Middleton is a city in Hardeman County, Tennessee. The population was 602 at the 2000 census. It is located at the intersection of Tennessee State Route 125 and Tennessee State Route 57. Its slogan is the "Crossroads of the South".
It is believed that early settlers in Middleton came from Slab Town, a small settlement about three miles north. The town was originally called Jenkins-McCommons Crossing, after Jesse Jenksins and William Taylor McCommons. These two men came to the area from North Carolina in 1849 and donated the majority of land where Middleton is today. Following the expansion of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and the construction of a railroad depot, Middleton was chartered in 1850. It was named after an official at the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The town would suffer greatly during the Civil War. After the war, only one building, a small log structure that served as a store, was left standing.
Middleton is home to a 40-acre rail-served commercial park. The town also has a major natural gas distribution facility and other industrial manufacturers that employee over 1,000. ThyssenKrupp has an elevator manufacturing plant in Middleton. Other industries include Middleton Fiberglass, F.L. Crane Inc. Spray Coating Division, a hardwood sales company, Moltan, makes of cat litter, and El Paso Tennessee Gas.
Arts and Culture
Annual Cultural Events
Middleton hosts a series of annual events including the Fur, Fin and Feather Festival over Labor Day, the "M-Town Variety Show" in March, and an annual Christmas parade and related holiday events each December.
Points of Interest
The oldest structure in Middleton is the Rose House which was built by Benjamin Rose in 1833. The second oldest building is the Methodist Church and Adams Masonic Lodge #264 which was built in 1859. The City Hall is also the location of the local veterans memorial. The community has a library, a community center, two city parks and a "Boy Scout Hut" which serves as a meeting space for the local Boy Scouts of America troop, which was founded in Middleton in 1938.
Middleton is governed by a mayor and five aldermen, one of whom serves as vice mayor. They are elected every four years. The town's property taxes are .99 per $100 of assessed value.
Tennessee State Route 57 (Tennessee Avenue)
Tennessee State Route 125 (Main Street)
Norfolk Southern Railway
Middleton provides residents water and sewer utilities. The community also has a recycling drop off.
The town has a full-time police chief and department. The community is also served by the Middleton Volunteer Fire Department. The current firehouse was built at no charge by inmates from the Hardeman County Correctional Facility. The fire department has a Class 5 fire insurance rating.
Middleton has two medical clinics, a dental clinic and a nursing home.
Middleton has been the birthplace, home, or vacation town for a number of notable people. Bailey Howell, NBA Hall of Famer was born and raised in Middleton until attending Mississippi State University. Howell was a Boston Celtics player, along with Steve Hamer, who was born in Memphis went to high school in Middleton before he attended the University of Tennessee. Another athlete, Wayne Haddix, was born in nearby Bolivar but attended Middleton High School, he would go on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Estelle Axton, the co-founder of Stax Records, was born in Middleton, before moving to Memphis.