Rollins Cemetery Inscriptions including TVA Grave Relocations
Update: 9-1999 TRDA has completed rough clearing the Rollins
Cemetery. A wonderful fence complete with a cattle gate was installed.
A load of dirt for filling in the 1-3' holes over each grave was
delivered. A load of large gravel was delivered and placed in the major
trence in the road. Period. I received an E-mail from a visitor just
this past week. They were unable to find their grave site because of
the growth! I had been promised a finished grading in the cemetery that
would enable one to mow the grass they would sow to complete the job
with. I had waited for this to happen before I gave the credit due to
Ron Hammontree, TRDA, and the workmen. Sadly, unless they return this
fall, this may be all they are willing to do. I sincerely appreciate
what they have accomplished thusfar. However, unless this 54-year-old
can get in there with a weed eater and/or mower, it can not be
maintained. Loudon County had agreed to assist in this once they could
get their machines in there. If any one has an idea, please let me
know! When you visit, please take some sort of tool - pruning sheers,
clippers, etc., and blaze a trail! Every bit will help!
Cemetery Relocations for the Tellico Project Abstract
Initial surveys of the Tellico Reservoir project area revealed 72
cemeteries that possibly could be affected by project related activities.
However, as development of the project progressed, a detailed analysis
revealed that only 47 cemeteries would actually be either directly or
indirectly affected. Of these, ten were relocated either to avoid
inundation (6) or isolation (4). The remaining 37 cemeteries were
subject to either loss or impairment of access. New or improved access
roads were provided for all 37 of these. No cemeteries were left
A diligent search was made to determine and locate the nearest
surviving kin for each grave to be relocated. The surviving kin were
contacted, where possible, and following execution of grave removal
permits, graves were relocated to a cemetery of like care or better.
Fifteen separate area cemeteries were chosen by kin for utilization as
A total of 218 graves and 84 monuments were relocated. Of these,
208 were relocated entirely by TVA personnel. Reinterment of ten
graves was handled by private funeral service at the request of the
nearest surviving relatives. All relocations were performed at TVA
Removal permits were executed for 82 graves. The remaining 136
graves were either unidentified, or relatives could not be located or,
when located, refused to sign either removal or remain permits. The 136
graves were relocated by authority of Federal court.
Cemetery Relocations for the Tellico Project Policy and Procedures
...Grave removals were started on April 5, 1976, but only the graves
where relative permission and grave removal permits were secured were
relocated. Court approval was granted on June 1, 1976, and relocation
of unidentified graves commenced. Relocations were completed July 19,
Legal notifications of the impending cemetery relocations were
placed in area newspapers for three consecutive weeks prior to actual
beginning of the grave removal operations.
Extensive research was conducted by field personnel to locate and
contact surviving next of kin for all graves to be relocated. With one
exception (Union Fork Creek Cemetery #20) all the affected cemeteries
were very old and neglected. Only 83 of the total 2218 graves had
readable markers, the remainder of the graves were marked with native
field stones or not at all. Interviews were held with persons who had
resided in the area for several years and with known relatives of
identified graves for possible names of other people interred in the
unidentified graves. Several graves were identified as a result of these
interviews. Of the 218 graves relocated 102 were identified, but next of
kin were located on only 82 graves.
Where relatives were located, TVA's relocation procedures were
thoroughly explained. Removal permits were signed by all known
surviving next of kin, with two exceptions, six graves in the Blair
Cemetery, No. 41, and two graves in the Union Fork Creek Cemetery
No. 20 were moved by order of the Federal Court. One relative refused
to sign either removal or remain permits for the six graves in Blair
Cemetery No. 41....
All disinterred remains were placed in appropriate sized standard
wooden grave boxes, with the exception of a few which were in intact
vaults. All remains were reinterred the same day they were disinterred.
All remains were transported by TVA carrier. Workmen were furnished
rubber suits, rubber gloves, masks and disinfectant as a routine
precaution and in compliance with state health regulations.
"Complete Surname Index of TVA Grave Removals"
1989. Mountain Press. Signal Mountain, TN. Compiled and entered
by the Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc., an organization of TVA retirees.
Located in the McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville.
