Durhamville, Tennessee

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Durhamville, Tennessee
Unincorporated community[1]
Location of Durhamville in Tennessee
Location of Durhamville in Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
Counties Lauderdale
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code 38063 (Ripley, Tennessee)[2]

Durhamville is a rural unincorporated community in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. Durhamville is the second oldest town in Lauderdale County. It was founded by Colonel Thomas Durham in 1829 or 1830. Thomas Durham owned a store in the town since 1826.[3]

Blues guitarist Sleepy John Estes is buried at Elam Baptist Church Cemetery in Durhamville.


Grave of Sleepy John Estes

Civil War[edit]

During the American Civil War, a detachment of the 52nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry engaged Confederate troops at Durhamville in 1862. One Union Army soldier was killed and ten wounded, eight Confederate soldiers were killed.


Sleepy John Estes was a U.S. blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, born in Ripley, Lauderdale County.[4] He died on June 5, 1977 in his home of 17 years in Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee.[5][6][7] Sleepy John Estes is buried at Elam Baptist Church Cemetery in Durhamville.[7]


Durhamville is located at 35°40′01″N 89°29′35″W / 35.667°N 89.493°W / 35.667; -89.493Coordinates: 35°40′01″N 89°29′35″W / 35.667°N 89.493°W / 35.667; -89.493. The settlement is situated on the southeastern edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area with a high earthquake risk.


Agriculture is the dominant source of income in the area surrounding Durhamville, especially the cultivation of cotton.

After the abolition of slavery, sharecropping was the primary means of income for low income families in the area. Mostly for the cultivation of cotton, land would be used by sharecroppers in return for a share of the crop to the landowner. Modern machines such as the cotton picker have made the manual cultivation obsolete over time as they took over the work from manual laborers.

As of 2008, there were no industries in Durhamville; some of its houses are abandoned; and as an unincorporated community, it has no defined boundaries.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Durhamville, Tennessee
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2005. Retrieved 2006-01-03. DownloadZIPcode
  3. ^ "Continuation of Goodspeed's History, Lauderdale County, TN". TNGenWeb.org. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  4. ^ Biography at 7digital.com from the Encyclopedia of Popular Music – accessed February 2008
  5. ^ Allaboutjazz.com birth and death details Archived January 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "TN Encyclopedia: Sleepy John Estes". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Norris, Sharon (2000). Black America Series: Haywood County Tennessee. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0605-2.
  8. ^ "Walker, James Peter – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 17, 2008.