History of Campbell County, Tennessee
Communities of Campbell County
 

 Time Line


The following is thumbnail sketches of the various communities that comprise Campbell County, Tennessee.  These sketches were published in the LaFollette Press during Homecoming 86.  Larry Smith, Publisher of the LaFollette Press signed a release allowing us to use the information on the Campbell County Historical Page of Campbell County TNGenWeb.  His permission is greatly appreciated.

Transcribed by Mildred Collins Wasser

Anthras  |  Block  |  Caryville  |  Chaska  |  Clinchmore
Cotula  |  Duff  |  Elk Valley  |  Hasbersham  | Jellico
Morley  |  Newcomb  |  Pioneer Shea  |  Vasper
Westbourne  |  Wooldridge

Map of Campbell County

ANTHRAS

 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

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, Tennessee.

CARYVILLE

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

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 settle about 1820.  (R. R. Humphries, Author, June 2, 1939)

CLINCHMORE

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 to Clinchmore.

COTULA

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

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 Cave and Branch - named after the first settlers, a Mr. Kayho.

The churches are Clear Branch Baptist and the Church of God.

ELK VALLEY

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

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

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, Jellico, Tennessee.

(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 may and received $300 a year as salary (1938) .

The Greyhound and Mountain Bus Lines served Jellico.

MORLEY

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 9-, 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, Tennessee.

NEWCOMB

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

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.

SHEA

(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, Tennessee Postmaster.

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

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

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

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.
 
POSTAL TOWNS, 1986:  The post offices have been closed or combined until now there are only five post offices in Campbell County: Caryville, Jacksboro, Jellico, LaFollette and Pioneer.  Mail is still delivered addressed to Morley and Duff, but it is handled in the LaFollette office.

Time Line

 


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