Montgomery County, TN
HistoryLong before the dawn of written history, humans inhabited the lands along the Cumberland and Red Rivers. In successive order Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian Indians left evidence of their occupancy in this area. In the eighteenth century John Donelson led a flotilla of flatboats on a historic journey on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers through the area. An excerpt from Donelson's journal notes that on April 12, 1780, Moses Renfroe and company took leave of the main party, ascended the Red River and made a short-lived settlement upstream.
By the early 1780s three principal stations had been erected in the Cumberland-Red River area: Prince's Station, established in 1782, near Sulphur Fork and Red River; Neville's Station founded ca. 1784 between Prince's Station and Clarksville; and Clarksville, the only station to become a city, established near the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers. In January 1784 John Montgomery and Martin Armstrong surveyed the present site of Clarksville and proceeded to sell lots. The town, established by North Carolina in 1785, was named for General George Rogers Clark, Indian fighter and Revolutionary War leader.
In 1796 when Tennessee became the sixteenth state, Tennessee County, of which Clarksville was a part, was divided into Montgomery and Robertson Counties, with Clarksville the county seat of Montgomery County. The name Montgomery honored John Montgomery, who was a founder of Clarksville as well as a Revolutionary War leader. By 1797 Clarksville contained thirty houses, a courthouse, and a jail. Cultivation of tobacco in Montgomery County antedates the county's name. Three years after its establishment, Clarksville was declared a tobacco inspection site.