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The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee

Greene County

Also See Biographical Sketches
Surnames A thru L and Surnames M thru W

       Green County is the fourth county in size in East Tennessee, having an area of 530 square miles. It lies between the Unaka Mountains on the south and Bays Mountains on the north, and is traversed by a series of valleys and ridges. The principal stream is the Nolachucky River, which receives as tributaries Lick Creek, Little Nolachucky, Horse Creek and Camp Creek. The soil of the county is generally fertile, with the exception of the extreme southern part, and even in this section the lands are found to be well adapted to tobacco culture. The richest farming lands occupy the northern portion of the county and the bottom of the “Chucky River.” The minerals embrace almost every variety found in East Tennessee, with the exception of coal. Iron is especially abundant in many places, and has been worked with success. The settlement of what is now Greene County was begun about 1788. One of the first settlers was Anthony Moore, who in that year located not far from Henderson’s Station, and whose daughter is said to have been the first white child born in the county. Other settlers followed soon after, and during the next two years, the greater part of the land, along Lick Creek and the Nolachucky River had been occupied. Daniel Kennedy came in 1779, and located on the river four miles east of Greenville, at the mouth of Holley Creek. He was one of the most prominent pioneers of the State, and deserves to rank with Sevier, Shelby and Cocke. He was chosen clerk of the county court upon the organization of the county, and continued to hold it under four successive changes of government, a sufficient proof of his integrity and worth. He was an ardent support of the State of Franklin, and was an active participant in the convention which founded it. He was also elected a brigadier-general of the Franklin militia. Among the other early settlers of the county were James English, on the headwaters of Lick Creek; Joseph Hardin, on the Roaring Fork of Lick Creek; George, William and Henry Conway, at the mouth of Lick Creek; Amos Bird, on the Chucky River; Alexander Galbraith, on Sinking Creek; James Delaney, on Holley Creek; Lewis Brayles, on Horse Creek; James Houston, in what is known as the Cove; Lanty Armstrong, on the sight of Rheatown; Robert Carr and Robert Hood, on the sight of Greeneville; James Patterson, who had four sons -- James, Andrew, Nathaniel and William -- located on Lick Creek in 1783. The Moores, Rankins and David Rice also settled in the same vicinity. A station was erected by the Carters about eight miles northwest of Greeneville. Tephaniah Woolsey lived south of the river. About 1790 a large number of Friends or Quakers began to come into the county from Pennsylvania and North Carolina, although a number of person of that faith had come several years before. Among the pioneers were William Reese, Garrett and Peter Dillion, William and Abraham Smith, Solomon, David and John B. Beales, Samuel and Mordecai Ellis, Abraham Marshall, Samuel Pearson, Samuel Stanfield and George Hayworth. The first religious services were held on the eleventh day of the ninth month, 1791. Other meetings were held from time to time, and on the twenty-eighth day of the second month, 1795, New Hope monthly meeting was organized about one mile west of Rheatown where a house of worship was erected. A church house was also erected on Lick Creek at an early day.
       While some of these Friends were slave-holders the great majority was opposed to the institution of slavery, and it was among those earnest, simple and God-fearing people, that the first society for the abolition of negro slavery in America originated. The first branch of the Tennessee Manumission Society was organized at Lost Creek Meeting-house in Jefferson County on February 25, 1815. On that day eight persons met for the purpose of forming themselves into a society, under the style of the Tennessee Society for promoting the Manumission of Slaves. These persons were Charles Osborne, John Canady, John Swan, John Underwood, Jesse Willis, David Maulsby, Elihu Swan and Thomas Morgan. The constitution for this society was as follows:
       Each member is to have an advertisement in the most conspicious part of his house, in the following words, viz.: “Freedom is the natural right of all men. I therefore acknowledge myself a member of the Tennessee Society for promoting the manumission of slaves.” ARTICLE II.        That no member vote for a governor or legislator unless he believes him to be in favor of emancipation.
       That we convene twelve times at Lost Creek Meeting-house. The first on the 11th of the third month next ****** shall proceed to appoint a president, clerk and treasurer, who shall continue in office twelve months.
       The required qualification of our members are true Republican principles **** and in form of ***** and that no immoral character be admitted into the society as a member.
