Early History of Washington County, TN (gives names)

Billie Harris - Nov 3, 2012

The following history of Washington County, TN has names of some of the early settlers, including some of mine who were members of the Holston Association - James Randolph and Charles Gentry.   James Randolph married Sarah Gentry, Charles' Gentry's sister.   Their daughter, Susannah, married Silas Witt and were ancestors of Amanda Witt who married William Henry Lewallen, a descendant of Wiley and Mary Lewallen.   James Randolph and Charles Gentry lived in Albemarle County, Virginia, prior to moving to East Tennessee about 1776.   They were among the original founders of the Albemarle Baptist Church in Virginia.   I could post early records with names of the founding members of the Albemarle Baptist Church, however, none are Lewallens or variations of the surname.

Goodspeed's History of Washington County
Part One

       WASHINGTON COUNTY lies between Greene and Carter Counties, and is bounded on the north by Sullivan and on the south by Union.   Its area is abut 350 square miles.   The surface is generally more or less broken, and in the southern part it becomes mountainous.   The valleys are fertile, as is also much of the upland.   The principal stream in the county is the Nolachucky River, which traverses the southern part.   Its chief tributaries are the Big Limestone and Buffalo.

       The most valuable mineral of the county is iron, which is found in great abundance.

       The first permanent settlement in Tennessee was made in 1769 on Boone Creek by Capt. William Bean, who came in that year from Pittsylvania County, Va.   His son, Russell Bean, is said to have been the first white child born in the State.   soon after Bean made his settlement, in 1770 and 1771, James Robertson, Landon Carter and others, laid the foundation of the Watauga settlements, which at first were mainly in what is now Carter County.   the steady stream of emigrants from the older States, however, soon forced these to overflow into the territory now embraced in Washington and Greene Counties.   In 1772 Jacob Brown, with one or two families from North Carolina, located upon the north bank of the Nolachucky River, which up to this time had remained undisturbed by the white man.   Mr. Brown had been a small merchant, and brought with him a packhorse loaded with goods with which he soon purchased from the Indians a lease of a large body of land lying on both sides of the Nolachucky.   In 1775 he obtained one deed signed by the chief men of the cherokee Nation, embracing the greater part of the present Washington County west of the Big Limestone, and another deed for the land lying between the Big Limestone and a line drawn from a point on the Nolachucky Mountains "north 32 degrees wet to the mouth of Camp Creek;   thence across the river;   thence northwest to the dividing ridge between Lick Creek and Watauga or Holston;   thence up the dividing ridge to the rest of the said Brown's land."   This land Mr. Brown sold to settlers at a small price.   The government of North Carolina, however, refused to recognize the validity of this deed, and continued to make grants in the territory covered by that instrument.

       Among the most prominent of the pioneers who located within the present limits of Washington County were John Sevier, who lived on the Nolachucky, on the farm now owned by William Tyler.   His sons, John and James, located on farms near by.   John Tipton, the political enemy of the Seviers, lived on Turkey Creek, eight or ten miles east of Jonesboro.   the first settlers on Little Limestone were Robert and James Allison, whose descendants still own a portion of the land entered by them.   In 1778 Michael Bawn and James Pearn were each granted permission by the county to build a grist-mill on Little Limestone.   In the same year an enumeration of the maile inhabitants of Washington County, which included all the settlements in East Tennessee, showed that the aggregate number subject to poll tax was 450.   computing from this, upon the usual ration, the population at that time was not far from 2,500.

       The first Baptist Church organized in the county was the Cherokee Creek Church, constituted in 1783 by Tidence Lane.   Among its first members were James Keels, John Broyles, John Layman, William Murphy, Owen Owens, William Calvert, Reuben, John and Thomas Bayless, Thomas and Francis Baxter.   Four years later Buffalo Ridge Church was constituted.   Some of the prominent members were Anthony Epperson, Isaac Denton, Joseph Crouch, Peter Jackson, William Nash, David Parry and Nicholas Hale.

       At Cherokee Creek Metting-house, on the fourth Saturday in October, 1786 [Minutes of Holston Association.   Other authorities put it as early as 1779] was organized the Holston Baptist Associations, at which time six churches were represented as follows:   Cherokee Creek- James Keel, John Broyles, John Layman and William Murphy;   Bent Creek- Tidence Lane, Isaac Barton and Francis Hamilton;   Greasy Cave- Richard Deakins and James Acton;   North Fork of Holston- John Frost;   Lower French Broad- James Randolph and Charles Gentry.   Tidence Lane was chosen moderator, and William Murphy, clerk.   During the next fifteen years the association grew very rapidly, thirty-five churches, new churches, having been constituted up to the close of 1802, when the membership was 2,474.   In that year the association was divided, all west of a line running from Lee Courthousein Virginia, to Little War Gap, in Clinch Mountain, thence to Bull's Gap, thence to Fine Ferry (afterward Newport, Cocke County), thence in a direct line to Iron Mountain, was constituted the Tennessee Association.   In 1811 the number of churches in the association had reached twenty, and the membership a little over 1,000, when seven churches were set off to form Washington Association.   The northern line of Holston then became one running through Blountville, to where the Watauga River enters Tennessee.   In 1828 the boundaries of the association were once more reduced.   It then had thirty churches, with a membership of 1,086, when the Lick Creek, Concord, Bent Creek, Bethel South, County Line, Robertson Creek, Gap Creek, Long Creek, Slate Creek, Clay Creek and Prospect were set off to form Nolachucky Association, which body was organized
on the second Saturday in November of that year.   No further change of territory occurred prior to the war except that."

       The war greatly depleted the ranks of the members.   In 1857 the aggregate membership of the association was 3,500, while in 1865 it was only 1,794.   New churches, however, were soon formed, and old ones revived, so that in 1868 twelve churches in the counties of Johnson, Carter and Union were set off to form Watauga Association, leaving twenty-five churches in Holston Association.   In 1885 three more churches were set off to hoin the newly organized Holston Association.   The Holston Association in 1886 had a membership of 3,430, divided among thirty-five churches.   the Baptist Churches in Washington County at the present time are as follos:   Cherokee Creek, organized in 1783;   Buffalo Ridge, 1787;   Fall Branch, 1827;   Jonesboro, 1842;   Limestone, 1842; New Salem, 1845;   Harmony, 1850;   Johnson City adn ____, 1869;   Philadelphia, 1870;   Antioch, 1875.

       The work of the Presbyterians began contemporaneously with that of the Baptists.   The first preacher was Rev. Samuel Doak, who, in 1778, located near where Washington College now is, and where he established Salem Church.   Among other early churches of this denomination were Hebron, afterward Jonesboro, Leesburg and Bethesda.   When the separation of the two factions of the church occurred the greater number went with the New School, and about 1858 formed a part of the United Synod.   Upon the reorganization of the churches after the close of the war. considerable dissension occurred, a portion of the churches uniting with the Holston Presbytery of the Northern General Assembly, and the remainder going into the the Holston Presbytery of the Southern General Assembly.,   The churches in the county are as follows:   Salem, Jonesboro (Second Church), Chucky Vale and Mount Lebanon, adhering to the Northern Assembly, and Leesburg, Johnson City and Jonesboro (First Church), holding to the Southern Assembly.

