History of Campbell County, Tennessee
Campbell County
Court House
 

Time Line



 
This information was extracted with permission from Dr. Miller McDonald's book Campbell County Tennessee USA: A History of Places, Faces, Happenings, Traditions and Things

Names of the County Officials were transcribed by 
Mildred Collins Wasser

 
Campbell County Court House
  

In the history of Campbell County, there were four county courthouses. Two of which were destroyed by fire.

I  | II  |  III  | IV

Court House I
1808-1856

The first Campbell County Courthouse was built in 1808 and was located in the center of Walnut Cove. It was constructed of limestone and consisted of two floors. The first floor housed a court room, an ante-room and an office for the county court clerk. Initially, the second floor housed the offices for the register of deeds and the circuit court clerk. Later, it additionally housed the Clerk and Master's Office and the Trustee's Office.

In 1849, Campbell County was considerably reduced in size when Scott County was formed. Then again, in 1850, Campbell County lost part of its lands when Union County was formed. By the early 1850s, the legal and administrative activities of the county had grown so rapidly that the courthouse became failed to adequately meet the needs of the people in the county. Thus, in 1855, construction on the new courthouse began. The old courthouse was acquired by J. N. Bibee who built an addition onto it and turned it into a hotel. The hotel remained in the Bibee family until it was sold to W. H. Houts in 1920. In 1923, it was sold again to Avery Campbell. It remained as a hotel until it was razed in the 1930s.

County officials who served during the period of the first courthouse were:

  • Circuit Court:
    • Judge Cocke served in 1810.
    • The other judges that succeeded him are unknown.
  • Circuit Court Clerk:
    • Joseph Hart, 1810-1820
    • Benjamin Wheeler, 1820-1826
    • Joseph Peterson, 1826-1840
    • Robert Morrow, 1840-1858
  • County Court Clerk:
    • James Grant, 1806-1810
    • David T. Strong, 1810-1820
    • Joseph Hart, 1820-1832
    • William Carey, 1832-1856
Note:  The Chairman of the County Court performed many of the County Administrative functions.  There was no County Executive of County Judge as such.

Chancery Court:  First organized in 1842:

  • Chancellor:
    • Thomas L. Williams served from 1841-1854
    • The succeeding Chancellor was:  Seth J. W. Luckey, 1854-1856
  • Clerk and Master:
    • John Boston, 1842-1848
    • Robert Morrow, 1848-1854
    • F. H. Bratcher, 1854-1856
  • Trustees for Campbell County started in 1836. They were:
    • Joseph Thomas, 1836-1838
    • John Isley, 1838-1846
    • Thomas Wier, 1846-1856


The recording of deeds and ledger records are complete from 1804 until the present for Campbell County with the exception of one book, Book H, which was destroyed in a courthouse fire.

  • Register of Deeds were:
    • Daniel White, 1806-1815
    • Benjamin Wheeler, 1815-1820
    • Charles Maysey, 1820-1822
    • Silas Williams, 1822-1830
    • John E. Wheeler, 1830-1836
    • Moses H. Swan, 1836-1840
    • Caswell Cross, 1840-1841
    • William D. Sharp, 1841-1842
    • Sampson D. Cole, 1842-1846
    • John Grimes, 1846-1854
    • George W. Smith, 1854-1856


The High Sheriffs of Campbell County date back to its very beginnings.  The keepers of law and order and the maintainers of the peace are among the most important duties that the settlers wanted to have provided for them by the county government.

  • Sheriffs were:
    • Michael Huffaker, 1806-1807
    • Thomas Moad, 1807-1810
    • Richard Liniville, 1810-1816 
    • David Richardson, 1816-1822
    • Charles Mayse, 1822-1825
    • Joseph Carlock, 1826-1828
    • Moses H. Swan, 1828-1833
    • A. D. Smith, 1833-1839
    • B. Jacob Queener, 1829-1843
    • C. Russell Miller, 1843-1846
    • D. John Phillips, 1846-1850
    • E. John L. Keeney, 1850-1856



Court House II
1855-1883

The second courthouse was constructed in 1855 and was built of log and frame construction. It was also a two-story building and was located directly across the street from the first courthouse. In 1883, the courthouse caught fire and burned to the ground. Fortunately, the Register of Deeds Office was spared from the fire. However, many of the other county records were destroyed.

