See Rock City

See Rock City

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Humboldt, TN

Humboldt sits in the heart of West Tennessee and has many benefits and a surprising quality of life to offer those seeking to relocate to our area. Whether you wish to move your family, your business, or both... give us the opportunity to prove to you why we believe that we can make "our hometown, your hometown." We hope you find your visit to our website not only informative, but also fun and enjoyable.

Humboldt is a city in Gibson and Madison counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The population was 9,467 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Humboldt, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Jackson, Tennessee-Humboldt, Tennessee Combined Statistical Area.

Strawberry Festival Parade
The city is known for its Strawberry Festival held each spring.

Berry Mascot
West Tennessee Strawberry Festival - A Unique History

5k & 10k Registration
BBQ Cook-Off
Jr. Territorial Revue & Floats Parade 13-15 Year Olds
Jr. Territorial Revue & Floats Parade 10-12 Year Olds
Jr. Territorial Revue & Floats Parade 6-9 Year Olds
Territorial Revue & Grand Floats Parade
Pedal Tractor

The North-South Mobile and Ohio rail line was built through the area in 1857. This line was crossed by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1859. The Humboldt community first developed in the area of the "crossing" of these two railroads. The city was chartered in 1866. Although accounts differ about the person responsible for Humboldt was named for the famed German explorer, Baron Alexander von Humboldt.

General Grant captured both railroads in the early days of the Civil War and built a fort near the "Crossing". In the first of his noted raids into West Tennessee, confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest captured the fort but abandoned it soon after destroying the railroad tracks, bridges and rolling stock. After the Civil War, the people set about building town, and in 1870 the population had grown to 2,000. The municipal water and light system was established in 1895 and the first improved streets were built in 1909. The sewer system was built in 1921, and by 1925, the population exceeded 4,000. At this time, the city boasted of having 6 churches, 3 schools, 5 lodges, 11 industries, 6 restaurants and 2 hotels.

Agriculture was very important in the early development of Humboldt. The one crop cotton system of the 1870's gave way to diversification. Small trial fields of strawberries and rhubarb led to large and prosperous fruit and vegetable farming operation including tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce and sweet potatoes. A number of shipping and processing industries developed to serve this growing and diversified agricultural base.

To promote the expanding strawberry industry, the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival was founded in 1934. This event is still held each year in early May bringing over 100,000 visitors annually to the city for parades, beauty reviews, horse shows and other events. After World War II, many companies chose Humboldt as a site for new manufacturing facilities. They have benefited from an industrious workforce and have continued to expand their local operations.

In 1994, the West Tennessee Regional Arts Center was created. This unique facility makes available many cultural opportunities not found elsewhere in the region.

Humboldt was built as a result of an independent pioneer "can do" spirit. The city has fully participated in the progress of the latter part of the Twentieth Century and is well positioned to be a leader in the new millennium. We invite you to visit awhile or stay a lifetime.

The Humboldt area was settled after Andrew Jackson Isaac Shelby signed a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians in 1818. A number of small villages sprang up along the Forked Deer River and other locations near the resent Humboldt. Gibson County was created in 1823.

Humboldt was the home of noted author and jurist, Samuel Cole Williams.

Samuel C. Williams was born January 15, 1864 near Humboldt, Tennessee. At the urging of family friend Horace Lurton, later a U. S. Supreme Court Justice, Williams pursued law training. He attended Vanderbilt University's School of Law and graduated in June 1884. After a few years of legal practice in Jonesborough, Tennessee Williams moved to Johnson City, Tennessee in 1892.

Williams joined politician Walter P. Brownlow in forming Watauga Light and Power Company and the Johnson City Transit Company (Johnson City Streetcar Company). In conjunction with John Cox he established the Banking and Trust Company which later became Unaka National Bank, Tennessee National Bank, and finally Hamilton National Bank. Judge Williams also had interests in Empire Chair Company and the John Sevier Hotel.

Notable natives

Doug Atkins
Doug Atkins, a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Douglas Leon Atkins (born May 8, 1930 in Humboldt, Tennessee) is a former American football defensive end who played for the Cleveland Browns, the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

College career

Doug Atkins signed football
Atkins originally went to the University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship, but once football coach General Robert R. Neyland saw his combination of size and agility, he was recruited for the grid team. After he earned All-America honors, the Cleveland Browns selected him as their first choice in the 1953 NFL Draft. Atkins also played on the 1951 Tennessee Volunteers football team which won the National Championship.