       The Methodists began work in the county about 1783, but no records are now in existence from which an account of individual churches may be obtained.

       In the establishment of a school for the higher education of youth Washington County has the honor of being the pioneer west of the Allegheny Mountains.   In 1777 the Legislature of North Carolina granted a charter for Martin Academy in Washington County, and Samuel Doak, who came to the county the following year, established a school under the provisions of the act.   At what time he began teaching is not definitely known, but it must have been in 1783 or 1784.   He taught at first in a small log building, which stood on his own farm, a short distance west of the present college campus.   There he continued his academy until 1795, when the Territorial Assembly passed an act incorporating it as Washington College.   the following is the preamble to the act:   "Whereas, The Legislature of North Carolina established an academy in Washington County by the name of Martin Academy, which has continued for ten or twelve years past under the presidency of the Rev. Samuel Doak, and has been of considerable utility to the public, and affords a prospect of future usefulness if invested with powers and privileges appertaining to a college.   Be it enacted, etc."   The trustees appointed were Rev. Samuel Doak, charles Cummings, Edward Crawford, John Cosson, Robert Henderson, Gideon Blackburn, Joseph Anderson, John Sevier, Landon Carter, Daniel Kennedy, Leroy Taylor, John Sevier, Jr., John Tipton, William Cocke, Archibald Roane, Joseph Hamilton, John Rhea, Samuel Mitchell, Jesse Payne, James Aiken, William C. C. Claiborne, Dr. William Holt, Dr. William Pl Chester, David Deaderick, John Waddell, Jr., Alexander Mathes, John Nelson, and John McAllister.   The first meeting of the board was held on July 23, 1795, at which time Landon Carter was authorized to dispose of three tracts of land on Doe River belonging to Martin Academy, the property of that institution having been transferred to the college.   It was also moved that John Waddell and John Sevier be appointed to collect sundry subscriptions made to Martin Academy in 1784.

       On September 28, 1795, by order of the trustees, an oratorical contest among the students was held.   They were divided into three grades, the best speaker in the first grade to receive $3, in the second $2, and in the third $1.   The prizes were awarded to James Anderson, James Trimble and Samuel Sevier respectively.   The first graduates were James Witherspoon and John W. doak, upon whom was conferred the degree of A.B. on August 15, 1796.     The other graduates for the first ten years were John Robinson, James Trimble, William Mitchell, Charles McAllister, Jonathan Smith, Daniel Gray, A.M. Nelson, Samuel K. Nelson, William H. Deaderick, Jeremiah Mathes, Nicholas Yeager, Reuben White, Thomas Cooper and William W. Holt.

       In 1806 J. W. Doak was made vice-president, and commissioned to solicit funds in Georgia and South Carolina for the benefit of the college, where he obtained $836.65.   The next year he visited the North and East, and secured $1,575.   With these funds a new frame building was erected in 1808.   It was 40X24 feet, two stories high, and stood very near the site of the present chapel.   In 1818 Samuel Doak resigned the presidency of the college, and was succeeded by John W. Doak, who continued until 1820.   He then died and the position was tendered to Dr. Samuel Doak, who refused it.   The next year John V. Bovell ws installed as president, and after three or four years was succeeded by S. W. Doak, who was not in actual charge of the college, however, Profs. Rice and W. M. Cunningham, acting as president for that time.   In 1829 Rev. James McLin assumed control of the institution, and continued to direct it until 1838, S. W. Doak then succeeded him, and continued for two years.

       In 1840 a new college building 86X34 feet and four stories high was built at a cost of $6,000.   At the same time a dwelling for the president was erected.,   These buildings were completed in 1842, and the institution under the presidency of A.A. Doak entered upon an era of greater prosperity than it had known for several years preceding.   In 1850 Mr. Doak resigned the presidency, and for a short time was succeeded by Rev. E. T. Baird, but he soon resumed his old relations with the college, and continued until 1857.   From this time until the war, however, the Institution was financially embarrassed.   In 1859 the aggregate indebtedness amounted to $4,793.24.   It was then resolved to sell all the land belonging to the college with the exception of ten or twelve acres.   The successor of Dr. A.A. Doak in 1857 was Rev. Samuel Hodge who held his position until the beginning   of the war.
Like most other institutions of the kind in the State, the college suffered much during the war in the destruction of its library and damage to the buildings.   In 1866 the buildings were repaired, and a school known as the WaShington Female College waS opened under the presidency of Rev. W.B. Rankin, who continued the school with more or less success until 1877.   Meanwhile it had again become a mixed school, and Rev. J. E. Alexander leased the property, and continued a sort of graded school until 1883.   Since that time the institution has been under the management of Rev. J. W. C. Willoughby, and it has regained much of its old time excellence.   the present faculty is J. W. C. Willoughby, president and professor of sciences;   Rev. M. A. Mathes, ancient languages; John A. Wilson, mathematics and physical sciences; C. A. Mathes, principal of the preparatory department.

       Washington County was laid off by an act of the Legislature of North Carolina, passed in November, 1777, and was made to include the whole of the territory afterward erected into the State of Tennessee.   the first magistrates appointed were James Robertson, Calentine Sevier, John Carter, John Sevier, Jacob Womack, Robert Lucas, Andrew Greer, John Shelby, Jr., George Russell, William Bean, Zachariah Isbell, John McNabb, Thomas Houghton, William clark, John McMahan, Benjamin Gist, J. Chisolm, Joseph Wilson, William Cobb, Thomas Stuart, Michael Woods, Richard White, Benjamin Wilson, Charles Robertson, William McNabb, Thomas Price and Jesse Watson*.   The first session of the courtof pleas and quarter sessions was begun and held on February 23, 1778.   John Carter was chosen chairman;   John Sevier, clerk; Valentine Sevier, sheriff; James Stuart, surveyor, John McMahan, register; Jacob Womack, straymaster; John Carter, entry taker, and Samuel Lyle, John Gilliland, Richard Wolldridge, Emanuel Carter, William Ward, V. Dillingham and Samuel and John Smith, constables.   At the next term of the court, which was held at Charles Robertson's in May following, the rates of taxation were fixed as follows:

       For every one hundred pound's worth of property .............16s 8d
       For building a courthouse, prison, and stocks.....................   2s 6d
       For building a courthouse in Salisbury................................       4d
       For the contingent fund of the county.................................   1s

                         Total................................................................1 Pound, 6 d
*Watson   probably should read "Walton."

