Loudon County Genealogy & History Website  and Photos
The Blair Family

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     The Blair family, one of the earliest families to settle in East Tennessee, was instrumental to the development of the city of Loudon. Captain John Blair, the progenitor of the family, achieved famed during the Revolutionary War as a soldier in the Battle of King's Mountain. As payment for his Revolutionary War services, he received a land grant in Tennessee. He was a pioneer from North Carolina and moved his family to Washington County, Tennessee. Captain Blair had six sons and four daughters: Hugh, John, James, William, Thomas, Samuel, Jane, Martha, Mary, and Rachel. Captain Blair died in 1819 in Washington County. 

      The Blair family moved to the present site of Loudon in about 1790 and settled near the Tennessee River. Hugh was an invalid who never married and always lived with his brother James. James married Jane Carmichael and raised five sons and two daughters. Two daughters died in infancy. William married Sarah Simmon and raised four sons and six daughters. William died in 1843, and Sarah died in 1849. Thomas remained for a while at Blair's Ferry and later moved to Indiana.

     Three of James Blair's sons included: John, Wiley, and Hugh. John was born July 19, 1800 and died January 18, 1858. In 1827, he married Elizabeth Johnson. He was an officer in the state militia and later became a Justice of the Peace. Wiley was born in 1813 in Loudon and died in 1854 of cholera. He married Mary M. Johnson. By 1835 James, John and Wiley had built several buildings in Blair's Ferry. They established the ferry across the Tennessee River and controlled traffic across the river throughout most of the 1800s. In 1834, James Blair and Cherokee Indian Pathkiller went to the Tennessee Supreme Court to argue ownership of the land at Blair's Ferry. After a fifteen year legal battle, James Blair won the legal battle and regained ownership. Upon his death, the lands were inherited by Wiley.

      In 1864, Hugh Blair built his home on land originally owned by his father. Across the river from him, lived a young woman named Nancy Johnson who was caring for her invalid father. Throughout their many years of courtship, Hugh would travel across the river and beg Nancy to marry him. She always refused him because of her loyality to her father. After her father died, Hugh was finally able to convince Nancy to marry him. On September 30, 1865, Hugh and Nancy were married, but they never had any children.

       Several historical homes, once owned by members of the Blair Family, are still standing today. They are the John Blair House (1838), William Blair House (ca. 1845), Wiley Blair House (1857, build by his widow Mary Johnson Blair), and Hugh Blair House (1864).

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