Some of the earliest occupants of
this exact spot were the mound builders
of the Mississippian culture, successfully
fi shing and farming the area
for many generations. They were followed
by tribes of Native Americans
like the Chickasaws, who grew corn
and squash on our piece of land as well
as fi shing along the Delta. Explorers
like Hernando de Soto from Spain and
Robert Cavelier de la Salle from France
were among the fi rst Europeans to see
this area of the country.
By the early 19th century, speculators
and explorers began to push into
the Western frontier for new opportunities.
The fi rst settlers brought their
livestock and farming skills to the area
and began to clear and drain the land,
turning the fertile delta ground into
thousands of acres of agricultural fi elds.
Tennessee, our 16th state was admitted
to the union in 1796. Taking advantage
of its position as a slave state, the
southern Tennessee cotton business
Dr. Thomas D. Moore bred prize Herefords on his Graceland property. In 1940, the Mid-South
Hereford Breeder Association was formed and Doctor Moore became its fi rst president.
quickly became the lifeblood of the
area. In May of 1819, three investors
went together and founded the town
of Memphis, oddly named for the
COURTESY OF GRACELAND ARCHIVES
ancient capital of Egypt. By 1826, the
town was incorporated and our little
compass point on the map just east of
looking backBY BERT ENTWISTLE
A Place on the Delta
Cattle came before the King
hat’s in a number
you ask? Well —
since you did ask…
let’s pick a random
compass point on the North
American map (a totally random
choice of course), and see where
in the country it takes us. How
about 35°02´45.39’’ North Latitude
x 90°01´22.61’’ West Longitude?
Our random choice puts us
on a patch of ground just east of a
big bend in the Mississippi River.
Just for fun, let’s see what’s happened
over the years on what was
once a wild, hardwood and brush
covered area of swampy ground.
Continued on page 145
146 I WORKING RANCH I JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019