       The county was then divided into seven districts, and the following magistrates appointed to make return of the taxable property:   Benjamin Wilson, John McNabb, John Chisolm, William Bean, Michael Woods, Zachariah Isbell and Jacob Womack.   The first grand jury was empaneled at this term, and was composed of the following men:   William Asher, Charles Gentry, James Hollis, Amos Bird, John Nave, Arthur Cobb, John Dunham, Peter McNamee, John Patterson, Nathaniel Clark, James Wilson, Adam Wilson, Drury Goodin, Samuel Tate, Jacob Brown, David Hughes, Joseph Fowler, Robert Shurley, James Grimes, Robert Blackburn, John Clark, Hosea Stout, Andrew Burton, John Hoskins, N. Hoskins.   The greater number of the first cases which came before this court were those of loyalists, and deserters from the Continental Army, who had sought safety in these remote settlements.   The intense loyalty of these pioneers to the American cause, however, made this section extremely uncomfortable for tory sympathizers.   The first case in the records of the court is that of the "State vs. Zekle Brown."   It was "ordered that the defendant be committed to gaol immediately, to be kept in custody until he can be conveniently delivered to a Continental Officer."
Another case was that of the State vs. Moses Crawford, In Toryism.   "It is the opinion of the court that the defendant be imprisoned during the present war with Great Britain, and the sheriff take the whole of his estate into custody, which must be valued by a jury at the next court- one-half of said estate to be kept by said sheriff for the use of the State, and the other half to be remitted to the family of the defendant."   At the same time, on motion of Ephraim Dunlap, who had been appointed State's attorney, it was ordered that Isaac Butler, be sent to the Continental Army, there to serve three years or during the war.   He was soon after released upon giving bond that he would apprehend two deserters, Joshua Williams and a certain Dyer who keeps company with said Williams, "by the 20th day of September next, and deliver them to the proper authorities.   At the February term, 1780, John Reding was arraigned for speaking words treasonable and inimical to the common cause of liberty."   He plead not guilty and the court, after hearing the evidence, bound him over to the superior court, in the sum of 20,000 pounds continental currency.   This was at a time when the continental currency was at its lowest value, and the above apparently enormous sum amounted to less than 200 pounds in specie.   The following tavern rates fixed for 1781 illustrate the great depreciation of the currency:   Dinner, $20; breakfast or supper, $15; corn or oats, per gallon $12; pasturage, $6; Lodging, $6; West India rum, $130 per quart; peach brandy, $80 per quart; whiskey, $48 per quart; Normandy or Tafia rum, $100 per quart.

       At the November term, 1778, the commissioners appointed to lay off the place for erecting the courthouse, prison and stocks.   Jacob Womack, Jesse Walton, George Russell, Joseph Wilson, Zachariah Isbell and Benjamin Gist, reported that they had selected a site, and the following May term the court convened at that place in the first courthouse erected in Tennessee.   "This house was built of round logs, fresh from the adjacent forest, and was covered in the fashion of cabins of the pioneers, with clapboards."   In December, 1784, the court recommended that there be a courthouse built in the following manner: "twenty-four feet square, diamond corner, and hewn down after it is built up;   nine feet high between the floors, body of the above the upper floor, floors neatly laid with plank, shingles of roof to be hung with pegs, a justice's bench, a lawyer's and clerk's box, also a sheriff's box to sit in."   The contract was let to John Chisolm, who was to receive for his work an amount to be fixed by two men chosen by himself, and two chosen by the commissioners, appointed to superintend its erection.   At the same time Alexander Greer took the contract for repairing and completing the prison upon the same terms.   The latter building stood on the creek opposite the present jail.

       During the years 1785 and 1786, but little is known of the transactions of the court, as most of the minutes were lost in the struggle betwen Tipton and Sevier.   It is known, however, that both county and superior courts were held at Jonesboro, under the authority of the Franklin government for nearly three years, although for the greater part of that time a majority of the people of the county avowed allegiance to North Carolina.   It was not, however, until February, 1787, that a court of pleas and quarter sessions was established under the authority of the latter State.   On the first Monday of that month John McMahon, James Stuart and Robert Allison met at the house of William Davis, on Buffalo Creek, and organized a court.   George Mitchell waS elected sheriff pro tem.;   John Tipton, clerk protem, and Thomas Gourley, deputy clerk.   John Tipton presented his commission as colonel of the county;   Robert Love, as second major, and Peter Parkinson, David McNabb, John Hendricks and Edward Simms as captains.   The magistrates appointed from the county were John Tipton, Landon Carter, Robert Love, James Montgomery, John Wyer, John Strain, Andrew Chamberlain, Andrew Taylor, Alexander Moffitt, William Porsley, Edmund Williams and Henry Nelson.

       At the May term following , Jonathan Pugh was elected sheriff, Alexander Moffitt, coroner, and Elijah Cooper, ranger.   It was ordered by the court that the sheriff demand the public records of the county from John Sevier, former clerk of this court;   also that he demand from the ranger his records and that he demand the key of the jail at Jonesboro, from the former sheriff.   the series of conflicts between the two parties, which followed these orders are detailed in another chapter and will not be repeated here.

       In May, 1788, the Franklin government had ceased to exist, and the courts of Davis were held unmolested.   At that time John Hammer, William Pursley, Robert Love and William Moore, commissioners appointed by the preceding General Assembly of North Carolina to select a sight for a prison and stocks, reported that they were of the opinion that Jonesboro was the most convenient place.   From this it may be inferred that it had been the intention of the General Assembly to remove the seat of justice from Jonesboro, that place having become obnoxious on account of its adherence to Gov. Sevier.   The excitement and ill feeling had somewhat subsided at this time, however, and after hearing the above report, the court ordered that John Nolan be paid 25 pounds in part for completing the public buildings at Jonesboro.   In November, 1790, the first session of the county court under the Territorial government was held, at which time Charles Robertson, John Campbell, Edmund Williams and John Chisolm were the magistrates present.   On May 16, 1796, the court was again reorganized to conform to the provisions of the State constitution.   The magistrates commissioned by Gov. Sevier were James Stuart, John Tipton, John Wise, John Adams, John Strain, Henry Nelson, Joseph Young, Joseph Crouch, William Nelson, Robert Blair, Jesse Payne, Isaac DePew, Charles McCray, Samuel Wood, Jacob Brown, John Alexander, Joseph Britton, John Norwood and John Gammon.

       The General Assembly of North Carolina in 1782 passed an act providing for the holding of a court of oyer and terminer and general gaol delivery twice a year at Jonesboro for the counties of Washington and Sullivan.   Previous to this time it was necessary either to take all cases coming under the jurisdiction of the superior court of Salisbury, or to allow the crime to go unpunished, or the wrongs unredressed, an alternative in which there was but little choice.

       The first term was begun August 15, 1782, by Hon. Spruce McCoy, who appointed Waightsill Avery attorney for the State, and John Sevier, clerk.   John Vance, Isaac Choate and William White were convicted of horse stealing, and sentenced to be executed on the 10th of September following.   This court continued to be held until the passage of the first cession act by North Carolina in June 1784, and after the repeal of that act Washington District was erected from the counties in East Tennessee and a superior court established.

