Posts Tagged ‘Lenoir City’

1/1/1893: Good for Lenoir City

July 11, 2018

From GenealogyBank: 1/1/1893, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee.


The news published this morning from Lenoir City is of the most gratifying character, gratifying not only to the people of that immediate community, but to Knoxville and all East Tennessee. For Lenoir city, it signifies as Mr. Sanford, the able president of the company, says, that Lenoir City is destined to become the Pullman of the south. It means that Lenoir City is to become the site of one of the largest manufacturing establishments south of the Ohio river, an establishment that will cost many of thousands of dollars and furnish in its erection, employment for hundreds of mechanics and workingmen. It means, when completed, lucrative employment all the time for a host of skilled artisans and workingmen.

It means much for Knoxville. Being only twenty-two miles west of the city, on the main line of the East Tennessee road, it is virtually one of Knoxville’s suburbs. It will be  valuable addition to Knoxville’s trade. It will result in bringing a good many hundreds of thousands of dollars to Knoxville banks and Knoxville merchants and mechanics. Knoxville will have many reasons to rejoice at the good fortune and permanent prosperity of Lenoir City. The establishment of this immense manufacturing plant so near to our doors, will revive hope and encourage enterprise throughout the entire section.

We have said that Lenoir Cit is one of Knoxville’s suburbs. What has just been accomplished at Lenoir city is a valuable pointer to Knoxville. It shows that manufacturers of the north are beginning to appreciate the resources of this section. They begin to understand the value and the extent of our raw material, as found in our forests, mine, and quarries. And now the question comes up what will Knoxville do? There is a tide in the affairs of cities and communities as well as of men, that it taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Will Knoxville sit supinely by, in a state of calm expectancy, leisurely awaiting the tides? Will anything be done to induce capitalists to invest their money here and contribute to the growth of our splendidly situated city? If we are to remain in a state of chronic inaction, supremely satisfied with ourselves, laboring under the delusion that capital and population will drift this way whether invited or not, it may be that one of these fine mornings we may wake up to find that Knoxville is a suburb of Lenoir City.

It is unnecessary for THE JOURNAL to say who J. H. Bass is; he is one of the kings of the industrial world, the architect of his own fortune, that is counted by millions. His plants at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Chicago and St. Louis are well known all over the west and the country. He is a business man from the ground up, and no higher compliment could possibly be bestowed upon Lenoir City than he has paid it by locating the great establishment that will be completed and put in operation during this year. The future of the city is no longer in doubt. The plant which Mr. Bass will erect there will of itself constitute the sure foundation of a prosperous city. When in operation, as Mr. Bass’ plant will be at an early day, together with other establishments already located, Lenoir City will at once take rank with the foremost manufacturing communities south of the Ohio River.


1/1/1893: Triumphant! Gigantic Plant Secured

June 30, 2018

From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 1/1/1893, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VIII, Page 1.



Lenoir City Starts the New Year With Flourishing Prospects.




Immense Iron Foundries and a Big Car Wheel Factory.




J. H. Bass, the Great Fort Wayne Car Wheel Manufacturer in it.


There has been a long siege of hard times testing the vitality of many southern cities and only the best and most substantially found have been able to withstand the long strain. Conspicuously among these has been our conservative, strongly backed neighbor, Lenoir City. It has been managed by strong and capable business men who had invested largely of their own means and who had too much wisdom to be dragged into the crazy methods which were adopted in so many of the boom towns of the south and which have invariably brought upon themselves with the day of reckoning, bankruptcy and disaster to all who invested in them. But such men as Gen. Sam Thomas, C. M. McGhee, Senator C. S. Brice, E. J. Sanford, Oliver H. Payne and John G. Moore, Grant B. Schley, with other strong men who are back of Lenoir City, and understood the wisdom of caution and conservatism as the danger of fortuitous booming. The result has been that Lenoir City indulge in no extravagances, threw no money away on useless electric light plants, and costly hotels, but kept money in its purse and stood ready even in the hardest times, to meet every obligation and to aid and encourage such enterprises as it seemed desirable to have located there. Amid the crash of boom towns in every direction there was apparent there always the evidence of perfect confidence and the air of real substantial prosperity. The contrast to other towns which were founded about the same time was so manirffest that it attracted the attention of capitalists and was commented on wherever southern investment was being discussed. And what has been the result? The plucky city enters the new year with the proud satisfaction of seeing the smoke issue from the stock of the largest and best equipped saw mill in the south with capacity for cutting 40,000,000 feet of lumber yearly and with the assurance that it is to make the greatest lumber market in the state and that woodworking industries will be quick to see the advantage of locating there as Jno. T. Bon & Sons, of Syracuse, New York, have done with a splendidly equipped extension table manufactory.

And then on top of this comes the announcement of to day that there is to be erected there immediately the greatest car manufacturing plant in the entire south, to be built upon a scale which will outstrip anything of the kind this side of Mason and Dixons line. Such a grand stride towards the fulfillment of its founders has not been made by any city for many years. THE JOURNAL reporter got an inkling of this immense deal and to verify the rumor went to Col. E. J. Sanford, president of the Lenoir City company for facts, and this is the substance of the interview:

“Col. Sanford I hear it rumored on the street that Lenoir City has struck it rich and has secured the location of an immense car works which is to overshadow anything of the kind in this country. How is it?”

“Well, I guess you are pretty close to the truth this time. The fact is that we are to have built at once at Lenoir City a car wheel foundry and car works which are to be simply immense. The application for the charter was filed to-day.