Purpose: Harness power of Tennessee Reservoir and flood plain.
Preserve the dignity of displaced individuals.
TVA first sent in a team of surveyors to locate burial sites, contact
the next of kin, determine which graves would remain or be removed,
obtain signatures, file field notes, and finally move the individuals
buried in the area to be flooded. An unofficial record of grave
removals was made.
Monroe County Cemetery Maps: In 1976 contact Mr. E. Julian, 207
Haney BLDG, Chattanooga, TN 37401
Received via PRODIGY in response to query by Dennis Moser from a
"Mr. Waller" via "Gail Herrick, TVACommunications, Corporate
Identity." January 13, 1997
"TVA Does not maintain cemeteries located on properties acquired
for TVA projects nor cemeteries used for relocation of graves. Rights
of ingress and egress are left outstanding in third parties and the
inchoate rights of visitation, maintenance and future burials (if space
is available) remain with the relatives or cemetery association."
Note: in 1976 Tom D. Waller was the "Head, Grave Relocations"
Interview with Ron Hammontree, Executive Director, Tellico
Reservoir Development Agency
In August, 1997, Marilyn Moser Ball, 1937 River Shores DR,
Knoxville, TN 37914, and Tommie Gene Moser Nichols, 7809
Castlecombe RD, Powell, TN, met with the Executive Director of the
Tellico Reservoir Development Agency to explore options available to
clean and maintain the Rollins Cemetery in Loudon County, Tennessee.
Although purchased and developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority
as an expanded cemetery for reinterment of cemeteries displaced by the
flooding of the Tellico Reservoir in 1976, it is presently in the
possession of TRDA.
Mr. Hammontree was personally anxious to have someone take
responsibility and orgainize a group to raise money to be placed in a
501C3 non-profit fund, the interest from which would provide perpetual
care for this cemetery. In return Mr. Hammontree and TRDA agreed to
clean up the property in the fall, restore the fence, provide the legal
work necessary to deed the cemetery to the organization, and work with
Loudon County to get the roadway restored.
Tennessee Reservoir Development Agency
The following facts were obtained from the office of TRDA:
Ron Hammontree is the Executive Director of the Tennessee
Reservoir Development Agency in Vonore, TN.
TRDA was established by a special act of the Tennessee State
Legislature in 1982 mandating it's legal authority
to develop and manage the Tellico water shed land. It is neither a
state nor Federal agency; it is not government by definition.
Thirty-eight thousand acres were bought by TVA. Of this amount
22,000 is retained by TVA, and TRDA oversees 11,000 acres. Sixteen
thousand is covered by water. Special Warranty Deeds were made
between TVA and TRDA in which TVA holds title to the lands until
TRDA sells parcels. These are then transferred by TRDA into the
buyers' names, and the funds paid remitted to TVA. Rollins Cemetery
is surrounded by such land, held in "land inventory," and is designated
"residential." TVA accepts responsibility for maintaining the roads
and highways. Tertiary roads, as that into Rollins Cemetery, are not
TRDA is self-supporting. Operating funds are obtained through
grants and the sale of the properties.
Cemetery Number Moved Number
to Rollins unidentified
Blair 52 32
Gray 2 2
Hughes 22 21
Jackson Slave #2 8 8
Latimore/Curtis/Moser 30 15
Latimore Slave 2 2
Moser Slave 15 15
Unnamed Cemetery #70 9 9
Totals 140 104
Plus existing Rollins graves 6 5
Totals 146 109
Blair Cemetery No. 2
In the Second Civil District of Monroe County, on the left bank of
the Tellico River, 2 miles south of the mouth, and approximately 1900
feet NE of Holstein Drive, Blair contained 52 graves and would have
been isolated. A wrought iron fence that surrounded 4 graves was
delivered to the home of Mr. Bert Wiggins, next surviving kin.
Gray is located was located in the Second Civil District of Monroe
County on the left bank of the Little Tennessee River at mile 25.4L
approximately 200 feet north of Citico-Vonore Road.
Located in the Second Civil District of Monroe County on the left
side of the Little Tennessee River, approximately 3 miles SE of the
mouth of Toqua Creek.
