GOT ITS NAME FROM ANTHRACITE COAL; BLOCK'S NAME CAME FROM THICK COAL
By Dallas Bogan
Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.
This article was published in the LaFollette Press.
is a short history of the various communities that comprise Campbell
County, Tennessee. These sketches were published in the LaFollette Press
during Homecoming '86. Credit for these historical accounts go to Larry
Smith, Publisher of "The LaFollette Press." For history reasons
these communities will be run in the "Press" for the next
Anthras (pronounced ann'-thruss), was
given its name, which is a derivation of "anthracite", by
L. I. Coleman, president of the Tennessee-Jellico Coal Company. Established
in 1909, its population of 250 in 1930 had increased to an estimated
500 in 1938. Seventy-five miles north of Knoxville, the little mining
community is located on the Clear Fork River in the northeastern portion
of the county near the Claiborne County border line. The Louisville
and Nashville and the Southern Railroads, and State Highway No. 90 serve
the village. Its public buildings include one graded school and one
church of Baptist denomination. (Della Yoe, author April 12, 1939) Authority:
H. P. Montgomery, postmaster, Anthras, Tennessee.
Block, unincorporated, a mining community
derived its name from a seam, or thick vein, of coal called a "block".
It has a population of 135, and is located in the western part of the
county about forty-five miles north and west of Knoxville. It is served
by the Southern Railroad and State 63 highway. Coal mining is the only
industry. There is one Baptist church, and educational facilities are
provided by two graded schools. The village was settled in 1889. (Della
Yoe, author May 2, 1939) Source: Sam B. Hatmaker, postmaster, Block,
Caryville, unincorporated, was given its
present name in 1866 in honor of Judge William Carey of Virginia. When
first settled it was called Wheeler's Station for H. D. Wheeler, owner
of the land site and one of the community's first merchants. The estimated
population is 1,000. It has an altitude of 1,099 feet and was settled
in 1866. Located in the southwestern part of the county thirty-five
miles northwest of Knoxville. It is served by the Southern Railway,
and is on State Highway 63 , U. S. Highway 25W . Scenic and recreational
environments include Cove Lake and Cove Lake State Park which are in
the immediate proximity of Caryville, and were known as Caryville Lake
and Park, respectively, until 1938 when that section was developed into
a recreation area by the Tennessee Valley Authority through the Civilian
Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) labor in cooperation with the Tennessee
Department of Conservation. Caryville has one high and one graded school
and one each Baptist and Methodist churches. It is a coal mining town
with no other industries in 1939. (Della Yoe, author, April 14, 1939)
Authority: Postmaster, Caryville, Tennessee.
Additional information from Questionnaires:
Caryville: The Greyhound Bus serves the town. The assessed property
value in the town limits is $75,000. The town has no tax since it is
unincorporated, but the county rate is $3.88 per hundred. There are
thirteen retail stores in the town. (Information furnished by Roy Asbury).
Chaska has an estimated population of
150, and is an unincorporated village located in the northern part of
the county on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and on Highway
US 25W, fifty-nine miles north and west of Knoxville. It is situated
in an agricultural section and has no other industries. The educational
facilities are provided by a county school nearby, and it has one Union
church building that serves all denominations. Chaska was settleed about
1820. (R. R. Humphries, Author, June 2, 1939)
Clinchmore took its name from the Clinchmore
Mining Company, the opening of whose coal mine in 1929 started the settlement.
It is an unincorporated village with an estimated population of 400.
Located on a three-mile spur of the Tennessee Railroad, a short line
operating between Oneida and Fork Mountain, Clinchmore is in the southern
part of Campbell County about sixty miles north of Knoxville. Coal mining
is the only industry. It has a graded school and one church of the Baptist
denomination. (R. R. Humphries, Author, April 27, 1939)
Source: Myrtle E. DeLaney, postmaster, Clinchmore, Tennessee.
