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UNION COUNTY TENNESSEE
lies immediately north of Knox County, and is divided
into two very nearly equal parts by the Clinch River.
Powell River forms a part of its northern boundary.
These streams, with their tributaries, afford an
abundance of water and water power. The area of the
county is about 220 square miles. The surface is
generally broken, but there is a very large number of
valleys, furnishing excellent soil. The county contains
much valuable timber, but its greatest wealth lies in
its mineral resource which are varied and abundant. It
contains rich deposits of iron ore, which as yet have
been worked to a very limited extent; vast beds of the
finest marble; silver-bearing lead ore and zinc. The
last named is abundant, and is worked quite extensively
by the Edes Mixter & Heald Zinc Company. The first act
providing for the erection of the county was passed on
January 3, 1850, but not meeting with the requirements
of the constitution it became necessary to amend it.
This was done November 21, 1853. It provided for the
formation of the new county from fractions of Knox,
Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne an Grainger Counties, and
appointed James W. Turner, William Needham, C. B. Howard
and Allen Hurst, commissioners to hold the elections and
organize the county. The elections were accordingly held
and resulted in a vote of 368 to 100 in favor of
organization. The county court was organized on February
6. 1854, at Liberty Meeting-house, in what is now
Maynardville. The magistrates present were Elijah Evans,
John Lowry William Colvin, Goldman B. Carden, William
Needham, Jesse G. Palmer, Jacob Turner, Calvin B. Howard
and Enoch Branson. Soon after a bill was filed,
enjoining further proceedings by the officers of Union
County, and pending the decision of the courts, a period
of nearly two years, no business was transacted. The
bill was finally dismissed, and the complete
organization of the county effected in 1856. The counsel
on behalf of the county in the cause mentioned above was
Horace Maynard, and in gratitude for the service
rendered by him, the seat of justice was named in his
honor. The first circuit court for Union County was
begun and held at Liberty Meeting-house by Judge Robert
H. Hynds. The grand jury empanelled at that term was as
follows: Coleman Walton, Eli Ausley, Jacob Stooksberry,
John Monroe, Jonathan Alexander, George Turner, William
Hikle, Robert Dyer, Charles Skaggs, David Miller, Isaac
Stooksberry, Isaac Sharp and William Bayless. The
citizens of the county have ever been peaceable and
law-abiding, and comparatively little litigation has
ever taken place. The courts continued to be held ,in
the meeting-house until 1858, when a brick courthouse
was erected. The jail was built about a year previous.
The site of Maynardville was formerly the property
of Marcus Monroe, who donated to the county the lots
north of Main Street, reserving the proceeds of the sale
of the remainder for his own use. The first house
erected was a stone building, erected in by A. L.
Leinert, who still occupies it. Among the other
merchants and professional men of the town prior to the
war were Leinert, Huddleston & Co., D. F. Huddleston,
merchants; Nicholas Ailor, attorney; J. W. Thornburgh,
Monroe Harbison and R. I. Carr, physicians.
In 1858 Liberty Academy was built, and the
institution incorporated with the following trustees: C.
Monroe, W. P. Owens, J. M. Dinwiddie, A. L. Leinert and
Harding Scaggs. It has since been well supported, and
ranks among schools of its class.
Maynardville is pleasantly situated, and has a
population of about 200. The merchants at the present
time are A. L. Leinert and J. W. Branson. A. W. Carr is
engaged the drug business, and also keeps the hotel.
The attorneys resident in the county are Coram
Acuff, the present representative to the legislature
from Union and Campbell Counties; John P. Rogers,
attorney-general of the Second Circuit; J. L.
Ledgerwood, D. W. Gentry, J. S. Groves and John
The leading religious denomination in this county is
the Baptist. It is doubtful indeed if in any other
section of the State one denomination so far
predominates as do the Baptists here. This being so
brief a sketch of the two associations, which center in
Union County, will not be out of place.
