# County Historian
Mrs. Marise P. Lightfoot
Maury County Genealogy and TNGenWeb regret the passing on March 12, 1997 of Maury County Historian, Mrs. Marise Lightfoot, of Mt. Pleasant. She was a teacher, genealogist and historian, and had succeeded the late Jill Knight Garrett as County Historian. Editing, co-editing and compiling several important genealogical records collections and serving as founder, co-founder and leader in several heritage organizations, she contributed much of her energy and time to preserve and honor the history of Maury County. The American flag at the Maury County Courthouse was flown at half-staff in respect for her life, achievements and service to Maury County.
# Genealogical and Historical Societies
Maury County Historical Society
Contact: Mrs. Alice Algood, President
Address: 804 Athenaeum St., Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 388-5373
MCHS, founded in 1964, meets every odd month on the third Sunday. A quarterly publication is issued. Membership dues are $10 per year. (See Loose Records Project)
Maury County Historical Society has announced that the long-awaited Maury County Family History Book,the first of its kind since 1906, will soon be available. According to Fred Hawkins, MCHS, all content is now in the hands of the publisher, and printing will begin in the next few months. The volume will contain about 400 pages, including over 1060 biographies and more than 1100 photographs. Also included will be sections on Maury County businesses, churches, schools, clubs, social organizations, government, etc. The book will also include chapters on the history of Maury County (focusing on the past century) and on various communities within the county.
There is still a short amount of time left for pre-publication orders. MCHS feels that anyone interested in Maury County in particular and Tennessee in general, will not want to miss out on this publication. For special pre-publication price and ordering information, please send your SASE to:
Maury County History Book
1116 West 7th Street
Columbia, TN 38401
Daughters of the American Revolution
Jane Knox Chapter
Contact: Beth Summar, Regent, 200 Skyview Dr., Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 388-7900
Thomas McKissack Chapter
Contact: Mrs. Jerry Burns, Regent, 1105 Tenassee Trail, Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 381-2806
Contact: Mrs. J. Arch Warren, 2318 Zion Rd., Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 381-0778
Sons of the American Revolution
Contact: Ed Cherry, President, Clearview Estates, Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 381-3646
United Daughters of the Confederacy
James Madison Sparkman Chapter
Contact: Mrs. Curtis R. Fitzgerald, 405 Woods Dr., Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 388-0506
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sam R. Watkins Post #31
Contact:William Byrn, Commander, 105 Hemingway Dr., Columbia, 38401; phone (931) 381-8678
Note: The national headquarters for Sons of Confederate Veterans is located in Columbia at Elm Springs, an antebellum mansion built about 1837. Elm Springs, built for Susan Todd Looney and passed down through her family, is located at 740 Mooresville Pike. For more information, contact Ronald T. Clemmons, Executive Director, Sons of Confederate Veterans, P.O. Box 59, Columbia, TN 38402-0059. Telephone: (931) 380-1844.
# County Offices with Genealogical-Interest Records
Phone: All county offices may be reached through one number at the switchboard at Maury County Courthouse, Columbia: (931) 381-3690
The County Clerk has birth and death records from 1908 to 1910 and 1914 to 1940, and marriage records from 1807.
The Clerk of Circuit Court has divorce, probate, and Civil Court records.
The Register of Deeds has land records.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives has microfilmed many of Maury County’s public records.
# Loose Records Project
The Maury County Historical Society and volunteers are indexing and abstracting early Chancery Court records back to 1807 and have completed through 1870. The documents are being cleaned, preserved, and indexed by name in an annex of the Maury County Courthouse. They are available to see and to copy. The Tennessee State Library and Archives will film the collection.
# Libraries with Genealogical Collections
# Maury County Public Library
Address: 218 West 8th St., Columbia, TN 38401
Telephone: (931) 388-6332
Fax: (931) 388-6337
Holdings: Click here for details.
# Columbia State Community College Library
Address: P.O. Box 1315, CSCC, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 540-2560
Holdings: In the Special Collections Room at CSCC Library can be found many publications on Maury County and surrounding counties, Civil War information, bound issues of Historic Maury (quarterly publication of the Maury County Historical Society) dating from 1965, and bound issues of Tennessee Historical Society bulletins dating to 1942. On microfilm are: early Maury County newspapers, Tennessee censuses, and WPA records. There are three microfilm readers/printers.
Library Hours: Summers, during classes: 7:45 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Monday – Thursday; Friday 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Summers, when students are not in attendance, the library closes each day, Monday – Friday at 4:15 p.m. During the rest of the year, the library is open 7:45 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday, and 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. on Fridays. (All times are Central). The library is not open on weekends.