Additional Information from questionnaires:
CLINCHMORE: Clinchmore is 13 miles from U. S. 25W. The Tennessee Railroad
is not a part of the L&N or southern, but is a private branch road
from Oneida to Fork Mountain (which is the end of the line). Clinchmore
is on a branch of that line - a distance of three miles from Sean, Tennessee
Cotula, unincorporated, was originally
called Gatliff in honor of Dr. A. Gatliff, a prominent physician of
the locality. In 1908, when the railroad was built through the section,
the new name Cotula was manufactured by the combination of two letters
each from three of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad stations,
Chaska, LaFollette, and Louisville. It is a village with 300 (1930)
population, and is located near the central part of the county nine
miles north of LaFollette, and about forty-three miles north and west
of Knoxville. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad and Highway US 25W
serve the community, which is chiefly engaged in coal mining, and was
established about 1900. Educational facilities are provided by one graded
school, and the denominations of Baptist and Methodist are accommodated
by its one church. (Della Yoe, Author, May 12, 1939) Authority: Evan
Thornton, postmaster, Cotula, Tennessee.
Additional information: Cotula: The Gatliff
Coal Company opened a mine and built a camp about 1900. The Wynn Coal
Company bought the place later and built a larger camp. In addition
to coal, there is an abundance of timber in the vicinity. There are
two points of interest - The Chimney Rocks and the Oven Springs. The
Chimney Rocks are natural formations of rocks resembling chimneys. The
Oven Springs is a spring located on top of Cumberland Mountain under
a rock having the resemblance of an oven.
Duff, unincorporated, was named for Captain
Frank Duff, one of the early settlers of the section. It has a population
of 300, and is located in the southern part of the county forty-seven
miles north and west of Knoxville. It is served by the Louisville and
Nashville Railroad, and by a county road which extends one-half mile
to US 25W highway. Coal mining, timber and truck farming are the chief
industries. Educational facilities are provided by one graded school,
and the two churches are of the Baptist and Holiness denominations.
Duff was settled in 1868. (Della Yoe, Author, May 5, 1939) Source: Mary
B. Green, postmaster, Duff, Tennessee Additional information: DUFF:
The first band mill in the county was installed here at Vestal Lumber
Company. A point of interest is Kaho.
Source: Mary B. Green, postmaster, Duff, Tennessee
Additional information: DUFF: The first
band mill in the county was installed here at Vestal Lumber Company.
A point of interest is Kaho Cave and Branch - named after the first
settlers, a Mr. Kayho. The churches are Clear Branch Baptist and the
Church of God.
Elk Valley, unincorporated, is named for
Elk Fork Creek that runs through the valley. Traditionally, the creek
was so named because of the abundance of elk found in the valley in
early days. The population is estimated at 600. It is located in the
northwestern part of the county near Scott County line. It has an altitude
of 1, 120 feet and is fifty-four miles northeast of Knoxville and eleven
miles south of Jellico. The Southern Railroad and State highway 63 serve
the community. The chief industries are agriculture, mining, and lumbering.
There is one high school, a graded school and two churches representing
the Baptist and Holiness denominations. A scenic point of interest is
the new Mammoth Cave situated two miles northeast of the village. Elk
Valley was first settled in 1790 by pioneers who came to the section
from North Carolina. (Della Yoe, Author, April 24, 1939).Source: Enos
L. Lay, postmaster, Elk Valley, Tennessee.
Additional information: ELK VALLEY: Some of the early settlers were
from Virginia. Highway 63 joins 25W at Caryville and Jellico.
Habersham, unincorporated, was given the
name of a prominent resident when the local post office was established.
Formerly the site had been known as Cupps, also a name which was adopted
from that of a family of early settlers. It has an estimated population
of 200, and is located in the northeastern part of the county, sixty-four
miles north of Knoxville, and is served by US 25W and by the Louisville
and Nashville Railroad. It is a coal mining community and supports one
graded school and two churches of the Presbyterian and Holiness denominations.
Habersham was settled about 1800. (Della Yoe, Author, May 29, 1939)
Source: Mrs. Grace Lowe, postmaster, Habersham, Tennessee.
