History of Campbell County, Tennessee
History of Grantsborough,

 Time Line

Information from this article was extracted with permission from Dr. Miller McDonald's book Campbell County Tennessee USA: A History of Places, Faces, Happenings, Traditions, and Things, Vol. 1.

        Grantsborough, a small community located at the fork of the Clinch and Powell Rivers,  was one of the first towns incorporated by the State of Tennessee. In December 1789, the Tennessee State Legislature granted a charter to James Grant, Jacob Womack, and John Owen to locate a town. After several visits to the region, James Grant selected a 100 acres of land located on the north bank for the location of the new community. Since he had been to Philadelphia and liked the way it laid out, Grant used this city as a model for the new community which would bear his name.

 The first building constructed was a log store built by Grant. Other lot holders were (lot number, names): 

  • 2. Edward Scott and Captain James V. Ball
  • 3. Thomas Lewis
  • 5. Walter Evans
  • 12. James Grant Roulstone (son of George Roulstone publisher of the Knoxville Gazette).
  • 13. Shadrach Reedy and Thomas Swaine
  • 14 Jenkin Whiteside, Attorney at law
  • 17. Patrick and Terrence Campbell
  • 18. Captain James V. Ball
  • 19. George W. Campbell, attorney at law
  • 20. Charles Lee Bird (also lots 34, 35, 44)
  • 27. William Hancock, Sr, a gift to Jacob Womach
  • 38. John Owens, Sr.
  • 45. George Wilson, printer
  • 46. Polly Ashburn, daughter of Martin Ashburn
     On December 24, 1803, Lot #3 was sold to John Ridenour who had served in the American Revolution.  The first school in Campbell County was taught in Grantsborough by Page Partwood, one of George Rogers Clark's soldiers. The second school was taught by Abigail Grant, the daughter of John Grant (brother to James Grant). 

     Living near Grantsborough, Sugar Jones was the first Methodist Preacher in Campbell County.  The first physician in Campbell County was probably Dr. Nicholas Honore Sidon Fownier, who was born in Rowen, France. Although he lived in Knoxville, he practiced over a wide region in East Tennessee before he died in 1799. Whenever he came to Campbell County, Dr. Fownier lived with James Grant. At various points in Campbell County history, Dr. John Umstead from North Carolina practiced medicine in the county. Like Dr. Fownier, when in the county, Dr. Umstead lived with James Grant. 

     Since Grantsborough is older than Campbell County, it was originally located in the parent counties of Campbell. In 1798, it was located in Knox County. In 1801, it was located in Anderson County. At the creation of Campbell County in 1806, it found its final home.  On May 18, 1839, a post office was established, and the first post master was James Grant. He remained the postmaster until the post office was discontinued on July 25, 1856. There was not a post office in that area again until December 26, 1883. At this time, the name of the town was changed to Agee, and a post office was re-established. The town was named after James H. Agee, a doctor and state senator from 1882 until 1890. The postmasters of Agee were 

  • William C. Carnes: 1882-1885
  • William P. Clear: 1885-1889
  • Joseph I. Teller: 1890- 1896
  • Elizabeth Grant: 1897-1898
  • Robert L. Mitchell: 1899-1910
  • Fletcher C. Hatmaker: 1911-1912
  • Sallie L. Wood: 1913-1914
  • James A. Cotter: 1915-1917 

     In 1917, the post office was again closed.  Grantsborough was a stop for river traffic and was the terminus for the Kentucky Road. In May 1800, James Grant was appointed by the Knox County Court to establish a ferry at Grantsborough. This ferry remained in the Grant family until 1908. The last Grant to operate it was John W. Grant. In 1908, a bridge was built over the Powell River to accommodate the increase in traffic thus rendering the ferry obsolete. With building of the Norris Dam in the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority covered the area with the waters of the Norris Lake. 

     Prominent families from the Grantsborough area were the Grants, Dagleys, Rouses, Ridenours, Hatmakers, Wheelers, Woods, Willoughbys, Merediths, Heatherlys, Agees, and Mortons.

Time Line



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