Submitted by Linda Gearheard
The Fine family settled in Cocke Co. in 1783, while it was still part of Jefferson County, North Carolina.
Peter Fine was licensed to keep the first ferry in Cocke Co, and he settled on the river opposite the site of the old town of Newport. In the latter part of 1783 the Indians began to steal the cattle and horses of the few people who had settled there that year. They then retreated across the mountains to North Carolina. Maj. Peter Fine and William Lillard raised a company of thirty men and pursued them. After killing one Indian and wounding another, and having regained the stolen property, they began their return and encamped. During the night the Indians who had followed them made a sudden attack, killing Vinet Fine, and wounding two others. The savages remained in the vicinity until near morning, when they took their departure. The members of the company then broke a hole in the ice of a creek upon which they were encamped, and put the body of Vinet Fine in the water of the stream, which has ever since born the name of Fine Creek.
Cocke Co. was created by an act of the General Assembly, passed in October 1797. It was cut off from Jefferson Co. Peter Fine was named one of the men to locate the seat of justice and superintend the erection of county buildings.They chose a site about one an one half miles below the present county seat, at what was known as Fine's Ferry.
Peter Fine was also the first merchant in the old site of the town of Newport. In 1797 Fine was keeping accounts by pence, shillings and pounds. His customers charged such items as one spoon ginger, cloth for leggins, four yards of gimp, one fine hat, two pewter dishes. . . . . In payment Fine gave credit for any farm products, with such entries as: one cow and one calf, by hauling one day of corn, three large bantams, brandy and bearskins, etc.
Sources: The French Broad by Wilma Dykeman, Goodspeeds History of Tennessee, Reprinted from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1887, The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century by J.G.M. Ramsey, A.M.,M.D., East Tennessee History Reorganized and Indexed by Sam McDowell.
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