You have heard of J. H. Bass, the millionaire car wheel maker of Fort Wayne, Ind., Chicago and St. Louis, for he owns and operates immense works in all these cities. Well,, he has for some time had in his mind the establishment of a foundry at some point in the South which would put him in position to meet the demands and probably control the trade as he does practically in the west and northwest. He had heard of Lenoir City, heard of it as a safely and conservatively managed city, with peculiar advantages for manufacturing purposes, and knew that it was receiving the special care and interest of such men as Thomas, McGhee, Payne, Moore, Brice and others with whom his business as a car wheel manufacturer had brought him in contact – men who he knew were not likely to be identified with any failure if their money and experience and influence could make it a success.

Well, it seems that he had been revolving the thing in his mind for some time, when by a combination of circumstances he and I were thrown together. The truth is, I met him for the purpose of endeavoring to induce him to locate a plant in Knoxville. To my great surprise, for I did not know that he had ever heard of the place, he had a great many inquiries to make concerning Lenoir City and was more disposed to talk about it and its plans than anything else. I was, of course, gratified to realize that our town ad attracted the notice of such a man. He afterwards came to Knoxville and looked over the situation but was not to be deterred from his purpose to investigate the situation at Lenoir City and so went there.

After taking in the town and riding over it from one end to the other, he came right out and said: “Here is the place for a great car manufacturing plant.” Here you have all the conditions necessary to success, superior shipping facilities, with water navigation to defend your freight rates, timber world without end at your very door, which can be had a near to first cost as is possible in this whole land –fuel as cheap as it may be had in Knoxville — iron within easy and cheap haul and the grandest site for a town that I ever saw — with a possibility for laborers to enjoy a most healthy location, with splendid natural drainage, procure cheap homes, have cheap living and all else that tends to make men happy, prosperous and contented. I tell you Sanford if you men will give me anything like a show I will locate here this very winter the finest car wheel plant in the south, if not in the country.”

He is a very level headed man—self-made with an immense fortune, and one not inclined to hasty conclusions–but the more he saw of the location the more enthusiastic he grew. I was gratified of course and told him that our company would certainly welcome his coming and negotiations commenced soon after his return to his home at Fort Wayne.

The location of a car wheel foundry naturally suggested the building of car, works, and the longer negotiations continued the broader the plans grew. As Mr. Bass proposed to erect the foundry on his individual account he thought it would be the right thing for others to establish at the same time works capable of using his output on the spot. He could furnish the castings and iron work, lumber could be procured here at the very lowest possible price, and with the two concerns working together he argued that they would be able to put out cars at a price which would enable them to shut out competition from every source. So the organization of car works was taken into consideration. Plans were formulated and the more the plans were discussed the more feasible it seemed. I tell you the Lenoir City company kept the ball rolling and the iron hot. It meant the fulfillent of their grandest expectations. Finally a meeting was held in New York between Mr. Bass and other interested partied, and before I left there the deal was consummated, the contracts drawn up–signed, sealed and the greatest enterprise that has been started in the south these many years was a reality.

The capital stock of the car works was subscribed as fast as pen and ink could put the names on paper, and the stockholders represent in the aggregate close on to fifty million dollars. The plant will be immense. Why, I have authority this very minute to draw at sight for a quarter of a million of dollars to go into the car works alone, independent of the wheel foundry.

We intend to build upon a  scale to enable us to turn out fifteen complete cars every day in the year. Mr. Bass writes me that he has already given orders for the manufacture of some of his machinery and is busily engaged on the plans and specifications for buildings, etc. Just think of it he is figuring on a foundry alone possibly eight hundred feet in length–it will certainly be four hundred. And all the other buildings will be on the same scale. The plans for the car works will be completed soon and work will begin immediately. Now, these are not things which may happen, but realities about which there is no uncertainty. The contracts have all been signed, sealed and delivered.

Of course all this means a big lift for Lenoir City, and all those who are so lucky as to be interested there may well wear bread smiles, for the days of prosperity are at hand. It will take a small army several months to erect the necessary buildings for the factories. Then there will necessarily be a great number of dwelling houses erected, for these shops are going to give employment to hundred of workmen of all grades–from ordinary day laborers to skilled mechanics in numerous branches And these factories are not all. We are negotiating with one or two other concerns which may locate there with big manufactories, but I am dealing with you now on certainties and we won’t talk about things which as yet are uncertain. Yes Lenoir City is going to be the Pullman of the south and it will be a good thing for Knoxville to have such a neighbor.

Every successful enterprise within fifty miles of this city is a big help to it. Its merchants and manufacturers will all derive benefits. It will be a good thing for this whole section to have a man of affairs and a capitalist like Mr. Bass identified with its growth. He is a very sagacious far seeing man and believes in the future of East Tennessee and especially of Lenoir City. His faith in the immediate and rapid growth of that place is strong enough to have induced him to buy an eighth interest in the whole property–in addition to his investment in the care wheel works. Our estimate of him and his value to our place is  evidenced in the fact that we would let him have such a big block of our stock. No man who was not to be a valuable acquisition could have gotten it.

Here the long interview ended, and, thanking Mr. Sanford his full and complete statement of the facts, the scribe bowed himself out of the office to give place to one or more of the other persons who during the day await their chance to get a whack at the time of that very busy man.


6/7/1891: A Great Fourth of July Celebration to be Held

June 10, 2018

From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 6/7/1891, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VII, Issue 102, Page 8.



A Great Fourth of July Celebration to be Held.

LENOIR CITY, JUNE 5.–C. E. Given, of Kansas City, Mo., spent a day this week in our thriving city. Mr. Given has been up the Little Tennessee quietly inspecting the riches hidden there.

Lenoir City is to have an old fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Great preparation is being made to make it an event not to be soon forgotten. Chestnut Hill has been selected as the place to hold the barbecue and display the fireworks in the evening. Home talent and speakers from abroad will split the wind with eloquence. Col. Chas. Stanton is chairman of the committee on arrangements and no pains or money will be spared to make it a grand success.

