1992] (Baker, 2002) [alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Dickson County, Tenn. Deeds [6 vols., 1804-1823] (Willis & Sellers, 1998) [name index in each volume]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, 1880 Census (Sistler, 1993) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee Cemetery Records [2 vols.] (Garrett & Hopkins, 1991) [name index]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Cemetery Records [2 vols.] (Garrett & McClain, 1969-70) [name index]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Circuit Court Minute Book, 1839-45 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, County and Circuit Court Minutes, 1816-1828 and Witness Docket (Wells, 1993) [name index]*
  • Dickson County Tennessee: Index to Marriage Licenses and Bonds 1817-1847 (Kilgore, 1983) [name index]
  • Dickson County Tennessee: Index to Marriage Licenses and Bonds 1848-1856 (Kilgore, 1983) [alphabetical by groom]
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Marriage Records (Negro), 1865-1881 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Dickson County, Tennessee Marriages, 1817-1856 (Kilgore, 1987?) [alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee Marriages, 1857-1870 (Sistler, 1988)[alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Minute Book [vol. 1 1804-1807; vol. 2 1810-1815] (WPA, 1936) [name index in each volume]
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Newspaper Abstracts (Willis, 1998) [name index]*
  • Dickson County, Tennessee, Will Book A, 1804-1856 (Loggins & Binkley, 1998) [name index]*
  • Dickson Herald Death Notices [6 vols.  1981-1987] (Luke, 1986) [surname index]
  • Down "On Piney": Excerpts from Early Dickson Newspapers and the Dickson County Herald, 1883-1916 (Baker [ed], 2004) [name index]*
  • Index to Dickson County, Tennessee Marriage Records, 1859-1876 (Mayo & Hickman, 1980?) [alphabetical by bride and groom]
  • Pioneers of Dickson County, Tennessee: A Genealogical Abstract of the Earliest Minute Books, March 1804-January 1807, January 1812-January 1814, July 1816 (Wells, 1988) [name index]*
  • Primal Families of the Yellow Creek Valley: A Chronicle of the Pioneer Families of the Regions of Dickson, Houston, and Montgomery Counties in Middle Tenn (Nesbitt, 1985)
  • Private Acts of Dickson County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1994)
  • Tennessee, Records of Dickson County, Marriage Record, 1838-1848 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Tennessee, Records of Dickson County  [Will Book B, 1804-1908] (WPA, 1936) [name index]


Local Records on Microfilm

An inventory of microfilmed Dickson County records is available on our website.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.   

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1817
  • wills from 1803
  • deed index from 1804
  • chancery court minutes from 1836
  • county court minutes from 1804
  • circuit court minutes from 1810
  • tax books from 1831

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:

  • Administrator's Settlements -- 1823-1860 (#22, 1 reel)*
  • Deed Index Books -- 1804-1912 (#54, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage records -- 1817-1836 (#35, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage records -- 1837-1839 (#36, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage records -- 1838-1899 (#37, 1 reel)*
  • Will Books -- 1803-1860 (#52, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Dickson County  (Record Group #107, Roll 18,  1 reel). Roll includes County Court Minute Book Vol. 1 (1804-1807) & Vol. 2 (1810-1815),  Circuit Court Minute Book (1839-1845),  Will Book A (1804-1856),  Will Book B (1856-1908),  Marriage Records (1838-1848),  and Marriage Records (Negro) (1865-1881).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Burns, Charlotte, Dickson and Ruskin Cave.  Scattered early issues are available from 1879, and a complete run begins in 1907.  Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased.  An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at the Library and Archives is available on our website.


Selected Manuscripts Material
  • Bell Family Papers, 1796-1927  (Microfilm Manuscript #1289, 1 reel)
  • Collier Family Account Books, 1825-1906  (Microfilm Manuscript #631, 7 reels)
  • Dr. J. W. Brake Medical Ledgers. Dickson County, 1888-1950  (Microfilm Manuscript #882, 2 reels)
  • McAdoo Memorial Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. Dickson County, 1890-1940  (Microfilm Manuscript #168, 1 reel)
  • New Hope Congregation Presbyterian Church Records. White Oak, 1875-1920, 1926-1949  (Microfilm Manuscript #1507, 1 reel)
  • O. L. VonSchmittou Case Book. Dickson County, 1860-1882  (Microfilm Manuscript #883, 1 reel)
  • Pleasant Valley Methodist Church Records. Dickson County, 1901-1954  (Microfilm Manuscript #687, 1 reel)
  • Ruskin Cooperative Association Records, 1896-1963  (Microfilm Manuscript #1195, 1 reel)
  • Shaffer Family Papers, 1856-1947  (Microfilm Manuscript #1272, 1 reel)
  • Tolbert Slayden’s Country Store Account Book. Dickson County, 1892-1897  (Microfilm Manuscript #884, 1 reel)
  • Turnbull Primitive Baptist Church Records. Dickson County, 1806-1935  (Microfilm Manuscript #164, 1 reel)

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Dickson County:  1820-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1820-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Dickson County census records in book form:  1850*,  1860*,  1870*,  1880*


Additional Research Aids for Dickson County

*   Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.


