History of Campbell County, Tennessee
History of Campbell County, Tennessee

 Time Line

Information from this article was extracted with permission from Dr. Miller McDonald's book Campbell County Tennessee USA: A History of Places, Faces, Happenings, Traditions, and Things, Vol. 1.

     The first settlers to the Campbell County area were the Cherokee Indians who made their reservations at the present-day sites of Caryville, La Follette, and Well Springs and other small communities. Throughout the 1700s, the white settlers began trickling into the area and establishing their roots. The first major white settlement in the area was established in 1783 when Thomas Henderson procured a tract of 200,000 acres of land from North Carolina (this grant was awarded July 7, 1794 by the state of North Carolina and is recorded as Grant Number 252). This tract of land included a large portion of Campbell County. As more and more white settlers settled into the Indian occupied territory, numerous bloody battles erupted between the two groups of people. The last of the Indians were chased across the Cumberland Mountains, and the chief of the tribe was killed near the Campbell County line in Kentucky. 

On September 11, 1806, the Tennessee State legislature passed an act allowing the creation of Campbell County from parts of Anderson and Claiborne Counties. Campbell County was created "on account of the large extent of the counties of Anderson and Claiborne rendering it grievous and burdensome to many inhabitants of the Clinch River to attend court, general matters, elections and other public meetings." Campbell County was named for Colonel Arthur Campbell, a soldier of the Revolutionary and Indian Wars.

The act to establish Campbell County appointed James Grant, William Hancock, Jacent Cloud, Robert Glenn, Richard Linville, Sampson David, and John Inglish  as commissioners to set up and select the county seat. There were three locations selected as potential spots for the county seat: Grantsboro, Big Creek Gap (later called La Follette), and Walnut Cove (later called Jacksboro). The commissioners favored different localities and could not reach an agreement on which to select.

At the convening of the General Assembly in 1807, these commissioners had failed in their task. On November 30, the General Assembly passed an amendment to the original act: "Whereas, the commissioners appointed by the aforesaid act have omitted to perform the duties thereby enjoined on them." It then appointed the following men as new commissioners:  Thomas Murray, Robert Glenn, Sampson David, John English, John Yount, James Rice, and John Newman. On January 20, 1808, Colonel Hugh Montgomery deeded 60 acres to the new commissioners for setting up a new town called Jacksborough, named in honor of Andrew Jackson, President of the United States. Jacksborough became the county seat for Campbell County. The first deed recorded in Campbell County was from Thomas Campbell to Henry Carlock for 500 acres, and the first will recorded was for David Haley.

      As specified in the act that created the county, the first court was held at the home of Richard Linville. Linville owned his home, a farmstead, and public tavern in the area where La Follette is presently located. This site was selected because of Linville's prominence in the community and because the public house owned and operated by him was thought to be big enough to hold meetings pertaining to public affairs. Due to the size of the crowd in attendance, court was moved outside and held out of the back of an old-time wagon bed. Linville owed a copper still and was famous for the manufacture of "Indian Peach Brandy". 

Time Line



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