In 1860, Campbell County had 366 Negro slaves owned by 62 persons. In the election of 1861, the majority of Campbell Countians voted for the Union candidate William H. Polk, brother of the former President James K. Polk. Once Tennessee seceded from the Union, Campbell County was out of step with the rest of the state. By July 1861, Confederates had taken over the county and much of the state. General Felix Zollicoffer, who was in command of the Confederates of East Tennessee, set up Camp Crinforth in Jacksboro and located his headquarters in the Courthouse, quartered his troops in the Franklin Academy, and made a hospital out of the Methodist Church.

By the end of 1862, the Union regained control of the county. At the end of the war, the county was in shambles due to the destruction of property, the loss of manpower of those who had gone off to war, and the confiscation of food and provisions by both armies in the war. Although the war and constant scrutiny by the army in control curtailed many of the counties activities, the Campbell County government strived to maintain some semblance of government.

In 1873, the state legislature passed an act to remove a portion of Campbell County starting at Well Spring and continuing to the Claiborne County line and from Kentucky border to the Powell River to create a new county called Webster County. The county seat was to be at Speedwell. Due to a lack of enthusiasm of the people of this area, this county never came into being.

County officials who served during the period of the second courthouse were:

  • Circuit Court Judge:
    • L. C. Houk, 1857-1867
    • Judge Randolph, 1867-1875
    • D. K. Young, 1875-1883
  • Circuit Court Clerk:
    • G. M. Kern, 1857-1858
    • George W. Smith, 1858-1864
    • T. J. Rogers, 1864-1868
    • William Allen, 1868-1883
  • County Court clerk:
    • John Peterson, 1857-1868
    • John Jones, 1868-1878
    • Sam c. Baird, 1878-1883
  • Chancellors:
    • Seth J. W. Luckey, 1857-1865
    • Samuel R. Rogers, 1865-1866
    • O. P. Temple, 1866-1878
    • W. B. Staley, 1878-1883
  • Clerk and Master:
    • F. H. Bratcher, 1857-1866
    • David Hart, 1866-1870
    • J. S. Lindsey, 1870-1882
    • Fr. DeTavenier, 1882-1883
  • Trustee:
    • Thomas Wier, 1857-1862
    • Ruben Rogers, 1862-1866
    • Edmond Gray, 1866-1868
    • Sam c. Baird, 1868-1872
    • J. P. Hollingsworth, 1872-1874
    • George W. Heatherly, 1874-1876
    • F. P. McNew, 1876-1878
    • J. L. Lewis, 1878-1882
    • Silas Hatmaker, 1882-1883
  • Register of Deeds:
    • George W. Smith, 1857-1858
    • John Ryan, 1858-1864
    • D. N. Montgomery, 1864-1868
    • John Heatherly, 1868-1874
    • James J. Large, 1874-1875
    • D. C. McAmis, 1875-1876
    • James H. Curnutt, 1876-1878
    • George W. Brown, 1878-1882
    • Lewis Wilson, 1882-1883
  • Sheriff:
    • William Warner, 1858-1858
    • Sampson D. Queener, 1858-(killed in office)
    • John Phillips, 1858-1860
    • James Archer, 1860-1862
    • H. L. Wheeler, 1862-1865
    • John Meador, 1865-1866
    • John Hunley, 1866-1868
    • William Madden, 1868-1870
    • George W. Graham, 1870-1876
    • George M. Taylor, 1876-1879 (killed in office)
    • R. D. Wheeler, 1879-1882

    • John M. Burnette, 1882-1883



Court House III
1885-1926

The third courthouse was erected in 1885 and was constructed on the same site as the previous courthouse. It was built with a fine brick exterior with a strong wooden framework and plaster within. The left corner stone simply stated:
 

Erected 1885. Building Committee: J. S. Lindsay, W. H. Smith, R. D. Wheeler, L. J. Stanfill. Builders: Sharp and Bushing. Foreman Thomas Welch.