Jellico derived its present name from
the Angelica root which grows in the section, and from which early settlers
were said to have made an intoxicating drink called "jelca"
or "gelca". From the time of its settlement until 1883 the
site was called Smithburg from a number of families named Smith who
settled there. It has (1930) a population of 1,530, and is located in
the northern part of the county on the Kentucky border. It has an altitude
of 982 feet above sea level. The town is served by the Louisville and
Nashville and the Southern Railroads, and is on Highway U. S. 25W sixty-five
miles north and west of Knoxville. Coal mining, drug manufacture, rain
coat factory, and coffee manufacture are the chief industries. Educational
facilities are provided by one high and one graded school. There is
one newspaper, The Advance Sentinel, a weekly established in 1891, two
banks and nine churches of the leading Protestant and Catholic denominations.
Jellico was the girlhood home of Grace Moore, opera star, who moved
to the town from Cocke County shortly after her birth. She began her
career as a choir singer in a local church. Homer Rodeheaver, evangelistic
singer, was born at Jellico. Ten miles south of the town is located
the Cumberland Mammoth Cave, privately controlled and open to the public.
Jellico was settled in 1795 and first incorporated in 1885, and again
in 1903 and 1907. (Della Yoe, Author, April 27, 1939) Source: Allen
F. Fine, postmaster, Jellico, Tennessee and James H. Siler, Historian,
(Additional information from questionnaires)
Several other inquiries had been made about Jellico which revealed the
following information: Before the advent of railways, Jellico was simply
a trading post represented with one store and post office. It was then
known as Smithburg. The first mail pouch to come to Jellico by rail
arrived July 1, 1880. From then on rapid strides of progress marked
the growth of Jellico, with mines and forests furnishing the bulk of
the growth. Mining towns sprang up with the organizations of mining
companies. Their supplies were purchased chiefly in Jellico, so Jellico
became a leading jobbing center and distribution point for the mines.
The religious denominations are as follows:
Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Church of God (Mountain Assembly), Church
of God (Cleveland Assembly). This institution has two separate churches
here, Methodist and Presbyterian (meaning not clear). There are Baptist,
Christian and Methodist churches for Negroes.
A Post Office was established here in
October 29, 1878, under the name of Smithburg; on August 6, 1883, the
name of the office was changed to Jellico. (Source of information: Post
Office Department in Washington, D. C.)
The name of Jellico probably came from
the Jellico coal that was coming into prominence just then; it seems
that the coal was not named for the town. According to the state geological
survey in 1925, the first shipments in the coal were made in 1882 and
1883 with the coming of the L & N and Southern Railroads. The five
large mines in the 1880's in the Jellico region were: Kensee, Proctor
(Red Ash), Wooldridge, Standard, and East Tennessee - and all in the
Jellico Mountains. The drainage for the Jellico Mountains is Jellico
Creek, which rises in Scott County, Tennessee and flows into the Cumberland
River in Whitley County, Kentucky below Williamsburg. J. H. Cantrell
was the mayor and received $300 a year as salary (1938) . The Greyhound
and Mountain Bus Lines served Jellico.
Morley, an unincorporated village in Campbell
County, was named for a Mr. Morley, grading contractor for the railroad
when it was built through the section. The census of 1930 gave it a
population of 200, and the present estimate is the same. It is situated
in the northeastern part of the county on the Louisville & Nashville
Railroad, and at the intersection of Highway US 25 and State 90, seventy
miles north of Knoxville. Morley is strictly a coal mining community.
One graded school provides educational facilities, and the one church
is of the Baptist denomination. Morley was settled in 1906. (Hazel C.
Lander, Author, May 5, 1939) Authority: Carrie Witt, Postmaster, Morley,
Newcomb, Campbell County, was named for
Captain Newcomb, surveyor for the railroad, and in charge of the construction
camp which was established there, and which formed the nucleus for the
settlement. It is unincorporated with a population of 650, and is located
in the northwestern part of the county on a county road 3.3 miles south
of Jellico (on U.S. 25-W). Also, the village is 62.3 miles north of
Knoxville. It has an altitude of 983 feet above sea level. It is served
by the Southern Railroad. Coal mining, lumbering, and a spoke factory
are the chief industries. One graded school, and one each Baptist and
Methodist churches serve the community. This is the birthplace of Homer
Rodaheaver, gospel singer. Newcomb became a settlement when the railroad
construction camps were located there in 1883. (Della Yoe, Author, May
5, 1939) Source: James Carson Ridenour, Mayor, Newcomb, Tennessee.
