Dresden, Tennessee

Some excerpts were taken from Weakley County by Virginia C. Vaughan (1983)

The City of Dresden serves as the county seat and currently has a population of 2,488 (1990). It was named by Mears Warner (1799-1863), who initially came to Weakley County as a commissioner to survey and lay out the future township. He requested the name in honor of the birthplace of his father which was Dresden, Germany.

The property where Dresden is presently situated was originally a 39 acre gift from John Terrell and a 17.5 acre purchase from Simpson Orgon and Ewing Wilson. The property was divided into 90 lots with a central block of land to be used for the construction of a county courthouse. In April of 1825 the first public auction for the sale of town lots was conducted.

Dresden was incorporated in 1827 and later expanded in 1843. The town was reincorporated in 1845 and later again in 1869. The corporate charter was repealed in 1885 in a shallow effort to drive saloons from the town. It would be eleven years after that repeal before another city government was formed. The most recent charter has since been amended several times, the last two changes were in 1968 and 1980.

The Nashville and Northwestern Railroad completed a rail line through Dresden in 1861. Unfortunately, there were already railroad stations at Gleason, Ralston, Martin and Gardner which drastically effected trade in the community and drew business away from Dresden. Before the railroads were built, Dresden was the center of commerce for the entire county and prior to the Civil War it enjoyed a prosperous business environment.

Notable citizens from Dresden include: Former Governor Ned Ray McWherter, Union sympathizer Emerson Etheridge, United States Congressman and Federal Judge Finis James Garrett

Ned Ray McWherter Emerson Etheridge Finis James Garrett


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