       There is no evidence, however, to show that this court was organized until February 15, 1788, at which time Judge David Campbell held a superior court of law and equity at the courthouse in Washington County for the district of Washington.   F.A. Ramsey was appointed clerk, and William Sharp was admitted as an attorney.   At the next term Judge Samuel Spencer sat with Judge Campbell, and it was at this time that he issued the warrant for the arrest of John Sevier.

       In accordance with the provision of the ordinance establishing the territory south of the Ohio River three judges of the superior court were appointed.   They were David Campbell, Joseph Anderson and John McNairy, all of whom remained upon the bench until the adoption of the State constitution..   Gen. Jockson was upon the bench of the superior court from 1798 to 1804, and it was while sitting at Jonesboro that he made the famous arrest of a criminal who had defied the sheriff and his posse.   This occurred at the September term, 1802.   Russell Bean, a resident of the town, doubting the paternity of a child born to him, cut off its ears, thereby causing its death.   A warrant was issued for him, but Bean refused to be taken, and the sheriff, Joseph Crouch, so reported to the court.   Judge Jackson ordered him to summon a posse to aid him.   He replied that he had a summoned a certain number, but to no avail.   Jackson then told him to summon the whole town if necessary, whereupon Mr. Crouch summoned his Honor, Judge Jackson.   The latter arose from the bench with the exclamation that, by the eternal, he could take him single handed, and, procuring a pistol, started for Mr. Bean, and demanded his surrender.   The culprit, terrified by the determined look and flashing eye of Judge Jackson, succumbed at once without a struggle, and was taken into court.   There he was convicted, but brought to the bar for sentence plead the "benefit of clergy," which was granted.   He therefore escaped with a light sentence.   He was branded upon the left thumb, and confined in the county jail for eleven months.

       Another case which attracted much attention at the time, was tried in September, 1806.   Mary Doherty was arraigned for the murder of her father, and being called upon to plead to the indictment "stood mute," whereupon a jury was empaneled   "to inquire whether the defendant stands mute through malice or through the visitation of God."   After a thorough examination the jury reported it as their opinion that Mary Doherty, the prisoner at the bar, stnads mute through the visitation of God.   It was thereupon ordered by the judge, that a plea of not guilty be entered and the trial proceeded, resulting in the acquittal of the girl, who, it is said, walked out of the courtroom with a smile upon her face, and entered into conversation with her friends.   The case is remarkable from the fact that she was an ignorant country girl, who had no counsel from any source, and yet she was able to deceive the court, jury, attorneys and jailor.

       In 1809 the superior court was abolished, and in 1810 the circuit court was organized by Judge William Cocke, who appointed James V. Anderson as clerk.   The chancery court for Washington, Carter, Johnson and Sullivan Counties was organized at Jonesboro September 5, 1836, by Judge Thomas L. Williams, who appointed Seth J. W. Lucky clerk and master.

       The first attorney admitted to practice in a court in Tennessee was Waightsill Avery, in August, 1778.   At the same term, but a day or two later, Ephraim Dunlap   was electedstate's attorney, although he had not yet been licensed by the superior court.   Both of the above ment continued to practice in the courts of the State for several years.   Other attorneys admitted to practice were Spruce McCoy, 1779;   William Cocke, 1780;   William Johnson and Reuben Wood, 1784;   Archibald Roane, David Allison, Jospeh Hamilton, James McNairy and James Reese, 1788;   Alexander McGinty, 1787;   John Rea and Hopkins Lacy, 1790.   Of these early attorneys only one or two were residents of Washington County.

Transcribed by Pat Sabin
August 1999

Please note:   In the process of transcribing this history I recognized what I believe are typographical errors in surnames.   If you notice a mistake, please contact me.   If the mistake is present in the printing, I will make a correction in the form of a postscript


   The first resident attorneys of prominence were John Kennedy, John A. Aiken, Peter Parsons and John Blair.   Kennedy came to Jonesboro from Pennsylvania soon after Tennessee was admitted as a State, and continued to live in the town until the Ocoee purchase was made in 1836.   He was then appointed one of the deputy surveyors of that district, and moved to Bradley County.   Peter Parsons was the brother of Enoch Parsons, who was a candidate for governor in 1819.   He was a resident of Jonesboro for several years and afterward removed to Alabama.   John Blair came to the bar about 1812, and soon gained a high reputation as a sound lawyer and an honest man.   In 1823 he defeated John Rhea for Congress, and for twelve consecutive years thereafter he held a seat in that
body.   After his retirement from office he engaged in merchandising, and also kept a hotel, which now forms part of the Washington House.   Aiken was admitted to the bar about 1810, and practiced at Jonesboro until his death with the exception of a few years when he resided at Maryville.   He was a man of rare eloquence, but owning to habits of intemperance he never reached that degree of prominence to which his talents would otherwise have raised him.

       Among the other attorneys resident at Jonesboro in 1833, were James V. Anderson, Mark T. Anderson, Seth J. W. Lucky, Nathaniel Kelsey, William K. Blair and Judge Thomas Emmerson.   The first named was clerk of the circuit court, and was not actively engaged in the practice of law.   Mark T. Anderson, his son, died soon after coming to the bar.   Seth J. W. Lucky was admitted to the bar at Jonesboro about 1830, and soon became one of the leading attorneys.   In 1836 he became clerk and master of the chancery court, a position he held until 1841, when he was elected by the Legislature judge of the First Judicial Circuit.   He filled that position until 1854, when he was chosen chancellor to succeed Judge Thomas L. Williams.   He remained upon the bench until his death, which occurred in April, 1869.   He was a man of unquestioned integrity, and of high attainments, and his decisions were rarely reversed.

       Judge Emmerson was a native of Virginia.   He removed to Knoxville about 1800, and to Jonesboro about 1818.   In 1807 he was appointed a judge of the superior court, but resigned his position during the same year.   In 1818 he was made a judge of the supreme court, and so continued until 1822.   After his retirement from the bench he devoted but a portion of his time to the law, having turned his attention to farming and journalism.   As a lawyer he is said to have lacked the tact, energy and worldly shrewdness so necessary to success in this profession at that time.

       Of the remaining attorneys of Jonesboro prior to the war, were Thomas A.R. Nelson, James W. Deaderick and William H. Maxwell.   The first two are mentioned elsewhere.   Mr. Maxwell was admitted to practice about 1842, and continued at Jonesboro until about 1870, when he removed to Kansas.

       At the close of the war a large number of attorneys located at Jonesboro, but many of them remained but a short time.   Among them were A.J. Brown, Felix A. Reeve, William M. Grisham,   J.M. Scudden, Newton Hacker, A.W. Howard, Thomas S. Smyth, N. B. Owens.   Mr. Brown soon became one of the best lawyers at the bar.   He remained at Jonesboro until 1886, when he was elected judge of the First Judicial Circuit.   He then removed to Greene County.   Mr. Hacker, the predecessor of Judge Brown, began practice in 1866, and the next year was chosen to the Legislature.   He then served one term as attorney-general, and in August, 1886, completed his term upon the bench.   He has since resumed his practice.   The remaining members of the bar at Jonesboro are S. J. Kirkpatrick, for two years a member of the court of referees at Knoxville, Capt. I. E. Reeves, Col. T. H. Reeves, A. S. Deaderick, George N. Grisham, Frank Young and ___Epps.