       Soon after societies were formed in Greene, Sullivan, Washington and Cocke Counties and in Knoxville, and on the 21st of November, 115, the first general convention was held at Lick Creek Meeting-house of Friends, in Greene County. The second annual convention was held on the 19th and 20th of November, 1816, at Greeneville. Unfortunately the first minutes of this society have been lost, and but little is known of the original members of other branch societies. The first secretary was John Marshall. How long this society existed could not be ascertained, but the following facts are learned from the minutes of the eighth annual convention, held at the Friends’ Meeting-house at Lick Creek, in Jefferson County, on August 12 and 13, 1822. The delegates present were as follows: Green Branch -- John Marshall, Samuel McNees and David Stanfield; Maryville Branch -- David Delzel, Isaiah Harrison, Aaron Hackney and Andrew Cowan; Hickory Valley Branch -- Isaiah Harrison and John Coulson; Nolachucky Branch -- Lawrence Earnest; Turkey Creek Branch -- William Milliken; Washington Branch -- Joseph Tucker; French Broad Branch -- William Snoddy and John McCroskey; Holston Branch -- Jesse Lockhart; Jefferson Branch -- John and James Caldwell and Elisha Hammer; Middle Creek Branch -- John Kerr. Beaver Creek, Sullivan, Powell’s Valley, Knoxville and Newport Branches were not represented. James Jones was chosen president; Thomas Doan, clerk, and Asa Gray, treasurer. The whole number of members in the various branches was reported at 474. Robert M. Anderson and Jesse Lockhart were appointed to draw up a memorial to Congress, and Stephen Brooks, Thomas Doan, Wesley Earnest, Abraham Marshall and James Jones were appointed the committee of inspection for the ensuing year. As had been the custom at each preceding convention an address advocating the abolition of slavery, to be distributed to the various branch societies, was prepared. Since it inaugurated the anti-slavery agitation, which culminated in the civil war, the organization of this society must be regarded as one of the most important events in the history of the country.
       The first Methodist society in the State was organized in this county. It was named Ebenezer, and was established in the Earnest neighborhood some time about 1790. This neighborhood is on the Nolachucky River, opposite the present Fullen’s Depot. Henry Earnest located there in 1778 or 1779. He was the father of five sons and six daughters, and it is said that his wife with the children constituted four fifths of the membership of the new church. The first church building was erected prior to 1795, as in that year the Western Conference held its annual meeting there. From this time for several years this church seems to have been a favorite meeting place of the conference, that body having convened there in 1801, 1805, 1807 and 1822. One of the largest camp-grounds ever built within the bounds of the Holston Conference was erected about one and one-half miles from Ebenezer, near what is now Henderson’s Depot. It was used for many years and was not abandoned until the civil war. It was known as Stone Dam Camp-ground.
       Another Methodist society was organized at a very early day at Vanpet’s, in the vicinity of Carter’s Station, on the north side of Nolachucky, in the western part of the county, where a camp-ground called Center was erected some time prior to 1813. The first church building was built as early as 1792.
       The first Baptist Church in the county was organized in 1793 or 1794 on Lick Creek. Among the first members were Phillip Hale, Robert Fristoe, William Johnson, B. Hopper, Samuel Baker, Thomas Wyatt and Richard Curtin.
       Another church known as Flay Branch was organized at New Providence Meeting-house in 1803. Of its early members may be mentioned D. D. Shackleford, Nehemiah Woolsey, George Jones, Thomas D. Mason, V. Reynolds, Joshua Hardin, Frederick Dewitt, Joseph Reynolds, James Houston, J. Gilbert, H. Gilbert, Jeremiah Broyle and Giles Parman. The name of this church in 1885 was changed to Mountain View. Among other churches of this denomination are Roaring Springs, organized originally in 1817, present church of that name constituted in 1872; Clear Fork, 1825; Caney Branch, 1844; New Lebanon, 1848, Susong’s Memorial, 1877; Romeo 1878, and Lovelace, 1879.
       The Presbyterians organized the first church in the county at Greeneville, for a sketch of which see elsewhere. A second church known as Providence was organized in 1784.
       In 1783, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed an act dividing Washington County for the second time, and establishing the county of Greene. On the third Monday of August, the court of pleas and quarter sessions met at the house of Robert Carr, which stood near to what is known as the Big Spring in Greeneville. The magistrates present were Joseph Hardin, John Newman, George Doherty, James Houston, Amos Bird and Asahel Rawlings. Daniel Kennedy was elected clerk; James Wilson, sheriff; William Cocke, attorney for the State; Joseph Hardin, Jr., entry taker; Isaac Taylor, surveyor, Richard Woods, register, and Francis Hughes, ranger. For convenience the county was divided into four civil districts, three of which lay north of the Nolachucky and French Broad Rivers, which the fourth included all the residents south of these streams. For these districts the following assessors were appointed: First -- Lanty Armstrong, Owen Owens and William Stockton; Second -- Gideon Richie, James Dillard and Henry Conway; Third -- Alexander Kelly, Jeremiah Jack and Henry Earnest; Fourth ----- -----. The constables appointed were John Hammond, James Robinson, Joseph Box and Robert Ore.
