Entries

Autozone
AutoZone, a nationally known auto parts business headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, was founded by J. R. “Pitt” Hyde III in 1979. Hyde developed AutoZone as a division of Malone & ... Continue Reading »
Awiakta, Marilou
Marilou Awiakta, Cherokee and Appalachian poet, storyteller, and essayist, was born in Knoxville in 1936 and reared in Oak Ridge. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1958... Continue Reading »
Baggenstoss, Herman
Herman Baggenstoss, conservationist, was a native of Grundy County, the son of Swiss settlers who founded the Dutch-Maid Bakery in Tracy City in 1903. An alumnus of the University of the South, Baggen... Continue Reading »
Bailey, Deford
DeFord Bailey, a virtuoso harmonica player who won fame on the early Grand Ole Opry, has a more significant place in history as the first African American to win fame in the field of country music as ... Continue Reading »
Baker Jr., Howard H. Baker
Howard H. Baker Jr., U.S. senator, Senate minority leader and majority leader, and White House chief of staff, was born in Huntsville in Scott County on November 15, 1925, the son of future congressma... Continue Reading »
Baker Sr., Howard H. Baker
Republican Congressman Howard H. Baker Sr. was born in Somerset, Kentucky, in 1902, the son of James F. and Helen K. Baker. The Baker family had been prominent in Appalachian history for generations. ... Continue Reading »
Baker v. Carr
This case, filed by urban voters against the Tennessee Secretary of State and Attorney General in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee, was one of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Ear... Continue Reading »
Baptists, "Old Time"
By the middle of the eighteenth century, Baptists had begun to settle the mountain valleys of what is now East Tennessee, and by 1786 their small churches were numerous enough to establish what became... Continue Reading »
Barber & McMurry Architects
The Knoxville-based architectural firm Barber & McMurry designed landmark residential, civic, and commercial buildings in Knoxville and across the Southeast during the twentieth century. In 1915 Charl... Continue Reading »
Barnard, Edward Emerson
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 »
Barret, Paul Weisiger
Paul W. Barret, banker, merchant, planter, businessman, and political and civic leader, was closely connected with the economic progress and government of Shelby County from the 1920s through the 1970... Continue Reading »
Barrow, George Washington
George W. Barrow, U.S. and Confederate diplomat, editor, soldier, and statesman, was born in Nashville on May 10, 1808, to Wylie Barrow and Ann Beck, his father's second wife. Barrow spent a priv... Continue Reading »
Basketmaking
Basket weaving is one of the most ancient of all arts, the spontaneous invention of people in all parts of the globe. As white explorers moved into the area that would become Tennessee, they found tha... Continue Reading »
Bate, William Brimage
William B. Bate, lawyer, Confederate general, governor, and U.S. senator, was born at Castalian Springs in Sumner County on October 7, 1826, the son of James H. Bate and Anna Weathered Bate. His educa... Continue Reading »
Bates, Kathy
Few widely recognized, successful women on television and in film have built an acting career without an “ingénue phase,” which fits snuggly between an actress’s late teens an... Continue Reading »
Battle Ground Academy
Named for its location on the Franklin Civil War battlefield, Battle Ground Academy (BGA) opened for classes on September 3, 1889. A group of local stockholders organized and chartered the school. The... Continue Reading »
Battle, Mary Frances
Fannie Battle, Confederate spy and social reformer, was born in the Cane Ridge community of Davidson County on her family's plantation. Educated at the Nashville Female Academy, Battle was living... Continue Reading »
Baxter, Jere
New South railroad entrepreneur Jere Baxter challenged the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad's control over Middle Tennessee commerce by building the Tennessee Central Railroad to connect N... Continue Reading »
Baylor School
In 1893 a group of men prominent in the professional, industrial, and civic life of Chattanooga invited noted educator John Roy Baylor to the city and cleared the way for the founding of the Universit... Continue Reading »
Beale Street
Stretching from the Mississippi River toward the east, Beale Street is Memphis's most famous avenue. On the infamous section of Beale Street between Main and Lauderdale Streets, the "Blues was bo... Continue Reading »
Bean's Station , Battle of
The engagement at Bean’s Station developed as a result of Confederate General James Longstreet’s retreat into East Tennessee following his repulse at Knoxville. Longstreet’s First ... Continue Reading »
Bean, James Baxter
James B. Bean was perhaps the single most important dental surgeon of the Civil War. Born in Washington County, June 19, 1834, James Bean could trace his heritage to the first white settlers of the st... Continue Reading »
Bebb, Hubert
Originally from Illinois, Hubert Bebb was an innovative architect who worked in Tennessee for the major part of his career. He moved to Gatlinburg in 1950, after having worked for the Chicago firm o... Continue Reading »
Bedford County
The Tennessee General Assembly established Bedford County on December 7, 1807, from land taken from Rutherford County. The first court met at the home of the widow Ann Payne in what is now Moore Count... Continue Reading »
Beechlawn
Beechlawn, on Pulaski Pike (U.S. 31) south of Columbia, is one of southern Middle Tennessee's most imposing Greek Revival homes, distinguished by a full-temple front supported by four monumental ... Continue Reading »
Beersheba Springs
Beersheba Springs, a historic resort village in north Grundy County, began attracting visitors after Mrs. Beersheba Porter Cain of McMinnville discovered a large chalybeate spring in 1833 and suggeste... Continue Reading »
Bell Witch
Along U.S. Highway 41 in Adams, Robertson County, a state highway historical marker documents the site of perhaps Tennessee's most famous ghost tale, the story of the Bell Witch. John and Lucy Wi... Continue Reading »
Bell, John
John Bell was one of antebellum Tennessee's most prominent politicians and an acknowledged leader of the state's Whig Party. The son of a farmer and blacksmith, Bell was born in Davidson Cou... Continue Reading »
Bell, Madison Smartt
Author Madison Smartt Bell was born and raised near Nashville and attended Ensworth School and Montgomery Bell Academy before going to Princeton University, where he studied in the creative writing pr... Continue Reading »
Bell, Montgomery
Montgomery Bell, early Tennessee industrialist and ironmaster, was born in West Fellowfield Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the youngest of ten children, to John Bell and Mary Patterson (spell... Continue Reading »
Bell, Persa Raymond "P. R."
