McNairy County is named for John McNairy, who was a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Tennessee.
Created: October 8, 1823
Purdy 1823 – 1890
Selmer 1890 – present
County Courthouse – Selmer
Location: 170 West Court Avenue / South 4th Street
Built: 1948 – 1949
Style: Art Deco
Architect: Joseph Holman and Thomas Marr of Nashville
Contractor: Sumner Construction Company
Description: The building faces northeast and is a three story gray colored limestone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The northeast front has a central entrance framed with stone. There are vertical stone pilasters between the windows. The east and west wings are lower and the roof rises in three tiers. The courtroom is located on the second story. The building was renovated in 1996. The architect was Gil Carter and the contractor was Vanderheyden Construction Company.
Note: The first courthouse was built at Purdy about August 1825. A more substantial building was erected about 1830 by James Reed and Reuben Walker with Henry Kirkland as brick mason. This was a brick building and stood until 1881, when it was destroyed by fire. In 1891, a new courthouse was constructed at Selmer by the McNairy Real Estate and Development Company.
See: The architect, Joseph Holman and Thomas Marr of Nashville, designed courthouses in Bedford County, Franklin County, Hardin County, Lauderdale County, Madison County, Obion County, Pickett County, Sumner County and Weakley County. They also designed the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville.
N – Chester County
E – Hardin County
S – Alcorn County, Mississippi
W – Hardeman County
Picture 1891 Courthouse
Picture Old Jail 1892
Photos taken 2012 and 2018