       At the November session, 1783, the first grand jury was summoned. It was composed of the following men: Henry Conway, Joseph Carter, David Russell, Lanty Armstrong, Alexander Galbraith, Archibald Stone, Andrew Martin, James Rogers, Jeremiah Jack, Anthony Moore, George Martin, David Copeland, Richard Woods, Robert Allison and four others whose names could not be deciphered. This jury, however, found no indictments and was soon discharged. The court which was begun on February, 1784, levied a tax of one shilling specie on each 100 pounds of taxable property for the purpose of erecting public buildings. At the same session a road was ordered to be laid off from Robert Carr’s “to the confines of the county in the direction of Sullivan Courthouse.” At the next term Robert Carr was allowed £8 for the use of his house by the court while at the same time the sheriff entered a protest against the jail erected by Mr. Carr.
       In May, 1785, the county was reorganized under the State of Franklin, and all the officers who were reappointed were required to take a new oath of office. The magistrates who appeared and qualified were Joseph Hardin, George Doherty, Benjamin and John Gist, John Newman, Asabel Rawlings, John Maughon, James Patterson, John Weir and David Craig. The old county officers were removed except Daniel Kennedy, clerk and Francis Hughes, ranger. The county, as a whole, was the most loyal to the Franklin government of any of the counties composing the State, and jealously guarded against anything tending to weaken its influence or authority. In the records of the February session, 1786, is the following entry: “An anonymous printed paper, purporting to be an address to the citizens of Franklin, is judged by the court to be a scandalous, wicked and seditious libel against the States in the Union, and individuals of the Ecclesiastical order, and the same is ordered by the court to be burnt by the High Sheriff to-morrow at four o’clock in the afternoon.” At the next term David Crawley was brought before the court on a charge of “threatening the county of Greene,” and it was considered “that he be bound to good behavior for one year and a day.” An amusing instance of the court’s attempt to maintain its dignity against an irate attorney is found in the following entries in the minutes of November, 1786: “Luke Bowyer fined five shillings for insulting the court. Fi. fa. issue for the same. Luke Bowyer fined 10 for insulting the court and 5s for profane swearing. Fi. fa. issue for the same.” “Luke Bowyer ordered to be confined in the stocks for one-quarter of an hour; ditto one hour.” At this juncture Mr. Bowyer doubtless bethought himself of the maxim, that “discretion is the better part of valor,” and submitted to the court.
       Notwithstanding the troublous times through which the new State was passing, the court of pleas and quarter sessions for Greene County continued to hold its sessions regularly, and to discharge its duties with the greatest fidelity, and even after every vestage of the authority of Sevier’s government had disappeared from the other counties this court transacted its business in the name of the State of Franklin. In August, 1788, however, the county passed once more under the authority of North Carolina, and John McNabb, Alexander Outlaw, Abraham McCoy, Alexander Galbraith, Joseph Hardin and John Newman, qualified as magistrates. At this term new county officers were elected with the exception of clerk of the court, and the following attorneys were admitted to practice: John McNairy, Alexander McGinty, David Allison, Archibald Roane, Joseph Hamilton and Andrew Jackson. In November, 1790, the county court was once more reorganized, to comply with the government of the territory south of the river Ohio, but there were few changes in the magistrates or other officers. The same may also be said of what occurred six years later, when the officers qualified according to the laws of the State of Tennessee.
       The circuit court for Greene County was organized on March 7, 1810, by William Cocke. The attorneys present were David Yearsley, attorney-general; John Kennedy, John F. Jack and Samuel Y. Balch. The chancery court for the district, composed of Carter, Greene, Washington, Cocke, Jefferson and Sevier, was organized at Greeneville on May 16, 1825, by Thomas L. Williams, then one of the judges of the supreme court. Of the attorneys mentioned above only Samuel Y. Balch and James Reese are known to have resided in the present limits of Greene County. The latter was a member of one of the Franklin Assemblies and later represented Greene County in the Legislature of North Carolina.
       About 1817 James W. Wyly received a license to practice, and from that time until 1835 he was one of the leading advocates at the bar. At the latter date he removed to Missouri. Contemporary with him were his brother, A. H. Wyly, and George T. Gillespie. The former removed to Texas during the war between that State and Mexico, and the latter, after serving for a time as clerk and master, removed to Russellville, Tenn. Alfred and Augustus Russell were also lawyers of some note during this period. About 1830 Robert J. McKinney, who had studied law with John A. McKinney, of Rogersville, located at Greeneille. He at once took a front rank in the profession, and it is doubtful if he ever had a superior as a jurist in the State. In 1848 he succeeded Judge Reese upon the supreme bench, where he continued to preside until the civil war.