Oak Ridge scientist P. R. Bell advanced the art of scintillation spectrometry, using radioactive tracers scanned with a scintillator and collimator for medical diagnosis. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ... Continue Reading »
Belle Meade Plantation
John Harding founded Belle Meade Plantation in 1807. From his initial 250-acre purchase on the "Old Natchez Road," seven miles from Nashville, Harding built Belle Meade into a twelve-hundred-acre plan... Continue Reading »
Bellevue Baptist Church
Three huge white crosses facing Interstate I-40, east of downtown Memphis, mark the campus of Bellevue Baptist Church. With the center cross standing 150 feet high, flanked on either side by crosses... Continue Reading »
Belmont Mansion
Originally named Belle Monte, Italian for "beautiful mountain," this lavish 180-acre Nashville estate was the summer home of Joseph and Adelicia Acklen. Built between 1849 and 1853, with additions mad... Continue Reading »
Belmont University
The history of Belmont University begins with Adelicia Acklen, mistress of Belmont Mansion, and two schools for women which operated on the mansion's grounds: the first Belmont College (1890-1913... Continue Reading »
Bemis
Developed by the Jackson Fibre Company (a division of the Bemis Brothers Bag Company) beginning in 1900, the town of Bemis rose from the cotton fields of Madison County as a model company town created... Continue Reading »
Benton County
The Tennessee General Assembly created Benton County on December 19, 1835, from portions of Humphreys and Henry Counties. Officials organized the county in February 1836 in a small log cabin at the si... Continue Reading »
Benwood Foundation
The Benwood Foundation is a charitable Chattanooga foundation created in 1944 by Coca-Cola bottling magnate George Thomas Hunter in memory of his uncle and aunt, pioneer bottler Benjamin Franklin Thom... Continue Reading »
Berry, George Leonard
George L. Berry was president of the Tennessee-based International Pressmen's and Assistants Union (1907-48), a prominent labor leader and advisor who served on several New Deal labor committees ... Continue Reading »
Berry, Mary Frances
Mary Frances Berry, a leading historian, civil rights advocate, legal scholar, and human rights advocate, was born in Nashville. After enduring an impoverished childhood, Berry received a Ph.D. and J.... Continue Reading »
Beth Salem Presbyterian Church
At the junction of Tennessee Highway 30 and Watson Road near Athens in McMinn County stands Beth Salem Presbyterian Church. The 1920s-era church, its adjoining cemetery, and kitchen pavilion are the... Continue Reading »
Bethel College
Located in McKenzie, Carroll County, Bethel College is one of two institutions of higher learning for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1842 the college began in nearby McLemoresville as the Beth... Continue Reading »
Bethlehem House, Nashville
Bethlehem House is an example of early interracial cooperation among southern women. It opened in October 1913 at the corner of Tenth and Cedar Streets as a joint effort of the Methodist Training Scho... Continue Reading »
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, located in Nashville, honors two hundred years of statehood with an innovative urban park of nineteen acres. Designed by Tuck Hinton Architects, with Ross/Fow... Continue Reading »
Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area
Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area lies in the floodplain of the Middle Fork of the Obion River between the towns of Sharon and Greenfield in Weakley County. Its 330 acres contains bottomland hardwoo... Continue Reading »
Big Hill Pond State Park
Big Hill Pond State Park is located at the junction of the Tuscumbia River and the Hatchie State Scenic River in southwest McNairy County. Containing over 4,200 acres and featuring scenic wetlands, ti... Continue Reading »
Big Ridge State Park
The Big Ridge State Park contains 3,642 acres of reclaimed land and is headquartered in Union County about twelve miles east of Norris. Developed in tandem with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) pr... Continue Reading »
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area of the Cumberland River drains an area of 1,382 square miles in Tennessee's Scott, Fentress, Pickett, and Morgan Counties and in Kentucky... Continue Reading »
Bills, John Houston
Born in Iredell County, North Carolina, John H. Bills was one of the founders of Bolivar, in Hardeman County, and a leader of the Tennessee Democratic Party in the nineteenth century. He came to the W... Continue Reading »
Binford, Lloyd T., and the Memphis Board of Censors
As Hollywood produced some of its best films and secured its place internationally as the mecca of movie-making, the Memphis Board of Censors gained nationwide notoriety for its draconian brand of ... Continue Reading »