The belt line railroad to the river has been completed, and the first train will pass over it to-morrow taking to the river the machinery for the large lumber plant.

The Homestead Inn will be ready for occupancy in about ten weeks. It will be beyond doubt one of the best arranged little houses in East Tennessee, and with the attractions possessed in Lenoir, will become  popular summer resort.

Hough and Biedler will have a grand opening Saturday, June 6th. They intend keeping one of the best stocked general stores in this section of the state. They are clever and accommodating gentlemen, and will spare no pains to please their patrons.

Thompson Bros. are erecting a large business block on Broadway. They are the lessees of the large planing mill, also contractors.

The Lenoir City Manufacturing and Lumber company are erecting a large boardinghouse for the accommodation of their employees. It is on the line of the belt road and near their mill site.

Mr. Dempster is straining every nerve to have the flour mill ready to run by the time new wheat is in market. When completed it will be one of the best equipped mills in the state.

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.

3/23/1892: The Contract Signed

May 20, 2018

From GenealogyBank; Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune: 3/23/1892, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VIII, Issue 27, Page 1.




Big Lenoir City Enterprise Now as Assured Fact.


Col. Sanford Attaches His Name to the Paper Which Assures Its Erection–The Details.

The contract was yesterday officially signed by Col. E. J. Sanford, by which fifty acres of valuable land at Lenoir city was conveyed to the Crosby manufacturing company, composed of Michigan capitalists.

The contract stipulates that the company shall erect a saw mill plant which shall be able to cut 40,000,000 feet of lumber per year and during each year for the next five cut 35,000,000 feet at least. The land upon which the plant is to built lies along the river bank and during the erection of the big mill, a smaller saw mill now at Lenoir City will be used by the new company.

Mr. J. S. Crosby is a gentleman whose fame is well known in the lumber districts of Michigan, his home being at Greeneville in that state. Not only as a lumber man is he known but he enjoys a good reputation also as a stock man.

The following taken from a JOURNAL of recent date gives more of the company’s plans:

“Mr. Crosby recently purchased at a cost of a half million dollars from the Belden Land company forty-seven thousand acres of timber land in Graham county, North Carolina. Down the tributaries to and on the Little Tennessee to Lenoir City, logs from these immense forests will be floated, and there converted into the desired shapes.

Mr. C. H. Stanton who has been connected in business with Mr. Crosby for some time, will in all probability, be the general manager of the business. The syndicate will also have an office in Knoxville. The plant will employ at least two hundred workmen.

Mr. F. J. Hall, who is also from Greenville, Mich., Mr. Crosby’s home, will within a month’s time commence the erection of an immense structure in which to manufacture steam engines and sawmill apparatus and supplies. With him as an individual Mr. Crosby will be associated in this venture.

Mr. Stanton also, individually, has the control of the timber supply of 3,700 acres of timber land owned by the Lenoir City company, which he will convert into furniture and dispose of.”

The construction of booms at Lenoir City has already been commenced.

2/24/1892: The Deal Now Closed; Saw Mill & Furniture Factory Planned

May 20, 2018

From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 2/24/1892, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VII, Issue 364, Page 1.




Lenoir City’s Big Strides in Industrial Progress.


The Michigan Syndicate Purchase Fifty Acres of Valuable Land–Big Saw Mill–Furniture Factory, Etc.,


East Tennessee and especially Lenoir City is in the swim of industrial progress and material growth and advancement.

Mr. J. S. Crosby, a noted Michigan capitalist and manufacturer, yesterday closed a deal with the Lenoir City company for the purchase of fifty acres of land.

The price paid could not be ascertained. It is known, however, that the original price asked was one thousand dollars per acre, but that the price paid was something under this figure.

The syndicate, of which Mr. Crosby is the principal, purchasing the property, is composed chiefly of Michigan capitalists. On this property they will, within a few weeks, begin the erection of an immense saw mill.

The mill will have a capacity of from fifty to seventy-five thousand feet of lumber per day. In addition to the mill, the syndicate will also erect large building for the manufacture of furniture. Three hundred thousand dollars will be expended on buildings, machinery, etc.

Mr. Crosby recently purchased from the Belden Land company forty-seven thousand acres of timber land in Graham county, North Carolina. Down the tributaries to Lenoir City, logs from these immense forests will be floated, and there converted into the desired shapes.

Mr. C. H. Stanton who has been connected in business with Mr. Crosby for some time, will, in all probability, be the general manager of the business. The syndicate will also have an office in Knoxville. The plant will employ at least two hundred workmen.

Mr. F. J. Hall, who is also from Greenville, Mich., Mr. Crosby’s home, will within a month’s time commence the erection of an immense structure in which to manufacture steam engines and sawmill apparatus and supplies. With him as an individual Mr. Crosby will be associated in this venture.

Mr. Crosby is no visionary schemer. He has been for a number of years, the largest lumber dealer in Michigan, having an immense plant at Greenville. His supply of timber is about exhausted, however, and it became necessary to seek a new territory and quite naturally he selected East Tennessee.

Mr. Stanton also, individually, has the control of the timber supply of 3,700 acres of timber land owned by the Lenoir City company, which he will convert into furniture and dispose of.


December 7, 1890: Lenoir City, Rich Placer of Mineral

May 13, 2018

From GenealogyBank: the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 12/7/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 284, Page 13.

Rich Placer of Mineral, 1890



Rich Placer of Mineral.


New Hotel Plans–Large Brick Business Block–Northern Capitalist Making Investments.


