The Old Jail Museum is located just over a block west of the Public Square in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee,  The Old Jail was built in 1893 and used as a  jail until 1973.  It now serves as a museum for the Lawrenceburg Historical Society. Curtis Peters, Historian and retired History Teacher along with  fellow members is providing an extensive collection of local artifacts and documents that include those that are connected historically to faraway places, especially WWl and WWll. The NBC INTERVIEW Button to  the left is devoted to old letters found that were exchanged between locals and German Prisoners that returned home after being held during WWll here in Lawrenceburg. 

The slide show below shows various old photos and old Post Cards from past generations in Lawrence County, Tennessee

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LipscombUniversity is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The campus is located in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville between Belmont Boulevard to the west and Granny White Pike on the east.  Student enrollment for the fall 2015 semester is 4,680 which includes 3,030 undergraduate students and 1,650 graduate students. It also maintains a location called "Spark" in the Cool Springs area of Williamson County.


 David Lipscomb University Presents


  in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA



1817         Luke Grimes
1818         Bracewell Farmer
1818-1823  Bradley Halford
1823-1824  William F. Cunningham
1825-1830  Douglas H. Stockton
1831-1841  Thomas J. Matthews
1841-1842  Daniel Smith
1842-1846  John Foadren
1846-1848  Thomas P. Roundtree
1848-1850  Franklin Hughes
1850-1854  William Chaffin
1854-1856  Lewis Miller
1856-1860  Robert J. Kelley *
1860-1862  John W. Stewart
1862-1863  C.H. Nicholson *
1863-1864  John McLaren, Jr.
1864-1868  Alfred M. Harrison
1868-1870  James H. McKey
1870-1872  Charles McClain
1872-1876  James K. Garner
1876-1878  John H. Harrison
1878-1880  George W. Sanders
1880-1884  Jim Wells
1884-1886  David Quarles
1886-1892  James K. Garner
1892-1898  Polk Comer
1898-1899  E.D. 'Lige' Richardson
1899-1900  Lee V. Davidson
1900-1906  Finis C. Wisdom
1906-1910  Willie John T. Smallwood
1910-1912  J.R. Boyett
1912-1914  Ben F. Watkins
1914-1918  Arthur M. Smallwood
1918-1920  S. Vince Tidwell
1920-1921  B. Frank Curtis **
1921-1926  Noah Moore
1926-1930  Leonard E. Black
1930-1934  Neal Morrow
1934-1936  Samuel J. Davis
1936-1938  Floyd Bottoms
1938-1943  Cleve Weathers ***
1943-1946  Earl Gaither
1946-1950  Claude McAfee
1950-1952  Samuel J. Davis
1952-1956  Willie C. Thigpen
1956-1962  Arnold J. Davis
1962-1964  Pat Sutton
1964-1970  Harold Brown
1970-1976  William Burkes
1976-1982  Roy Powell
1982-1990  Tom Purdum
1990-1994  Bruce Durham
1994-2006  William Dorning
2006-2010  Kenny Taylor
2010-2018  Jimmy Brown

2018-          John Myers
*    Resigned from Office
**   Died in Office
***  Murdered in Office 

Legacies unnoticed are most Powerful,

such is the case of James H. Stribling.

One Man's Vision ..... One County's Reward is a History of James Henry Stribling and how he made Lawrence County a better place to live. It contains lots of info on the CCC Camps in Lawrence County, the WWII POW Camp on Pine Bluff, the WWII Service Men's Home and much more (with hundreds of local photos).

It is now on sale at New Moon Antiques, The Lawrence County Archives, The Kraus/Crockett Theater Annex, and The Old Jail Museum. All proceeds from the sale

of the book go to the Old Jail Museum and the Lawrence County Historical Society.

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Get a signed copy . . . .

by contributors Peters and Pettus

most mornings at Square 40 Restaurant

on The Public Square in

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee . . . .

