Entries

Dutchman's Grade Railway Accident
One of the worst passenger rail accidents in United States history occurred July 9, 1918, at the Dutchman's Grade, in Belle Meade, five miles west of Nashville. The southbound Memphis to Atlanta ... Continue Reading »
Dyer County
The Tennessee General Assembly established Dyer County in 1823 and named it in honor of Colonel Robert H. Dyer. John McIver and Joel H. Dyer donated sixty acres for the new county seat, named Dyersbur... Continue Reading »
Dykeman, Wilma
Wilma Dykeman, novelist, journalist, and state historian, was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 20, 1920. In 1940 she married James R. Stokely. They resided in Newport, Tennessee, where they r... Continue Reading »
Earl, Ralph E. W.
Ralph E. W. Earl, portraitist, was the son of Connecticut painter Ralph Earl (1751-1801) and his second wife, Anne Whiteside of Norwich, England. Born in England, Earl studied under his father in Nort... Continue Reading »
Early Exploration
The first explorations by Europeans in what is now Tennessee took place in 1540, when a Spanish expedition under the command of Hernando de Soto entered the region from the southeast. Soto had set out... Continue Reading »
Early Horse Racing Tracks
Long before Tennessee became famous for the Tennessee Walking Horse in the mid-1900s, the state was known throughout the country as the center for thoroughbred horses. For most of the nineteenth centu... Continue Reading »
Early Vernacular Plan Houses
For early houses in Tennessee, three house plans were common: the central passage plan, the hall-parlor plan, and the Penn-plan. The central passage plan, also called an I-house by cultural geographer... Continue Reading »
Earthquakes, 1811-12
Between mid-December 1811 and mid-March 1812 a series of catastrophic earthquakes shook West Tennessee and the rest of the Central Mississippi Valley. Judging from reports and eyewitness accounts, the... Continue Reading »
East Tennessee Historical Society
Prominent Knoxville civic leaders established the East Tennessee Historical Society in 1834. These individuals included Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey, who served as perpetual recording secretary, and Judge Will... Continue Reading »
East Tennessee Iron Manufacturing Company
One of Chattanooga's earliest industrial ventures, the East Tennessee Iron Manufacturing Company was a seminal force in the industrial development of the city and its surrounding area. Incorporat... Continue Reading »
East Tennessee State University
Located in Johnson City, East Tennessee State University evolved from East Tennessee State Normal School, which enrolled the first students in October 1911. In 1900 Tennesseans found their public scho... Continue Reading »
Eaton Affair
When Andrew Jackson became president of the United States in 1829, he chose John Henry Eaton, his biographer, leading political adviser, and Tennessee friend, to be secretary of war. Just a few month... Continue Reading »
Eaton, John Henry
Born into a prominent family, John Henry Eaton was the son of John and Elizabeth Eaton. His father, a chaise maker, was county coroner, a member of the state assembly, and the owner of five thousand a... Continue Reading »
Eaton, Margaret
Born to William O'Neale, the owner of a Washington boarding house and his wife Rhoda, the young Margaret and her five brothers and sisters were well known in political Washington. Leading congres... Continue Reading »
Ecological Systems
Tennessee is an Upper South state approximately 432 miles long and 112 miles wide, constituting 42,244 square miles, with elevations ranging from peaks of over 6,000 feet to sea level, containing a wi... Continue Reading »
Edgar Evins State Park
Headquartered in DeKalb County along Center Hill Lake, Edgar Evins State Park contains about 6,000 acres. The park is named in honor of state senator and Smithville civic capitalist James Edgar Evins,... Continue Reading »
Edgerton, John Emmett
John Emmett Edgerton was an industrialist who gained prominence as the president of the National Association of Manufacturers from 1921 to 1931. Born in North Carolina on October 2, 1879, he moved t... Continue Reading »
Edmondson, Belle
Belle Edmondson, Confederate smuggler, was born in Mississippi. On the eve of the Civil War her family moved to a Shelby County farm on Holly Ford Road (now Airways Boulevard), about three miles from ... Continue Reading »
Edmondson, William
Few folk artists can claim the widespread recognition by the world of fine art that William Edmondson achieved during his lifetime. The first African American artist to have a one-man exhibition at th... Continue Reading »
Elementary and Secondary Education
From Tennessee's earliest beginnings, the state's inhabitants have expressed concern about the education of their children. In fact, even before Tennessee became a state, residents establish... Continue Reading »
Elizabethton Rayon Plants Strikes, 1929
On March 12, 1929, Margaret Bowen, a worker at American Glanzstoff, led a walkout of 523 women operatives. After other shifts joined the walkout the next day, the plant closed on March 14. Four days l... Continue Reading »
Ellington, Buford
Buford Ellington, governor of Tennessee from 1959-63 and 1967-71, alternated power both times with uncertain ally Frank Clement. The differences between Ellington's first and second stints as chi... Continue Reading »
Elliott, Sarah Barnwell
Sarah Barnwell Elliott, novelist, short story writer, and advocate of women's rights, was born in Savannah, Georgia, the daughter of Stephen Elliott, a bishop of the Episcopal Church who was a le... Continue Reading »
Embree, Elihu
An early voice in Tennessee for abolition, Elihu Embree was the son of a Quaker minister who moved from Pennsylvania in 1790 to the northeast corner of what would become the new state of Tennessee. El... Continue Reading »
Embreeville Mines
The small mountain community of Embreeville, located on the Nolichucky River in the southeastern corner of Washington County, has a long mining history. Ores in the Bumpass Cove area, about three mile... Continue Reading »