The agricultural editor of the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, in a recent article on the subject of fine estates in this country, wrote as follows

“There are farms in the west as worthy of notice as that of Col. Young, of Pennsylvania. But the finest farm we ever saw on this continent was that of the Lenoirs, in Eastern Tennessee, near the crossing of the Holston by the E. T., V. & railway, of which the following story is told:

When Gen. Burnside, of Rhode Island, was making, in 1863, his memorable march through East Tennessee, with the union army, he camped at Lenoir several days. So great was the abundance of provisions he found there, so productive the soil, so attractive the locality, so picturesque the scenery, so superb the climate, that he decided to make an effort to purchase the estate.On inquiry of Mr. Israel P. Lenoir, the venerable head of the family, what the would take for the entire Lenoir estate, Mr. Lenoir replied: “General it would take considerable boot to get us to swap it for the stte of Rhode Island.”

There are nearly 4,000 acres in the farm, of unexcelled productiveness. A wealthy syndicate purchased it recently, and have laid out a city there, locating a railroad westwardly to the Cincinnati Southern, near Harriman.

This is the splendid estate where are now being laid the foundations for one of the most promising manufacturing cities in the south. It lies in the lap of the rich Tennessee river valley, where the Little Tennessee with its abundant waters will pour into the great river and railway arteries the riches of lumber and iron which as yet rest undisturbed on the hillsides and valleys for hundreds of miles along the main stream and its tributaries and lie hidden in the bowels of the mountains, a placer of mineral more valuable than gold. The site of this city of Lenoir cannot be surpassed for manufacturing purposes, having such vast richness of wood and mineral at its doors and the favor of the greatest railway system in the country back of it and determined to make it go.

Quite a number of capitalists from the north have been here this week prospecting for future enterprises. A large party from Upper Sandusky, Delaware and Marion, O., are now here and are greatly pleased with what they see and propose to invest.

The plans for the new hotel are out and Mr. R. Z. Gill, the architect, is to be congratulated on one of the prettiest inns that has been planned in the south. Contracts will be let immediately and work to begin at once.

Hon. G. W. Webber, ex-member of congress, from Michigan is here and arranging for extensive investments, and the establishment of a big lumber plant. Mr. Webber is one of the heavy weights of the Wolverine state and his identification with this city is another evidence of the strength of its position. It is a place where capital sees it safe to take hold.

The company’s new office building will soon be erected, probably at the intersection of Kingston and Broadway.

The contractors were this week given the detail drawings of the handsome new brick block which Sanford, Chamberlain & Albers are to build on Broadway.

Negotiations are pending which, if consummated, will give Lenoir’s a send off such as no city in all the list of new places has ever witnessed.

The Lenoir Company’s former office is now the Lenoir City Museum. I was there last September. Remember?


Lenoir City: New Enterprises, July 13, 1890

May 13, 2018

From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, July 13, 1890, Volume VI, Issue 138, Page 6.



New Enterprises–Bank, Lumber Mill.

LENOIR CITY, TENN., July 12.–Lenoir city has started in earnest on her career of progress.

Judge Rodgers and Mr. J. B. Hall, of Loudon, will open a bank here at once.

Messrs. Gorham, Hall and Stanton, of Ionia, Mich., were here yesterday. They will locate a large saw and planing mill. Some idea of the size of their plant may be gained when it is known that their freight bill or its transportation is $1,200.

Col. E. J. Sanford, president and managing director of the Lenoir City company, is having his office painted and nicely furnished.

One hundred hands will commence work on the streets next week.

The prospectus of Lenoir City is in the hands of the printer, and the map is in the hands of the lithographer.

The flour mil is running night and day.

Quite a party of prospectors were here from North Carolina yesterday.

Lenoir City will get there in great shape before the ides of November.


So much news, so little time.

The Church of the United Brethren, 1895

April 24, 2018

I grew up in the Methodist Church.

Ruth Baby Methodist0001

Last year at the 150th anniversary of the church, there were nice memorial books given out. Didn’t go and didn’t get yours? Call the church. They might have more.

Trinity Church 150th anniversary0002Trinity Church 150th anniversary0003

In October 1866 the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South appointed Rev. S. K. Haynes as pastor of the Maryville and Lenoir Circuit. Because there was no church building in Lenoir City, known then as Lenoir’s Station, the congregation held services in the Lenoir Carpenter Shop. Earlier services had been held in the river warehouse which belonged to the Lenoirs and still stands today.

In 1870 Lenoir brothers Waighstill Avery, Benjamin Ballard, William, and Israel Pickens built a small frame church near the present corner of Broadway and A Street in downtown Lenoir City.

When the Lenoir family sold their estate in 1890 to the Lenoir City Company, an agreement was reached to relocate the building. The last surviving brother, Benjamin Ballard, agreed to move the church to a site adjacent to the family cemetery near the present site of Calvary Baptist Church. The building remained Lenoir property since it was located on the cemetery property which had been designated as the “Lenoir

Trinity Church 150th anniversary0004

Reservation” in the sale of the estate. By 1893, the church had become a part of the Concord Circuit and the conference appointed S. S. Catron and J. M. Carter as co-pastors so that services could be held each Sunday. The church eventually became a station in 1895 with the Rev. Catron as pastor.

When the Lenoir property was sold to a developer, the company mapped out streets, sold lots, and encouraged and solicited businesses and some industry. People began to move into the area and many of the people began to attend the Lenoir Church. The congregation grew and other denominations established congregations and buildings. The United Brethren organized and began a building program on the corner of C Street and Second Avenue. Being a small group, they realized they could not complete the building program they had begun.

Between 1890 and 1898, the Lenoir Church had outgrown its physical facilities and was considering expansion and building. They entered negotiations with the United Brethren to purchase their partially completed building. Dr. B. B. Lenoir deeded the old church building to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. The trustees were J. R. Browder, S. G. Eldridge, T. C. Foster, G. M. Burdett, and J. W. Harris. The trustees immediately sold their building to the Southern Presbyterian Church and made final purchase of the present site. The deed was recorded December 13, 1898. The building was completed, and the congregation moved in 1899. The church was finished in typical Victorian style with beautiful stained glass windows as its most outstanding feature.


