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Beulah D. Linn

Sevier County Historian


Sevier County was established by the Legislature of the Territory South of the River Ohio meeting in Knoxville in September and October, 1794. The first court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions met at the home of Isaac Thomas on November 8, 1794. The eight magistrates who composed the court had been appointed by Governor Blount. The Court met dour times a year. It was the legislative and chief executive body of the county.

After statehood in 1796 fifteen justices were appointed by the Tennessee Legislature until 1836, the year of the new constitution, after which they were elected by popular vote.

Due to the loss of courthouse records in the fire in 1856 it has been difficult for historians to compile a complete list of Sevier County officeholders.

I wish to express my appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the following people who have helped me prepare this article for publication:

From information abstracted by Steve Cotham, Head McClung Historical Collection, from early Knoxville newspapers and published from 1985 to 1989 in ANCESTORS (the East Tennessee Historical Society publication), a review of the Hamilton District Court Files by Brad Cannon of the Knox County Archives, and Pollyanna Creekmore's Tennessee News paper Extracts and‑Abstracts Vol I, 1816-1830 and Vol 2, 1830-1839 published in 1996, the blank spaces in previously published 'lists of Sheriffs, county court clerks and circuit court clerks have been filled

I am indebted to Inez E. Burns, Blount County Historian and author of HISTORY OF BLOUNT COUNTY , TENNESSEE 1795-1955 for the history of the various offices of county government according to the constitution.

Mr. John B. Waters Jr. compiled the list of chancery court clerks.

Mr. Sam Maner of the Sevier County Library Staff read the microfilm of the Sevier County Court Minutes to compile the list of County Court chairmen from 1856 to 1870 and the microfilm of Sevier County newspapers to find the names of Sevier County tax assessors from 1916 to 1960.

Mr. James Shular read the County Court Minutes 1894-96.

Mrs. Jettie Clabo, Mrs. Carolyn McMahan, Mrs. Sherry Robertson,; Mrs. Elaine Burgess, Mr. Johnny King, Mr. Joe Keener and Glenda Bright of the present courthouse staff have been very kind to help me find information. .

It is a joy to record that two of my high school science students, Johnny King and Jackie Parton, are Sevier County officeholders in the year 2000.

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