of Campbell County, Tennessee
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.
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.
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
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".