Dyer County

Dyer County

Dyer County was formed in 1823 from Indian lands

(Private Acts of Tennessee 1823, Chapter 108)

The county seat is Dyersburg.

There was a fire at the Dyer County courthouse in 1864.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Dyer County  (Alexander,  1974) [partial index]*
  • Dyersburg (Koruvelas, 2011)
  • Goodspeed's Dyer County History (1990) [name index]
  • History of Dyer County [2 vols.]  (Hulme, 1982-85)*
  • Official Souvenir Booklet Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Dyer County, Tennessee 1823-1973 (1973?)*
  • Reflections of Our Past: A Pictorial History of Dyersburg/Dyer County (Childress, 1997)
  • Tennessee, Dyer County: A Sketch of the Life and Imprisonment of Mary Neely (WPA, 1939) [name index]

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


Published Local Records
  • 1836 Dyer County, Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Listing (Douthat, 2003) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census, Dyer County, Tennessee (Sistler, 2000) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Cemetery Inscriptions of Dyer County, Tennessee (Glass, 1977) [name index]*
  • Dyer Co., Tennessee, Gibson Co., Tennessee, Lake Co., Tennessee, Obion Co., Tennessee, Weakley Co., Tennessee: Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1990) [name index]
  • Dyer County and Newbern, Tennessee: Being a History of 39 of the Earliest Families of this County (Ridens, 1979) [name index]
  • Dyer County, Tennessee Deed Book[s] {vol. 1  1824-1831;   vol. 2  1831-1835]  (Crumpton, 2001) [name index]*
  • Dyer County, Tennessee, Entry Book no. 1, 1820-1855 (WPA, 1941) [name index]
  • Dyer County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1860-1880 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Dyer County, Tennessee Marriages, 1860-1879 (Sistler, 1989) [alphabetical by bride and groom]
  • Dyer County, Tennessee, Record Minute Book, County Court, 1852-1856 (WPA, 1942)
  • Dyer County, Tennessee, Will Book [1853-1893] (WPA, 1938)
  • Dyer County, Tennessee, Wills [1853-1893] (Lambert & Gilmore, 1998) [name index]*
  • Polk's Dyersburg (Dyer County, Tenn.) City Directory (1961, 1963-64, 1966-67, 1969-89, 1992-93, 1995-99, 2001-2019)
  • Private Acts of Dyer County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1994)
  • Seventh Census of the United States, 1850: Dyer County, Tennessee, Free Population Schedules (Carpenter, 1969) [surname index]*


Local Records on Microfilm 

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1860
  • wills from 1853
  • deed index from 1822
  • chancery court minutes from 1854
  • county court minutes from 1848
  • circuit court minutes from 1863
  • tax books from 1862

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

  • Deed Index -- 1822-1878  (#108, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1853-1937  (#104, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Dyer County  (Record Group #107, Roll 19,  1 reel). Roll includes Will Book A (1853-1893),  Marriage Records (1860-1880),  Entry Book #1 (1820-1855),  Sketch of the Life & Imprisonment of Mary Neely (undated) and Minute Book, County Court, Part II (1852-1856).*


Newspapers on Microfilm 

Newspapers were published in Dyersburg and Newbern.  Scattered early issues are available from 1859, and a complete run begins in 1929.  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
  • H.R.A. McCorkle Journals, 1848-1907  (Microfilm Manuscript #1834, 2 reels)
  • Samuel Rankin Latta Diary, 1848-1857  (Microfilm Manuscript #84, 1 reel)
  • Springhill Baptist Church Records, 1886-1959  (Microfilm Manuscript #2021, 1 reel)

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Dyer County:  1830-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1830-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Dyer County census records in book form:  1850*,  1880*


Additional Research Aids for Dyer County

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

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Dyer County Formation Act


"An Act to establish two new counties west of Tennessee River."