   Of the early history of Jonesboro but little is now known.   The site of the town, as before mentioned, was selected in 1778, but from whom the land was obtained could not be ascertained.   It is asserted by some citizens, that it was donated by one Jones, but there is no proof to support the statement, and it is probable that this idea arose from the name of the town, which,   however, was christened Jonesboro in honor of Willie Jones of Halifax County, N. C.   It is the opinion of the writer after investigation that the original owner of the site was James Allison, who, with his brother, Robert, obtained grants to the greater portion of the land near the head of Little Limestone, and extending down that stream for a considerable distance.

       In August, 1779, Robert Sevier obtained license to keep an ordinary "at the courthouse."   His was doubtless the first house erected after the town was laid off.   He was killed at King's Mountain the following year, and in 1781 James Allison and Richard Minton were each licensed to keep an ordinary, as was also Robert Middleton in 1782.   In fact, for the first four or five years at least, the town, if such it may be called, consisted of little else than the public buildings, and two or three ordinaries, which in addition to affording food and lodging to travelers, also furnished liquor and a few of the staple articles of merchandise.   But Jonesboro soon became the center of political influence for the territory west of the mountains.   For the first five years it was the seat of justice for all this region, and subsequently for many years was the place at which the superior courts for the district of Washington were held.   In August, 1784, the first Franklin convention was held there, and was followed by the second in November.   In March, 1785, the first Legislative Assembly in what is now Tennessee met in Jonesboro, but subsequent proceedings were held at Greeneville, which then became the capital of the State of Franklin.

       Besides the persons mentioned other early residents of the town were A. Caldwell, Thomas Rutherford, Francis Baker, George House, James Reed, John Brown, Dr. William P. Chester and David Deaderick, all of whom located prior to 1800.   Mr. Deaderick is said to have been the first merchant of Jonesboro, having located there as early as 1788 or 1789.   He was the leading business man of the town, from that time until his death, a period of over thirty years.   He is yet remembered by the oldest residents as a useful citizen, and an honest, upright, Christian gentleman.   He was the father of ex-Chief Justice Deaderick.

       In 1794 a new courthouse was built, and James Stuart, David Deaderick, Samuel May, Sr., John Johnston, John Sevier, Sr., William Lovely and James Carmichael were appointed to superintend its construction.   This house was log, built two stories high, with the courtroom above, reached by a double flight of steps on the outside.   The lower story was fitted up and used, for a time at least, as a jail.   This building stood nearly upon the site of the present courthouse.   It was used until 1820, when it was town down and a brick building erected.   the commissioners appointed to superintend this work were John McAllister, David Deaderick, John Chester, John Kennedy, and John G. Eason.

       The residents of Jonesboro in 1815, as remembered by Gen. A. E. Jackson, then a small boy, were James V. Anderson, clerk of the circuit court and cashier of the first bank of Tennessee, a branch of which was located in Jonesboro;   Matthew Aiken, a hatter; John C. Harris, an early school teacher, and for many years trustee of the county;   Dr. James R. Isbell, who subsequently moved to Greeneville;   David G. Vance, the leading hotel keeper of the town from about 1800 to 1819; William K. Vance a saddler;   Thomas Whitson, a shoemaker; Edward Macklin, a tanner;   Montgomery Stuart, a farmer;   John Kennedy and John Blair, attorneys; John McAllister,; David Deaderick and Adam McKee merchants; John Chester, a farmer who lived where the Planters' Hotel now is; and William P. Chester, a physician.

       On the 30th of April, was issued the first paper ever established in America for the sole purpose of advocating the abolition of slavery.   It was edited and published by Elihu Embree, but printed at the office of the East Tennessee Patriot, a paper which had been established a short time before by Jacob Howard, a printer from Baltimore.   Mr.Embree was one of two brothers, Elijah and Elihu Embree, who at that time were operating extensive iron works in Sullivan County.   He died on December 4, 1820, and the paper was discontinued to be revived about two years later at Greeneville.   How long the Patriot was continued is not known, but it is thought to have been for some eight or ten years.   In November, 1832, Judge Thomas Emmerson and S. J. W. Lucky established the Washington Republican and Farmer's Journal, a radical anti-Jackson sheet which, during the campaign of 1836, ardently supported Hugh L. White for the presidency.   About 1835 Mr. Lucky withdrew from the paper, and Judge Emmerson continued its publication until March 1837, when he sold it to Mason R. Lyon, who changed the name to the Washington Republican and Advertiser.   About the time the paper was established Judge Emmerson also began the publication of a monthly agricultural journal, known as the Tennessee Farmer, which he continued until his death, in 1837.   It was then published for a time by his son and J. F. Deaderick.   In 1836 Judge Emmerson published a directory of his patrons in the town, which included nearly all of the professional men, with the exception of the attorney and mechanics.   It was as follows:   Physicians, S. B. Cunningham and J. E. Cosson;   merchants, John G. Eason, Greenway & Sackett, J. and W. Blair, James H. Jones, John Keys & Co and A. Anderson;   cabinet-makers, Jeremiah Boyd and Hosea Henshaw;   hatters, L. A. Markwood and Joseph McLin;   saddlers, James Brown and John McCorkle; shoemaker, John B. Estes;   tanners, S. G. Chester, Michael Clem and R. J. West;   carpenters, Jesse M. Thompson and Henry Stephenson;   mason, John Damson;   blacksmith, A. G. Mason;   silversmith, Wilton Atkinson;   tavern keepers, Michael Clem and Thomas Stuart.   About 1839 the brick courthouse was burnt and Stuart's tavern, which stood a little to the west of it, was purchased by the county.   this was occupied by the courts some seven or eight years, when the present courthouse was completed.

       Returning to the newspaper publication, in May, 1836, the Tennessee Sentinel was established as the organ of the Van Buren party, with Gifford & Sparks as publishers.   It was edited successively by Lawson Gifford, Thomas Anderson and Landon C. Haynes.   About 1843 Brownlow removed his Tennessee Whig from Elizabethton to Jonesboro, and from that time until he went to Knoxville the two papers waged a bitter political and personal warfare, culminating in an altercation between Mr. Haynes and Mrs. Brownlow, in which the latter was shot.   Mr. Brownlow remained in Jonesboro until after the campaign of 1849, when he removed to Knoxville.   About 1845 the Sentinel was changed to the Washington County Democrat, of which W. H. Smith became editor.   Early in 1859 A. G. Graham, an eccentric attorney from the North, established, as the successor of the Democrat, the Jonesboro Union, which he published as a strong Southern paper until compelled to suspend in 1863.   Contemporaneous with this publication was the Express, published by John Slack, and subsequently by Slack & Grisham.   The last number appeared May 12, 1865, and a week later the first number of the Union Flag was issued by Capt.. G. E. Grisham, who continued its publication until his death in 1873.   It represented the radical element of the Republican party, and during the campaign between Senter and Stokes for governor, the Herald and Tribune was established by Wheeler and Mahoney as a Senter organ.   In October, 1876, it was purchased by W. P. Brownlow, who conducted it until 1883, when it was transferred to a joint stock company.   It has one of the best equipped newspaper offices in Tennessee, and the editorial library is without an equal.   It has a cylinder press, several fine job presses, and is equally complete in other respects.   Among the other papers published since 1870, were the Echo, established by S. S. Luttrell;   the East Tennessee Patriot, edited by Col. T. H. Reeves;   the Times, established in 1876 and continued three or four years, and the Journal published by a stock company for about ten years succeeding 1875.