From GenealogyBank, 8/21/1895.

Annual Conference United Brethren



United Brethren Church Begins at Inskip

This Morning.

The annual conference of the United Brethren in Christ will convene at Inskip, Bookwalter church, Wednesday, August 21st, Bishop J. S. Mills, presiding.

An address of welcome will be given by A. J. Nugent in the evening. Response by the bishop, after which an experience of talk meeting and the sacrament of the Lord’s supper administered.

There will be visiting brethren from Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Dr. McKee, Rev. W. J. Shney, publishing gent and Dr. Kephart, editor of the Religious Telescope, of Dayton, Ohio, will be present also Dr. Bookwalter, of Toledo, Ohio and many others.

There will be basket meetings Saturday and Sunday in the grove. Bishop Mills will preach Sunday morning at 10:30 a. m.

Trains leave Knoxville at 7:45 a. m. and return Sunday morning at 10:30 a. m.

A large crowd is expected from Knoxville.

From GenealogyBank, 8/22/1895, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume XI, Issue 178, Page 5.




Laying of the Cornerstone of the U.B.

Edifice at Lenoir City.


Notable Occasion in the History of the

Plucky Young city –Large Number

of People Present.


The laying of the corner stone of the United Brethren church, at Lenoir City, yesterday was a notable event in that city. The rain failed to mar the attendance and the exercises in the public school building filled it to overflowing.

The Lenoir City band furnished excellent music and so also did a special choir. The pastor, Dr. W. L. Richardson, presided as master of ceremonies. After reading of scripture, prayer was offered by the Rev. Dwight Marfield, of Dayton, O.

The address of welcome was delivered by Mr. Samuel Marfield. It was full of beautiful sentiment, and was as follows:

The event which we have assembled together to celebrate is one of special significance–which none can better understand and appreciate than we who have stood as guardians at the cradle of this new city, watching with jealous care the early stages of its growth and development. We have had an interesting experience.

The infancy of a city is subject to many of the ills and trials and tribulations which hover about the life of the babe in its nurses’ arms–there are eyeteeth to be cut–into the body politic there is often fed the ingredients of pain and colic, which have to be cast out–as the only relief. The mumps of inordinate expectation have to be reduced with the oil of patience.

The measels of discontent inflamed and visitated by the heat of undue restlessness have to be soothed with the balm of hope–and so I might take you through a very long catalogue of ailments which accompany not only our infant days but those of all newly born towns.

But Lenoir city was one of those phenominal twelve pound babes which are born to health and vigor and growth, and has passed safely beyond the petty ills of its infancy and now–rejoicing in the robust vigor of precocious youth, strong, healthful, buoyant, with hope–proud of its early attainments and confident of its future, greets you all with uncovered head, reverent of teh solemnity of the occasion which as called us together.

In its behalf it is my privilege and great pleasure to address you.

I have spoken of the significance of this event, and had in mind the fact that there is to be laid here to-day the corner stone of the first temple, erected to the glory and service of God since the town was planned and organized. The good men who provided for the religious needs of their families and neighbors and plantation have give us theretofore the only accommodations we have had for churchly purposes.

To-day we witness the beginning of a changed situation and welcome new friends with helping hands and Godly purpose, who have come to plant here in our midst a new vineyard where they may labor for the glory of the master, and to erect a new temple wherein to worship him–and not they only, as I understand it, but you and I and all the people hereabouts.

Good friends, in behalf of my townsmen and neighbors I greet you youfully and welcome you heartily.

“In the name of the Lord we wish you good luck.”

We ask no shibboleth from your lips, but trust of the sacredness of the work you begin, for the loyalty of your efforts to the up-building of the best interests of our community in its spiritual and moral life. I shall be glad if the example you set in planting your church so confidently on a generous and permanent basis may be followed by other branches of the church, Catholic and that this beautiful town with its industrious, intelligent and worthy citizenship may be adorned with many more temples erected to God, where freedom of worship may be enjoyed and which shall be to our people, true resting places for weary hearts, houses of refuge for wayfaring strangers, homes for all, even as pictured by the psalmist, whose soul longing–yes even fainting for the courts of the Lord in a rhapsody described his temple as a place where even the sparrow hath found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, exclaiming joyfully, “Blessed are they that dwell therein.”

Mr. John Dodd, a prominent citizen of Dayton, O., made an address in which he spoke of the value of churches as a home for all Christians, and of its civilizing influence. Dr. Wm. McKee, also of Dayton, made a delightful talk, referring to the building of the tabernacle and the obligations of all taking part in its support.

Dr. Carter, of Chattanooga, made a happy speech, remarking on the beauty of the little city; the wisdom displayed in selecting the church site; the necessity of the church fighting scepticism, especially as it comes to us from foreign immigration.

The pastor made an impressive talk upon the laying of the corner stone. A box containing copies of the Knoxville Journal and Tribune and the Harriman papers, record of the church membership, etc., were placed in a box which was sealed and placed in behind the corner stone, and the exercises closed with benediction by the pastor.

So. Many. Questions. (Sigh)

August 22, 1895, would have been a Thursday. The laying of the cornerstone would have been the day before, the same day the annual conference was announced.

What happened to the United Brethren? I don’t know of a church in Lenoir City that goes by this name. Did they change their name? They seem to have melted away. Was building this church just an unsuccessful venture? Were they a smaller congregation of a larger entity?

Where was the public school building?

And a band? We had our own band in 1890?

