History of Campbell County, Tennessee
 

Time Line

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS CONCERNING CAMPBELL COUNTY

By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan. 

1820 MANUFACTURERS IN CAMPBELL COUNTY

     The 1820 Campbell County census consisted of 13 establishments, seven of them distilleries. Some whiskey sold for 37 1/2 cents per gallon, while other brews sold for 62 1/2 cents per gallon. The lists of the producers are:
Jacob Queener - wool-carding factory, 1670 pounds of wool carded yearly; market value of carded wool is $10 per hundred pounds; one man employed; no yearly expenses.

     Joseph Peterson - Saddler, harness maker, etc. Used $300 worth of new materials; produced 15 saddles worth $20 each, 60 bridles worth $2 each, 2 sets of harness worth $60 per set, 50 collars worth $1.25 each; total value, $615; 2 men employed.

     William H. Smith - whiskey. Consumed Grain, costing $480; produced 2400 gallons of whiskey worth 62 1/2 cents per gallon; one log still in use.

     James Rice - distillery. Consumed 100 bushels of corn and rye costing $33.33 1/3; produced 300 gallons of whiskey worth 37 1/2 cents per gallon. One man employed.

     Rice & Snoderly - rifle factory. Consumed 400 pounds of iron; expenses $40 (?); produced 50 rifles worth $500; 2 men employed.

     Conrad Sharp - distillery. Consumed 700 bushels of grain costing $233; produced 1400 gallons of whiskey worth 37 1/2 cents per gallon; one man employed; two stills in use.

     John Roach - distillery. Consumed 200 bushels of grain; produced 400 gallons of whiskey worth 50 cents per gallon; one man employed; one still in use.

     Silas Williams - hat factory, used fur costing $70; produced 70 "Casters" worth $10 each; one man employed.

     John Phillips - axes hoes, plows, horseshoe, & wagon making factory. Used iron and steel costing $466; produced 100 axes worth $2.50 each, 200 hoes worth $2 each, 50 plows worth $8 (?) each, 30 chains, no value given; 500 horses shod at $1.25 each horse, one wagon ironed at $1.50, two hands employed?

     Sampson David - distillery of whiskey, Consumed 360 bushels of grain costing 25 cents per bushel; produced 720 gallons of whiskey worth 62 1/2 cents per gallon; one man employed; two stills in use.

     Simpson & David - tan yard. Used 200 hides costing $300; market value of hides tanned, 600; two employees.

     Thomas Wheeler - distillery. Consumed 545 bushels of grain costing $180; produced 945 gallons of whiskey worth 50 cents per gallon; one man employed; two stills in use.

     Elisha Thomas - distillery. Consumed 150 bushels of grain costing $50; produced 300 gallons of whiskey worth 62 1/2 cents per gallon; one man employed; one still in use.

     The Adams Law, which was passed by the General Assembly in 1903, which prohibited the sale of liquors in towns of 5,000 inhabitants or less. However, LaFollete was exempted from the provisions of the prohibition laws until the General Assembly in 1909 passed a bill to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors anywhere in Tennessee within four miles of a schoolhouse.

Jellico Coal

     The following account concerning the Jellico Coal system is taken from Hayden Siler's historical description written in 1938. Since I can't possibly improve on his writings, I will record it as he wrote it.

     The second thing that had happened to the small village of Smithburgh between 1878 and 1833 was the discovery of coal in the nearby Jellico Mountains, and the opening of mines. Mining began in 1882 and 1883 with the advent of the railroads.

     The Jellico Coal Co., (later the Woolridge Jellico Coal Co.) was actively developing the Jellico seam of coal in 1882, and shipped its first cars in 1883. The Standard Company opened the same seam in 1883 and shipped its first car in January, 1884. Smithburgh changed the name of its post office in August of 1883 because the Jellico Coal was becoming so famous. Who named the seam of coal Jellico from the mountain is not known, but it was probably some early geologist or promoter. Just who first "discovered" the Jellico Coal is not known, nor how the earliest promoters became interested in the region. Suffice to say that Mr. B. R. Hutcharaft of Lexington, Ky., Col. Sam Woolridge of Versailles Ky., and a Mr.. Kidd, and John Oliver, Horace, and James Fox of Bourbon County, Ky., were the earliest developers of the Jellico Coal in the mines at Woolridge, Standard, Proctor (then known as Red Ash), and Kensee, all of which mines were operating by 1885. Mr. Hutchcraft was also a geologist.

     The Fox brothers were particularly interested in the Proctor Coal Co., and it was while living there that John Fox, Jr. the noted novelist got the inspiration for his novel, Mountain Europa and characters for other novels. The Dupont family at one, time owned Kensee, later selling it to Marcellus E. Thornton who was author of "My Buddy and I" Col. Charles, F. Johnson was another early promoter. After 1835 the growth of the town was rapid, with many new mines opened in the vicinity. Crandall's report on Whitley County (Kentucky Geological Survey, 1885) has said, "Of the coals in the measures above the conglomerate division the bed known as the Jellico seam is the most, important...The Jellico coal is already most favorably known in the market, and the question of its extension and relation to the surface features of the country has a corresponding importance. In its relation to the topography of the hill region to which it is here limited, it ranges from 200 to 400 feet above the main water courses...In this region this bed is exceptionally persistent in its structural characteristics, as it is as it is also in its composition, being unusually free from excesses of ash and sulphur throughout... From the preceding-description of the Jellico coal, with its regional extension, it will be seen that it is a bed of great importance to the county, and to the coal trade...The Jellico coal is recognized as a steam and a grate coal of the first rank, and as such it has become the basis of one of the largest coal mining interests in the state. The mining plants in operation here are on a scale suited to a growing industry..."

     The capacity of the five mining plants is in excess of the railroad transportation provided, especially to the southern markets. The increasing demand for this coal makes additional transportation lines a necessity, the meeting of which will add greatly to the industrial wealth of the county. In the same report Crandall mentioned, "Below the Jellico seam 100 to 125 feet, in a portion of the Whitley region, is a bed which will find a ready demand from its free-burning qualities. It is known as the Birds-eye coal, from the peculiar pitted fracture which it exhibits in unusual perfection ... The field for this coal is the Patterson Creek region, and the heads of adjacent creeks, Big and Little Caney, Mud and Poplar Creeks." Crandall's prophecy about this coal came true, the railroad to the Bird-Eye camp was completed in 1893, and the camp enjoyed several years of prosperity but has not completely disappeared.

     In 1889 there was a strike of three months duration in the Jellico coalfield, which was responsible for the shortage of that year. The loss caused by the strike was estimated at 60,600 tons. In 1897 Whitley County fell from the second to fifth place in the line of production due to another extended strike in the Jellico district. The first strike was caused because the miners wanted a check weighman; the strike of 1897 came about because of a reduction in the price paid the miners, and was settled by a compromise with Bank rules being agreed upon.

Time Line



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