       About 1835, Thomas D. Arnold, formerly of Knoxville, located at Greeneville. He was a man of only limited education, and of somewhat eccentric manners, but by his strong native intellect and force of character he had already raised himself to prominence. He had served a term in the Legislature, been attorney-general of his circuit, and had held a seat in the XXII Congress. He engaged actively in the practice of his profession and in politics at Greeneville, and in 1840 he was elected to represent the First District in Congress. In 1841 David T. Patterson was admitted to the bar. He had studied in the office of Judge McKinney, and was well equipped for the practice of his profession. In 1854 he was elected judge of the First Judicial Circuit, and six years later he was re-elected. After the close of the war he served four years in the United States Senate, and since his retirement has not be engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1846 Samuel Milligan, also a pupil of Judge McKinney, began the practice of law, but as more extended mention of him is made elsewhere it will not be repeated here. Among the other attorneys prior to the war were James W. Hale (who died in 1842), Robert M. Barton, J. Britton, Jr., Robert Johnson, J. G. Rose and Robert McFarland. The members of the Greeneville bar at the present time are James Robinson, R. M. McKee, A. M. Shown, James Armitage, Dr. W. A. Harmon, R. D. Harmon, Samuel Shields, J. E. Hale, A. B. Wilson and W. F. Milburn.
       Greeneville may be said to have been founded in 1783, when the court held its first session at the house of Robert Carr. The name is first mentioned in the records of 1785, but the town was not established by the Legislature, nor regularly laid off until that year. The first settlers in the vicinity besides Carr were William Dunwoody (properly Dinwiddie), and Robert Hood, all of whom located about 1780 or 1781. Hood lived on what is now the south edge of town, on land owned by Mrs. Walker. Dunwoody is said to have kept a tavern near the site of Self’s hotel, but the first house of entertainment was kept by Robert Carr, who in 1784 erected a house on the north side of Main Street, afterward occupied by Dr. James Isbell. The tavern rates as fixed by the court were: Diet, 1s; liquor, half-pint, 6d.; pasture and stable, 6d.; lodging, 4d; corn, per gallon, 8d.; oats, per gallon, 6d. The first courthouse was completed about 1785, and in November of that year the third Franklin convention was held in it. Afterward it served as the meeting place for the Commons, while the Senate met in Carr’s old house near the Big Spring. The building is described by Ramsey as follows: “It was built of unhewn logs, and covered with clapboards, and was occupied by the court at first without a floor or loft. It had one opening only for an entrance, which was not yet provided with a shutter. Windows were not needed, either for ventilation or light, the intervals between the logs being a good substitute for them.” It stood at the lower corner of the present courthouse lot. It was used until about 1804 or 1805, when both a courthouse and new jail were erected. The latter was built of stone and stood near the middle of East Depot Street. It has had two successors, one completed in 1830, at a cost of $1,700, and the other built in 1882. It is constructed entirely of stone and iron, and cost $14,000. The third and present courthouse was erected about 1822-23. In 1870 a front, containing four offices and two stair-cases, was added.
       The first merchant in Greeneville was Andrew Greer, who had previously been known as a prominent Indian trader. William Dickson began business some time prior to 1800, and continued as one of the leading merchants until his death, a period of nearly half a century. He was a man of wealth, and served two terms in Congress, from 1801 to 1805. Joseph Brown and John Russell both opened stores about 1800, the former in a small frame house where the Presbyterian Church now is, and the latter on the lot now occupied by Brown & Brown. Among the other residents of the town at about this time were James Stinson, county register and tavern keeper; Robert Kyle, a tailor, and Valentine Sevier, clerk of the county court.
       In 1819 the merchants of Greeneville were Deaderick & Sevier, William Dickson, Henry & Peter Earnest, Lewis H. Broyles & Co., John C. Greenway & Co., and Joseph Allen & Co. At this time Greeneville had ceased to be a village, and had become a town of some 600 or 700 people. It was a good business point, and during the next decade it continued to improve. The merchants were prosperous, and many of them acquired a large amount of wealth, hence a sort of aristocracy sprang up, which, on political issue, was opposed by the mechanics and the laboring class generally. Among the latter the leaders were Andrew Johnson, Mordecai Lincoln and Blackstone McDaniel. The last named was a plasterer and is still living. Mr. Lincoln was a tanner and also carried on a shoe and saddler’s shop. he was a relative of Abraham Lincoln, and is said to have been very much like the latter, both in character and personal appearance. Mr. Johnson arrived at Greeneville, from North Carolina, in September, 1826, and finding a good opening for a tailor, he concluded to locate. He was accompanied by his mother and stepfather, and they took up their residence in a small frame building nearly opposite Spencer and Brown’s factory. Andrew worked for a time in a shop on Main Street, but subsequently removed to the corner of Depot and Water Streets. Meanwhile he had married, and he now purchased the brick house opposite his shop, where he continued to reside for several years. In 1828, in an election for alderman, he led the opposition to the aristocratic elements, and was successful. This he repeated two years later with the same result. At about this time a debating society was organized, and to it Mr. Johnson doubtless owed much of his future success. The origin of this society is described by Mr. McDaniel, a surviving member, as follows: Johnson and McDaniel were intimate friends, and both, during their leisure hours, were fond of discussing current political topics. The finally became involved in a discussion of the merits of a bill then lately passed by the Legislature, extending the criminal laws of the State over that part of the Cherokee Nation in Tennessee, Mr. McDaniel advocating the measure and Mr. Johnson opposing it. The discussion continued until at last a challenge to a public debate was made and accepted. Assistants were chosen and other preliminaries arranged, and on the following Saturday night the disputants, together with a small audience, assembled at the shops of Mordecai Lincoln. None of them present except Mr. Lincoln knew anything of parliamentary proceedings, therefore he was made chairman. Mr. McDaniel opened the debate, but Mr. Johnson refused to speak until all the others had finished, and then he proceeded with great trepidation. This debate led to the organization of a society which met every week, and some times twice a week, for two or three years, and Mr. Johnson soon became one of its most active members and best speakers.
