Posts Tagged ‘1940’

The 1940 TVA Removal of the Hollis H. Dewitt Family

May 23, 2018

Hollis and his family, along with his parents who lived next door, were part of the TVA removal when the Ft. Loudoun Dam was being built.


Mrs. R. B. Mashburn and Mrs. Oscar Wilson are listed as daughters. I believe this is a clerical error, since Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt are listed as a young couple with two young children who are too young to go to school. I suspect that Mrs. Mashburn and Mrs. Wilson are the sisters of Mr. DeWitt, but further research is needed. (Later confirmed that they are indeed the older sisters of Hollis. Mrs. Mashburn is Edna “Leota” DeWitt who married Raymond Mashburn, and Mrs. Wilson is Reba DeWitt who married Oscar Wilson.)








Leave Lenoir City toward Bussell’s Ferry. After crossing the Southern Railroad tracks at the C. H. Bacon Hosiery Mill, continue to the dirt road just before reaching the river to the left. This road leads up a steep, clay road along the west banks of the Tennessee River. The first house on the right is the home of Mr. DeWitt.


A few families living just below the dam site on small tracts, supplementing their farm incomes by industrial employment, make up this community. This particular family lives on less than two acres of land and supplements its income from the farm by industrial employment. The land under cultivation in this community as a whole is rather fertile.


This is a non-farming family consisting of a young couple and two children. Mr. DeWitt was not at home, but the worker met Mrs. DeWitt and the two children and also the parents of Mr. DeWitt. The entire family is healthy. The two children are too young to attend school, and Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt have only a fair education.


Mr. DeWitt quit school after reaching the seventh grade due to the illness of his father. He went to work at the C. H. Bacon Hosiery Mill and has been employed there since he was 16 years of age. He makes 32 1/2 cents per hour and works 44 hours per week. Mrs. DeWitt said that work was fairly regular and estimated that Mr. DeWitt was employed at least 40 weeks during 1939. However, at this particular time he is idle due to the shortage of orders.


The house is a well made, two room weatherboard structure which sits on the cliff over-looking the River. The house is small, but in excellent condition; it is comparatively new. There are 1.3 acres leading down to to the river, 0.3 of an acre of which Mr. DeWitt has in a garden for his own use. There is a beautiful view of the river at the rear of the house.


At the time the worker called, Mrs. DeWitt stated that their check had not been received for their property and that they were waiting for it before looking for a new home. This should not be a difficult relocation problem as Mr. DeWitt’s job will continue as formerly. It merely means a change in residence.


This property was acquired by purchase on May 22, 1940. The worker called to see Mr. DeWitt, and although he was away, terms of the contract were discussed with Mrs. DeWitt and Mr. DeWitt’s parents. They understood that the property was to remain in their possession until June 22, 1940, and that they were not permitted to remove any buildings from the property. In the meantime, they were to have use of the buildings. This family will be contacted again as they claim at this time not to have received the check for their property. However, the office said that the check had been mailed.


REMOVAL INFORMATION 6-27-40 Ketchen lib

This family moved to a house in Lenoir City but Mrs. DeWitt was not pleased with the location. Plans are being made to start building a home of their own at once.

FURTHER INFORMATION 9-10-40 Ketchen lib

This familoy has purchased  lot and built a very comfortable home in the edge of Lenoir City on the highway to Concord. They have a larger house than formerly, are more conveniently located to Mr. DeWitt’s work, and are closer to schools and churches. They are in the same general community–Lenoir City, and Mr. DeWitt’s work is not to be affected by the construction of the dam. Everything considered, they are as well, if not better, off than formerly. No further follow-up is necessary.