is located in the southwest corner of Tennessee near the headwaters of the
scenic Hatchie River.
Containing 655 square miles, it was formed from the Chickasaw Purchase of 1818.
Bolivar, the county seat, is about 35 miles south of Jackson, and 72 miles east
. . . The first people to come to Hardeman
County looking for permanent residence came in 1819-20. They came from
middle Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Kentucky.
County was officially organized on October 16, 1823, and was named for Thomas
Jones Hardeman, a veteran of the War of 1812, who served as the first county
court clerk and a commissioner for Bolivar before moving to Texas in 1835.
The first town in Hardeman County was established in 1823 on the banks of the
Big Hatchie, the Indian name for the river. It was appropriately called Hatchie
Town. The new site, the county seat, still bore the name Hatchie until by Act of
the Tennessee State Legislature, on October 18, 1825, it was changed to Bolivar.
Bolivar was named for Gen. Simon Bolivar, the South
American patriot and liberator. The early years of Hardeman County were
filled with history and romance, and many fine antebellum homes still exist to
remind residents and visitors of that time in history. For many years
Hardeman Countians depended on agriculture and lumber for their livelihood; in
later years livestock and crops were added to the economy.
. . . Hardeman County is a leading
producer of hardwood in west Tennessee. The economy of the county
at a consistently high level due to the favorable balance of agriculture,
manufacturing and retailing. The county boasts of its many industrial
manufacturers, service and transportation industries, clothing, pyrotechnics,
plastic structural material, kitty litter, electrical switches and wall panels
for modular construction. Sand and gravel are also shipped from Hardeman County
to a very wide area. Cotton, soybeans, corn, milo and livestock are the county's
principal agricultural products. Hardeman County is first in the state in
hardwood; 18th in soybeans: 27th in wheat; 21st in corn; 9th in cotton; 10th in
sorghum; 15th in hogs and pigs; and 43rd in beef cows.
Events . . . Hardeman County is home for
the Tennessee Forest Festival, held annually in October.
festival gives the state lumber industry an opportunity to display its products,
and it's a time for festivities such as the parade, an art show, arts and crafts
sales, the Logger's Breakfast, golf tournament and the Miss Forest Festival
Pageant, a preliminary to the Miss Tennessee Pageant.
The county also
plays host to the annual National Field Trials at the Ames Plantation in Grand
Junction. Other events, such as the Hardeman County Fair, Middleton's Fur, Fin
and Feather Festival and the Grand Junction fall festival attract guests to
Hardeman County on an annual basis.
. . . Hardeman County's public education
system includes six elementary schools, one middle school and one
County children from kindergarten to 12th grade, the Tennessee Technology Center
at Whiteville serves residents of Hardeman, Fayette and Haywood counties. The
school offers courses in business systems technology, practical nursing and
nursing assistant training, machine shop and welding, HVAC/refrigeration,
computer operations, automotive technology, industrial and computer electronics
and drafting-CAD. The school works with local industry to provide trained
employees. Higher education is available on two-year, four-year and
master's degree levels in Jackson, Henderson and Memphis. Satellite courses from
Jackson State Community College are offered periodically in Bolivar.
Care . . . Bolivar is served by Bolivar
General Hospital, two nursing homes, four clinics, seven doctors and three
dentists. Bolivar and Hardeman County also are served by a number of specialists
from the Memphis and Jackson medical communities.
. . . Recreational facilities in Bolivar
include a city park, city swimming pool and the Hardeman County Golf and Country
Club with a pool. The city is served by a weekly newspaper, two radio stations
and cable television. Bolivar is home of the Bolivar-Hardeman
County Library with more than 50,000 volumes, which steadily increases each
month, and a Tennessee history room. The library serves about 20,000 readers
Of Interest . . . The Bolivar historic
district features examples of early architecture. There are 118 buildings on the
historical register, including The Pillars, The Columns, McNeal Place, St. James
Chapel, the Presbyterian Church, Magnolia Manor, Levi Joy House and the Little
County Fairgrounds and Arena are located west of Bolivar. The fair sponsors many
events, including circuses, mud derbies, demolition derbies and the Hardeman
County Fair itself. The arena hosts IPRA-sanctioned rodeos, as well as calf
ropings and cow pennings.
Hatchie River is
a designated scenic river which runs across the county, offering a hunter's and
fisherman's paradise. More than 20 watershed lakes, ranging in size from 10 to
78 acres each, have been constructed and stocked with game fish.
Also in the area
are Ames Plantation, Shiloh
National Military Park, Chickasaw
State Park, National Bird Dog