       The subject of education early engaged the attention of the people of Greene County, and Greeneville College, the first college in the State, was incorporated in 1794. The trustees were Hezekiah Balch, Samuel Doak, James Balch, Samuel Carrick, Robert Henderson, Gideon Blackburn, Archibald Roane, Joseph Hamilton, William Cocke, Daniel Kennedy, Landon Carter, Joseph Hardin, Sr., John Rhea and John Sevier. Hezekiah Balch was chosen president, and Robert Henderson, vice-president. The first meeting of the trustees was held at the house of James Stinson and February 18, 1795. Robert Henderson, James Balch, Joseph Hamilton and John Rhea were appointed to prepare a memorial to the President and Congress of the United States, soliciting assistance for the college. This Mr. Balch offered to present. He soon after started upon a trip to Philadelphia and the Eastern States, and, upon his return, reported that had collected and brought a large number of books, and received $1,352 in cash donations and $350 of subscriptions. It was then decided to erect a frame building 60x30 feet, two stories high. Messrs. Balch, Hardin, Kennedy and Henderson were appointed to fix upon a site for the building in the neighborhood of Mr. Balch’s plantation about three and one-half miles from Greeneville. It was also resolved “that the board propose a lottery for the purpose of increasing the funds sufficiently for building the above house, the sum to be $1,000, and Gov. Sevier, John Rhea and Joseph Hamilton be a committee to prepare a scheme.” Whether this resolution was carried into effect is not known. In August, 1796, the trustees held another meeting, at which time Mr. Balch offered to donate 150 acres to the college, but the conditions upon which he proposed to make the donation were such that the trustees refused it. The plan for a building, presented at the previous meeting, was found to be too expensive, and it was decided to erect a house 32x26 feet, two stories high, “with a stock of chimnies at each end.”
       From this time until March 8, 1800, if any meetings were held, the minutes have been lost; at the latter date Rev. Charles Coffin was elected vice-president to succeed Rev. Mr. Henderson, and was commissioned to go to the Northern and Eastern States to solicit subscriptions. The college building had not yet been completed, and there is no evidence that the school had been put into operation. On July 1, 1803, the president was authorized to have the schoolroom glazed, and made comfortable for the accommodation of pupils, and this was probably about the date at which the college was opened. The first mention of any graduate was in 1808, when Hugh Brown received the degree of A. B. After four years of labor, soliciting donations for the college, Mr. Coffin returned in 1805, and reported that he had secured about $14,000, of which $8,855.96 came from the “other side of the mountains.” These funds placed the college upon a firmer foundation, and it at once entered upon a prosperous career. In 1810 Mr. Balch died, and was succeeded by Mr. Coffin, who continued at the head of the institution until 1827, when he accepted the presidency of East Tennessee College. His successor was Henry Hoss, for a short time as president pro tem., and in 1838 Rev. James McLin succeeded him. It was then decided to remove to reeneville, and a committee was appointed to superintend the erection of a building at that place. This building was completed in 1841 upon a lot in the northeast part of town, donated by Valentine Sevier. From some cause, however, the college failed to prosper, and after three or four changes in presidents, among whom were Samuel Matthews, Charles A. Van Vleck, and J. J. Fleming, the college was suspended. In 1854 Rev. William B. Rankin, then principal of Rhea Academy, was elected, and so continued until the suspension of the schools by the war.