Embry-Riddle Field
This Obion County airfield began operations as a training base for aviation cadets in 1942. The land was acquired in early March, construction proceeded immediately, and the first class arrived in Jul... Continue Reading »
Emery, Ralph
Ralph Emery became the dominant disc jockey in country music in the late twentieth century, featured on major syndicated radio programs and national cable television networks. Born in McEwen, Tenne... Continue Reading »
Englewood Mills
While New England is the birthplace of America's textile industry and the Carolinas are known for massive textile production, the small town of Englewood, Tennessee, serves as a reminder of the t... Continue Reading »
Erni, Henri
Henri Erni, Tennessee's first consulting chemist, was born in Switzerland in 1822. Erni studied at the University of Zurich, where he excelled in chemistry, although he may not have received a de... Continue Reading »
Eshman, Andrew Nelson
Andrew Nelson Eshman, minister, educator, author, and leader of the segment of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that rejected the 1906 merger with the Presbyterians, USA, was born on June 1, 1865, i... Continue Reading »
Eskind, Jane Greenebaum
The first woman to win a statewide election in Tennessee, Jane G. Eskind was raised and educated in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended Brandeis University, married Richard Eskind, completed her underg... Continue Reading »
Estes, "Sleepy" John
John Adam “Sleepy John” Estes, was born in Ripley, Tennessee, around 1900. A highly skilled blues musician, Estes played a pivotal role in reestablishing rural blues within the American ... Continue Reading »
Etheridge, Henry Emerson
Henry Emerson Etheridge, important West Tennessee Whig politician and Union loyalist, was born in Currituck County, North Carolina, in 1819. In 1833 the family moved to Weakley County, Tennessee. Ethe... Continue Reading »
Ettelson, Harry W.
Harry W. Ettelson, Rabbi of Temple Israel in Memphis from 1925 to 1954, was born in Lithuania and reared in Mobile, Alabama. Ettelson's diverse scholarly background included a B.A. from the Unive... Continue Reading »
Eva Site
Located on an ancient bank of the Tennessee River, the Eva site is a prehistoric Native American encampment named after the modern hamlet of Eva in Benton County. University of Tennessee archaeologist... Continue Reading »
Evans Sr., Silliman
Silliman Evans Sr. was owner and publisher of the Nashville Tennessean from 1937 until his death in 1955. During his years as publisher he also held directorships at American Airlines and Maryland Cas... Continue Reading »
Evans v. McCabe
The Tennessee Supreme Court decision in Evans v. McCabe (1932) held that the Tennessee Constitution prohibits the state from enacting and collecting a tax on income earned within the state. (1) L. C.... Continue Reading »
Evans, Henry Clay
Chattanooga businessman and politician Henry Clay Evans was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, to Jesse and Anna Single Evans. In 1844 his family moved to Wisconsin, where he attended public school... Continue Reading »
Evins, Joseph Landon
Joe L. Evins was the "Dean" of Tennessee's congressional delegation during the 1960s and 1970s. Born in 1910 in DeKalb County to James Edgar Evins and Myrtie Goodson Evins, Joe L. Evins attended ... Continue Reading »
Faiers, Edward Spencer
A major contributor to the arts in Memphis from the 1950s until his death in 1985, Edward Spencer Faiers was significant as a teacher and an artist. He moved to Memphis in 1952 and joined the faculty ... Continue Reading »
Fairvue Plantation
Fairvue was the home of Isaac Franklin and his young bride, Adelicia Hayes Franklin. Built in 1832, the property is a National Historic Landmark. The house has identical facades facing east and west s... Continue Reading »
Falk, Randall M.
Randall M. Falk has advanced Jewish-Christian relations and understanding as an author, professor, and rabbi of The Temple, Congregation Ohabai Sholom in Nashville. Born in Little Rock and educated at... Continue Reading »
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Tennessee's second largest park is Fall Creek Falls State Park, which covers a total of 19,684 acres. The park is located between Spencer and Pikeville along the border of Van Buren and Bledsoe C... Continue Reading »
Fanning, Tolbert
Tolbert Fanning, early leader of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Tennessee and the South, was born in rural Middle Tennessee in an area that later became Cannon County. Converted to the Disciples in Al... Continue Reading »
Farmers' Alliance (Farmers' and Laborers' Union)
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 »
Farms and the Agricultural Experiment Station
Farms and farming in Tennessee have experienced great changes during two centuries of statehood. For example, the number of farms in Tennessee ranged from 72,735 in 1850 to 273,783 in 1935, before sli... Continue Reading »
Farragut, David Glasgow
David G. Farragut, the first U.S. admiral, was born James Glasgow Farragut in 1801 and raised in Stoney Point, near Knoxville. In 1806 his father received a navy commission and moved his family to New... Continue Reading »
Farris, Oscar L.
Oscar L. Farris spent almost forty years with the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service. While serving in Maury County, he was responsible for the first "test and slaughter" attempt t... Continue Reading »
Fayette County
The Tennessee General Assembly established Fayette County on September 29, 1824, and named it in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, French general and statesman. The county seat, Somerville, was named... Continue Reading »
FedEx
The largest express transportation company in the world is FedEx, headquartered in Memphis. Frederick W. Smith, a Memphis businessman and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, began a company named Federal Expre... Continue Reading »