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 Powells 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 Countys 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 Powells 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 Powells
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
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 countys 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. OFallon, 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 Youths 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 Wheelers 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.
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
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--.
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