       In 1818 Dr. Samuel Doak, who had formerly been president of Washington College, came to Greene County and established a school known as Tusculum Academy. It soon became known as an excellent institution, and in 1842, under the management of Rev. Samuel W. Doak, who had succeeded his father, it was incorporated, with the following board of trustees: Samuel W. Doak, president; John McGaughey, John Moore, James Broyles, Alexander Williams, Andrew Johnson, William Crawford, R. J. McKinney, Thomas D. Arnold, William West, John Blair, Silas Dobson, Jeremiah Moore, Joseph Henderson, William Robinson, James Robinson, R. M. Woods, Rev. Isaac Braughan, F. A. McCorcle, William Denney, Henry Earnest, Robert Rankin, William M. Lowry, James Hale and John Jones. About 1845 five acres of land were donated by Mr. Doak, and the two-story brick building, which is still occupied, was erected upon it. Previous to that time a small house, still standing just back of the Doak mansion, had been occupied by the academy for several years. Mr. Doak continued as president until his death, about the close of the war. At that time both Greeneville and Tusculum Colleges were in a somewhat demoralized condition, and it was decided to consolidate the two institutions under the name of Greeneville and Tusculum College. This was accomplished in 1868, and Dr. W. S. Doak became president. He continued at the head of the college until his death in 1882, although the year previous he was elected State superintendent of public instruction. In 1883 Rev. Jere Moore, the present president, was elected. During the past year one of the finest college buildings in the State has been erected at a cost of about $14,000, the greater portion of which was donated by the widow of the late Cyrus W. McCormick, of Chicago. The present faculty is as follows: Rev. Jere Moore, A. M., president and professor of mental and moral science; L. C. Haynes, A. M., professor of mathematics and physical science; T. S. Rankin, P. S., professor of natural science and English literature; Rev. W. C. Clemens, A. B., professor of Greek; Rev. S. A Coile, A. M. Vice-president and professor of Latin; Eduard Lindemann, professor of music and modern languages.
       The first schools in Greeneville, as now remembered, were taught in a log house standing near where Rhea Academy is, and in the Presbyterian Church. The latter was a boy’s school, and was taught for four or five years by Joseph Brown. The former was doubtless the original Rhea Academy, and was opened about 1812. The lot was donated by John Rhea in 1811, and it is said that he also furnished a large part of the funds for the erection of the building. The present academy was built about 1825, and about 1840 the building for the female department was erected upon the lot given by John Dickson.
       The date of the organization of the first church in Greeneville has not been settled beyond dispute, but it is believed that the first preaching was done by Rev. Samuel Doak in 1780, and that the church was organized about three years later by Rev. Hezekiah Balch, who became the first pastor. The elders were Anthony Moore, Maj. Temple and Joseph Hardin. The first exercises were said to have been held under a clump of trees near the Big Spring. In 1792 James Galbraith, for $10, deeded three acres and four poles of land, near the head of Richland Creek, to Anthony Moore, Alexander Galbraith, Maj. Temple, John Reese, John Carson, Nicholas Hays, Thomas Russell, David Russell, David McGill and Jeremiah Smith, elders of Mount Bethel Church. Whether any house had been erected before this time is not known, but it is probably that a log building had been used. The earliest church of which there is any certain knowledge was a frame house which stood on what is now a vacant lot adjoining the old cemetery on the north side. The congregations which assembled here were very large, embracing the greater part of the people for ten miles around. In 1796, after the return of Dr. Balch from his trip to New England, mentioned in connection with Greeneville College, he began to expound the Hopkinsian doctrines, and affirmed his belief in them. This produced a schism in the church, and after a long contest before Presbyterian Synod and general assembly the faction apposing Dr. Balch withdrew and was organized into a separate congregation with Rev. James Witherspoon as pastor, under the old name of Mount Bethel. They erected a log church, near where Spencer & Brown’s factory now is, and there continued to worship until 1815, when they removed to a point one mile east of town, where the present substantial brick church now stands. The early ministers of this congregation were as follows: James Witherspoon, 1798-1807; John W. Doak, 1807-09; James Balch, 1809-12; S. W. Doak, 1813-44; and S. W. Wyly. The Balch faction of the old Mount Bethel congregation adopted the name of Harmony Church, and Mr. Balch continued as pastor until his death. In 1805, Rev. Charles Coffin began preaching to the congregation one third of his time, and from 1808 to 1820 he divided his time between Greeneville and Jonesboro. In the latter year, he was succeeded at Greeneville by Christopher Bradshaw, who preached alternately at Harmony and Timber Ridge until 1827. His successor was Dr. F. A. McCorkle, who had been engaged in the practice of medicine for about ten years. he continued the practice of his profession and also remained pastor of these churches until 1855, when he was succeeded at Greeneville by Rev. Ira Morey, the principal of the female academy. He continued about twenty months, and was succeeded by Rev. E. T. Brantley, who preached to the congregation from 1857 to 1860. Dr. McCorkle then filled the pulpit until the beginning of the war. In 1865 the elders of the church were Samuel Milligan, Joseph R. Brown, J. A. Galbraith, Dr. E. M. Shiffey and Robert McKee. Rev. J. W. Elliott was received as stated supply, continuing until 1867. His successors have been S. V. McCorkle, W. C. Harding, John E. Alexander and Samuel A. Coile. In 1848 the old house of worship was abandoned, and the present commodious structure on Main Street was built on a lot donated by Robert J. McKinney. In 1833 a camp-ground was established on a hill one mile west of Greeneville, and camp-meetings were held there annually for several years. The name Harmony was borne by this church until 1840, when it was changed to Greeneville.
