Ridenour Award 2002
County Historian Announced Ridenour Award


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La Follette Press
Thursday, October 3, 2002

(Reprinted with permission from Greg Miller, Campbell County Historian)

County Historian Announced Ridenour Award

La Follette Press:

   As Campbell County Historian I wanted to create a way to recognize those who have made an exceptional and unique contribution to the preservation of Campbell County history. I intend this award this award to be the highest award that can be conferred by the County Historian. The Ridenour Award will be presented no more than once per calendar year.

   I chose to name this award in the honor of Dr. G. L. Ridenour (1889-1974) who was a noted local historian and prolific author and the first to receive the title of county historian. Dr. Ridenour was a minister, educator, and author who was born in Campbell County near the fork of Clinch and Powell Rivers. He received a B. A. in 1914 and a M. A. in 1915 at Carson-Newman College. He graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary earning the degree of Th.M in 1923 and Th.D in 1927 and the Ph.D in 1932. Returning to Campbell County, the next 30 years were spent by him and his wife in church work in many local communities. During WWII he returned to teaching and earned a M. A. in education from the University of Tennessee in 1950. Dr. Ridenour wrote The Land of the Lake, an early history of Campbell County, which was originally published in 1941. This was the first comprehensive work on Campbell County history by a local author. Dr. Ridenour also wrote Early Times in Meade County, Kentucky and A Baptist Primer.

   I am pleased to announce that the 2002 recipient of the Ridenour Award will be Mitzi Price Freeman. Mitzi  was born in Michigan and was raised in Cookeville, TN. While attending Tennessee Technological University, she met and married Edwin Freeman, son of Earl W. and Lucille Freeman of LaFollette. They have three children: Christopher, age 14, Jeffrey, age 10, and Stephen, age 8. They currently live in Soddy Daisy, TN. In 1991, Mitzi earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    The TNGenWeb Project began in the summer of 1996 as part of the larger USGenWeb Project, which began a few months earlier. After the death of her last surviving grandparent in 1997, Mitzi began researching her family and discovered the TNGenWeb Project on the Internet. Having a strong computer background and an avid interest in genealogy, she volunteered to host one of the county pages: Loudon County TNGenWeb. In December 1997, she volunteered to host the Campbell County TNGenWeb pages after the previous host left the project. The first set of Campbell County TNGenWeb pages went online in January 1998. Since then, there have been over 100,000 visitors to the website.

    The Campbell County TNGenWeb website currently has over 500 pages of historical records and family photographs. Some of the records include census records, tax records, death records, marriage records, indexes to court records, just to name a few. Over the years, numerous people have generously donated their time to transcribe records and donated their personal research and family photos to go online at the website. Future plans for the site include the addition of the remaining censuses and of indexes to some of the county records.

    In addition to hosting the Campbell County and Loudon County TNGebWeb projects, she hosts the "Tennessee Tombstone Project" and the "Tennessee and the Civil War Project".





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