       In 1853 the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad was incorporated, and it may be said that to Washington County was due the successful completion of this enterprise.   In order that the charter become valid the stock in the road was required to be taken in a certain time.   Washington County subscribed $50,000 and $125,000 was raised by individual subscription in the county, but when the day set for the subscription to be made up drew near, about $300,000 remained untaken.   To save the charter thirty enterprising citizens, mainly from Washington County, formed a syndicate and took the remaining stock.   Among those from Washington County in this syndicate were Dr. Samuel B. Cunningham (the first president of the road),   George W. Tilford, Samuel Mitchell, Isaac McPherson, William R. Sevier, William G. Gammon, Jacob Cooper, John F. Deaderick, William Bovell, E. L. Mathes, James F. and Adam Broyles, Robert, John and William K. Blair.   The construction of this road was soon begun, and completed as far as Jonesboro in 1856.   In 1858 the entire line was put into operation.   The whole amount of aid received from the State by this road was $2,202,000.   Since the completion of the railroad, Jonesboro has grown in wealth and population, but owing to the establishment of other towns and villages in close proximity her improvement has not been so great as it otherwise would have been.   The business interests are now represented as follows:   Dosser & Co., R. M. May, J. W. Hoss, John D. Cox, Smith, Peoples & Co., February & Archer, and Russell, general merchandise;   J. J. Hunt, J. S. Mathes, Crawford & Murray, J. A. T. Bacon and M. L. Elsea & Son, groceries;     A. T. Dosser, clothing;   Milton Keen, furniture.   The Jonesboro Banking and Trust Company, established in 1886, does a small banking business.   J. D. Cox is president, and W. G. Mathes, cashier.

       The manufactories of the town consist of a carriage shop by D. C. Aikin & Son, and a machine shop by G. W. Bolinger.

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The first church established in Jonesboro was a Presbyterian Church.   About 1790 Rev. Samuel Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch organized a church by the name of Hebron, four miles east of town.   The members numbered from fifteen to twenty.   The first ruling elders were Samuel Mitchell, Sr., Samuel Fain and John B. McMahon (**See note below**), to whom in a few years was added Joseph Young.   For a time Mr. Doak preached at the houses of Adam Mitchell and Peter Miller, and at the courthouse in town.   Soon, however, a meeting-house of logs was built on land then owned by Mr. McMahon, but now owned by ___________.   Mr. Adam Mitchell was the chief mover in the work, but was assisted in meeting the cost by Messrs. McMahon, Fain and Miller.   this building had disappeared before the memory of the present generation.   The next regular place of worship was the old Martin Academy, built in 1816.   It is said to have been the place at which the first sacramental meeting was held, but the house was so small that on similar occasions thereafter the services were conducted in the grove near the residence of Gen. A. E. Jackson.   In 1831 the third house of worship was erected.   It was built in great haste that it might be ready for the meeting of the synod of Tennessee on the 12th of October, of the same year.   It was not entirely completed, however, until 1836.   The building is still standing and forms a part of the house used by the public schools.   It did not prove to be a very suitable church building, and in 1847 the erection of a new house of worship was begun.   It was not finished until 1850, and on August 15, of that year it was dedicated by Rev. R. P. Wells.   this church was occupied until the civil war by an undivided congregation, and after the war by two congregations, adhering respectively to the Northern and to the Southern General Assembly.   About 1881, however, the former congregation sold out its claim to the latter, and the next year completed the handsome and substantial brick structure in which they have since worshiped.

       For several years after its organization the church seems to have had no regularly installed pastor, but was served occasionally, or for short times regularly, by Samuel Doak, Samuel Lake, John Cosson, James Witherspoon, Charles Coffin and John W. Doak.

       In July 1810, Dr. Charles Coffin renewed his connection with the church and continued to preach regularly once in three weeks for ten years.   He confined his preaching mainly to the town, holding services at the residences of David Deaderick, John Adams and others, and at the courthouse until the completion of the church in 1816.   He resigned his pastoral charge in 1818, and after an interval of about eighteen months was succeeded by Rev. Robert Glenn, who remained until the summer of 1825.   The church was then without any regular supply until the fall of 1826, when Rev. Lancelot G. Bell came to this church.   The next year he was installed regularly as pastor, the first instance of the kind in the history of the church.   It was during his ministry, on December 29, 1829, that a Sabbath school on union principles was organized, and began its sessions on the following Sabbath.   His pastoral relations were dissolved on October 5, 1832.   The next minister was Rev. Henry M. Kerr, who filled the pulpit for twelve months succeeding April, 1833.   In October, 1834, Rev. J. W. Cunningham began his labors with the church, and from that time until 1845 preached one-half of his time, the remainder of his time being devoted successively to Elizabethton, Bethesda and Mount Lebanon.   In September, 1845, Rev. Rufus P. Wells assumed charge of the congregation, and on August 17, 1850, was installed as pastor, a position he continued to hold until October, 1862.   During this time 193 persons joined the church on profession of faith, and sixty-six by letter.   After the departure of Mr. Wells there was an intermission in the stated preaching until about June, 1863, when J. D. Tadlock began to supply the church, and remained for about two years.   For about eighteen months succeeding the pulpit was filled by Calvin Waterbury.   On June 9, 1867, Rev. James G. Mason entered upon his labors under a call to the pastorate, and continued with the church until July 28, 1872.   On the first of the following December Rev. P. D. Cowan began to supply the pulpit, and continued until 1877, when he was succeeded by Rev. C. A. Duncan, the present pastor.