The right corner stone stated:
 

Erected 1885. Cornerstone laid by Jacksboro Lodge 322, F. & A.M. May 26, 1885


The first county judge during this period was a colorful character: R. D. Perkins. Judge Perkins graduated from the Nashville Business College in 1876 and spent 12 years serving his county in county government. He applied for and was admitted to the bar in 1879. After which, he set up his own law practice. In 1890, the state legislature created the Office of County Judge. R. D. Perkins was elected to that office and served for four years. Judge Perkins loved his horse and rode it everywhere. He also developed a fondness for a strong drink. During one such occasion, he decided that he had an urgent matter at the courthouse to which he must immediatley attend. He hopped on his horse and rode it up to the courthouse. Not stopping at the front of the courthouse, he rode the horse on into the the courthouse. This incident caused a great commotion not only because the the horse was inside the courthouse, but also because Judge Perkins had neglected to put any clothes on except for his boots and hat. In time, Judge Perkins realised the need for a formal "swearing off drinking" ceremony. Joseph Weir administered the oath as Judge Perkins swore off the strong drink.

At the turn of the century, LaFollette was beginning to become the center of activity in the county. A movement was underway to move the county seat from Jacksboro to LaFollette. In March 1903, a referendum was submitted to the people on the question of whether or not the county seat should be moved. The result of the vote was over 3000 in favor of the move while 1200 were against. In February 1904, space was rented in LaFollette for the major county offices. However, fate stepped in and changed the plans. In May 1904, the town of LaFollette caught fire, and most of the business area burned to the ground. As a result, the county seat remained at Jacksboro.

During World War I, the mayor of LaFollette, J. Will Taylor set out to become congressman of the Second District. In an effort to win this position, he set up a series of debates to occur at the courthouse. When the day arrived, crowds gathered at the courthouse for the debates. When it became time for the debates, everyone struggled to get into the second floor of the courthouse for the debate. The room was filled to the brim. While the debates were going, the floor suddenly began to tremble and then collapsed. There was shouting and screaming as people tumbled everywhere. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured.

On April 12, 1926 at 9:30 pm the Gamble Bus line Garage which was located on the west side of the courthouse burned to the ground. Then few hours later, on April 13, the courthouse caught fire and burned the ground.

County Officials that served during that time period were:

