Tennessee was the site of the first recorded manned flight in history. In 1878, a man named George Washington Pearcy flew a steam-powered aircraft over a field in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Weakley County is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee and has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. The county was established on October 21, 1823, and was named after Colonel Robert Weakley, a prominent figure in Tennessee politics. The area was originally inhabited by the Chickasaw and Cherokee Native American tribes, but settlement by European-Americans began in the late 1810s.

The county's early economy was mainly agricultural, with cotton as the primary crop. This led to the establishment of numerous plantations and enslaved labor. The arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century brought increased economic opportunities, allowing for the transportation of goods and boosting the county's growth. Weakley County played a significant role in the Civil War, with both Union and Confederate troops occupying the area at different times.

After the war, Weakley County experienced a shift towards diversification, and agriculture began to include a wider range of crops like corn, soybeans, and wheat. The discovery of oil in the county in the early 20th century further stimulated its economy. With improved transportation infrastructure, including the introduction of paved roads and the construction of bridges, Weakley County continued to flourish.

Today, Weakley County remains an important agricultural region, with farming as a vital part of the local economy. The county is also home to several educational institutions, including the University of Tennessee at Martin, contributing to its educational and cultural development. With a blend of historical significance and modern amenities, Weakley County continues to offer its residents and visitors a unique and diverse experience.

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

  • 1802: Weakley County is established as a county in Tennessee.
  • 1821: Dresden becomes the county seat of Weakley County.
  • 1848: The Tennessee Conference Female Institute, later known as Graham College, is founded in Dresden.
  • 1862: Weakley County is occupied by Union forces during the Civil War.
  • 1879: The Tennessee Industrial School, later known as the University of Tennessee at Martin, is founded in Martin.
  • 1927: The first hospital in Weakley County, the Boling Hospital, is established in Martin.
  • 1945: The Weakley County Electric System is formed to provide electricity to residents.
  • 1950: The population of Weakley County reaches its peak at over 30,000 residents.
  • 1967: Weakley County General Hospital is opened in Dresden.
  • 1983: Weakley County becomes home to the West Tennessee Solar Farm, one of the largest solar power plants in the state.
  • 1991: The Tennessee Soybean Festival is established in Martin, celebrating the importance of soybeans to the local economy.
  • 2019: Weakley County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.