Hughes was located in the Third Civil District of Loudon County on
the right bank of the Little Tennessee River at mile 9.4R approximately
2600 feet east of the river on Jackson Ferry-Morganton Road. Totaling
34 graves, nine were moved by the Hughes family to Grandview
Cemetery in Blount County, Tennessee. Upright stones are not allowed
at Grandview, thus most were buried in the graves. One large
headstone was adapted as a family monument.. It sits in Rollins with
large box woods on either side, moved from Hughes Cemetery.
Jackson Slave Cemetery
Located on Hall's Ferry Road in the First Civil District of Loudon
County on the left bank of the Little Tennessee River, Jackson was to
be flooded. It was old and neglected. No graves were identifiable; 8
graves located as part of removal operations, by probing and scraping.
Latimore was located in the Third Civil District of Monroe County on
the left bank of the Tellico River approximately one-half mile SE of the
mouth of Notchy Creek and approximately 600 feet SW of Holstein
Drive. TVA determined it would have been isolated by the reservoir.
Norman and Bill Curtis, February, 1997
The Curtis Cemetery was begun when David Burton "Burt" Curtis and
William Riley Curtis, Confederate Soldiers and sons of James and Nancy
Hagler Curtis, were murdered by "bushwhackers," July 4, 1864, as they
were going up the stairs in their home on the Curtis farm (later McGhee,
Peter Moser, and Starnes home). They were buried on a small hill in the
back. One of their wives was raped. Their brother, Hezekiah "Henry"
Wilson Curtis, hunted down and arrested one of the murderers, John
Denton. Henry, in turn, was arrested by Unionists and taken prisoner to
Union forces in Knoxville. He later robbed a Monroe County store and
left the area, never to return.
Even though the family was against slavery, due to the need for a
mother figure they acquired a slave woman who was allowed to marry a
man on a neighboring farm. They had several children. Many of the
unidentified graves at the Curtis Cemetery, in the area in which the
Confederate buttons were found (and the probable graves of Burt and
Riley Curtis) were slaves, identified by the bones. It is probable that
these were the graves of the Curtis slaves. Family members said it was
used by the neighborhood as a slave cemetery.
The Curtis family was not notified by TVA of the re-interment.
Monroe County, TN Tombstone Records-McClung Room
"Latimore was Curtis Cemetery when 2 brothers, Burt and Riley Curtis
were killed. Used as a neighborhood cemetery, later the farm was
owned by Peter Moser, a very prominent Monroe Countian. Fifteen
inscriptions and possibly 40 unmarked graves. (This book prepared by
CCC in @ 1930 - notes taken 1980+, could not find in 1996.)
l. Burt Curtis
2. Riley Curtis
3. Rachel Hawkins wife of Gregg Hawkins
Died 1888 @ 70 years (dob1818)
4. Greg Hawkins died 1867 @ 49 (dob 1818)
5. Bettie Jane da of Gregg and Rachel Hawkins 1903
@ 45 years (dob 1858)
6. Prudie Fields wife of Cyrus Fields 6-20-1883 5-5-1911
7. Katie Moser
8. Infant of P & VM Moser
9. Peter Moser
10. Venie M. Hawkins wife of Peter
11. Gray, John
12. Gray, Elizabeth
13. Gray, Mary
14. Gray, Sarah
15. Gray, Henry"
Monroe County Tombstone Inscriptions McClung Room-p. 79
"The Curtis Cemetery was established in 1865 when two brothers,
Burt and Riley Curtis, were killed. Their land was owned by the Curtis
family and has been used as a neighborhood burial ground. Later the
farm was owned by Peter Moser who was a very prominent Monroe
Countian. The plot was deeded for a cemetery by the Moser family,
and some know it as the Moser Cemetery. there are 15 inscriptions and
possibly 40 unmarked graves. The cemetery is on the farm of the
Stokley brothers 15 miles NE of Madisonville. Inscriptions: Burt and
Riley Curtis; Rachel Hankins; Greg, Betty, Jane Hankins; Prudie
Fielding; Katie, Peter, Nanie M. Hawkins, 5 Grays."