  • Circuit Court Judge:
    • D. K. Young, 1884-1892
    • W. R. Hicks, 1892-1908
    • Unknown, 1909-1920
    • Xenophine Hicks, 1921-1923
    • J. N. S. Morrison, 1923-1925
    • W. H. Buttrram 1925-1926
  • Circuit Court Clerk:
    • William Allen, 1884-1898
    • R. L. Ray, 1898-1902
    • T. J. Murray, 1902-1905
    • P. C. Perkins, 1906-1914
    • J. M. Huddleston, 1914-1918
    • J. M. Davis, 1918-1919
    • H. G. Murray, 1918-1920
    • J. M. Davis, 1922-1926
  • County Judge:  The County Judge position was created in 1890.  Prior to that date, the chairman of the county court performed many of the county judge's functions. 
    • R. D. Perkins, 1890-1902
    • William Allen, 1902-1924
    • Conrad E. Troutman, 1924-1926
  • County Court Clerk:
    • John Bowman, 1883-1902
    • W. G. Delap, 1902-1906
    • John E. Brown, 1906-1918
    • J. F. Cooper, 1918-1920
    • H. H. Heatherly, 1918-1920
    • C. C. Guy, 1920-1926
  • Chancellor:
    • W. B. Staley, 1884-1886
    • Henry R. Gibson, 1886-1894
    • H. B. Lindsay, 1894-1899
    • H. G. Kyle, 1899 - Unknown
    • Unknown, 1921
    • John J. Jennings 1921-1923
    • H. E. Partrum, 1923-1925
    • J. R. Ketron, 1925-1926
    • Clerk and Master:
    • J. H. Agee, 1883-1890
    • John J. Graham, 1890-1900
    • Winston Baird, 1900-1926
  • Trustee:
    • Silas Hatmaker, 1884-1886
    • Lewis Bowman, 1886-1888
    • Joe Gray, 1888-1896
    • J. D. Wheeler, 1898-1902
    • G. W. Ellison, 1902-1910
    • W. L. Tiller, 1910-1912
    • David Reynolds, 1912-1916
    • L. Miller Baird, 1916-1918
    • W. H. Archer, 1918-1922
    • E. E. Hill, 1922-1926
  • Register of Deeds:
    • Lewis Wilson, 1884-1894
    • Dave W. Walker, 1894-1904
    • John Bowman, 1904-1904
    • Andrew Cooper, 1904-1914
    • H. H. Heatherly, 1914-1918
    • John Madron, 1918-1922
    • Ethel T. Cooper, 1922-1926
  • Sheriff:
    • John M. Burnett, 1883-1894 (Killed in Office)
    • W. F. Burnette, 1893-1894
    • Eli Gaylor, 1894-1898
    • J. W. Agee, 1898-1902
    • Eli Gaylor, 1902-1904
    • J. F. Huddleston, 1904-1910
    • J. M. Davis, 1910-1916
    • M H. Hollingsworth, 1916-1918
    • Sam C. Baird, 1918-1919
    • R. M. Harmon, 1919-1922
    • Eli Gaylor, 1922-1926
  • Criminal Court Judge:  This position was created in 1923.
    • J. H. S. Morrison, 1923-1923
    • W. H. Buttram, 1924-1926
  • Tax Assessor:
    • Sam Claiborne, ?-1926

Court House IV
1926-Present

Due to the unfortunate burnings of the previous two courthouses, Campbell Countians were determined to make the new courthouse as resistent to fire as possible. The new building, built on on the exact foundation of the previous building, consists of brick, steel, stone and concrete. That courthouse stills stands today.

County Officials who served during the fourth and present courthouse  were:

