Skip to content

TN History for Kids

Overton County

James Davis
PHOTO: U.S. Army

Sometimes, an event can turn an ordinary American doing his or her duty into someone famous. Such is the case with Tennessee native James T. Davis.

The Davis monument at the Overton County Courthouse

On December 22, 1961, Davis – an American soldier – was killed in an ambush at a military airfield in Southeast Asia. Not too many people outside of Overton County noticed. But as the years went by, the United States increased its military presence in that Asian country (South Vietnam). Eventually America fought a war there called the Vietnam War. And for many years, Davis was considered to be the first American to die in that war.

The story does not end there.

In recent years, the United States' involvement in Vietnam has been studied more closely, and we've learned that a small number of Americans were killed in Vietnam in the late 1950s. Today Davis is no longer considered the very first American killed there. But he is no less a hero; and the people of Overton County will always consider him the first.

To learn more about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., click here.

Sorghum and molasses for sale in Muddy Pond

Overton County is also the site of a delightful Mennonite community called Muddy Pond. It's worth going out of the way to see. And if you would like to buy some molasses and sweet sorghum, this is the place!
 

An oil well in Overton County

Here is something else you probably didn't know about Overton County: It is one of Tennessee's top counties when it comes to oil and natural gas production (other top counties including Fentress, Pickett and others on the Cumberland Plateau).

So people from Overton County are used to seeing oil wells like this one.

Here's the Overton County Courthouse.

Overton County

County Seat: Livingston

Population (2015 estimate): 22,129