History of Campbell County, Tennessee
Goodspeed's History of
Campbell County

 Time Line

Campbell County
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Goodspeed's History of Tennessee Counties

     Campbell County is one of the extreme northern counties of East Tennessee, lying immediately above Anderson. It is bounded on the east by Claiborne and Union Counties, and on the west by Scott County. It is traversed by the Cumberland Mountains, on the east side of which also, extending the entire length, is Powell's Valley, one of the finest agricultural sections of the State. On the opposite side of the mountains is another extensive valley, but one not so fertile. Its geological formation is much the same as that of Roane and Anderson Counties, and consequently it has an abundance of coal and iron.

The settlement of Campbell County was begun some time not far from 1795, and for several years it was restricted mainly to that portion to the east of the mountains, all of which was included in Henderson County's grant (see sketches of Claiborne and Hawkins Counties). One of the first settlers was Hugh Montgomery, who owned the site of Jacksboro. He was a man of considerable wealth for the time in which he lived, and was the father of Col. Lemuel P. Montgomery, who was killed at the battle of Horse Shoe. In 1806 Benjamin and Thomas Wheeler located near where Caseyville now is, and a brick house built by the former in 1813 is still standing. It was probably the first brick house erected in Powell's Valley. Jacob, Daniel and Henry Queener, brother, from Pennsylvania, located south of Jacksboro. At about the same time Charles Dabuey, with his two sons, Cornelius and Thomas, settled a little farther to the southeast. James Grant and Horace Tudor lived at the forks of the Clinch and Powell's Rivers, where a town named Grantsboro was laid off. The act of the Legislature authorizing its establishment appointed Walter Evans, Edward Scott, Shadrack Reedy, Patrick Campbell, Richard Chandler, James V. Ball, Thomas Lewis, Charles L. Bird and George Wilson commissioners for its regulation. Its subsequent history could not be learned, but it is probable that it extended no farther than this act. The vicinity of Glade Spring, now Fincastle, was settled at an early date, as it was organized there prior to 1802. In that year it was represented in the Tennessee Association by Bailey Greenwood and David Whitman. Among the pioneers who located on Indian Creek were the Hatmakers, Wilsons, Ridinours, Whitmans, Browns, Sharps and Williamses. Prominent among the other early settlers of the county were Isaac Agee, Robert Glenn (one of the first representatives of the county in the Legislature), William Casey, Amos Maupin and Joseph Hart.

The pioneer iron manufacturer was William Lindsay, who built the first bloomery in the county on Cedar Creek, for George Baker and brothers. He afterward erected the three others, one on Big Creek, another on Cave Creek, and the third on Davis Creek. The capacity of these works ranged from 600 to 900 pounds of iron per day. At a later date John Queener, similar works on Cave Creek, about three miles South of Jacksboro.

     Campbell County was created by an act of the General Assembly, passed September 11, 1806. The county court was organized at the house of Richard Linville, on the first Monday in December following, but as the records of this court have been destroyed nothing of its transactions can be given. In 1808 or 1809, Jacksboro was laid out, and a stone jail and courthouse erected. The former was occupied until about 1855, when a new building was erected upon the present courthouse lot. It was destroyed by fire in December, 1884, and was succeeded by the present handsome and substantial brick building. The first courthouse is still standing, and is now occupied by J. M. Bibee, as a store house. The first jail stood upon the lot now occupied by Dr. Russell, and was used until the war. The present was built about 1868.

     The circuit court for Campbell County was organized in 1810 by Judge Cocke. It remained in the first circuit until 1817, when it was attached to the second. In 1837 it became a part of the Twelfth Circuit, which was formed in that year. It thus remained until the reorganization of the courts after the war, when it again became a part of the Second Circuit. In 1873 the Seventeenth Circuit was established, and Campbell remained one of the counties formed in it until 1886. It is now once more in the Second Circuit. The chancery court was organized on June 27, 1842, by Judge Thomas L. Williams, who appointed John Barton the first clerk and master.

