Shady Grove Cemetery History


Shady Grove Cemetery is located within the 1000 acre grant that was given to Major James Montgomery for his service with Andrew Jackson's forces against the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March of 1814.  He moved his family here in 1824 to a spot 1/2 mile north-west of Shady Grove Church and later that year built the first mill that was run by horse-power on the west side of the river. (reference B.G. Brazelton's "A History of Hardin County", 1885)   This is a little bit confusing to some who read Brazelton's historical account as he talks later in his book about the "grand barbecue" that was held at Shady Grove Church.  This barbecue and gathering served as a recruitment for the Confederate Army, and some, with pride think of our current Shady Grove Church as the place where this took place.  However, this building wasn't built until sometime after the deed of 1896 where the land was donated for a "public burying ground" and a place to build a "meeting house" of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  The original location of Shady Grove Church (aka Shady Grove Methodist Church) was on a 10 acre plot of land approximately .4 mile south/south-east of the current Shady Grove Church building at the cemetery.

Shown here is the snow of March 8, 2008, approximately 6 inches which is a pretty good snow for this area.  It made for an awesome view of the church and some of the old iron work at the cemetery.

The original Shady Grove Church property containing 10 acres was deeded to them around 1849 and then after the current building was built sometime after 1896, the 10 acre property was sold about 1904 or 5.  Its a little less clear but all of the key figures of both properties seem to have very tight ties connections.  My theory is that the Methodist of Shady Grove Methodist Church probably helped to build the new building, maybe even using materials from the old building also.  I think the connection to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was by way of the fact that Rev. Thomas N Smith (believed to be Cumberland Presbyterian) as living very close to John and Ollie Montgomery near the time that the donation was made and may have provided that influence.   I have yet to talk with anyone who has ever know the building to be use as a Cumberland Presbyterian meeting house although that was the intentions according to the 1896 deed.