Contact: Reference Librarian Ann Eddings is in charge of the Special Collections Room and is the source for the information on CSCC Library for this page.
Note: The Maury County Historical Society will soon be housing its collection in the CSCC Library.
# Funeral Homes
Cheek & Baxter Undertaking was founded in Columbia by J.O. Cheek and O.E. Baxter about 1890 and was in operation for several years. J.M. Morton began undertaking in Columbia in 1891. The business was carried on by his son, and later his heirs, for many years.
Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home
320 West 7th St., Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 388-4711
Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home was established in Columbia in 1890 and is the oldest still in operation. John A. Oakes bought an interest from Mr. A. Barr, who had been in the business in Columbia since 1856. R. E. Nichols became a junior partner in 1899.
Williams Funeral Home
2517 Trotwood Ave., Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 388-2135
V.K. Ryan & Son Funeral Home
300 East 7th St., Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 388-4961
Baxter Bros. Funeral Home
1105 East End, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 381-1353
Chavers Funeral Home
214 Columbia Ave., Mt. Pleasant, TN 38474
Phone: (931) 379-3850
Roundtree, Napier & Ogilvie Funeral Home
128 Broadway, Mt. Pleasant, TN 38474
Phone: (931) 379-3977
Williams Funeral Home
819 North Main St., Mt. Pleasant, TN 38474
Phone: (931) 379-5574
# List of known Maury County Cemeteries
The compiler of Maury County, Tennessee Cemeteries has offered to look up burials of your ancestors in Maury County, IF you cannot access this county’s cemetery records books in your local libraries and cannot afford to purchase the two-volume set. For look-ups of specific individuals known to have been buried in Maury County or for information on purchasing one of the remaining compilation sets, contact Fred Lee Hawkins, Jr.
The Daily Herald was established as a daily newspaper in Columbia, Tennessee, in October 1899. Its predecessor of the same name was started in 1844, but survived only a few months. The Columbia Herald was started in January 1855, discontinued in 1862, and re-established in 1870. In 1872, it was merged with The Mail, which had been started in 1871. In 1882, The Columbia Herald Company was formed by 30 businessmen. The Journal and The Maury Sentinel were induced to merge. The Hon. Henry Cooper, ex-US Senator, became Editor in 1885. F.D. Lander succeeded Mr. Cooper in 1887.
The first issue of The Maury Democrat appeared in 1882. It was purchased from a stock company by Lynch Perry in 1888. It survived for many years in publication alongside The Daily Herald. Microfilmed copies of The Daily Herald are kept in a circulating collection and may be viewed on the microfilm reader/printer at the Maury County Public Library.
The Columbia Daily Herald has its offices at 1115 South Main St., Columbia, TN 38401. Phone: (931) 388-6464. Fax: (931) 388-1003. Information on the Herald was derived from present Editor, Tim Wood, and The Century Review of Maury County, Tennessee The Columbia Daily Herald is now online! Click on link above. .
# Older Churches in Maury County
Zion Presbyterian Church was organized in 1807 by members who emigrated from the Bethel congregation in Williamstown District, SC (See Maury County Books). Earlier these members and their predecessors had emigrated from Scotland to the Belfast area of County Down, Ireland, and from there to America in 1730. Some families first located in Lancaster District, PA and later reunited with the others to help develop Williamsburg. Many of them were lineal descendants of John Knox.
In Zion Church Cemetery are buried, along with many of these early immigrants, ten Revolutionary soldiers, three 1812 soldiers and 109 who served in the Civil War. (Source for this information is Turner’s History of Maury County, Tennessee).Zion Church is located at: 2322 Zion Road, Columbia, TN 38401. Telephone: (931) 381-1272.
First Methodist Church was organized in 1807. After several early buildings were destroyed, the present church was erected in 1874-76 at: 222 West 7th St., Columbia, TN 38401. Telephone: (931) 388-3306.
First Presbyterian Church was organized in Columbia about 1822. After several of the early church sites were destroyed by fire, the present church building was erected in 1916 at the corner of West 7th and South High Streets. The first Presbytery embraced Maury, Marshall and Lincoln Counties and had under its care 25 churches. Telephone: (931) 388-1985.
St. John’s Church (Episcopal) was built in 1839 on six acres of land donated by Leonidas Polk. With its ivy-covered tower and surrounded by a grove of trees, it is no wonder that Confederate General Patrick Cleburne remarked while passing by in 1864, “It is almost worth dying for to be buried in such a beautiful spot.” Only a few days later, he died at the Battle of Franklin and was interred at St. John’s, along with Generals Strahl and Granbury. (Their bodies were later disinterred and removed to burial sites nearer their homes).