The first lawyer resident in the county was David Richardson, who was admitted to practice about 1825. He was a man of fine personal appearance, and of good ability, but he never sought a large practice. John E. Wheeler entered the profession about two years later. Among the other attorneys previous to 1860 were John Barton and William H. Malone. About 1867 H. R. Gibson, the able chancellor of the Second Division located at Jacksboro, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession for several years. J. H. Agee and James N. Ray have also been members of the bar. The resident practitioners at the present time are J. E. Johnston, J. H. Reed, R. D. Perkins, E. H. Powers, A. J. and J. W. Agee and John Jennings. The commissioners appointed to locate the seat of justice and lay off the town were Sampson David, John English, John Yount, Sr., and John Newman. The site chosen consisted of a tract donated by Hugh Montgomery. The first merchant of the town Sampson David, who was also engaged in the practice of medicine. He died about 1824 and was succeeded by W. H. Smith. Chiefly among the other merchants from that time until the war were Thomas Weir, Robert Morrow, James Williams, William Carey and William Richardson. The early tavern keepers were William Carey, John Izley and John Phillips. The first regular medical practitioner was Dr. Thatcher. The principal part of the county's business for several years was done by Joseph Hart, clerk of the circuit court, deputy register and county court clerk.

     Until 1832 the youth of the village were educated at a school taught in a small log house which stood near the present residence of John Hollingsworth. Among the teachers at that place were Dr. Hickox, Mr. Mitchell, Oatey H. Ward and Lewis David. January 1, 1831, the trustees of Franklin Academy met and decided to erect a building and put the school into operation. The board consisted of Abraham Hayter, John E. Wheeler, John Phillips, William Richardson, David Richardson, Joseph Peterson and Joseph Hart. John Phillips was elected chairman; Joseph Hart, secretary, and William Richardson, treasurer. It was at first proposed to erect the building on the hill east of town upon a lot donated by John Phillips, but upon the withdrawal of the donation the present site, Lot No. 28 was chosen. A small frame house was erected by John Queener for $399.80. It was completed in April, 1832, and the academy was soon after opened under the supervision of John C. Ewing. Among the succeeding teachers were Robert G. Kimbrough, elected in 1842; Peter J. O'Fallon, 1843; R. L. Kirkpatrick, 1844; Thomas Scruggs, 1846; R. M. Moore, 1847; Charles Kirkpatrick, 1848; W. F. Carley, 1849; William H. Smith, 1850; James O. Patton, 1851; Franklin Richardson, 1852, and Miss Kate Edmunds, 1855. In 1854 it was resolved by the board, "that we build a brick academy." Accordingly the next year the contract was let to T. W. Page. The building, however, was not entirely complete until 1860, although it was occupied before that time. During the war the school was suspended, and the building was frequently occupied by troops. In August, 1865, James Cooper, Alvis Kincard and J. S. Lindsay, the remaining old trustees, and W. C. Hall, John Myers and George Delap, newly appointed members of the board, met and provided for the repair of the house. About a year later the school was reopened, and has since been maintained.

     In the early history of the town religious services were held in the courthouse, later the academy was used, and early in the fifties a Methodist Church was erected. Since the war a new Methodist Church and a Baptist Church have been built.

The population of the town now numbers about 400. Its business interests are represented by Nichol & Polly, Robert Hutsell, Silas Taylor and J. M. Bibee, general stores; Dr. W. B. Russell, drug store; Spencer Dabney, harness shop, and I. Wilson, distillery. The Valley Sentinel, an enterprising weekly paper, is edited and published by Robert Hutsell. It was established at Sweet Water, Tenn., as the Youth's Sentinel, in April, 1880. Two years later it was removed to Fincastle, and in 1884 brought to its present location. The only other papers ever published at Jacskboro were the News, about 1871, by Z. Turlock, and the Silver Dollar, in 1884, by Dr. Frank Lindsay.

