In 1907 two Elders were working just north of Memphis where they had a run it with local law enforcement.
In Tipton county, a road commissioner ordered Elders Wm. N. Patten and O. R. Child to work road tax. They refused and the sheriff was sent after them. They were taken before Justice B. L. Clements who asked them if they wanted to stand trial. The elders assured the official that they had no desire but to obey the law of the land. They were fined seven dollars each and set free. Many of the honorable people of the community were indignant.
From 1865 to 1907, a system of road taxes existed in Tennessee. Each county could require men aged 18 to 30 to pay 3 dollars a year to cover the cost of county roads. Optionally the state allowed able bodied men to work between 3 and 6 days a year (set by the counties) on actual road construction. In 1907, probably after this incident, the law was changed to allow surplus property taxes to be used for road construction. But since there were never any surpluses, the state eventually issued bonds and later relied upon taxes on gasoline.
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