Giles County Enactment

Giles County was created in 1810 in pursuance of an act of the General Assembly passed November 14, 1809, and at the suggestion of Gen. Jackson was named in honor of Gen. William B. Giles, one of the governors of Virginia. Giles County was formed out of Maury County and is bounded as follows: North by the counties of Maury and Marshall, east by the counties of Marshall and Lincoln, south by the State of Alabama, west by Lawrence County, and has an area of 600 square miles. The act erecting Giles County is as follows:


SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, that there be a new county established within the following described bounds, to wit: Beginning at the southeast corner of Maury County; thence due south to the southern boundary of the State; thence west as far as to form a constitutional county; thence north to the line of Maury County, and with said line to the beginning, which county shall be known by the name of Giles County.

Section 2 provides that James Ross, Nathaniel Moody, Tyree Rhodes, Gabriel Bumpass and Thomas Whitson be appointed commissioners to select a place on Richland Creek near the center of the county for a county seat, at which site the commissioners shall procure at least 100 acres of land, upon which they shall cause a town to be laid off, with necessary streets at least eighty feet wide, reserving at least two acres for a public square, on which shall be erected a court house and stocks, also reserving a public lot sufficient to contain a jail, in a convenient part of town, which town shall be known by the name of Pulaski. Section 8 provides for the sale of town lots by the commissioners at public auction to the highest bidders. Section 4 provides that the commissioners shall contract with suitable workmen to build a courthouse, prison and stocks, the same to be paid for out of moneys arising from the sale of town lots. Section 8 provides for the due administration of justice and for the time and place of holding courts. Section 9 provides that nothing in this act shall prevent the collection of taxes due Maury County at the time of its passage, by the sheriff of that county. Section 12 provides that this act shall be in force from and after the 1st of January 1810.

On November 22, 1809, the General Assembly passed another act, electing the following magistrates for Giles County: John Dickey, Jacob Baylor, Somersett Moore, Charles Neiley, Robert Steele, Nathaniel Moody, William Phillips, Benjamin Long, Thomas Westmoreland, David Porter and Maximillian H. Buchanan; at the same time Thomas H. Stewart was appointed Judge and Amos Balch attorney-general of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, embracing Giles County.

The commissioners met early in l8lO and selected a place then known as the "Shoals" on Richland Creek, as a site for the county seat, which was named Pulaski, in honor of the gallant Polish count who fell at Savannah in 1779 while fighting for American independence. The land so selected was vacant land, lying south and west of the Indian reservation line. However, assurances of title were given, which authorized the commissioners to make the selection, and on November 11, 1812, a deed for the land was made to the commissioners by President James Madison.