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The Lenoir Family
 

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    Lenoir City (first known as Lenoir's Station) was named for the patriarch of the Lenoir family, General William Lenoir, and was founded by his eldest son General William Ballard Lenoir. General Lenoir was born on May 8, 1751 in Brunswick County, VA and was the youngest son of Thomas and Mourning Lenoir. At age 8, the he moved with his family to Surry County, NC. 

    General Lenoir had an extensive military and political career. Prior to the Revolutionary War, he went out on numerous expeditions against the Indians. During the Revolutionary War, he first served as 1st Lieutenant under Colonel Cleveland and then voluteered as a private during a forced march to overtake Ferguson at King's Mountain. After the war in 1795, he became a General in North Carolina Militia. As a reward for his military service, North Carolina awarded him 5000 acres located along the bank of the Tennessee River. Unfortunately, he could not occupy his lands, because others claimed ownership of the land. Finally in 1809, after a lengthy court battle, all claims were resolved, and the courts determined that General Lenoir was legally entitled to the land. In September 1809, he deeded this land to his eldest son Major William Ballard Lenoir

     After finishing his military career, General Lenoir embarked on his political career. He served two years as a Clerk of Wilkes County, NC. He was appointed Justice of the Peace and later served in both branches of the legislature. During his last term in the Senate, he served as President of the Senate. Later, he became the first President of the Trustees of the University of North Carolina. 

     On May 1, 1833, he applied for a military pension for his Revolutionary War Services (Pension S7137). On May 6, 1839 he died. 

    Major William Ballard Lenoir married Elizabeth Avery of Wilkes County NC. After his father gave him the Tennessee land, he moved his wife and four children to Lenoir's Station (then located in Roane County). He and his wife completed their family with eight more children. Five of his sons were Albert S. who married Katherine Welker in 1837, William, Israel Picks, Waightstill Avery, and Dr. Benjamin Ballard.

    Dr. Benjamin Ballard Lenoir was born March 5, 1821 in Lenoir's Station. On November 27, 1855 he married Henrietta R. Ramsey. Henrietta died on May 25, 1864. Dr. Lenoir then married Margaret V. Siler on May 14, 1872. 

    Major Lenoir and his sons built several buildings in Lenoir's Station. Some of these include the family home (1821), the general store, the cotton mill (1834), the flour mill, the Lenoir Inn, and Trinity United Methodist Church (1867). Major Lenoir died in 1852. William, Israel Picks, Waightstill Avery, and Benjamin formed the company William Lenoir and Brothers to continue to run these businesses. 

     During the Civil War, the Union troops invaded Lenoir's Station and began burning down many of the buildings because the Lenoir's were Confederate Sympathesizers. The general store and the railroad depot were the first hit by the fire. The Union troops were planning on burning the cotton mill, but it was spared at the last moment. Tradition has it that Dr. Lenoir walked up and down the troops frantically making the secret Masonic sign until he found members of the Masonic Order. He then talked them into sparing the cotton mill. 

     Many of the buildings and homes built by the Lenoir family are still standing today. Some of these include the Albert Lenoir Home, the Major William Ballard Lenoir Home, the Walter Franklin Lenoir Home, and the Lenoir Cotton Mill.

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