Doug Atkins Induction to Football Hall of Fame
He made it to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His jersey number #91 was retired by the University of Tennessee in 2005.

Doug Atkins
Even though he only played three seasons for the New Orleans Saints, the club retired his #81, one of three numbers retired by the franchise. The others belong to Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor, a long-time rival of Atkins during Taylor's days with the Green Bay Packers who played with the Saints only in 1967, and Archie Manning #8.

T.G. & Kelly with their new addition, BENTLEY
T.G. Sheppard, country music singer,

T. G. Sheppard (born Billy Neal Browder (after his father, Billy Browder), 20 July 1942, Humboldt, Tennessee) is an American country music singer. He never graduated from high school, but was one credit away from doing so. He ran away from his home at the age of 17 to become involved in the music industry in Memphis, Tennessee. Initially he worked in the record business and tried recording pop music under the name, Brian Stacy.

Carrie Underwood & TG
In 1974, Sheppard signed with Melodyland (later Hitsville) Records, which was a short-lived country label that was owned by Motown Records, and recorded the song "Devil in the Bottle," which became a No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart and also became a Top 60 Pop hit in 1975. The follow-up, "Tryin' to Beat the Morning Home," also went to No. 1 and cracked the Top 100 during the summer of 1975. Several subsequent releases during 1975-1977 also made the Top 10 like "Motels and Memories" and "Show Me A Man".

In 1977, Sheppard signed with Warner Bros. Records, where he enjoyed his greatest success. Starting with that summer's "When Can We Do This Again," he had a series of fifteen consecutive Top 10 releases, including 10 No. 1 songs. The biggest included "Last Cheater's Waltz" (1979); "I'll Be Coming Back For More" and "Do You Want to Go to Heaven" (1980); "I Loved 'Em Everyone" and "Party Time" (1981); "Only One You," "Finally" and "War is Hell (On the Homefront Too)" (1982). Another major hit came in 1984: "Slow Burn." "I Loved 'Em, Everyone" also reached the top-forty on the U.S. pop singles charts.

In 1985, he moved from Warner Bros. to Columbia Records, where he continued to enjoy success. After just missing the top 20 with "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" (a remake of the Elvin Bishop hit), he returned to the top 10, with his biggest success during this time frame coming with 1986's "Strong Heart" (the last of his 14 No. 1 hits, as it turned out). Three more songs peaked at No. 2 in 1987: "Half Past Forever (Till I'm Blue in the Heart)," "You're My First Lady" and "One for the Money."

TG and Loretta Lynn
Sheppard's success continued until about 1988, when rootsy neo-traditionalist artists began to eclipse more polished pop-country artists like Sheppard on the country charts. He continued to tour and play throughout the 1990s, but did not sign a new record contract, and did not release any new material until his 2002 live release, T.G. Sheppard: Live at Billy Bob's, which found Sheppard performing his classic hits for an enthusiastic crowd at the famed honky tonk in Fort Worth, Texas.

He has a new CD out called "Timeless" which has him singing songs from the big band era. In the late 1980's T.G. Sheppard was an associate sponsor on the #25 Foilders Chevrolet driven on the Nascar Winston Cup circut by Tim Richmond and Ken Schrader. In 1990 the Foilders sponsorship moved to Roush racin and driver Mark Martin.

T.G. Sheppard
T.G. Sheppard has always had an unstoppable passion for music. That passion, combined with a steadfast dedication to entertainment, has made him one of the most popular live performers in country music today. With a show chock full of chart-topping hits like "Last Cheater's Waltz", "I Loved 'Em Every One", and "Do You Wanna Go To Heaven", it's only natural that T.G. has developed a reputation as a solid performer who delivers exactly what audiences want.

T.G. knew early in his life that music was more than a hobby. He left his home in Humboldt, Tennessee, at the age of 15, journeying to Memphis to begin his career in earnest. Working in various bands, he began to develop his stage skills, learning how to put his own touch on the myriad of songs required to survive on the club and party circuit. Using the name Brian Stacy, he released his first record, "High School Days", which caused a few ripples on the pop charts in 1966. The resulting acclaim brought him gigs as an opening act for some of the biggest acts in America, including The Animals, Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys.

The fledgling star veered off his musical course in 1965, reverting to his given name of Bill Browder and getting into the record promotion business. In a short time his passion for music, now redirected to furthering the careers of others, made him one of the industry's most successful record promoters.