Latimore Cemetery-copied on day of re-interment, 1976
Peter Moser Born 1839 Died 1909 "We will meet again"
Infant daughter of P and VM Moser Born & Died 1886 "
Buried on earth to bloom in Heaven"
Katie daughter of P and VM Moser Born Dec. 21, 1874
Died October 1884 "Our Loved One"
Venie Hawkins wife of Peter Moser Born - June 17, 1854.
Died Nov. 2, 1892 "A Tender Mother and a
Prudie Fields (no marked stone) (sister of Jacob) (Mrs. Sirus Fields)
Note: Witnessed by family members. + or - 24 graves were moved. 5
were marked with tombstones, 4 side by side. several were marked with
uninscribed field stones. Among these, according to the TVA officials
present, were slaves and men with Confederate uniforms (buttons were
found). (5 extra unknowns + +or - 25; of these 30, 15 were "infants.")
Eugene Moser in 1976
Mosers used Latimore Cemetery because Latimore had a store and
land and owed Peter Moser lots of money. They shook hands agreeing
the use of the cemetery for payment."
Dimple Moser Armstrong, February, 1997
Told story of going to "Moser" Cemetery with Jake (her father) and
Guy (her brother). The property was fenced. Guy worried about
crossing the fence. Jake said it was OK because he owned the
This cemetery was in the Third Civil District of Monroe County on the
left bank of the Tellico River approximately 1200 feet SW of the mouth
of Notchy Creek and approximately 700 feet SW of Holstein Drive. It
was determined flooding would isolate the graves of the adult and
Located in the Second Civil District of Monroe County, it was on the
right bank of the Tellico River approximately 900 feet south of the
mouth of Ballplay Creek. TVA determined it would be isolated.
Purchased by the United States of America from William Joe
Hammontree, Rollins is located on the left bank of Bakers Creek
approximately 900 feet northeast of Morganton Road. It originally held
Unidentified Cemetery #70
Last owned by Marvin Akins, it was located on the left bank of the
Little Tennessee River. It was in the Third Civil District of Monroe
County, approximately one-fourth mile south of the confluence of
Ballplay Creek and the Tellico River and on the left bank of Ballplay
Creek. It was "subject to flooding." Two graves were surrounded by a
13' x 13' stone wall in poor condition. An initial written statement
from Tom Waller to Alfred F. Pedigo in 1992 states, "Since this cemetery
is very old, it is possible that no relatives will be found who will
request relocation. Access after the project will be as good as the
current access. It is possible that we will not relocate this cemetery
for the above reasons." Five graves were initially known by virtue of
field stones and the rock wall. In grading the site, 4 more including 3
infants, one with buttons, and one adult were located.
NAME BLOCK GRAVE CEMETERY GRAVE #
BLAIR, J. T. C 2 Blair 52
J. Thomas, dob 1-30-1826, dod 7-10-1897, h/o Martha W. Morrow,
dom 7-19-1850, "Father." "Gone but not forgotten"
BLAIR, JOHN B 3 Blair 48
dob 10-15-1866, dod 12-29-1943, will requested tombstone, niece
Seddy Blair Hicks & ne-phews Tom & John Blair s/o br. James A.
BLAIR, JOE B 4 Blair 49
dob 10-6-1862, dod 7-4-1931, "We will meet again"
BLAIR, LAURA E. C 1 Blair 51
dob 6-7-1851, dod 10-3-1917, "Faithful to her 'hust.,'"
d/jo Martha W. Morrow & J. Thos. Blair
BLAIR, MARTHA W. C 3 Blair 53
w/o J. T. Blair, mn Morrow, dom 7-19-1850, dob 12-22-1832,
dod 4-12-1859, headstone: "Mother," footstone: "MWB," otherwise
BLAIR, WILLIAM B 5 Blair 50
dob 5-4-1868, dod 2-13-1924, "Christ loved him and took him
home," s/o Martha W. Morrow & Thos. Blair
CURTIS, DAVID BURTON U U Latimore U
Confederate soldier, bush-whacked 7-4-1864, s/o James & Nancy
CURTIS, WILLIAM RILEY U U Latimore U
Confederate soldier, bush-whacked 7-4-1864, s/o James & Nancy
DENTON, AMANDA C. L. B 10 Blair 27
d/o Wm. & Amanda Denton, dob 3-23-1815, dod 11-15-1818
DENTON, ELIZABETH B 8 Blair 25
d/o Wm. & Amanda Denton, dob 2-12-1843, dod 11-8-1843
DENTON, FRANCIS A. I 1 Blair 20
w/o Calvin Denton, dob 7-2-1833, dod 10-25-1856, "Here sister
sleeps. Who sunk to rest. By all her kindred. She was blest.