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a county heretofore laid off south of Madison county, beginning at the south west corner of Madison county, running thence west six miles to a point one mile west of the fourth range line, the tenth district; thence south parallel with said line, to the south boundary of the state; thence east on said boundary, in a point two miles east of the meridian separating the ninth and tenth surveyors' districts; thence north of the Madison County line; thence west with the same to the beginning; be, and the same is hereby, established, to be called and known by the name of Hardeman County.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice in the said county of Hardeman, the circuit court, and court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions, for said county, shall be held at the house of Thomas M'Neil, at the following times, to-wit: the court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions, in said county, on the third Mondays in November, February, May, and August, in each and every year; and the circuit court, in said county, on the first Mondays in May and November in each and every year; at which place and times the said courts shall be holden, until otherwise provided for by law, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions, and shall exercise the same power and jurisdiction, that are now possessed by the said court respectively in other counties of this state.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriff of the said county of Hardeman shall hold an election at the house of Thomas M'Neil, the place of holding courts in said county on the second Thursday and succeeding day in February, for the purpose of electing field officers of the militia for said county, under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions,  as are pointed out by law in similar cases; and the militia of the said county of Hardeman shall compose the eighty-first regiment, and shall be attached to the __ brigade.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the commandant of the said eighty-first regiment, having first been commissioned, and sworn according to law, to divide his regiment into such number of companies as he shall think best for the convenience of said companies; and it shall be the duty of said commandant, to issue writs of election for company officers according to law.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That this act shall go into effect from and after the passage thereof.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That a new county, to be called and known by the name of Dyer County, be and the same is hereby established on the west side of the Tennessee River, and shall be bounded as follows, to wit: beginning at the north-west corner of the first county west of Carroll County, running thence south with the first range line, to the south boundary of the thirteenth district; thence west with the district line, to the western boundary of this state; thence on said western boundary, to the fifth sectional line; thence east with the said line, to the beginning.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice, the courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions shall be held at the house of John Warrens, in said county, on the fourth Mondays in December, March, June, and September; the circuit courts shall be held at the same place, on the first Mondays of June and December, until otherwise provided for by law.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the sheriff of said county, on the first Thursday and Friday of February next, to open and hold an election for field officers in the regiment of militia in said county, which shall compose the ___ regiment and be attached to the ___ brigade, and said election shall be held under the same rules and regulations as are by law provided in similar cases.


Passed on October 16, 1823


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Dyer 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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Dyer County in General
  • Alexander, Mai. Dyer County, the garden spot of the world. Dyersburg, Wallace Print. Co., 1974. 166 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Dyer County, Preliminary #45-A). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 32 pp.
  • Donaldson, R.C. "Key Corner, Dyer County, TN." WTHSP 17 (1963), pp. 126- 127.
  • Dyer County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Dyer County, pp. 842-852, 1024-1073). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • A history of Dyer County. Dyersburg, A.L. & J.A. Hume, 1982-1985. 2 vols.
  • Hume, Albert L. A compilation of the history of Dyer County. Dyersburg, State Gazette, 1960. 48 pp. (reprinted, State Gazette Sesquicentennial Edition, Friday, Nov. 2, 1973).
  • Official souvenir booklet commemorating the 150th anniversary of Dyer County, TN, 1823-1973. Newbern, Anderson Print. Co., 1973. 72 pp.
  • Prunty, Merle. Evolution of the agricultural geography of Dyer County, TN. Clark U. thesis, 1944. 398 pp.
  • Soil survey, Dyer County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1965. 79 pp.
  • TN Dept. Ed. Survey report: Dyer County, Dyersburg, Newbern & Trimble schools. Nashville, the dept., 1959. 194 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Dyer County. Knoxville, TVA, 1935. var. pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Caruthersville NW, Caruthersville NE, Miston, Lane, Trimble, Caruthersville SW, Dyersburg, Newbern, Tatumville, Fowlkes, Bonicord, Friendship.

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  • Community information, Dyersburg, TN. Prepared by Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce & West TN Ind. Assoc. Jackson, the association. Annual.
  • Dyersburg urban transportation study: existing conditions. Prepared by the TN Dept. Transportation, in cooperation with the US FHA, the city of Dyersburg & Dyer County Office of Local Planning Assistance. Nashville, TN Dept. Transportation, 1988. 21 pp.
  • First Presbyterian Church. One hundredth anniversary, 1854-1954, First Presbyterian Church, Dyersburg, TN. Dyersburg, the church, 1954. 16 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Dyersburg, TN, Dyer County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1981. 18 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Dyersburg, TN, Dyer County. Rev. Feb. 3, 1993. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1993. 1 vol.
  • Nixon, William B. Citizen participation in urban renewal; a report of a demonstrated project conducted in Dyersburg, TN, to explore methods of creating understanding & enlisting support & participation on the part of citizens for launching an urban renewal program in a small community. Nashville, TN State Plann. Comm., 1957. 245 pp.
  • Pickering, Wooten, Smith, Weiss Engineering Associates, Inc., Memphis. Dyersburg area TOPICS study. Prepared for TN Dept. Transportation & city of Dyersburg in cooperation with USFHA. Nashville, TN Dept. Transportation, 1974. 89 pp.
  • Schreurs, Raymond L. Geology & groundwater resources of the Dyersburg quadrangle, TN. Prepared in cooperation with the US Geol. Survey. Nashville, TN Div. Geol., 1959. 61 pp.
  • TN Highway Plann. Survey Div. 1961 traffic study, Dyersburg, TN. Prepared by the TN Dept. Highways in cooperation with US Bur. Public Roads, TN State Plann. Comm., & city of Dyersburg. Nashville, n.p., 1964. 107 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Economic profile, Dyersburg, Dyer County, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1978. 15 pp.

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  • Community information, Newbern, TN. Prepared by Dyer County Area Chamber of Commerce & West TN Ind. Assoc. Jackson, the association, 1987. 44 pp.
  • Newbern (TN) Centennial. Book Committee. Newbern, the first hundred years, 1857-1957: centennial celebration, August 14, 1957. Newbern, n.p., 1957. 100 pp.

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