Thanks to The News-Examiner for permission to reprint this article!
Note: All spelling, punctuation, and omissions are as they appeared in the article in the newspaper.
Editor's note: The following bit of interesting history concerning the town of Gallatin in the year
1861 was taken from an issue of the Gallatin Examiner, dated February 15, 1873. The Examiner
at that time was owned and published by Thomas Boyers & Co., composed of Col. Thomas
Boyers, Robert Boyers and J. W. Brown, all of whom have crossed the great divide.
The article says:
Among the business enterprises of our town at the time of which we write it would not do to omit "Old Aunt Minnie Steepleton", who had her ginger cake stand at the south end of the bridge leading to Railroad Avenue. Older citizens remember well the little table, with its clean white cover and the cakes so temptingly displayed upon it. They were the old-fashioned cakes, which no one but an old-time-before-the-war negro knows how to cook. There was no building of any kind on the south side of Railroad Avenue except the depot building. The entire space south of this avenue to the old stone bridge on Main Street was the meadow of Samuel Blythe, and his barn stood in the center. On the north side of this avenue Bush Bros. Had their coal yard Across the creek on North Water, where the iron bridge now stands, was a footlog.
Gallatin boasted of a market house, situated in what is now the front yard of the county jail. It had several stalls and was well patronized, butchers being required to expose their meats for sale there.
W.C. Towson was the proprietor of the hotel which stood in what is now the front yard of John B. Peyton. This was a two-story house with porticoes running the full length of the building in front. In the yard of the residence of John Fry stood the two-story frame hotel known as the "Gallatin Hotel". This was quite a good-sized building. N. B. Hamilton was the proprietor of what is known as the Day Hotel, which was conducted by Robert Hallum, who built it.
The building now occupied by Simpson & Sons' planing mill was the carriage manufactory of Knight, Martin & Mills, who turned out some very handsome work.
William Wright was engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods in the building now used by the Christian Church as a place of worship, and, prior to Wright, was used by the Cumberland Presbyterians.
J. Nickelson had a foundry and was engaged in the manufacture of farming implements on what is known as the Driver place.
The cotton factory was under the management of the Sumner County Manufacturing Company, and H. J. Barker was operating the flour mills on North Water Street.
Our physicians were: George Thompson, H. A. Schell, H. B. Malone, S. S. Meador and W. G. Haggard.
Our lawyers were: J. C. Guild, J. W. Head, G. W. Allen, B. F. Allen, W. S. Munday, George B. Guild, Baxter Smith, W. B. Bate, R. A. Bennett, J. J. Turneer, John J. White, Balie Peyton, William Trousdale and George W. Winchester.
Thomas H. King, who was an apprentice boy at the printer's trade, "set" the type and worked the press, while S. R. Lewis acted as "rollerboy" and printed the tickets used in Sumner County in voting withdrawal from the Union.
The corporation officers elected in 1861 were: W. N. Montgomery, Mayor Aldermen, Baxter Smith, J. B. Foster, William Wright, W. C. Blue, W. C. Knight, F. D. Blakemore and D. P. Hart, S. F. Schell, Recorder and Treasurer, and T. R. Love, Constable.
The first interment in our present cemetery was John Green Sims, a lawyer, who died August 22, 1824, and is buried under a box tombstone a few feet northeast of the Mexican soldiers' monument. The first cemetery was the lot upon which the residence of Dr. George Thompson stood.