       After the close of the war the United Synod, with which the church had been identified since 1858, having ceased to exist, the question of church relationship divided the congregation.   A part of the members, a majority it is claimed, desired to unite with the Southern General Assembly, while the remainder, who then held control, attached themselves to the Northern Assembly.   The former, therefore, on the fifth Sunday in March, 1868, organized a separate congregation.   Services were
held in the basement of the old courthouse by Dr. J. D. Tadlock, until May, 1872.   During the following summer the pulpit was supplied by J. P. Gammon.   W.W. Morrison then preached to the congregation for two years, during which time a compromise was effected by which the old church was occupied alternately by the two congregations.   Meanwhile legal proceedings had been begun by the members of the southern church to obtain possession of the property, but before the case had reached a final determination in the court a second compromise was effected, whereby the members of the northern church relinquished their claim to the church property, and erected the handsome brick structure known as the Second Presbyterian Church.   the ministers to the First Presbyterian Church succeeding Rev. Morrison have been Rev. J. albert Wallace, 1874-76;   Rev. B. O. Byers, 1876-83;   ReV. C. W. Johnson, 1883-85;   Rev. J. B. Converse, 1885-87.   Since January 1, 1887, the congregation has been without any stated supply.

     At what time the Methodists organized a society in Jonesboro is not known, but it must have been early in the century.   The first church building stood on the hill beyond where the depot now is.   It was a small building built of brick, with a brick floor, while the seats were rough slabs supported on round pins.   This building was torn down about 1845, and the present church edifice was erected.   At the close of the war the congregation became divided upon the question of church relationship, and for several years the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church held possession of the property.   Through process of law, however, they were compelled to transfer the property to the Methodist Episcopal Church South.   They then erected a new house, which a few years since was destroyed by fire, and has not been rebuilt.

       The Baptist Church in Jonesboro was instituted in 1842 by William Cate, with a membership of about forty-four.   Among the first members were J. R. Lacey, Wilton Atkinson, Wilson Bayless, J. B. Estes, J. Pritchett, C. Hill, A. Brown and Isaac Murray.   A small church building was erected near the railroad, just above town, and was occupied until the completion of the present church about 1856.

       The first school in Jonesboro was taught about 1812, by John C. Harris, in a small house standing on a lot in town.

       In 1816 the trustees, in union with the Presbyterian Church, erected a building, a part of which is now occupied by Dr. Warlick as a residence.   the trustees at that time were John Kennedy, David Deaderick, John Nelson, William Mitchell, Andrew Steele, Matthew Aiken, Matthew Stephenson, A. M. Nelson and George and Allen Gillespie, to whom the next year were added James V. Anderson, William B. Carter, John G. Eason, D. G. Vance, John C. Harris and Samuel Greer.   this school then became the educational center of the town.   In 1843 a lot was purchased on the hill south of the present depot, and the large, brick building, which is still standing, was erected.   Meanwhile, a female academy had been established, which was taught by a Miss Melville and a Miss Mitchell in the house now occupied by William February.   In 1853 the Holston Association of Baptists adopted a female school that had been established by Mr. and Mrs. Keeling as the Holston Baptist Female Institute.   A large, brick building was soon after begun on an eminence in the east part of town.   It was not completed, however, until about the beginning of the war.   The trustees were W. Cate, W.C. Newell, M. V. Kitzmiller, J. A. Davis, W. Keen, E. Martin, J. H. Crouch, Z. A. Burson, J. Vaughn, J. White, W. H. Humpreys, J. West, M. C. Hunter, R. P. Murray, J. Bayless, S. H. Smith, C. Hoss, J. D. Gibson, A. Brown and J. Spurgeon.   At the close of the war, Col. Dungan purchased the property, and for nine years conducted a male institute.   At the end of that time he transferred the building and grounds to Yeardley Warner in the interest of a society of Friends, and since that time an excellent school for the training of colored youth has been maintained.   Contemporaneous with the above school in the beginning, was the Odd Fellows' Institute, which was opened about 1853, in a large building in the western part of town.   The first president of the institute was Rev. David Sullins, who was associated with Rev. Rufus Wells.   It was continued until 1863 when it was taken for a hospital.   After the war the property was sold for debt, and schools of various degrees of excellence were taught there until 1883, when the Jonesboro Educational Society was formed for the establishment of a first-class school for both sexes.   Prof. Charles Mason, with an efficient corps of assistant teachers, was employed, and under this management the standard of the schools has been raised to a poisition as high as that of any other town in the State.   The society controlling the school is composed of many of the most prominent and enterprising citizens of the town, and while the institution is not precisely a public school, it offers all the advantages of such a system at a merely nominal cost.

Transcribed by Pat Sabin
August 1999

Please note:   In the process of transcribing this history I recognized what I believe are typographical errors in surnames.   If you notice a mistake, please contact me.   If the mistake is present in the printing, I will make a correction in the form of a postscript.
Pat Sabin.

**Correction, May 2006:   The correct spelling of John Blair Mc Mahon is actually John Blair McMachen, who was the son of John McMachen born in Fredrick County VA who moved to Washington County in 1776 from Guilford County NC.The elder John McMachen was made a Justice of Washington County on February 23, 1778. Three of John Blair McMachen sisters married sons of Nicholas Fain and one married Adonijah Morgan in Washington County. Rev. Rufus Wells Pastor of the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church in his Reminiscences some 40 years after John Blair McMachen had moved to Kentucky misspelled the name in the church record books and it has caused much difficulty in genealogy research. I have
much documentation to prove that the correct spelling is McMachen.   It may be a great help to future generations of researchers to correct the
spelling now.   My book Spring House was released March 1, 2006 which is about Adam Mitchell and his Father in Law John McMachen http://www.westwardsagas.com .   I am presently working on Adams Daughters about the children of Adam Mitchell growing up in
Jonesbourgh, TN. which will be out in the Spring of 2007. David Bowles


       The oldest village in Washington County is Leesburg, situated about five miles west of Jonesboro.   It was established in 1799 upon lands owned by Michael Fraber and Abraham and John Campbell.   Ninety acres of land were laid off into lots, and Alexander McLin, John Blair, John Cowan, John Ferguson and Joseph Tucker were appointed commissioners for the new town.   Among the first merchants at this place were John and Matthew Stephenson and Ebenezer Barkley, who also had a hotel.   The place never attained much importance, and has now well nigh disappeared.
       Limestone is a station on the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, in the western part of the county.   The site was originally owned by Thomas Gillespie.   The first store was built in 1859 by Broyles & Strain.   Since the war the town has grown considerable in importance.   The present business men are Copp Brothers, J. S. Biddie, D. W. Williams, Nelson & Strain, A. B. Slaughter and Dr. J. R. Duncan.   an extensive flouring-mill is conducted by T. B. & Jacob Klepper.

       The first church in the village, known as "Urbana," was erected by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.   since that time a Methodist Episcopal Church has been established.

       Tilford [Telford] is a small station on the railroad between Limestone and Jonesboro.   It is the seat of a somewhat extensive agricultural implement manufactory, which, however, is not now in operation.

