Historical Marker #200 near Dexter, Kentucky, notes the history of Wadesboro, which served as Calloway County's seat of government from 1822 to 1842.
The first permanent settlement in the Jackson Purchase area of Kentucky was established about 1820 by Banister Wade and was named Wadesboro in his honor. Wadesboro became the capital and land office of the Jackson Purchase. Former Kentucky governor Isaac Shelby and future president Andrew Jackson negotiated the purchase of lands between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers in the southwestern part of the state from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818. As compensation, the Chickasaw Indian Nation was granted $300,000 payable over 15 years. The bargain netted Kentucky two thousand square miles of land while neighboring Tennessee grew by six thousand square miles. The purchase price worked out to about six cents per acre.
After the purchase, the land needed to be surveyed into townships. To do so, a land office was established at Wadesboro to serve purchasers who desired to make claims. Both land speculators and pioneers traveled to Wadesboro to purchase plots of land in the newly acquired region. The thriving settlement quickly grew in number to about three hundred residents.
As plots of the valuable farmland in the Jackson Purchase were sold off there was little to encourage people to stay in Wadesboro. Slowly businesses closed and the population of Wadesboro declined. However, the settlement served as the county seat of Calloway County from 1822 to 1842, and was home to the first courthouse in the area. Eventually the county seat was moved to Murray, Kentucky, and Wadesboro faded into the past.
Historical marker #200 was erected on November 3, 1964.
The marker reads:
Two miles west was District seat of Jackson Purchase area 1818, now being Kentucky's eight and Tennessee's twenty westernmost counties. Settled in 1821 and U.S. Public Land Office opened. Calloway County Seat, 1822-1842. Then it was moved to Murray.