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Carroll County

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The Tennessee General Assembly created Carroll County on November 7, 1821, and named it for the governor, William Carroll. Settlers began to move into the area in 1820, where they found abundant game, fertile land, and large forests. Grass-covered areas known as “barrens” provided pasturage for livestock and easy cultivation. Realizing that the temperate climate and natural resources offered a bright future, the settlers established firm roots in the county and founded a number of communities and towns that continue today, including McKenzie, Trezevant, Bruceton, Atwood, McLemoresville, Clarksburg, and Huntingdon.

Good transportation systems account for much of Carroll County's industrial growth. In the early 1930s the Memphis-to-Bristol Highway passed through the center of Huntingdon and led to rebuilding and economic realignment. The town built a new courthouse and post office and added gas stations and the Court Theater to take advantage of the changes brought by highway traffic. Today, the county is served by Interstate 40, three U.S. highways, and ten state highways and an airport.

Carroll County has a long history in education. In 1843 Bethel Seminary was established in the rural village of McLemoresville under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; in 1847 the state granted the school a charter. In 1872 Bethel College moved into three new buildings at McKenzie, where it is now named Bethel University, home of the nationally ranked Bethel Bass Cats collegiate fishing team - the first to offer scholarships for fishing.