McNairy County is named for John McNairy, who was a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Tennessee.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Chester County
E – Hardin County
S – Alcorn County, Mississippi
W – Hardeman County
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 Selmer. 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. In the interior, the courtroom is located on the north side of the second story. The building houses the County Chancery Court and County Juvenile Court of the 25th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 1996. The architect was Gil Carter and the contractor was Vanderheyden Construction 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.
County Justice Center – Selmer
Location: 300 Industrial Park Drive / Highway 45
Description: The building faces east and is a one story light brownish colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds to the south of the center of Selmer. There is a central concrete framed entrance on the east side. The windows have wide concrete headers. The roof line is flat. The building houses the County Circuit Court and County General Sessions Court of the 25th Judicial District.
History: The county was created in 1823 and Purdy was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was built at Purdy about August 1825. A more substantial building was erected as the second courthouse 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. The county seat was moved to Selmer in 1890. In 1891, the third courthouse was constructed at Selmer by McNairy Real Estate and Development Company. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1948 to 1949.
County Courthouse – Selmer
Picture 1891 County Courthouse
Picture Old County Jail 1892
Photos taken 2012 and 2018