But the burning question (insert drum roll):

Where is the box that was sealed and placed behind the cornerstone?

Ah, Lenoir City, you outfox me with your secret mysteries.



Lenoir City: A Town of the Future

April 15, 2018

I always wondered how we came to live in Lenoir City. How did my family choose to live here? Out of all the places in the world, why Lenoir City? Why Tennessee? Why the South?

When I started poking around the family tree about 20 years ago, I found that both my mother’s and father’s families were here before the United States became the United States. We’ve always been in the South, most particularly in Tennessee and from the feeder states of Virginia and North Carolina, and before that from when those states were Colonies. We’ve been here so long that I don’t have a paper trail that leads back to Europe. I have no clue under what circumstances we got to North America.

And why Lenoir City? I know that my father came to this area looking for work with TVA, and met my mother on a blind date. But how did Mom’s family get to Lenoir City? My best guess is that her parents were textile workers and could find work in the textile mill in Lenoir City. But why did they leave Knoxville? Was it unsafe? Was there no opportunity? Was there not adequate housing?

I suppose I’ll never have answers. I found, however, that I could set the stage in my mind if I knew more about how Lenoir City came to be.

It was a planned city. The old Lenoir Plantation was purchased by a group of investors, and they planned a town complete with town lots, stores, and factories. Fortunately for me, these events were recorded in the Knoxville newspapers. For most towns, their earliest existence was recorded in court records. But Lenoir City was different. It was not the county seat, plus it is one of the youngest counties, so earlier history of the land and people might be found in the parent counties.

In 1890, things started to happen that created Lenoir City.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 9.




Comprehensive Scheme for Building a

New Town.

Elsewhere will be found the prospectus of Lenoir City, the new city that is to be build on the line of the East Tennessee road, twenty-three miles west of Knoxville. The place is well situated, being on the great railroad mentioned, and also on the Tennessee river. A railroad is being surveyed from that point to a junction with the Walden’s Ridge road, and it will be built just as soon as the survey is complete, thus adding to the advantages already possessed at Lenoir City.

With this road in operation, it will be in effect, a double track road from Knoxville to Clinton. It is just the same distance from Lenoir’s to Clinton by the new road and by way of Knoxville, so that in hauling coal from the coal fields north of us to southern markets, forty-five miles is saved. The empty cars can be hauled by way of Knoxville and the loaded ones to Lenoir, making the Knoxville and Ohio, as above stated, a double-track road to Clinton.

The scheme for organizing and building up the new town is peculiar in that every stockholder becomes also a holder of real estate and a particpiant (sic) in the profits. Every man who purchases stock becomes a partner in the company building the town, and a portion of the money paid in goes to the improvement of his real estate holdings. It is something new in the organization of southern town companies, and is so perfectly clear on the face that everyone understands perfectly when he takes stock just what he is doing. It can not possibly fail of success.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 11.



Of the Lenoir City Company and

Their Method


Of Selling Stock With Lots, as De-

scribed in their Forthcoming



Lenoir City is not a “boom town”; it is not the effort of speculators to build upon some old, worn out fields, a mushroom city that cannot withstand future financial storms, and by taking advantage of popular excitement to sell out the lots to outsiders at unreal and fancy prices, and then silently retire from the field, leaving the investors, so to speak, to “hold the bag,” the poorer from their investment in everything except experience.

Not only is Lenoir City situated upon a princely estate, famed throughout the south for its richness and vast expanse, but the founders careful for the success of the enterprise into which they have embarked, have determined to build up a permanent city, established upon sure and staple foundations. They have invested here for time, not for a day, merely.

Having stated out with this determination, they realize the fact, pointed out by reason, that the way to permanently utalize the unexcelled natural advantages of Lenoir City, is to offer this property to the public in such a manner that investments shall be profitable to the investors, and that every investor shall become directly itereated with them in the enterprise, and a zelous and co-operating agent in the up-building of the city.

With this and in view, and with a firm faith in the future of Lenoir City, that makes them willing to depend for their profits upon the future prosperity, they have determined to offer the property to the public upon a mutual plan, and share the profits with all stockholders who now join with them in the enterprise.

The Mutual plan has best solved the problems of insurance companies; it has been the principle that has brought the wonderful success of the building and loan associations, and enable so many of our people now to own houses instead of renting them. It is believed by the founders of Lenoir city that a Mutual plan can work yet greater wonders in the building of a city, and they therefore offer the following plan to the public in the confident belief that it is the most advantageous plan yet offered to those investing in city property, and, therefore, most conducive to the permanent growth of Lenoir City, from which alone they are to receive the reward for their labor and expenditures. They do not claim to have adopted this plan as a matter of philanthropy; it is with them a  matter of business. They wish the purchasers of the property to make money because they know that they will thereby ultimately make more money themselves.

The capital stock of the Lenoir City company has been fixed at eight hundred thousand dollars, ($800,000) in 8,000 shares of $100 each, which is almost precisely three hundred dollars ($300) per acre for the company’s estate, which lies north of the Tennessee river, and on which are the extensive improvements that formerly belonged to the Lenoir Manufacturing company.

One-half of this capital stock (that is $400,000), is to be issued and offered to the public upon the following terms:

A large tract of the land belonging to the company, lying in the center of the locality where the city is to be built has been already laid off in streets and lots, and an accurate map has been made of the entire property showing in detail these streets and lots. These lots have been estimated in value, the valuations being as nearly uniform as possible, after making allowances for the different locations and sizes of the various lots and the uses to which they can be put; the valuations put upon the lots  having been in all cases made as low as possible, and not, it is believed, over one-half of what these same lots would bring at public auction, as the average price per lot will be less that $250 each. The estimated value of each lot offered for sale under this plan has been plainly indicated upon the map itself, copies of which are distributed with this prospectus.