  • County Judge:
    • Conrad E. Troutman, 1926-1934
    • J. G. Woodward,  1934-1941
    • William E. Sharp, 1941-1942
    • W. H. Archer, 1942-1950
    • Otis B. Meredith, 1950-1958
    • Quinton Sowder, 1958-1966
    • Jack Roy Alexander, 1966-1982
  • County Executive:
    • Jack Roy Alexander, 1982-1988
    • Genny Leonhardt, 1988-1988
    • David Young, 1988-1991
    • Ray Burns, 1991-1992
    • Tommy Stiner 1992-present (1993)
  • County Court Clerk:
    • M. P. Bolinger, 1926-1951
    • Clayton Hatmaker, 1951-1961
    • Harry Byrd, 1961-1962
    • Askel Ayers, 1962-1966
    • T. H. Miller, 1966-1974
    • Brenda Boshears, 1974-1986
    • Don Nance, 1986-Present (1991)
  • Chancellor:
    • John Jennings, 1918-1923
    • J. H. Wallace, 1923-1947
    • J. R. Ketron, 1947-1948
    • Joe M. Carden, 1948-1967
    • Albert Shumate, 1968-?
    • ? Phillips, ?-1978
    • Billie Joe White, 1978-present
  • Clerk and Master:
    • Winston Baird, 1900-1945 (see figure 3)
    • Lendon Baird, 1946-1979
    • William F. Archer, 1979-present
    • Circuit Court Judge:
    • W. H. Buttram, 1926-1929
    • Henry B. Brown, 1929-1936
    • W. P. Monroe, 1936-1937
    • Henry B. Brown, 1937-1945
    • William I. Davis, 1945-1970
    • Sidney Davis 1970-1974
    • Conrad Troutman, Jr., 1974-present (1983)
  • Circuit Court Clerk:
    • J. M. Davis, 1926-1930
    • Emmett Lindsay, 1930-1934
    • S. B. Walden, 1934-1938
    • Chester Coker, 1938-1950
    • Clarence Miller, 1950-1970
    • Chester Coker, 1970-1972
    • Clarence Miller, 1972-1982
    • Patsy Davis, 1982-1990
    • Brenda Boshears, 1990-present (1993)
  • Criminal Court Judge:
    • W. H. Buttram, 1926-1929
    • J.H.S. Morrison, 1929-1934
    • Jesse L. Rogers, 1934-1955
    • D. L. Hutson, 1955-1974
    • J. H. McCartt, 1974-1974
    • Lee Asbury, 1974-present (1993)
  • Trustee:
    • Bertha Ray, 1926-1930
    • Millard Myers, 1930-1938
    • Anna Mae Vinsant, 1938-?
    • Millard Myers, ?-1958
    • Henry R. Asbury, 1958-1974
    • George Asbury, 1974-1990
    • Monty Bullock, 1990-present (1993)
  • Register of Deeds:
    • Ethel T. Cooper, 1926-1930
    • Nancy E. Hobbs, 1930-1934
    • Nancy Lee Cooper, 1934-1938
    • Drexel Broyles, 1938-1946
    • J. T. Heatherly, 1946-1958
    • Estel Wilson, 1958-1970
    • James Albright, 1970-1974
    • Ronnie C. Branam, 1974-present (1993)
  • Sheriff:
    • R. D. Bowman, 1926-1930
    • R. D. Davis, 1930-1932
    • R. D. Bowman, 1932-1934
    • R. D. Davis, 1934-1938
    • Clifford Lay, 1938-1942
    • Minor ayers, 1942-1944
    • Clifford Lay, 1944-1946
    • Rose Kitts, 1952-1954
    • John Dossett, 1954-1956
    • Willie Chapman, 1956-1958
    • Rose Kitts, 1958-1960
    • John Dossett, 1960-1966
    • Cornett Smith, 1966-1968
    • Rose Kitts, 1968-1974
    • Harry Cureton, 1974-1986
    • John Dossett, 1986-1990
    • Ronald W. McClellan, 1990-present (1993)
  • Tax Asseessor:
    • Sam Claiborne, 1926-1934
    • Frank Baird, ? - ?
    • F. R. James, ? - ?
    • G. J. P. Ayers, ? - present (1993)
  • Road Superintendent:
    • Frank Baird, ? -?
    • Alvis Malicoat, 1947-1956
    • Taylor Oaks, 1956-1960
    • Jimmy Jones, 1960-1964
    • Mrs. Jimmy Jones, 1964-1968
    • Jess Goins, 1968-1980
    • J.T. Leach, 1980-present (1993).

    • (Note:  Where question marks exist, the current county official was unable to provide information.)
  • Agriculture County Agents:
    • W. K. tipton, 1926=1929
    • Fred McFee, 1929-1932
    • P. W. Moore, 1932-1938
    • B. C. Brooks, 1935-1940
    • W. C. Butcher, 1935-1938
    • John J. Parks, 1938-1940
    • J. Horace Brown, 1929-1972
    • F.O. Clark, 1940-1948
    • Reginold Jellicorse, 1940-1943
    • Delmas D. Hinds, 1943-1944
    • Milburn E. Jones, 1946-1947
    • Joe Woods, 1949-1954
    • Scott H. Bird, 1955-1957
    • Kenneth Gordon Keyes, 1958-1964
    • Loyton L. Humberd, 1964-1969
    • Roger D. Philpott, 1970-1975
    • Ronald L. Inman, 1976-1978
    • Charles W. Morgan, 1970-1975
    • Scott T. Ellis, 1978-1984
    • Daniel Dunlap, 1985-1987

    • Barry B. Cooper, 1987-present (1993)

Time Line

 

 


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