   A Giver we never knew. . . . Expanded Overview of Lawrence County Tennessee





                A History of the Amish of Lawrence County 
                                                           By:  Doyce Shaddix
   The Lawrence County Historical Society met Thursday October 22, 2015 at the Old Jail Museum on Waterloo Street.

   In the absence of President Curtis Peters, the meeting was called to order by Vice-President Denny Miner. The Pledge      of Allegiance to the American Flag was led by Martha Ann Alford. Forty-six visitors have toured the Old Jail Museum          since the September meeting.  Twenty-three were with a group from Sylacauga, Alabama.

   Dot Becker donated a whiskey jug that was found 70 years ago by her aunt.  It was on the property belonging to Lem        Motlow, owner of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where she lived.  A sword, photos, and very old      Spanish coins, dating in the 1620’s and 1630’s found in southern Lawrence County, were donated by Joey Jurek.  
   After the meeting Diann Pollock gave an interesting and informative presentation about the history and lifestyle of the

   Lawrence County Amish.  Diann works at the Amish Center in Ethridge where many tourists come to tour the Amish

   farms.   She says that many of the tour busses regularly follow the same route by first going to the Grand Old Opry,

   then here to tour the Amish country and then go on to Graceland in Memphis.  Tourists are drawn here from all over

   the world.  Just recently in a thirty day period, tourists came to the Amish Center from thirty different countries.  This  

   regular stream of visitors from other states and other countries is a boon to the Lawrence County economy. When

   tourists come by the store, they expect to find Amish running the stores and shops and are amazed they do not.
   This history of the Amish begins in Europe before their migration to the United States.  In 1693 there was a split in the        Swiss Anabaptist group led by Jakob Ammann.  After the split those who followed Ammann became known as the

   Amish.  High taxes, high rents, wars and rumors of wars and military draft along with religious persecution encouraged

   believers to leave Europe.  When William Penn in 1681 received ownership of what is now Pennsylvania from King

   Charles II to satisfy a debt he owed to William’s father, he decided to try a “Holy Experiment” and have a colony that

   allowed religious tolerance.   The Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, and others took advantage of the opportunity by

   coming to the United States and settling in this land owned by Penn. 
   As a result of living in Pennsylvania, the old order Amish still speak the language coined as “Pennsylvania Dutch”. 

   Bruce Stoll, a retired high school teacher from Ohio who speaks German, was asked by Diann at the meeting for input

   on the Amish language.  He said, because of the difference between their dialect and standard German, he can only

   understand about every third word they speak.  The Amish Bible is written in German, but not necessarily the German

   spoken by the Amish today.  According to one Amish man, it is about as different as the English of the King James

   Version is to the English we speak today.  A second wave of immigration from Europe began in 1817 and lasted until

   1860.  About 3,000 Amish came to America during this period and settled in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York,

   Ohio, and Canada.

   Fast forwarding to the 20th century; three Amish men living in Mississippi heard about farm acreage being for sale by

   the First National Bank in Lawrenceburg.   In January 1944, these three men, Dan Yoder, Joe Yoder, and Joseph

   Gingerich came up and purchased land, settling with their families just north of the Ethridge community, where there

   and throughout northern Lawrence County their population has grown to about 250 families. 
   When these Amish came, they were looking for an area with a government that would allow them to have their own

   schools that teach only eight grades and allow their children to stop their formal education at the age of fourteen. 