       The largest and most enterprising town in Washington County is Johnson City.   The site upon which it is built was originally entered by Abraham Jobe, and upon the completion to this point of the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, the greater part of the land was owned and farmed by Tipton Jobe, the nephew of Abraham.   Franklin and Montgomery Hoss owned land on the northeast and north sides of the town.   The first building erected at this place was a dwelling and store built by Henry Johnson from which circumstance the place was called Johnson's Depot.   This house now forms a portion of the brick building west of the railroad at the crossing of what was once the stage road.   For a time it was used as a hotel and railroad depot as well as store and dwelling.   Soon after, Mr. Johnson, at his own expense, built a large brick depot on the site of the present Hoss House, which was used by the company until after the war.   The second house was built in 1857, by T. A. Farr, on land lying on the north of the stage road.   It was a a frame store house.   The next year he built a dwelling near Knob Spring, and in 1860 erected a large store house, which was not occupied until 1867.   From the completion of the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad the town increased rapidly, receiving among its accessions, Elder James Miller, John H. Bowman, James M. Wheeler, Dr. J. H. Mingle, Dr. J. W. Seehorn, S. H. Hale and James Barnes.   During the war the town waS named Haynesville in honor of L. C. Haynes, but it soon resumed its old name, and when incorporated it waS as Johnson City.   Since the war the town has steadily advanced, but its growth during the past three or four years has been especially rapid.   It now has a population of about 3,000.   The principal manufacturing establishments now in operation are the Watauga Tannery, established in 1883 by Horton Locum & Co., who still operate it.   It is equipped with all the latest machinery, and appliances, and the establishment can turn out about 150 hides per day.   The number of hands employed, varies with the season, reaching at times nearly 300.   John City Foundry and Machine Shops were put into operation in 1884, and now employ a large number of hands.   The president of the company is Col. T. E. Matson.   In 1884, also, Miller Bros., A.P. and N. J. Miller established their machine shops, which have proven highly successful.   Another flourishing establishment is the Johnson City Furniture Company, which was begun about three years ago, and the planing mill company of Grant, Stephens & Co.; a tobacco manufactory, a large steam flouring-mill and a furniture and trunk factory are all expected to be put into operation in a short time.

       The commercial interests of the town are represented by the following firms and individuals:   John C. Campbell, J. F. Crumley, H. P. King, Charles S. Earnest, John W. Clarke, general merchandise;   Gump & Co., clothing;   Sutton & Co., Lewis & Son, G.W. Hickey, John Harr and Moore & Martin, groceries;   F. M. Critzman and _____Beckner, jewelry;   McNeal & Wolf, furniture and house furnishing goods;   W. A. McFarland and J. B. Hash, drugs;   C. K. Lide and D. C. Seaver, hardware;   E. D. Strain, confectionery;   Mathes & Co., produce;   Crandall, Barnes & Co., tobacco warehouse, and the Johnson City Bank.

       The town has had but two newspapers, both of which are now published:   the Enterprise, an independent, non-political paper, established in 1882 by W. S. Mitchell, and the Comet, one of the ablest Democratic papers in upper East Tennessee.   The latter was established in 1883 by R. L. Taylor and Robert Burroughs.

       The town has four white and two colored churches, all of which have been built since 1870.   The first erected was the Presbyterian Church, and the second the Methodist Episcopal Church South.   These were built early in the seventies.   Recently, a Methodist Episcopal Church and a Baptist Church have been erected, although the congregations of these denominations were organized several years before.

       The following have been the officers of Washington County since its organization:

       Clerks of the county court- John Sevier, 1778-85;   James Sevier, 1785-88 (under Franklin Government); John Tipton, 1787;   Thomas Gourley, 1787-90;   James Sevier, 1790-1822;   Matthew Stephenson, 1822-24;   James Sevier, 1824-36;   Samuel Greer, 1836-44;   William H. Smith, 1844-56;   Henry Hoss, 1856-60;   J. A. Conley, 1860-66;   John F. Grisham, 1866-78;   E. A. Shipley, 1878-86;   Jacob Leab, 1886.

       Clerks of the circuit court- James V. Anderson, 1810-36; John Ryland, 1836-48; Worley Embree, 1848-70; C. Wheeler, 1870-74;   S.S. Luttrell, 1874-78;   W. E. Mathes, 1878-86; Lewis Cooper, 1886.

       Clerks and masters of the superior court of equity- David Allison, 1788-91;   Andrew Russell, 1791-92;   Archibald Roane, 1792-93; Landon Carter, 1793-94;   John Carter, 1796-1806;   James V. Anderson, 1806-10.

       Clerks and masters of the chancery court- Seth J. W. Lucky, 1836-42;   J. F. Deaderick, 1842-65; Henry _____, 1865-70;   B. F. Swingle, 1870-82; A.B. Bowman, 1882.

       Sheriffs- Valentine Sevier, 1778-80; C. Barsksdale [?], 1780-83;   Thomas Talbott, 1783-88;   Edmund Williams, 1788 (under Franklin government);   George Mitchell, 1787;   Jonathan Pugh, 1787-89;   Michael Harrison, 1789-94;   George Gillespie, 1794-98;   Brice Blair, 1798-1800;   Joseph Crouch, 1800-06;   Joseph Brown, 1806-14;   Samuel Hunt, 1814-1827;   John Ryland, 1827-36;   William Dosser, 1836-38;   John Bricker, 1838-40;   G. W. Willett, 1840-46;   Joseph Crouch, 1846-52;   John Ryland, 1852-58;   Mark Bacon, 1858-60;   J.T. Shipley, 1860-64;   Samuel W. Baines, 1864-65;   Shelby T. Shipley, 1865-68;   Samuel E. Griffith, 1868-74;   R. M. Young, 1874-76; Alexander M. Stuart, 1876-82;   S.A. Pouder, 1882-84;   G.W. Willett, 1884.

       Trustees- John Sevier, 1778; Charles McCray, 1796-98;   John Strain, 1798-1820;   John C. Harris, 1820-36;   Robert J. West, 1836-42;   Joseph McLin, 1842-46;   G. W. Willett, 1846-48; James A. Dilworth, 1848-52;   G. W. Willett, 1852-56;   Shelby T. Shipley, 1856-62;   E. Armstrong, 1862-64;   Azariah Peoples, 1864-65;   Alexander Mathes, 1865-66;   George McPherson, 1866-74;   John H. Naff, 1874-76;   John M. Morrow, 1876-78;   McC.Wagner, 1878-82;   A. M. Stuart, 1882-84;   John S. Mathes, 1884.

       Registers- John McMahon, 1778;   William Stephenson, 1789-1800;   John Adams, 1800-14;   Samuel Greer, 1814-36;   William H. Smith, 1836-40;   Edward Armstrong, 1840-48;   Phillip Parks, 1848-52;   Joseph A. Conley, 1852-60;   E. Taylor, 1860-66;   George W. Douglass, 1866;   A. C. Collins, 1866-68;   M.S. Mahoney, 1868-70;   E.M. Jackson, 1870-74;   C.R. Jones, 1874-78;   S. T. Shipley, 1878-86;   D.P. O'Brien, 1886.

Transcribed by Pat Sabin
August 1999

Please note:   In the process of transcribing this history I recognized what I believe are typographical errors in surnames.   If you notice a mistake, please contact me.   If the mistake is present in the printing, I will make a correction in the form of a postscript.
Pat Sabin.