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A native of Niota, Harry T. Burn held public office for much of his adult life; State House of Representatives, 1919-23; State Senate, 1949-53; State Planning Commission, 1952-58; delegate of Roane County to the Constitutional Conventions of 1953, 1959, 1965. However, he is best remembered for an action he took during his first term in the legislature. On August 18, 1920, he changed his vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and it became law, giving women the right to vote.
U.S. 11, McMinn County, in Niota
300 yards east is the house in which John Tyler Morgan (1824-1907) was born. A brigadier general in the Confederate Army, he later served for 30 years as United States Senator from Alabama. He distinguished himself by promoting legislation in favor of the Panama Canal and the Tennessee River development of Muscle Shoals.
U.S. 11, McMinn county, approaching Athens
In August 1866, the Bethsalem Presbyterian Church was the first African-American organized in the area of McMinn, Meigs, and Polk counties. The church had its start in a brush arbor until the congregation built a log cabin, which served as a church on Sundays and a school during the week. In the 1920's the building burned and was rebuilt by friends and neighbors. During the month of August, the members to celebrate their annual homecoming in this building.
TN 30, McMinn county, in Athens, Athens-Etowah Highway
This is one of the houses built by this itinerant contractor, who left Botetort Co., Virginia, in 1823 and made his way south building houses taking pay in "gold, notes, or Negroes." In 1836 it was the central office for the Hiwassee Railroad, which in 1837, became the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, one of the progenitors of the Southern Railway System.
U.S. 11, McMinn County, in Athens on North Jackson Street.
Organized in 1857 as Athens Female College and sponsored by then by the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The name of the college has been changed several times, but it has been related to some branch of the Methodist Church continuously. The State of Tennessee issued a separate charter in 1925 to Tennessee Wesleyan College. It operated as a junior college from 1925 to 1954 and as a senior college since 1954.
McMinn County in Athens
500 yards to the east is the grave of Joseph McMinn, governor of Tennessee for three terms, from 1815 to 1821. A Quaker, born in Pennsylvania in 1758, he settled in Hawkins County about 1787. He was also a member of the State Constitutional Convention, 1796; member of the State Senate, 1796; 1798-1812; Speaker of the Senate, 1805, 1807, and 1809. He died in 1824.
U.S. 11, McMinn County, on north approach to Calhoun.
Transcribed by: Harold "Mitch" Mitchell
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