Connie L. Lester


Agricultural Wheel
The Agricultural Wheel in Tennessee traced its origins to a February 1882 meeting of seven disgruntled farmers in Prairie County, Arkansas. Concerned over continuing depressed farm prices and mounting... Continue Reading »
Edward Emerson Barnard
Edward E. Barnard, astronomer and astronomical photographer, was born in Nashville. To help support his fatherless family, Barnard worked in the photographic gallery of Van Stavoren, where he assisted... Continue Reading »
Carson Brewer
Carson Brewer, journalist and conservationist, was born in Hancock County, the son of a rural postmaster. Brewer attended Maryville College (1939-41) before entering military service during World War ... Continue Reading »
Aaron V. Brown
Governor and legislator Aaron V. Brown was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, the son of Reverend Aaron and Elizabeth Melton Brown. Brown attended school at Westrayville Academy and graduated as vale... Continue Reading »
Arthur Brown
Arthur Brown, virologist and head of the University of Tennessee Department of Microbiology (1969-88), was born in New York City, the son of Samuel S. and Ida Hoffman Brown. He received his B.A. in bi... Continue Reading »
Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown, film producer and director, was born May 10, 1890, in Clinton, Massachusetts. Brown took a double degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee in 19... Continue Reading »
John P. Buchanan
Governor and president of the Tennessee Farmers' Alliance, John P. Buchanan was born in Williamson County, the son of Thomas and Rebecca Jane Shannon Buchanan. He attended common schools and join... Continue Reading »
Calvin Adam Buehler
Calvin A. Buehler was head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, 1940-62. He received his bachelor's degree in 1918, his master's in 1920, and his Ph.D. in 1922 from Ohio ... Continue Reading »
Peter Cartwright
Frontier Methodist circuit rider Peter Cartwright was born in Amherst County, Virginia, shortly before his parents moved to Logan County, Kentucky. When he was fifteen years old, Cartwright attended o... Continue Reading »
Colored Agricultural Wheel
Organized in the mid-1880s shortly after the establishment of the Agricultural Wheel in Tennessee, the Colored Agricultural Wheel supported the same demands for economic and political changes that whi... Continue Reading »
Colored Farmers' Alliance and Laborers' Union, Tennessee
This grassroots agrarian cooperative movement was founded in 1886 by sixteen African American farmers in Houston County, Texas, and spread rapidly across the South. Similar to the white Farmers' ... Continue Reading »
Community Colleges
Tennessee's system of community colleges traces its origins to the 1955-57 study Public Higher Education in Tennessee undertaken by the legislative council of the Tennessee General Assembly and d... Continue Reading »
Charles W. Dabney
Charles W. Dabney Jr., proponent of New South scientific agriculture and respected president of the University of Tennessee from 1887 to 1899, was born in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia, to Robert Lewis and... Continue Reading »
Disfranchising Laws
In 1889 the Tennessee General Assembly passed four acts of self-described electoral reform that resulted in the disfranchisement of a significant portion of African American voters as well as many poo... Continue Reading »
Nathan W. Dougherty
Nathan W. Dougherty, engineer, educator, and athlete, was born on March 23, 1886, at Hales Mill, Virginia, the son of Samuel and Mary Ellen Vernon Dougherty. When he was twelve years old, young Doughe... Continue Reading »
Farmers' Alliance
The Farmers' Alliance made its first appearance in Tennessee in the winter of 1887, when J. T. Alsup, a national lecturer, organized the first Alliance in Wilson County. Perhaps Alsup selected Mi... Continue Reading »
Kenneth L. Hertel
Internationally known researcher in cotton fibers Kenneth L. Hertel was born in Van Wert, Ohio. In 1920 Hertel received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Ohio State University and completed... Continue Reading »
Napoleon Hill
The merchant prince of Memphis, Napoleon Hill was born in 1830, the second of eleven children of Duncan and Olivia L. Bills Hill. Hill's physician father died in 1844, leaving his widow an estate... Continue Reading »
Hohenwald
One of Tennessee's few immigrant communities, Hohenwald began as a crossroads store and house owned by Warren and Augusta Smith. Augusta Smith, a German immigrant, named the community Hohenwald, ... Continue Reading »
Adam R. Huntsman
Adam R. Huntsman, attorney and congressman, was born in Charlotte County, Virginia, February 11, 1786, to Jacob and Mary Devine Huntsman. Huntsman attended schools in Virginia before migrating to Knox... Continue Reading »
George W. Kabalka
George Kabalka, pioneer in the use of organoborane chemistry in the area of radiopharmaceuticals containing short-lived nuclides, was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, February 1, 1943. He earned his under... Continue Reading »
Joseph Buckner Killebrew