Her race was short. Yea swift she lies,. To rest at home in
DENTON, MARY C 6 Blair 28
d/o Wm. & Amanda Denton, dob 6-10-1834, dod 1-15-1852
DENTON, PATTON L. B 9 Blair 26
s/o Wm. & Amanda Denton, dob 8-12-1847, dod 11-6-1848
DENTON, WILLIAM C 7 Blair 29
dob 3-22-1800, dod 7-31-1856
FIELDS, PRUDIE MOSER G 6 Latimore 24
w/o Sirus Fields, d/o P & VM Moser, nok EHMoser, nephew, dob
6-19-1883, dod 5-5-1911
GRAY, ELIZABETH U U Latimore U
GRAY, HENRY U U Latimore U
GRAY, JOHN U U Latimore U
GRAY, MARY U U Latimore U
GRAY, SARAH U U Latimore U
HAGLER, B.B. O 2 Blair 12
"Ben B.," dob 8-10-1811, dod 1-8-1890, nok Ruth Millsaps,
g-niece, natural causes, h/o Nancy J. Keys
HAGLER, NANCY JANE O 1 Blair 1
87 yrs, died 1925, natural causes, nok Bert Wiggins, g. nephew,
originally had iron fence around it and grave of M. E. Keyees,
w/o Ben B. Hagler
HAWKINS, BETTIE JANE U U Latimore U
dob 1813, dod 1903, aka Elizabeth Givens (Land Dower of 1868,
many census, lawsuit) w/o Greg Hawkins
HAWKINS, GREG U U Latimore U
dob 1799, dod 1867, h/o Elizabeth Givens
HAWKINS, RACHEL U U Latimore U
dob 1818, dod 1888, d/o Gregory & Eliza. Givens Hawkins,
KEYEES, M. E. N 5 Blair 2
dob 6-13-1853, dod 7-15-1918, d/o Katherine Shirk & John
Keyees, nok Bert Wiggins, grandson, orig. had iron fence
around it & grave of Nancy Jane Haggler
KEYS, JOHN N 4 Blair 9
dob 9-14-1817, dod 3-6-1904, nok Ruth Milsaps, g-daughter
MORROW, ARMSTRONG C 5 Blair 55
dob 1801, dod 1880
MORROW, MARGARET C 4 Blair 54
dob 1808, dod 1875
MOSER, INF. DAUGHTER F 4 Latimore 4
d/o P & VM Moser, B & D 1886, nok EH Moser, nephew
MOSER, KATIE F 3 Latimore 3
d/o P & VM Moser, dob 12-21-1874, dod 10-1884, cod typhoid,
nr: EH Moser, nephew
MOSER, PETER F 2 Latimore 1
dob 10-13-1839, dod 2-14-1909, h/o Venie sMae Hawkins, Conf.
Army 62nd Division, nok EH Moser, grandson, cod: Brights
MOSER, VENIE MAE F 1 Latimore 2
dob 6-17-1854, dod 11-2-1892, w/o Peter Moser
RAY, NANCY YARBORO U U Rollins U
nok Hazel Rollins Jackson g-niece
SMITH, LEONA A. I 9 Blair 45
d/o Wm. M. & A. Smith, dod 7-21-1858, age 1 yr & 23 days,
"'Tis strange,' But so, spirits or given. Too pure for
earth just fit for Heaven"
WAYMAN, JULIA ANN O 3 Blair 10
dob 2-23-1842, dod 10-7-1916, nok Ruth Millsaps g-niece, 2nd
w/o William T. Wayman, d/o Catharine Shirk & John Keys
WOLFE, WILLIAM P 5 Hughes 26
dod 10-11-1887, age 53
YARBORO, INFANT A 13 Rollins 13
nok Hazel Rollins Jackson