These lots, whose value has been thus estimated, are to be disposed of by the company in connection with the $400,000 of stock. In the following manner: This $400,000 of stock will be sold to the public at par. Every purchaser of this stock will, however, receive not only paid-up stock to the account of his subscription but also a lot (or lots) whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his subscription.

One-half of the amount received for this $400,000 of stock will be placed in the treasury of the company, the other half being used to pay for the original purchase of the property and the debt contracted in the formation of the company. (The founders of the company, it is thus seen, rely for their profits solely upon the value of the remaining stock after this $400,000 has been sold, and after the original purchasers have receive their bonus in lots.) This sum of $200,000 is to be used by the directors of the company for the common benefit of all stockholders as they shall deem for the best interest of the company, either in developing the property by encouraging and aiding manufactures and street improvements, or in dividends to the stockholders.

After the sale of the $400,000 of stock, the stock-books of the company will be closed, and the state of things will then be as follows: The company will have a fully paid up stock of $800,000, will have over 2000 acres of its tract still unsold, consisting of lots and manufacturing sites; and will have $200,000 in its treasury, or in improvements on the property.

It is a simple matter of calculation to ascertain the profit to the purchasers of the above mentioned $400,000 of stock. He then owns a lot (or lots) whose estimated value was $1,000 and which has probably risen in value by that time to $2,000; he furthermore owns $1,000 of paid-up, non-assessable stock in this company, which owns over 2000 acres of the princliest estate in the south, and upon which are extensive improvements, and which, furthermore, has either the sum of $200,000 in its treasury, or the result of its expenditure in the development of the property. If the directors do not use this sum in further developing the remaining property of the company in order to obtain an increased return therefrom, they can, at once, declare a cash-dividend of 25 per cent, on the capital stock. The owner of this $1,000 of stock would then own his $1,000 lot; would have received back $250 of the $1,000 which he spent, leaving his net outlay only $750;and would also own $1,000 of stock in a company owning over 2000 acres lying in and immediately surrounding the most prosperous manufacturing city of the South.

The disposal of this remaining 2,000 acres will be a matter entirely controlled by the wishes of the majority of all the stock-holders. It may be sold at public or private sale, at auction or otherwise, as their judgment may deem best and most profitable. (It will be remembered that the whole estate has been stocked at only about $300 per acre.)

The distinguished feature of this plan is thus seen to be its mutuality and co-operative basis. The founders intend to build up this city upon the principle of the old refrain: “A long, long pull, and a strong, strong pull, and a pull together.” All who aid them in building up this magnificent industrial city will share both in the glory and in the profits of the achievement.

The public which buys the $40,000 of stock to be put on the market will then own one-half of this magnificent estate which is to-day, not to speak of its future as a manufacturing city, worth, for its present intrinsic value alone, at least the entire capital stock of the company.

Details of the Method of Sale.

The books of the company will be opened for the sale and issuance of the $400,00 of stock at 11 o’clock a. m., on Wednesday, September 3, 1890, at Lenoir City. (The company reserve the right to reject all bids in excess of $400,000, as only that amount of stock is to be sold.)

Subscriptions are invited before the above mentioned day, but if made in advance must be accompanied by 10 per cent of the amount of stock subscribed, either in cash or a certified check payable to the order of C. M. McClung, secretary and treasurer of the company. All the subscriptions will be registered in the precise chronological order in which they are received, and in that order will the subscribers be allowed to select their lots.

Stock will be sold at par, and upon the following terms; One-half cash; one-fourth payable in six months; and the remainder in twelve months, with interest from date. Upon making the first cash payment of one-half (of which in case of subscriptions made in advance, the 10 per cent payment already made will be credited as a part), the subscriber of stock will receive a receipt for the amount paid, and after selecting the lot or lots whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his stock subscribed, will receive a written agreement binding the company on the payment of the balance of his subscription, to execute to him a certificate of stock to the full amount thereof and a warranty deed in fee simple, free from all incumbrances, to the lot or lots selected, subject, however, to the liquor forteiture clause herein before stated. The payment of the balance may, of course, if the purchaser desires, be made at anytime before the end of the twelve months, thus enabling him, at once, to receive his certificate of stock and deed to his lot. On the other hand, however, if a subscriber to stock, after paying one half of his subscription, does not wish to continue his payments in order to obtain the lot or lots he has selected, or for any reason ceases making payments when due, the company will issue to him, in full satisfaction of his contract, paid up shares of capital stock of the company to the full amount of the money has has already paid in, fractions of shares not being included.

To Summarize:

This is, in fact, not a sale of lots, but of stock in the company. The founders of the Lenoir City company are not seeking victims; they are inviting associates. The company is not now trying to sell out its property, but rather to increase the numbers of parties interested with the founders in the building up of the city. The efforts of many men are required to build up a city; the founders are, therefore, inviting good citizens to stand with them in the enterprise, to partake of their labors, and share in their profits.

For this purpose they have, put half of the capital stock of the company on the market. In so doing they offer to the purchasing stockholders not only their stock but also lots in the city at opening valuations, which are merely nominal compared with the prices at which such lots are usually sold in new towns. The lots will be offered at these valuations to stockholders only; being, it fact, given to stockholders. Until all this $400,000 of stock is sold and issued no lots can be obtained from the company on any terms except as a bonus with this stock.

The subscribers to this stock will not only obtain this bonus, (thus receiving the full value of their investments), but together with the founders will become owners of the vast tract of land lying in and around these lots, which comprises the great bulk of the property of the company. On the other hand the founders expect them, by the aid of their voices and influence and improvements on the lots, in buildings and manufactures, to give valuable assistance in developing and increasing the value of this remaining property. It is from the sale of this remaining tract of over 2,000 acres, or such part of it as the stockholders may wish to put upon the market, comprising the far greater portion of this “princely estate,” which will probably be sold at public auction late in the fall or early next spring, at greatly advanced prices, that the founders of Lenoir City, by the help o the new stockholders and sharing with them, expect to realize their profits.

