Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union during the Civil War. It joined the Confederacy in June 1861, but a significant portion of its population remained loyal to the Union, leading to a bitter and divided conflict within the state.
Haywood County, TN has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. Originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Chickasaw, the area was settled by European colonists in the late 18th century. In 1823, Haywood County was officially established and named after John Haywood, a prominent figure in Tennessee's early history.

During the Antebellum period, Haywood County prospered as a result of its fertile land and proximity to the Mississippi River. The county became known for its robust agriculture industry, particularly cotton. Numerous plantations were established, and the labor force largely consisted of enslaved African Americans. The county played a significant role in the cotton economy of the South and experienced both the prosperity and turmoil associated with it.

The Civil War had a profound impact on Haywood County. As a border state, Tennessee was divided in its loyalties, and the county experienced both Union and Confederate occupation during the conflict. Many residents served in the war, and the county saw its fair share of skirmishes and battles. Reconstruction and its aftermath brought further challenges and changes to Haywood County as it adapted to the end of slavery and the Reconstruction policies of the federal government.

In the 20th century, Haywood County continued to be predominately agricultural, but experienced a decline in cotton production due to factors such as industrialization and the boll weevil infestation. In response, farmers diversified their crops, shifting to soybeans, corn, and other commodities. The county also saw advancements in infrastructure and technology, such as the construction of highways and the establishment of a local university. Today, Haywood County remains proud of its agricultural heritage and rich history, attracting visitors with its historic landmarks, museums, and annual festivals.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Haywood County, Tennessee.

  • 1823 - Haywood County, TN is established.
  • 1826 - Brownsville is officially incorporated as the county seat.
  • 1830s - The county experiences substantial growth with the arrival of the railroad.
  • 1837 - The city of Stanton is incorporated.
  • 1861-1865 - Haywood County is heavily impacted by the American Civil War.
  • 1878 - The West Tennessee State Normal School is established in Brownsville.
  • 1890s - The county experiences an agricultural boom with the growth of the cotton industry.
  • 1920s - The Bells Depot becomes known as Bells as it grows into a thriving town.
  • 1950s - The county experiences economic growth with the establishment of industry.
  • 1965 - The Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge is established in Haywood County.
  • 2000s - Efforts are made to revitalize downtown Brownsville through preservation projects.