Brief History

Famous People

Historical Marker for Beth Slater WhitsonSeveral people from Hickman County have gained national fame including two native Hickman County including Beth Slater Whitson and Sara Ophelia Colley Cannon.

  • Beth Slater Whitson wrote several hundred songs, including “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland.”
  • Sara Ophelia Colley Cannon gained world acclaim as Minnie Pearl on the Grand Ole Opry and the television show Hee Haw.

A number of men played important roles in the county’s history.  

  • Jerome Spence published Spence’s History of Hickman County in 1900.  
  • S.L. Graham built large cotton mill at Pinewood in the 1850’s.  
  • Halbert Harvill began his career in education teaching in a one-room school house.  He later taught history and organized and coached the first baseball team and the girl’s basketball team at Austin Peay Normal School.  Harvill was Dean of the school and President of Austin Peay University before becoming Tennessee Commissioner of Education.  He served in the Tennessee Senate from 1965 until 1981.