       In 1843 a Cumberland Presbyterian congregation was organized by Rev. Isaac. S. Bonham, with Thomas Lane, Lewis S. Self, Thomas Davis and two or three others as elders. The membership was small, but they succeeded in erecting a small frame house in the southwest part of the town, where they continued to worship until 1860. In that year, under the ministry of Rev. John P. Holt, the present large brick building at the corner of Church and Main Streets was begun, but was not completed until after the close of the war. The present membership of the church is about 100.
       The first Methodist Church in Greeneville was built in 1821, and was known as Mount Moriah. it stood fronting on Irish Street, upon a lot back of where Mr. Blackstone McDaniel now lives. The trustees at that time were William Goodman, William Carter, Elza Bridewell, John Whittenburg, Peter Whittenburg, Richard M. Woods, William A. Hankins, Isaiah Harrison and Stephen Brooks. Afterward the congregation removed to a frame house, which had been erected at the southwest end of Main Street. This building was destroyed by fire and was replaced by the present brick structure, which is now occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
       After the close of the war a Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, and for about nine years occupied the old building erected before the war. The were then dispossessed of this property through legal process by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. They then worshipped in the courthouse until they completed their present handsome church edifice in 1875.
       About 1843 an Episcopal Church was organized and a house of worship erected. Among the first members were Gen. T. D. Arnold and wife, Mordecai Lincoln and wife, Mrs. John Dickson, Mrs. Matilda Martin, Mrs. Catherine Williams, Miss Mary Lincoln and Loyd Tillman. The first minister was Dr. McCabe, his successors were Dr. Goode, A. M. Royce and W. W. Cahagan. The congregation was never a large one and, owing to deaths and removals, it has been still further decreased, and for several years no regular services have been held.
       In 1874 a Baptist Church was erected and a small congregation organized, but owing to internal dessensions, it did not prosper, and the building was finally sold for debt. It was purchased by O. B. Headrick, a member of the church and still remains his property.
       The first newspaper published at Greeneville was the Genius of Universal Emancipation, a small monthly paper devoted exclusively to the cause of the abolition of slavery. It was established at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, in July 1821, but was soon removed to Greeneville, the tenth number having been issued from the latter place. The editor was Benjamin Lunday, a Quaker, who, after four or five years, removed to Philadelphia. During his stay in Greeneville he also published a weekly paper, the Economist and Political Recorder. The successor of Lundy was Thomas Hoge, but the name of his paper could not be ascertained. In 1844, the Greeneville Miscellany was published by Charles P. Byers, and in 1849 the Greeneville Spy was established. The first editors and managers were Charles Johnson and J. B. R. Lyon. With the exception of about two years its publication, under several successive managers, was continued until the war. In the fall of 1858 the Greeneville Democrat was established by H. G. Robertson. The next year the name was changed to the Greeneville Banner. It was a radical Southern Right paper, which he continued to issue until the occupation of the town by the Federals, in 1863. For the last few weeks it was issued as a small tri-weekly. During the fifties, also, a religious paper known as the American Presbyterian was published by J. Dobson. In 1865 J. B. R. Lyon established the New Era which he continued under that name until 1886, when he changed it to the Republican. Early in the seventies two papers, the Sentinel and the Reporter, were established, the latter by the evangelist, Samuel W. Small. The two were soon consolidated and published for a time as the Sentinel and Reporter.
       In May, 1879, J. Lyon issued the first number of the Greeneville Democrat, which he has since continued, and which has been an almost phenomenal success. It has reached a circulation of over 1,900 copies, and yet almost the entire work of the office has been done by Mr. Lyon. It is safe to say that no other weekly paper in the State outside of the cities, has an equally large circulation. Several other papers of short duration have also been published from time to time. Among those were the Herald, National Union, Intelligencer and Bulletin.
       Greeneville, during the past few years, has increased rapidly in both populations and wealth. Since the introduction of tobacco raising into the county it has become an important market for this crop, and the manufacture and shipment of tobacco is now one of the leading industries. The firms engaged in its manufacture are the East Tennessee Manufacturing Company, the Greeneville Manufacturing Company and Howard & Alexander. The other manufacturers of the town are Brown & Mosier, handle and spoke factory, Lamon Bros., wagon factory; Spencer & Brown, drugs and medicines; Stephen Bros., woolen-mill, and R. Snapp and J. R. Brown, tanneries. The commercial interests are represented as follows: W. H. Williams, William Lane, David R. Britton, M. P. Reeves, George P. Park & Co., W. R. Brown, J. R. Brown and Trim & Hardin, dry goods and groceries; Boyd & Park and Isaac O’Harrell, drugs; W. C. Willis, hardware; W. G. Gass, queenware; R. Snapp, W. B. Taylor and L. W. Tipton, groceries; J. M. Sanders and Mercer & Co., furniture, and R. Snapp and J. R. Brown, saddlery and harness. The Bank of Greeneville was established in 1887 by Judge Hacker & Bro. and John Brobson.