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Dickson County Formation Act


"An Act erecting part of Robertson and Montgomery counties into a separate and distinct county."

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a new county by the name of Dickson, be and hereby is erected and established out of that part of the counties of Robertson and Montgomery, comprehended within the bounds following, to wit: Beginning on the south bank of Cumberland River, where the line which separates the counties of Robertson and Davidson intersects the same, running thence down said river to a point, half a mile below Fayetteville; thence southwestwardly by a line which shall intersect Barton's Creek, one mile north of the forge; thence due west to a stake or point, one mile east of the east boundary line of Stewart County; thence south to the southern boundary of this state; thence east with said southern boundary to the southwest corner of Williamson County, as was established by an act of the last session of the general assembly, entitled “An act to extend the jurisdiction, and to ascertain the bounds of the counties therein mentioned”; thence north with the west boundary lines of the counties of Williamson and Davidson to the beginning.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That the first court of pleas and quarter sessions for the county of Dickson shall be held by the justices of said county, at the dwelling house of Robert Nesbit on Barton's Creek, and at such place or places as they may afterwards adjourn to; which first court aforesaid shall commence on the first Monday in February next.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That elections and general musters in said county of Dickson shall be held at the place of holding the court immediately preceding the said election or musters.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriffs of Robertson and Montgomery counties shall have power to collect the taxes for the present year, and all arrearages of taxes for any preceding year, due from any of the inhabitants within the present limits of either of their respective counties that may be included within the county hereby established; and that the inhabitants of said established county, now citizens of Robertson county shall be liable for the payment of their proportion of any debts now due by said county of Robertson.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That James Elder be and is hereby appointed surveyor to run and mark the line between the counties of Montgomery and Dickson, who shall be allowed the sum of two and one half dollars for each and every day he may necessarily be employed therein, to be paid by the county of Dickson; and he shall employ chain carriers and a marker to assist him in running and marking said line; who shall be allowed the sum of one dollar each to be paid as above.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That in elections for governor, representatives to congress, members of the general assembly, the county of Dickson shall be considered as composing a part of the electoral district of what is now Robertson and Montgomery counties, and shall be conducted under the same rules, regulations and restrictions as by law established, and the returns made by the sheriff in the manner and form as aforesaid.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriffs of Robertson, Montgomery, Stewart and Dickson counties shall meet at the town of Clarksville on the Monday succeeding the election to compare the votes by them taken, and the sheriff of Montgomery County shall certify the poll for governor, representatives to congress and representatives of the assembly for the counties of Montgomery and Stewart, and also the senator for the electoral district; and the sheriff of Robertson County shall certify the poll for governor and representatives to congress and the representatives to the assembly for the county of Robertson and Dickson.

Passed on October 25, 1803


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Dickson County Bibliography

PLEASE NOTE that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the Tennessee State Library and Archives Online Catalog or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and verify we have an item in our collection. We will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

Subjects :