   These Amish know their children will not be seeking a job outside their community, therefore, according to them, no

   higher education is needed.  Diann says tourists are amazed the Amish are not required to attend school past the

   eighth grade or the age of fourteen.  One reason further education is not compulsory is because Amish do not take

   anything that is considered government funding.  They do not pay in to or draw social security, receive Medicare or


   From age fourteen until age twenty-one, the children have the opportunity to advance into a trade.  Learning farming

   is first and foremost and a trade is secondary.  During and after learning farming to the satisfaction of their parents,

   young boys are trained in a trade, which could be, for example, making furniture, making saddles, running a sawmill,

   making cabinets or any other trade practiced on their farms.  The girls are trained in cooking, cleaning, and canning,

   which can be an enormous task.  Diann related an example where an Amish lady recently told her that she cans from

   3,000 to 5,000 cans of food a year, canning almost everything they eat through the winter including peanuts, chickens,

   hamburger meat, fruits and vegetables. 
   With some families having as many as eighteen to nineteen children, this number would not be outlandish. 
These old        order Amish are among the most conservative of all the Amish in the United States.  They are made up of two local            groups, the Swartzentrubers and the Millers, with the Swartzentrubers being the strictest and most conservative of the      two.  Their customs differ in many ways from the ones in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other northern states.  Their simple        one room schools are found in each district with only one school to the district.  All students dress alike which makes          for no distinction between them because of their clothing. They usually have only one teacher per school and that              teacher instructs them in reading, writing, arithmetic, English and German. 
   The Amish basically believe in God, family, and land.  In each district, they have church every other Sunday so they            might visit other church services in other districts on off Sundays.  Their worship services, spoken in high German, last      about four hours beginning about 8 AM to 8:30 AM on Sunday morning and continue until about noon.  Their music is        a cappella, and typically slow, with drawn-out notes sounding much like a chant.  They sit on benches with no backs in      rows on each side of the room facing each other.  The men sit on one side and the women on the other. Little boys,          who are big enough, will sit with their dads but if they are babies they will stay with their mothers. In their beliefs, if a          person is caught in sin he or she is shunned by the church.  That person can attend church meetings but cannot take        communion. 
   They do not meet in church buildings but in their homes.  When it becomes time for a meeting to be held at a certain          families house, that family is expected to feed from 200 to 225 people after church services.  These meals are                    considered light by their standards, which consists mainly of bean soup, scalded milk, bread and a light dessert.  Diann      visited an Amish lady recently who had a dozen five gallon buckets in the kitchen that she was filling with cookies just          for an upcoming Sunday noon meal.  When it becomes time for the meal, the men eat first, then the women, then the        children.  Those shunned must eat at a separate table with no communication with others.  After the noon meal,                anyone may go home anytime they wish but usually stay around and fellowship for awhile. 
   Amish do not believe in having their pictures made or having pictures and mirrors on their walls.  They wear no jewelry      or flashy clothing.  Men have beards but no mustache.  Some sources state that this custom is based upon the Bible          verses - Psalm 133:1 & 2; NKJV, which mentions a beard but not a mustache: 133:1 Behold, how good and how                pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!  133:2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on          the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.
   The Amish do not marry until age twenty-one. When there is a marriage the bride customarily makes her own wedding    cake.  Couples do not marry until after all the crops are harvested in the fall.  Traditionally, the local Amish marry on        Thursday and the Amish in West Tennessee marry on Tuesday.  This custom prevents conflicts of times of marriages      so each group can attend the others’ weddings. 

   They have what they call “black cousins” which has nothing to do with race but are cousins who are not far enough            removed and considered too closely related to marry.  In their daily lives these Amish will use gasoline or diesel                  engines but absolutely no electricity running to their houses or barns.  They have no automobiles, tractors, amenities        like air conditioning, refrigerators, electric or gas ranges, nor other electric kitchen gadgets.  Lighting is provided by            either candles or kerosene lamps.  They might have a kitchen sink but the water supply is by a hand pump. 


   Bruce Stoll commented on a question frequently asked by tourists who come into his store which is on Brewer Road          behind the Amish Center. They see his beard and ask if he is Amish. 


                                              His response is, “No, I have air conditioning and a mustache!”


      Lawrence County, Tennessee, USA

              MAIL:  240 WEST GAINES ST.                                                    LAWRENCEBURG, TN 38464

              PHONE:(931) 762-3626 
              FAX: (931) 766-1566