The last regular Rector, Rev. Richard Newell, died in 1889. The church is in the care of the St. John’s Memorial Association, which conducts an annual pilgrimage. St. John’s in located on the Mt. Pleasant Pike, adjacent to Polk Memorial Cemetery.
West 7th St. Church of Christ was established in 1848. After several moves, the present building was completed on November 29, 1925. The Church of Christ movement in Maury County began as early as 1822 at Isom, on Cathey’s Creek. Congregations were active by the 1830’s and 1840’s at Lasea, Berea on Bear Creek, Columbia by 1840 and Williamsport in 1851. West 7th St. Church of Christ is located at 405 West 7th St., Columbia, TN 38401. Telephone: (931) 388-6514.
First Baptist Church was organized in the Maury County Courthouse in 1856 as the Columbia Baptist Church. After meeting in several locations, including a frame church which was located on the present site in 1876. The present building was erected in 1886, with an addition being added in 1924. First Baptist Church is located at: 812 South High St., Columbia, TN 38401. Telephone: (931) 388-2655.
Two of the oldest remaining churches founded by African-Americans are: Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist, which was constructed in 1840, located at 218 East 8th St., Columbia, TN 38401 (Telephone: 931-388-8744); and Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist, located at the corner of East 8th and Bridge Street, Columbia, TN. Telephone: (931) 381-1551.
St. Catherine’s Catholic Church was erected in 1953, but Catholic history in Maury County began in 1821, with the first Catholic Church being built in 1867. St. Catherine’s is now located at: 3019 Cayce Lane, Columbia, TN 388-3803.
# Publications on Maury County
Numerous books are available at the Maury County Library, Columbia, TN, and in the Heritage Room of Huntsville Public Library, Huntsville, AL. Click here for a representative list of the major works.
Special Note: At Central High School in Columbia, the history students of William W. Byrn are publishing The New Ground, a quarterly collection of stories concerning the history of Maury County.
Maury County Remembers World War II.” : The Maury County Historical Society, with editor Virginia W. Alexander and co-editor, Margaret Ashton, just completed a two-part collection of records of and stories from men who served in World War II from Maury County, Maury County Remembers World War II. Included in Vol. 1 are 5,000 discharges and military records. Vol. 2 includes stories from the men at war and their families on the homefront. There are reminisces from notes of Lindsey Nelson, late renowned sportscaster and graduate of Columbia’s Central High School, stories from Nelson’s sister, who served with the American Red Cross in the Philippines (with accounts of General MacArthur), and portions from the diary of Dr. William Cook from prison camp.
The two volumes contain over 800 pages (8 1/2″ x 11″) and are hard bound. Order from: MCHS, P.O Box 147, Columbia, TN 38401.
Mrs. Alexander has also completed Riverside United Methodist Church, 50 years, 1945- 1995. The 8 1/2″ x 11″ paperback book (66 pages) contains a complete listing of all members, baptismal records, deaths, dates of joining, church history, etc. It can be ordered from: Riverside United Methodist Church, 313 6th Ave., Columbia, TN 38401.
# Census Records (federal only)
Microfilmed censuses of Maury County are generally available for 1820 through 1920, with Soundex for 1900, 1910, and 1920.
Columbia State Community College
Address: Hwy 412 West, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 540-2722
Columbia State Community College Online
# Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information
Maury County Chamber of Commerce
Address: 8 Public Square, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 388-2155
Maury County Convention & Visitors Bureau Address: 8 Public Square, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 381-7176
# Sources of Maps
Copies of a modern joint county/city map may be obtained from the Maury County Chamber of Commerce for a nominal cost. The Maury County Public Library has a very early map of Maury County mounted on a wall. Copies cannot be made. Another source for early maps which depict Maury County is the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
# Museums with Historical Artifacts
The Mt. Pleasant/Maury County Phosphate Museum
Address: 105 Public Square, Mt. Pleasant, TN 38474
Phone: (931) 379-9511
The Phosphate Museum was organized in 1991-1993 by Irene Dugger and Jimmy Dugger and other volunteers interested in preserving the history of phosphate mining in Maury County and the county’s historical artifacts. Contained in the museum are Indian relics (with more to be added from a nearby dig being conducted by the University of Tennessee), old photographs of schools and other sites of Mt. Pleasant and Maury County, a Civil War display (metal-detector findings from local land), a “cotton days” display, antique cameras, antique tools, and antique toys, etc. The mining display has been moved. All artifacts are from Maury and Lawrence Counties.
The museum will be moving to a new building with a larger display and storage area in the near future. Hours of operation are: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Note: New museums planned for the future in Maury County include: a Maury County Museum in Columbia, and a county/Civil War museum at Rippavilla Mansion near Spring Hill.