In August of 1870, the brutal murder of Colonel Thomas Dickins was reported in the Memphis Avalanche. According to the article, Col. Dickins, returning to his farm near Raleigh, "was way-laid by some fiend, and his life destroyed, in daylight, on a public road."
The assassin had ambushed the victim and fired both barrels of a shotgun into Col. Dickins' body from close range.
From Richardson’s Landing, TN, to Greenville, MS, the sand and gravel bars of the Mississippi River cut through old sediments in the riverbed and along its banks, exposing fossil remains of ancient bison that roamed the Mid-South at least 10,000 years ago. These ancestors of modern bison stood almost seven feet tall at the shoulder, and weighed around 2,000 pounds.
James Winchester, one of the founders of Memphis, was born in Maryland in 1752. He served under George Washington in the American Revolution, endured capture by the British, and moved to Middle Tennessee after his release.
By 1785, Winchester had build a fortified home in this still untamed wilderness, survived Indian attacks, which killed his brother and several friends, and started a family with his young wife, Susan.