Pioneer, Campbell County, unincorporated,
was given its name by the first pioneer settlements of the section.
It has a population of 250, and is located in the northwest part of
the county, forty-five miles north and west of Knoxville. It is situated
sixteen miles from Jellico on a county road running from Jellico to
Caryville both of which towns are on US Highways 25W. The road is known
as the Jellico to Caryville Highway. Pioneer is, also, served by the
Southern Railroad. Its altitude is 1,547 feet above sea level, and its
chief industries are agricultural. It has one graded school and one
church (Baptist). Pioneer was settled in 1861. (Della Yoe, Author, May
9, 1939) Source: Sidna Rector, postmaster, Pioneer, Tennessee.
(Only the questionnaire was available
for this) Shea is in Campbell County about forty miles from Knoxville.
It was settled about 1872, and it was noted that there was a newspaper,
(but it seems that was newspapers available for daily, weekly, and semiweekly
were checked). This information was given by Irona Adkins, the Shea,
HISTORY: Shea Brothers located a logging
camp here in 1913. Thje post office was established then, taking its
name after the one who was appointed as postmaster, James T. Shea.
About 1870 the office here was Highhouse.
The mail was carried from Oliver Springs on horse back to Highhouse
in the county of Campbell and the state of Tennessee. This route included
three post officers: namely, Tip, Tennessee, Ligias, and Highhouse.
About 1892 this route was extended to Smokey Creek, making four offices
on the route. After the railroad came to and through this area those
offices were discontinued, and new ones were established with the mail
being carried by the mail train. The offices from this station (evidently
Shea) and going south consists of Stainville and Charleys Branch, Rosedale,
Devonia, and Fork Mountain. For the offices north of Shea, the correct
number is not available.
Vasper, an unincorporated village in Campbell
County, was first known as LaFollette Junction and changed to Vasper
in 1902. No authentic information is available as to origin of the name
Vasper, but the village was probably named after the Vasper Coal Company
in the vicinity. It has an estimated population of 300. Located in the
southern part of the county on the Southern and Louisville & Nashville
Railroads, and U. S. 25-W highway, it is 35.7 miles from Knoxville.
Its altitude is 1,135 feet. Vasper is a coal mining community and supports
one graded school, and one church of the Baptist denomination. It was
settled in 1898. (Hazel Lander, Author, May 17, 1939) Source: Mable
Byrd, postmaster, Vasper, Tennessee.
Westbourne, Campbell County, derived its
name from the Westbourne Coal Company which opened the mine at this
location. It is an unincorporated village with a population of 1,250,
and is located in the northeastern part of the county fifty-two miles
north of Knoxville. It is situated on a county road there three miles
west of US 25W highway, and is also served by a branch of the Louisville
and Nashville Railroad. It has an altitude of 1,400 feet and is in a
beautiful mountainous section. Its one industry is coal mining. One
graded school and one Baptist church serve the village which was established
in 1900. (Della Yoe, Author, May 16, 1939) Authority: Lambert C. Idol,
postmaster, Westbourne, Tennessee.
Wooldridge, Campbell County, was named
for S. L. Wooldridge, president of the Wooldridge Coal Company which
operates a mine in the vicinity. It has a population of 630 (500 in
1930). Located in the northwestern portion of the county near the boundary
line of Scott County, it is on a spur track of the Southern Railroad,
built to serve the mine. It is one and three-fourths miles west of Newcomb,
and is on a county road. Wooldridge Pike, about two miles southeast
of Jellico, which is on U. S. Highway 25-W, and about 61 miles north
of Knoxville. It is strictly a coal mining community. There is one graded
school in the village, and one church of the Baptist denomination. It
was settled in 1882, and is unincorporated. (Hazel C. Lander, Author,
June 5, 1939). Authority: J. B. Brickey postmaster, Wooldridge, Tennessee