Dyer County

The Dyer County Courthouse

Amtrak, America’s only cross-country passenger railroad, has only two active stations in Tennessee.

The Newburn train station

One is in Memphis. The other is in Newbern, a small town in Dyer County.

Newbern is one of 17 stops along Amtrak’s City of New Orleans route, which takes you from Chicago to New Orleans. And as you can see from this picture, it has a nice train station.

Also in regards to Dyer County: In the 1940s and 1950s, few men held more power than Rep. Jere Cooper, a native of Dyersburg who represented this area in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Jere Cooper
PHOTO: Library of Congress

A small-town lawyer, Cooper was first elected to the house in 1928 and was still serving there when he died in 1957.

By the time of his death, he was the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee and he was considered an expert on the way the federal government worked. He was, in earlier years, a huge supporter of Franklin Roosevelt New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Social Security Administration.

Here are two excerpts from his obituary in the Dec. 19, 1957 New York Times:

“Mr. Cooper was a quiet, shy man of extreme caution, who was nicknamed by reporters on Capitol Hill as ‘Sphinx.’

“Mr. Cooper said that he had worked from the time he was 12 years old and never had a stitch of clothes bought for me by anyone but my own self from that time on.”