—Lawrenceburg, Tennessee —
In the summer of 1817, just before his 31st birthday, David Crockett entered Lawrence County with his second wife Elizabeth (his first wife, Polly, died in 1815), her two children from her first husband (James Patton, died in the Creek Indian War in late 1813), David's three young children from his first marriage, plus an infant boy he and Elizabeth had together. Before David and his family would leave Lawrence County five years later, two more Crockett girls would enter the backcountry world of Tennessee. Although it was a time of great danger and uncertainty this growing frontier clan quickly and decisively made an immediate impact on Lawrence County. Just the same, the events taking place in Lawrence Count would change David Crockett and his family forever.
The man whose personality and unique humor would capture the imagination of an entire nation conditioned his winning ways not by hunting wild game or fighting Indians, but through his tenure of public service, and that started here in Lawrenceburg. When David Crockett first arrived in this area, he could barely read or write with any consistency and he was not a successful farmer. He was also fortunate just to be alive. Although he had survived the brutal Indian Wars, and the loss of his wife, he had also recently suffered two severe bouts with malaria. One was so severe that his own friends reported him dead for nearly two weeks.
But despite his setbacks, what made David Crockett entirely different from most men of his time was a fierce determination that matched his impressive physical stature along with a sense of humor that worked in tandem with a real desire to help those less fortunate.
Politics finds Crockett
When the Crockett family traveled the eighty miles from Bean Creek to "The head of Shoals Creek" near Lawrenceburg in 1817, a win environment awaited them.
"We remained here...without any law at all; and so many bad characters began to flock in upon us, that we found it necessary to set up a sort of temporary government of our own."
In four and a half short years, Crockett became a renaissance man of sorts for Lawrence County. Not only did he provide for his growing family, he was appointed or elected to a series of political positions including Justice of the Peace, town commissioner, colonel/commandant of the 57th Regiment of Militia, and member of the Tennessee state legislature. While constantly engaged with local and state politics, he and his wife also created, built, and operated a small industrial complex consisting of a gristmill, gunpowder, factory, and a distillery-until a flash flood destroyed it. Unable to financially recover for this natural disaster, David and his family reluctantly moved to Gibson County (near Rutherford) in 1822 to start their news anew.
"I became so well pleased with the country about there, that I resolved to settle in it. And so moved and settled myself down at the head of Shoals Creek."