Blount County, Tennessee
American History and Genealogy Project


History of Blount County

BLOUNT COUNTY lies between the Tennessee River and the great Smoky Mountain, and south of Knox County. It has an area of about 470 square miles, one-sixth of which is mountain land. It is abundantly supplied with water and water power. The principal stream is Little River, which receives tbe waters of Crooked Creek, Pistol Creek, Nails Creek and Ellejoy. In the southern and western portions of the county are Abram, Nine Mile, Six Mile, Four Mile, Baker and Boyd Creeks. The mineral resources are abundant. In addition to iron and marble. silver and gold are found in paying quantities. The settlement of Blount county was begun in 1785. The ftrst fort or station was established by Robert McTeer. "It stood about one and one-half miles south of Eusebia Church. It soon became the nucleus of an excellent neighborhood of intelligent, worthy, and patriotic citizens, emigrants principally from the valley of Virginia, who brought with, and diffused around them, RepUblicanism. religion, intelligence and thrift."* Among those who located in the vicinity were the Bogles, McCroskeys, McCullochs, McGaugheys, McMurrays, Boyds, Cunninghams, Moores. Tiptons, Jeffries, Cusicks and others. Numerous other forts and stations were soon after established in various parts of the county. Among them were John Craig's, situated on the present site of Maryville, near where the depot now is; David Craig's, near Brick Mill; Houston's about six miles south of Maryville; Kelly's, near Rockford; Klrk's, on Little River, a few miles above Kelly's; Thomas', about three and one-half miles southeast of Maryville; Martin's, at Sanderson's Mill, on Nails Creek; Hunter's, on Nine Mile Creek; Gamble's, near where George Snyder now lives; Henry's, on Little River; Calvin's on Crooked Creek; Black's at the head of Crooked Creek; Gillespie's, south of Little River; and Ish's, in the northwest part of the county, near the Tennessee River. For several years the settlement suffered severely from Indian depredations. The proximity of the mountains, which furnished safe hiding places for the savages, made it necessary constantly to guard the frontier, and many times compelled the inhabitants to seek refuge in the strongest forts. It is said that on one occasion, in April, 1798, no less than 280 men, women and children were gathered together in Craig's fort, and there remained for several days in the greatest discomfort. To detail the instances of Indian outrage and aggression and the heroism of the brave pioneers, in their acts of defense and retaliation, however, would require a volume, and as the more signal instances are detailed elsewhere they will not be repeated here. No section of Tennessee was settled by a more heroic, fearless and energetic people, and no county is richer in the splendid traditions and honorable achievements of its pioneers. More.....

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