     Of the remaining villages in the county, Caryville, Newcomb, Jellico and Fincastle, the last named is the oldest. It is a little hamlet that sprang up in the vicinity of Glade Spring Church. The first store was opened by John Cooper some forty or fifty years ago. He was succeeded by John Kincaid. Caryville was formerly know as Wheeler's Gap, and for several years was the terminus of the Knoxville & Ohio Railroad. It was begun upon land owned R. D. Wheeler, a son of Benjamin Wheeler, about 1868. The first merchants were Dr. David Hart, M. D. Wheeler and Frank Kincaid. At about that time three or four coal mines were opened, the first by James Kennedy and William Morrow. For the year 1873 the total product of the mines at this place was 368,325 bushels. After operating there for a few years a dip in the rock presented a barrier to the further working of the mines, and they have all been abandoned.

     Jellico has grown up since the extension of the Knoxville & Ohio Railroad. It is situated in the extreme northern part of the county near the Kentucky line. The site was formerly owned by Richard Perkins, and Thomas Smith conducted a store in the neighborhood. A coal mine has recently been opened by the East Tennessee Coal Company, and is now extensively worked. Among the merchants of the town are William Province, Peter Perkins and L. J. Stanfill. Newcomb is a station on the Knoxville & Ohio Railroad, about three miles south of Jellico.

     The following persons have filled the most important offices in Campbell County since its organization:

Sherriffs -- Michael Huffaker, 1806-07; Thomas Mead, 1807-10; Richard Linville, 1810-16; David Richardson, 1816-22; Charles Maysey, 1822-25, Joseph Peterson, 1825-26; Joseph Carlock, 1826-28; Moses H. Swan, 1828-33; A. D. Smith, 1833-39; Jacob Queener, 1839-43; Russell Miller, 1843-46; John Phillips, 1846-50; John L. Keeney, 1850-56; William Warner, 1856- 58; S. D. Queener (killed in August, 1858), John Phillips, 1858-60; James Archer, 1860-1862; H. L. Wheeler, 1862-1865; John Meader, 1865-66; John Hunley, 1866-68; William Madden, 1868-70; G. W. Graham, 1870-76; G. M. Taylor, 1876-79; R. D. Wheeler, 1879-82; John L. Smith, 1882-84; J. P. Hollingsworth, 1884.

     Registers -- Daniel White, 1806-15; Benjamin Wheeler, 1815-21; Charles Maysey, 1821-22; Silas Williams, 1822-30; J. E. Wheeler, 1830-36; M. H. Swan, 1836-40; Caswell Cross, 1840-41; William D. Sharp, 1841-42; S. D. Cole, 1842-46; John Grimes, 1846-54; George W. Smith, 1854-58; John Ryan, 1858- ; D. P. Montgomery, 1864-68; John Heatherly, 1868-74; J. J. Large, 1874-76; D. C. McAmis, 1876; J. H. Curnutt, 1876-78; George Brown, 1878- 82; Lewis Wilson, 1882.

     Clerks of the county court -- James Grant, 1806-10; David T. Strong, 1810-20; Joseph Hart, 1820-32; William Carey, 1832-56; John Peterson, 1856-68; John Jones, 1868-78; S. C. Baird, 1878.

     Clerks of the circuit court -- Joseph Hard, 1810-20; Benjamin Wheeler, 1820-26; Joseph Peterson, 1826-40; Robert Morrow, 1840-48; G. M. Kern, 1848-58; George W. Smith, 1858-64; T. J. Rogers, 1864-68; William Allen, 1868.

     Trustees -- ------- --------; Joseph Thomas 1836-38; John Izeley, 1838-46; Thomas Weir, 1846 - ; Reuben Rogers, 1862-66; Edmund Gray, 1866-68; Samuel C. Baird, 1868-72; J. P. Hollingsworth, 1872-74; George Heatherly, 1874-76; F. P. McNew, 1876-78; J. L. Lewis, 1878-82; Silas Hatmaker, 1882-86; Lewis Brown, 1886.

     Clerks and masters -- John Barton, 1842-48; Robert Morrow, 1848-54; F. H. Bratcher, 1854-66; David Hart, 1866-70; J. S. Lindsay, 1870-82; Fr. De Tavernier, 1882-83; J. H. Agee, 1883--.

Time Line



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