History

Davidson County Clerk

The office of Court Clerk was created in 1780 by the Cumberland Compact, the original articles of agreement signed by settlers who established Fort Nashborough.   Andrew Ewing, a Revolutionary War veteran born in Pennsylvania, and who arrived in 1780 with John Donelson, was appointed as the first County Court Clerk for the Cumberland Territory.   Ewing was reappointed in 1783 when Davidson County, North Carolina was established.   During his tenure he set the precedence for transcribing the county’s earliest legal proceedings, recording of all land deeds and transactions, wills, marriages, births, and deaths in the territory.   He even transcribed some of Founder James Robertson’s state documents.   When Tennessee became a state in 1796, Ewing remained as County Court Clerk.   He held the position until his death in 1813.

The Clerk, along with other county officials, is a “Constitutional Officer” as established by the Tennessee State Constitution.   Andrew Ewing was responsible for collecting funds (taxes) to build Nashville’s first court house, prison, and stocks.   The buildings were not constructed until 1803.   He was followed by two of his sons, who also died in office.   Ewing is buried in the Nashville City Cemetery.   Since 1783 there have been 24 County Clerks.   In 1978, some of the duties of the County Court Clerk were divided and the title County Clerk was designated as the official officer.

Andrew Ewing                                                 1783-1813

Nathan Ewing                                                  1813-1830

Henry Ewing                                                    1830-1835

Smith Criddle                                                  1836-1840

Robert B. Castleman                                    1840-1850

Felix R. Cheatham                                         1850-1861

Phillip L. Nichol                                             1862-1870

W. G. Ewing                                                      1870-1873

James G. Bell                                                   1874-1878

Joseph R. McCann                                        1878-1880

W. T. Smith                                                       1892-1894

P. A. Shelton                                                    1894-1910

W. F. Hunt                                                         1910-1916

Romas Hailey                                                  1916-1922

Thomas O. Hill                                                 1922-1926

Dick Lindsley                                                   1926-1935

Jake Petway                                                     1935-1935

John B. Cobb                                                   1935-1958

Ramsey Leathers                                           1958-1958

R. E. Worrall                                                    1958-1980

William McPherson                                      1980-1986

Bill Covington                                                 1986-2006

John Arriola                                                    2006-2012

Brenda Wynn                                                   2012-present