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Dickson County in General
  • Barnes, Callie H. I remember Owl Hollow. N.p., the author, 198-. 88 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Dickson County, Preliminary #4). Nashville, TSLA, 1968. 47 pp.
  • Burchard, Ernest F. The brown iron ores of the western highland rim, TN. TN Div. Geol. Bull. 39, 1934. 227 pp.
  • Corlew, Robert E. History of Dickson County, TN. Charlotte, Dickson County Hist. Soc. 243 pp. (reprinted, 1980).
  • Corlew, Robert E. Some aspects of slavery in Dickson County, TN. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1949. 124 pp.
  • Corlew, Robert E. "Some aspects of slavery in Dickson County." THQ 10 (1951), pp. 224-291, 344-365.
  • Daniel, Buena C. The iron industry in Dickson County, TN. Austin Peay St. U. thesis, 1970. 73 pp.
  • Eleazer, Ruth E. Schools in Dickson County, TN over the years. N.p., the author, 1986. 66 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: Dickson County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1983. 20 pp.
  • Garrett, Jill K. Dickson County handbook. Easley, SC, Southern Hist. Press, 1984. 393 pp.
  • Garrett, Jill K. Historical sketches of Dickson County, TN. Columbia, the author, 1971. 139 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Dickson County, pp. 920-947, 1329-1357). Goodspeed, 1886.
  • Larson, Lawrence T. Mineral resources summary of the Cumberland Furnace quadrangle, TN. Nashville, TN Div. Geol., 1966. 15 pp.
  • Masters, Donnie H. Housing study, Dickson County, TN. Nashville, 1978. 127 pp.
  • Miller, Mary E. "A folklore survey of Dickson County, TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 24 (1958), pp. 57-71.
  • Nashville MSA, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 55 pp.
  • Preparing for economic growth & change, Dickson County. Prepared by M. Lynne Holliday, et al. Nashville, TN Advisory Comm. on Intergovernmental Relations, 1990. 80 pp.
  • Radford, P.M. Church & diocesan histories & papers: transcriptions of materials in the archives of the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. N.p., 1970, 1979. 1 vol.
  • Soil survey, Dickson County, TN. Washington, D.C., 1928.
  • Souza, Kevin H. The vascular flora of Dickson County, TN. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1987. 82 pp.
  • Teachers of Dickson County, comps. A history of Dickson County. Dickson, n.p., 1945. pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Ellis Mills, Slayden, Cumberland Furnace, Cheatham Dam, Ruskin, Vanleer, Charlotte, Harpeth Valley, TN City, Dickson, Burns, White Bluff, Spot, Texas Hollow, Lyles, Craigfield.

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  • Fults, Vaughn. Bellsburg, Dickson County, TN. Charlotte, the author, 1976. 32 pp.

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  • Stuart, Seth. A brief history of Burns, TN from early pioneer days to June, 1975. Burns, the author, 1975. 100 pp.

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  • Dickson transportation study: existing conditions. Prepared by TN Dept. Transp. in cooperation with the US FHA & the city of Dickson. Nashville, TN Dept. Transp., 1988. 2 maps.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Dickson, TN, Dickson County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1982. 15 pp.

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  • Braam, J.W. "The Ruskin cooperation colony in TN." Am. J. Soc. 8 (1903), pp. 667-680.
  • Broome, Isaac. The last days of the Ruskin Cooperative Association. Chicago, IL, C. H. Kerr, 1902. 183 pp.
  • Butler, Francelia. "The Ruskin commonwealth: a unique experiment in Marxian socialism." THQ 23 (1964), pp. 333-342.
  • Carson, Herbert N. "The Ruskin Cooperative Colony." Independent 51 (1899), pp. 192-195.
  • The coming nation: a journal of things doing & to be done. no. 1-512, Apr. 29, 1893-Dec. 26, 1903; new ser., no. 1-143, 1910-1913. (Ruskin Cooperative Association).
  • Davis, W. G. Failure of the Ruskin Cooperative Colony. Gunton's Mag. (Dec. 1901), pp. 530-537.
  • Egerton, John. Visions of Utopia: Nashoba, Rugby, Ruskin, & the "new communities" in TN's past. Knoxville, UT Press, 1977. 95 pp.
  • Hardiman, Charles E. A historical geography of Ruskin Cave, TN. UT thesis, 1964. 69 pp.
  • Johnson, Yvonne B. The Ruskin colony: a paradox in the communitarian movement. U. OK dissertation, 1992.
  • Kegl, Charles H., ed. "Earl Miller's recollections of the Ruskin co-op association." THQ 17 (1958), pp. 45-69.
  • Medill, H.C. "Ruskin Colony: why it failed." Gunton's Mag. (May 1902), pp. 434-443.
  • Quint, Howard J. "Julius A. Wayland, pioneer socialist propagandist." MS Valley Hist. Rev. 35 (1948-1949), pp. 585-606.
  • "Ruskin community's subterranean industrial plant." Sci. Am. (Aug. 5, 1899), pp. 89+.
  • Smith, R.E. At the forks of the road near "the village school." Nashville, McQuiddy, 19-? 10 pp.
  • Stone, Grace. "TN: social & economic laboratory." Sewanee Rev. 46 (1938), pp. 312-335.
  • Southworth, J. "Cooperative colony at Ruskin, TN." Rev. of Rev. (Nov. 1897), pp. 606-607.
  • "Why all Ruskin colonies fail." Gunton's Mag. (May 1902), pp. 444-451.

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White Bluff
  • Eleazer, Ruth E. History of White Bluff, TN. White Bluff, the author, 1976. 10 pp.

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