Remember than an interest in this Company upon these liberal terms can only be obtained by becoming a purchaser of a porrtion of this $400,000 of stock now offered to the public.

Notice.–Persons desiring further information as to the properties, plans of sale, or other matters concerning the Company, are requested to address the


Lenoir, E. Tenn.



From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/28/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 184, Page 8.





A Building Boom in the New Industrial Town.


New Your Stockholder Will Build Cottages — Brick Factory to be Started.


Lenoir, Tenn., August 27, — Quite a stir in financial circles was created here yesterday afternoon, when Mr. Smalley, of the Lenoir City company, received the following instructions from the New York magnates of the concern: “Prospectus and maps received; well pleased with the outlook. We authorize you to sue your own judgment in selecting us each a lot; also assume authority to erect upon each a house, the cost of which will e about $2,000, something attractive and substantial, a good renting property. This instruction from the New York gentlemen namely, Hon. Calvin S. Brice, Col. C. M. McGhee, E. R. Chapman, Esq., John G. Moore, Esq., and Hon. O. H. Payne, adds great weight to the enterprise.True they are all stockholders in the company and have  controlling interest, yet it also indicates positively that this is no paper scheme, an enterprise to work upon outside capital. This knowledge has had its effect; people here who have held aloof, desirous of investing, yet waiting for their neighbor to make the advance, have come to the conclusion that now is the appointed time. It is man’s nature to want the best in everything, that proclivity is demonstrated here, when, after subscribing stock, they hurry to the town site to make the choice of their lots. But here they are puzzled; there is no choice; they sare all desirable. The man blindfolded who shoots an arrow into that beautiful park and then takes up his abode where it falls is as well off and as well-situated as the man who devotes a day in making his selection.

There is one feature that is embarrassing at present; there is no building brick to  be had nearer than Knoxville. A company will immediately go to work here and manufacture three or four hundred yet this fall, but that does not supply the present demand. Mr. Cass Hall of the Lenoir City bank, was compelled to set his house on blocks, leaving the foundation until brick could be procured. It will not take advertising or whole page displays to make this enterprise a success, aside from the advantageous plans upon which the company work, the mutual plan, making the investment profitable to the investors, by every investor becoming directly interested with them in the enterprise, there are mutual advantages that will enhance the value of the property, simply for the reason of its location.

People want comforts in this life, the rich, the poor like. The laboring man wants to live where he can enjoy with his family health and prosperity. What is lacking here to make this one of the greatest manufacturing places in the south: Besides all the mineral wealth beneath the surface and the timber above, nature has been liberal with her gifts in making this one of the richest agricultural regions in Tennessee. The capitalist wants to place his means where the greatest gain can be obtained. Here with the iron, the coal, the timber and marble at our very door, with both river and railroad facilities that cannot be excelled, name the industry that cannot succeed.

Strong men have seen thy face,

And looked thy beauty o’er.

Were dazzled with thine every grace,

They loved thee much LENOIR.

They purchased with a price,

A sum unheard before,

Thy vales and hills and alls that’s nice,

And now they own LENOIR.

And they will see thee grow,

Yes, they will see thee soar,

Beyond the limits now marked out,

Will grow our proud LENOIR.

Then some will come and stand,

And loud their lost deplore;

For not investing in thy land,

When thou wert cheap, LENOIR.


From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/5/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 192, Page 5.

Big Day at Lenoir City.

The managers of the Lenoir City Company are rejoicing over their well earned success. By the close of the first day of the public sale $60,000 of stock had been subscribed and cash payment made on more than $50,000. Several large blocks will be taken this week.

The work of selling lots with stock will continue, without glaring advertisements, until the remaining $300,000 of stock is sold, after which the company proposes to advertise extensively for the big auction sale next spring.

Plans are now being drawn and contracts made for various handsome buildings, both store and residence, to be erected at once by different stockholders.

Remember that purchasers of this “ground floor” not only get their lots but also share in the future profits of the company. The sooner you buy the better selection of lots you can make.



From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/7/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 194, Page 5.



Things Moving Lively at the New Town.


LENOIR TENN., September 6.–Mr. James Thompson, from Ohio, arrived in this city last evening. Mr. Thompson is a contractor and architect of state reputation. He will locate at Lenoir. He will submit plans and specifications for the construction of the  five houses that will be immediately built by the New York gentlemen. Every train brings in mechanics of the different trades. The eastern and western building season will soon be over. They are coming to a country where they build the year round.

Mr. Grant B. Chley, of New York, has telegraphed the managers to select him a lot and build thereon a house, something similar to those that will be erected by the New York stockholders.

B. B. Hall of Iona, Mich., arrived this afternoon. Mr. Hall is one of the stock-holders in the large saw milling plant that will locate here at once. They have selected the site, five acres along the banks of the Tennessee river. They have purchased all the timber on the Lenoir City Companies possessions. But their main dependence will be upon the exhaustless supply of timber in the mountains which is tributary to this point.

The E. T. Va., & Ga., railroad have completed the excavation for the new depot also for two miles of side track. The new depot, it is said, will be the finest along the line of road. The estimated cost is $3,000, it will be of the latest designs and a model for convenience.

The collection of minerals, marble and wood being gathered from the Lenoir plantation is assuming respectable proportions under the guidance of Dr. Benson. An interesting cabinet will soon be on exhibition at the office of the company.


Now, I ask you: Who wouldn’t want to live in Lenoir City?