In 1972, T.G. found a song that would change his life forever. His astute ability to pick a hit song and promote it had paid off for numerous artists, yet T.G. kept thinking of his own musical aspirations. He knew Bobby David's composition "Devil In The Bottle" was destined to be a hit, yet had no success in pitching the tune. After being turned down by eight record labels in 18 months, T.G. decided to cut the song himself. Heading to Nashville, he was signed to Motown, the mammoth R&B label that was trying to establish a presence in country music.

When he released "Devil In The Bottle" as T.G. Sheppard by night, he soon realized which of the two jobs would get his undivided attention. While promoting records for RCA, T.G. formed a close personal and professional relationship with Elvis Presley. The legendary performer appreciated T.G.'s unique style and personality. As a token of their friendship, Elvis gave T.G. his first tour bus in 1976, helping to provide him with the confidence to give up the promotion business and hit the road full time. During his first year on the road he scored numerous hits with the Motown imprints of Melodyland and Hitsville, including "Trying To Beat The Morning Home" and "When Can We Do This Again".

Named "Best New Male Artist" in 1976 by CASH BOX, T.G. signed with Warner Bros. when Motown decided to get out of country music. His career then skyrocketed as he scored 10 consecutive number one songs, including such classics as "Only One You", "Party Time", and "War Is Hell (On The Homefront)". In 1982, following this impressive "debut", T.G. was honored as Music City News "Most Promising Male Vocalist".

His sound - a smooth fusion of R&B rhythms, pop arrangements and solid country songwriting - was a blueprint for country music in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During this period, his style rarely changed, and fans came to rely on his substantial recordings of well crafted, slickly produced country-pop rhythms, highlighted by his evocative vocals.

The "promise" of T.G.'s early career continued into the 1980s, as he racked up one hit after another. His duet with Karen Brooks, "Faking Love", scored yet another number one, and "Make My Day", a duet with Clint Eastwood featured in the feature film "Sudden Impact" crossed over onto the pop charts.

In 1985, T.G. signed with Columbia Records, where he again found himself at the top of the charts with songs like "Fooled Around And Fell In Love", "Strong Heart", and "One For The Money". During his Columbia days, he worked with renowned producers Rick Hall and Bob Montgomery to create four more albums to add to his repertoire.

By 1990, country music traditionalists had changed the course of the format, and T.G. found himself wondering how he fit the new mold. He chose to withdraw from recording at this time and instead concentrated on his live performances, touching audiences night after night with his tried-and-true repertoire of hits, delivered with non-stop energy and the same excitement he felt as a teen.

He also made a name for himself as an astute businessman. In 1988, he opened his private residence in the Great Smoky Mountains as a bed and breakfast. The 160-year-old log home, built high atop Moon Mountain, was an instant success and is still a popular tourist destination, although T.G. no longer owns the property.

The popular performer, who learned firsthand the kind of entertainment experience fans craved, was one of the original investors in the highly popular chain of country nightclubs, Guitars & Cadillacs. The clubs, located throughout the Midwest, serve as showcase venues for many emerging country singers as well as some of the format's biggest stars.

T.G. also served as the national spokesperson for the Folgers' NASCAR racing team for eight years. During a six-year span, he served as host/performer on "Folgers' Wakin' Up Country Tour", which headlined throughout North America.

In 1995, he took a two-year hiatus from the road to perform exclusively for eight months a year at T.G. Sheppard's Theater In The Smokies, a state-of-the-art theater in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. For the first time in his musical career, he enjoyed the luxury of going home every night after a show. But the wanderlust of a road musician was inescapable, as he returned to the road in 1997.

Charity work is a crucial part of T.G.'s career. Throughout the year, he works with many of the nation's top charitable organizations such as Cerebral Palsy, Inc; St. Jude Children's Hospital; The Alzheimer's Association; The United Way; and ChildHelp USA.

As the flagship artist for the newly formed Destiny Row Records, T.G. has fulfilled yet another musical dream. A collection of classic love songs of the forties and fifties entitled, "TIMELESS". This long awaited new CD will be his first in many years. Available at all retail stores in September 2004.

T.G. Sheppard's ardor for life and unceasing energy allow him to fulfill his unrelenting passion for music. "TIMELESS" is the latest means by which he shares that passion with the rest of us.

The Humboldt Chamber of Commerce mission is to serve as a catalyst for the continual improvement of the quality of life and the economic well-being of all the citizens of Humboldt, Tennessee.

Humboldt Tennessee is fortunate to have great neighboring cities, counties and Chambers of Commerce that work together to promote economic growth and enhance our quality of life.