       Of the villages of Greene County Rheatown is doubtless the oldest. It is situated on what was the old stage route, and at one time was a thriving business point. It was made a postoffice in 1823, and named in honor of John Rhea. Among the early residents of the village were James Allen, a merchant, who was succeeded by Joseph & Nicholas Earnest, Joseph Whinnery, a hatter; William Aiken, a tanner; Thomas & William Handley, tailors; John Mathes, a cabinet-maker, and John Wright, who ran a saw and gristmill. Some time in the twenties a Methodist Church was built at the upper end of the town, and about 1845 a new frame building was erected just above the old one. About 1850 the Presbyterians organized a church and built a house. Since the war the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South have erected a new church edifice. In 1872 an academy was built by Nolachucky Lodge, No. 323, F. & A. M., and since that time a very excellent school has been maintained there.
       The other villages of importance are Mosheim and Fullens, both stations on the railroad. The latter place was established upon land owned by James Fullen. It has a population of about 100, and is the seat of Warren College, an institution established by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1883. Mosheim was formerly known as Blue Springs, under which name it was known until about 1870. It is the seat of Mosheim College, established under the auspices of the Lutheran Church. It also has a large flouring-mill, owned by Reuben Roder, a general store, by D. R. Gass & Co., and a drug store, by J. A. Banghard. Warrensburg, situated in the Fourth Civil District, is the oldest village in the county, and at one time was a place of no little importance. The site was entered during the first settlement of the county by Robert Warren, from whom it took its name. The business of the village now consists of two general stores owned by J. C. Maloney and R. J. Kidwell, and a drug store conducted by Marion Maloney.
       The following have been the officers of Greene County since its organization, so far as obtainable.
       Clerks of the county court: Daniel Kennedy 1783-1802; Valentine Sevier, 1802-10; Andrew Patterson, 1810-34; Merryman Payne, 1834-36; George W. Foute, 1836-52; E. W. Headrick, 1852-68; V. S. Maloney, 1868-82; W. H. Piper, 1882.
       Clerks of the circuit court: Valentine Sevier 1810-54; William West; 1854-56; M. L. Patterson, 1856-62; William West 1862-65; D. R. Britton, 1865-86; J. B. Walker, 1886.
       Clerks and masters: George T. Gillespie, 1825-36; Merryman Payne, 1836-43; David Sevier, 1843-70; Henry A. Wilde, 1870-76; A. W. Walker, 1876-80; W. A. Allen 1880-86; J. K. P_____, 1886.
       Sheriffs: James Wilson, 1783-85; James Houston, 1785-86; John Tadlock, 1786-87; James Richardson, 1787-92; William L. Lovely, 1792-94; George Conway 1794-1800; John Newman, 1800-02; Christopher Conway, 1802-04; James Patterson, 1804-06; Andrew Patterson, 1806-08; James Patterson, 1808-10; Daniel Guin, 1810-12; James Patterson, 1812-14; Daniel Guin, 1814-18; Hugh Carter 1818-24; Alfred Hunter; 1824-26; Richard M. Woods 1826-40; James Britton, 1840-46; Loyd Bullen, 1846-50; D. R. Johnson, 1850-54; James Jones, 1854-60, James G. Reeves, 1860-66; A. W. Walker, 1866-74; William S. White, 1874-78; A. J. Frazier, 1878-84; W. I. Dodd, 1884-86; A. J. Stephens, 1886.
       Trustees: Thomas Doan, 1796-1804; James Shields, 1804-18; Joseph Brown, 1818-20; W. K. Vance, 1820-34; James R. Isbell, 1834-36; Richard West, 1836-44, William West, 1844-52; A. R. Anderson, 1852-58; Elbert F. Mercer, 1856-48; James W. Cloyd, 1868-74; Charles O. Park, 1874-82; J. R. Hughes, 1882-84; J. A. Rader, 1884-86; J. W. McDaniel, 1886.
       Registers: Richard Woods 1783-84; Robert Carr, 1785-87; John Hardin, 1787-89; John Stone, 1789-94; James Stinson, 1794-96; James Dunwoody, 1796-98; James Stinson, 1798-1806; George Brown 1806-36; Silas E. Burnett, 1836-42; Thomas Lane 1842-74; T. R. McCollum, 1874-78; J. W. Bower 1878-84; O. T. French, 1886.

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