New South advocate and first Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Joseph B. Killebrew was born May 29, 1831, in Montgomery County, the son of Bryan Whitfield and Elizabeth Smith Ligon Killebrew. In ... Continue Reading »
Knights of Labor
Founded in 1869 by a group of Philadelphia tailors, the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor grew slowly as a secret organization under the leadership of Uriah Stephens. In 1879, when Terence ... Continue Reading »
Knoxville News-Sentinel
Currently the only daily newspaper in Knoxville, the News-Sentinel began in December 1886 as the evening Sentinel published by John Travis Hearn, a native of Shelbyville, Kentucky. The first four-page... Continue Reading »
John T. Majors
University of Tennessee All-American football player and coach John T. Majors was born May 21, 1935, in Lynchburg, the son of Shirley and Elizabeth Majors. Shirley Majors coached football, first as a ... Continue Reading »
Gleb Mamantov
Gleb Mamantov, internationally recognized chemist in molten salt chemistry, was born in 1931 in Kapsava, Latvia, the son of physicians Alexander V. and Elena Pribikov Mamantov. When, in 1944, the Sovi... Continue Reading »
John H. McDowell
John H. McDowell, newspaper editor and leader in the Agricultural Wheel and Farmers' Alliance, was born December 12, 1844, near Trenton in Gibson County, the son of John Davis and Nancy H. Irwin ... Continue Reading »
Robert R. Neyland
Robert R. Neyland, renowned football coach at the University of Tennessee, was born February 17, 1892, in Greeneville, Texas, the son of attorney Robert R. Neyland and Pauline Lewis Neyland. After hig... Continue Reading »
Alvin Andreas Herborg Nielsen
Alvin A. H. Nielsen, physicist in molecular spectroscopy, was born May 30, 1910, in Menominee, Michigan. Nielsen graduated from the local high school in 1927 and entered the University of Michigan, fr... Continue Reading »
John Walton Ross
Naval medical officer associated with the fight against yellow fever, John W. Ross was born January 11, 1843, near Clarksville, the son of educator John Ross and Mary Parker Ross. In 1861 young Ross e... Continue Reading »
John H. Savage
John H. Savage, congressman, state legislator, and veteran of three wars, was born at McMinnville on October 9, 1815, the son of George and Elizabeth Kenner Savage. Savage attended common schools and ... Continue Reading »
Science and Technology
The history of science and technology in Tennessee dates to the early settlement era when explorers recognized the geological and botanical diversity of the state. Soon after the initial tasks associa... Continue Reading »
Aaron J. Sharp
Jack Sharp, internationally acclaimed botanist and author of over two hundred publications, was born in Plain City, Ohio, on July 29, 1904, the son of Prentice Daniel H. Sharp and Maude Herriott Sharp... Continue Reading »
Hilton A. Smith
Influential chemistry professor and dean of the University of Tennessee Graduate School, Hilton A. Smith was born September 4, 1908, in Plymouth, New York, and reared in North Adams, Massachusetts. Af... Continue Reading »
Tennessee Constitutional Officers
The Tennessee State Constitution provides for three constitutional officers: the secretary of state, the comptroller of the treasury, and the treasurer. All three are elected by a joint session of the... Continue Reading »
Tennessee Governor's Office
The executive power of the state is vested in the office of the governor, the elected official responsible for the enforcement of the laws, collection of taxes, and well-being of the state and its cit... Continue Reading »
Tennessee House of Representatives
The lower house of Tennessee's bicameral legislature is called the House of Representatives. Made up of representatives from the ninety-nine districts of the state, the members are elected for tw... Continue Reading »
Tennessee State Senate
Tennessee is divided into thirty-three state senatorial districts from which the members of the upper house of the Tennessee General Assembly are elected. Senators serve four-year terms, with those fr... Continue Reading »
Lucille Thornburgh
Lucille Thornburgh, union organizer and labor newspaper editor, was born in 1908 in Strawberry Plains, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Thornburgh. After graduating from Rhea County High School in ... Continue Reading »
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Founded in 1911, the UT Health Science Center includes the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy; the School of Biomedical Engineering... Continue Reading »
John Howard Warf
J. Howard Warf, Tennessee commissioner of education (1963-71), was born in Lewis County in 1904 and rose to political power in the rough-and-tumble world of Democratic politics in the mid-twentieth ce... Continue Reading »
Joseph Edwin Washington
Joseph E. Washington, congressman, state legislator, tobacco planter, and a founder of the Tobacco Protective Association, was born November 10, 1851, at Wessyngton in Robertson County, the son of Geo... Continue Reading »
P. V. H. Weems
P. V. H. Weems, internationally known air navigator, was born March 29, 1889, at Turbine, the son of Joseph Burch and May Elizabeth Rye Weems. He attended Walnut Grove Country School in Montgomery Cou... Continue Reading »