Historical marker for freeman Robert Moody, African-American educator and missionary

Monday, July 8, 2024
State Gazette photo/William Northcutt



The Dyersburg-Dyer County Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the Dyer County Historical Society held a ribbon cutting for the second of three new State of Tennessee Historical Markers in the area, this one for Robert Moody, an African-American who was born as a free man in in 1828. The event took place Monday morning, July 8.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Slater Barr presented Dyer County Historian Earl Willoughby with a certificate for the ribbon cutting.
State Gazette photo/William Northcutt

According to the marker, Moody was “born to an enslaved man named Daniel and Jane Freeman, a free woman…” He and his mother farmed in the county. In 1856, after finishing his education in Canada, Moody freed his father by “purchasing him” at auction. His father moved to Canada, “but Moody stayed…to purchase and free Sarah McDamond, who became his…wife…” The marker also states, “From 1873 to 1880 Moody was an impactful educator and missionary in Dyer County.”

The marker is located at the intersection of US-Highway 412 West and Bill Murray Road.

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