The Area

svrevalley

The first settlers moved into the Sequatchie Valley, then Roane County, around 1805, soon after the first treaty was signed with the native people. Some of these early settlers were Wilson, Oxsheer, Tollett, Standefer, Griffith and Anderson. Louise Maxwell Anderson is believed to be the first white child born in Sequatchie Valley in September 1806.

The oldest county in Sequatchie Valley, Bledsoe was named for a member of the prominent Bledsoe family of Sumner County. The most likely candidate for this honor is Anthony Bledsoe, a practical surveyor and Revolutionary war patriot.

Bledsoe became a county in 1807, during James Sevier’s last term as governor. James Standefer and John Tollett were appointed in 1811 to select a place for the county seat. Alexander Coulter donated forty acres “to erect the town of Madison.”

Much of the land acquired by early settlers was a result of laws passed by the Tennessee State Legislature 1806-1809 which allowed a settler to claim the land he was living on as well as other unclaimed lands. Some of these early claimants were John Billingsley, John Hankins and John Narramore.

Sometime between 1816 and 1818 the county seat was moved to Pikeville.

Bledsoe County was and is comprised of many small communities often bearing the name of a church, store, or post office. These are very often family names.

In 1832 Matthew Rhea listed four place names on his map: Pikeville, Big Springs, Madison and Rainey.

In 1836, by an act of the Tennessee State Assembly, Bledsoe County was divided into 10 Civil Districts. The gentlemen responsible for the districting were Isaac Stephens, Samuel McReynolds and Samuel L. Story.

In 1856 the Northern part of Bledsoe County became part of Cumberland County and in 1858 portions of Southern Bledsoe County were given up to Sequatchie County.