Dyer Country

Dyer County is a county located in the westernmost part of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 36,801. The county seat is Dyersburg. Dyer County comprises the Dyersburg, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area.Dyer County was founded by a Private Act of Tennessee, passed on October 16, 1823.The area was part of the territory in Tennessee that was previously legally recognized as belonging to the Chickasaw Native Americans as “Indian Lands”.

Map of Dyer County, Tennessee (1836)
The county was named for Robert Henry Dyer (circa 1774–1826). Dyer had been an army officer in the Creek War and War of 1812, and a cavalry colonel in the First Seminole War of 1818 before becoming a state senator. He was instrumental in the formation of the counties of Dyer and Madison County, Tennessee.Around 1823, Louis Philippe I stopped briefly near the mouth of the Obion River and killed a bald eagle.

In 1869, three, possibly five, white men were lynched under suspicion of horse thievery.

In Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, Twain reported seeing a steamboat at the mouth of the Obion River bearing his name. He notes this is the first time he encountered something named after him.


On February 1, 1916, a black man named Julius Morgan was accused of raping a white woman in Dyer County. In order to avoid a lynching at the hands of a local mob, Sheriff C.C. Dawson had Morgan sent to the jail in Jackson for safety, and again to jails in Union City and Nashville. His attorneys were able to secure a change in venue to Memphis for his trial. He was convicted and sentenced to death.On July 13, 1916, Morgan was the first person to be executed by electrocution in Tennessee

On April 2, 2006 a severe weather system passed through Dyer County, producing tornadoes that killed 16 in the county and 24 in Tennessee.

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