On the third Saturday in October, 1818, delegations
from twelve churches, mainly m the Tennessee
Association, met at Cedar
Church in Claiborne County, and organized Powell Valley
Association. The churches and delegates were as
follows: Hinds Creek (Union County), John Warwick, James
Ishams, John Goss and Richard Newport; Gap Creek
(Claiborne County), William Jones, Thomas Murray, Aaron
Davis and Jacob Lowder; Cedar Fork (Claiborne County),
Samuel Pitman and Absolom Hurst; Buffalo Creek (Grainger
County), Josiah C. Bunch, John Ferguson, James Dyer and
David Watson; Davis Creek (Claiborne County), John Sharp
and Fred Bolinger; Glade Spring (Campbell County),
Joshua Inglish; Powell River (Campbell County), Thomas
Boydston; Big Barren (Claiborne County), William Cook
and Samuel McBee; Head of Richland (Grainger County),
John Kidwell and C. Rucker; Big Spring (Claiborne
County), Richard Harper, Joab Hill and Hiram Hurst; Coal
Creek (Anderson County), and War Creek. Thompson’s
settlement in Virginia was also represented. Other
churches were organized and added to the association as
follows: Puncheon Camp (Grainger County), Rocky Spring,
now Fall Creek, 1822; Mount Hebron (Union County), 1824;
Blackwell Branch (Hancock County), 1825; Old Town Creek
(Claiborne County), 1825; Clear Creek (Anderson County),
1826; Mouth of Barren, 1832; Blackwater, 1834; Mount
Pleasant, 1834; Blue Spring (Union County), 1834; Powder
Spring Gap (Grainger County), Lost Creek (Union County),
1835. In 1835 seven churches were dismissed to form
Mulberry Association to include the territory previously
covered by the eastern portion of Powell Valley
Association. During the next year Mountain Creek
(Claiborne County) and Zion were added to the latter
association. At about this time the schism in the church
in reference to missionary work and to “joining the
societies of the day,” began to widen, and in 1839 five
churches holding to the missionary doctrines withdrew to
form a new association. Other churches were divided, the
weaker faction usually withdrawing to organize a new
congregation. The association as a whole, however,
remained “anti-mission,” and received accessions from
some of the adjoining associations which had joined the
opposite faction. Among the new churches received after
that time were Cane Creek (Anderson County), 1852;
Hickory Creek (Campbell County), Salem (Grainger
County), 1864; Pleasant Point (Claiborne County), 1865;
Mossy Spring, (Union County), about 1865; Bean Creek
(Grainger County), about 1870, and Concord (Grainger
County), 1877. The association now numbers seventeen
churches with a total membership of 585.
The five churches which withdrew from Powell Valley
Association assembled at Glade Spring Meeting-house, in
Campbell County, on November 29, 1839, and organized the
“Northern Association of United Baptists.” The churches
and delegates were as follows: Puncheon Camp Creek, John
Clark, Anderson Acuff and William H. Odle; Powder Spring
Gap, Marcus Monroe, William Huff, J. Beelor and William
Peters; Blue Springs, George Sharp and Daniel H. Wright;
Mount Pleasant, Jacob Whitman and Nathaniel Gray, and
Clear Branch, C. H. Boatright and Joseph Kenney. The new
association was prosperous, and its growth remarkably
rapid. At the second meeting five churches, Zion Hill,
Glade Spring, Cedar Ford, New Salem and Beech Fork were
admitted, making the number of churches ten, and the
total membership 579. Other churches were admitted as
follows: Bethel, Powell’s River, Shady Grove and
Clinton, 1841; Liberty and Jacksboro, 1842; Locust
Grove, 1843; Milan and Hickory Valley, 1845; Zion,
Chalybeate Spring and Poplar Creek, 1846; Indian Creek,
Sulphur Spring, Macedonia and Union, 1847; Elm Spring,
1848; Big Valley, Beech Grove and Alder Spring, 1849;
Head of Barren, 1850; Blowing Spring, 1851. In 1853
Clinton Association was formed of several churches in
Anderson and Campbell Counties, having sixteen churches
in the Northern Association. Since that time the
churches admitted have been Providence and Cedar Grove,
1856; New Hope, 1857; Little Barren and Shady Grove,
1859; Nave Hill, 1867; Liberty, 1868; Warwick Chapel,
Rock Castle, Gravestown, Cedar Creek, New Hope and
Bethany, 1869; Chestnut Grove, 1870; Dutch Valley, Sugar
Hollow, Gap Creek, 1871; Cedar Spring and Pleasant
Point, 1872; Haynes’ Flat, Texas Valley and Carr’s
Branch, 1873; Cedar Spring and Zion, 1877; Union, 1878;
Crooked Creek, 1881; Spring Dale and New Prospect, 1882.
The total number of churches in the association is now
thirty-two, of which seventeen are in Union County. The
aggregate membership is 2,960.
The following have been the officers of Union County
since its organization:
Sheriffs--E. West, 1854-66; Jesse G. Palmer,
1856-60; A. J. Brock, 1860-62; Calvin Moore, 1862; James
L. Ledgerwood, 1865-68; Christian Ousley, 1868-72; John
Sharp, 1872-74; J. L. Ledgerwood, 1874-76; James M.
Wilson, 1876-78; W. G. Monroe, 1878-W; William Oaks,
1880-84; William C. Sharp, 1886; F. M. Miller, 1886.
Clerks of the county court-William T. Carden,
1854-58; L. Huddleston, 185844; William Colvin, 1865-72;
J. W. Turner, 1872-74; Coram Acuff, 1874-86; W. B.
Clerks of the circuit court--Allen Hurst, 1856-60;
R. J. Carr, 1860; L. R. Carden, 1865-70-1 A. A.
Snoderly, 1870-74; M. D. L. Kincaid, 1874-78; J. F.
Clerks and masters--0. W. Huddleston, A. McPheeters
and J. W. Branson.
Registers--William P. Owens, Thomas D. Harding,
JamesW. Turner, Isaac Snoderly, 1860-66; George
Johnston, 1866-74; D. S. Turner, 1874-78. William
Weaver, 1878-W; E. B. Morton, 1880-86; J. R. Snoderly,
Source: History of Tennessee
Containing Historical and Biographical Sketches of
Thirty East Tennessee Counties. Illustrated, pp.
850-853. Published: Chicago and Nashville: The Goodspeed
Publishing Co. 1887.
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