The New Student's Reference Work/Memphis (Tennessee)
Memphis, a city of Tennessee, in Shelby County, is built on a bluff, 35 feet above high water, on the Mississippi. Its river and railroad communications bring it a large trade. It is one of the largest cotton-markets in the country, and has numerous foundries and machine-shops and some of the largest oil-mills in the United States, producing over $1,000,000 worth of cottonseed oil a year. It has a large lumber-trade, with 1,000 lumber mills in the region. It is a handsome city, with many fine public buildings, including a custom-house, cotton-exchange, Roman Catholic college, large hospitals, theaters and splendid hotels. An epidemic of yellow fever in 1878 and 1879 destroyed nearly 10,000 inhabitants; since then a new system of drainage has been introduced, and the water is supplied from the finest artesian wells, making Memphis one of the healthiest cities of the country. The public-school system is planned on modern lines and attracts much attention. Population 131,105.