Monday, April 23, 2018

House at 3738 Speedway Circle

This house is currently for sale by the City of Knoxville, Tennessee is currently accepting applications to purchase and develop properties through the Homemakers Program. The minimum bid $6.000.  It is also being promoted by some people as being an important part of our Black History and by others as the home of Joseph Knaffl, a well known local photographer.

Let's look at the these claims:

The only connection I can find between this house and Cal Johnson is that it is located on Speedway Circle. I have not found a home address for Cal Johnson, except for the State St address listed on his death certificate. Cal John died in 1925. His second wife died in 1927, and her address is also listed on State St.
In 1920, Joseph Knaffl was at the original location (918 S Gay).  The information on the offer for sale says:

"It originally stood at 918 Gay Street, but was moved sometime between 1926-1928 when construction began on what was then a luxury hotel originally known as the Tennessee Terrace with the name later changing to honor president Andrew Johnson present day’s A.J. Building."

According to a KNS article (1926), the Knaffl house was torn down and J R Stephens built a replica, using materials salvaged from the old house. The house was built in Burlington, and the stone facade is made from stones from the Knaffl house, the staircase and paneling were also used. 
James Rogers Stephens was a contractor.  The address on his death certificate is 3738 Speedway Circle.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Winan High Mission School

Winan High and Garnet League
We are glad to learn of the progress of the Freedman Bchool of East Tennessee, now under the control and support of an organization in the city of Harrisburg, State of Pennsylvania, known as the "Garnet League." This league is composed solely of colored people of that city, who have associated themselves in this grand enterprise for promoting tte educational and religious improvement of the freedmen, the stimulation of a higher standard of literature and civilization, by sending among them as numerously a possible their own "kith and kin" as teacher and ministers, to instruct them in all their moral and religiou dutio. The League haves commenced their work in the city of Knoxville, where already may be seen tbe good results of their labors. Under it supervision, the large school now flourishing was opened early in the month of December, and a highly educated colored woman was sent to take charge of the school. She was here but a short time till the school increased so rapidly that
it became necessary to employ another teacher. This being communicated to the League, it immediately employed and sent here as Principal and Superintendent, Professor O. L. C. Hughes, a finely educated colored man. Under the control of the Professor, who seems to have adopted the proper plan to meet the wants of his people, this school is making fine progress, and if sustained pecuniarily and otherwise, may, in a little time, occupy a position in the van of literary progress secend to no Freedman school in the State, and from among it pupils may walk forth those who will be beacon lights to their benighted kindred.
The colored people of Knoxville seem wide-awake to their own interests; and, believing their destiny to rest in their own bands, and fully realizing the truth of the old adage, "The Gods help those who
first help themselves," have gone to work te help themselves in every honorable direction deeply and earnestly engaged in the work of their own mental, moral and religious culture, and are determined by the assistance of this philanthropic organizatien to make a brilliant history for themselves in the rise and progress of the colored race. With this spirit of thrift and enterprise among them, we need have no fear for the future of our colored population. Then let them be countenanced, encouraged and sustained in their efforts to increase in usefulness, and soon we may be a better and a happier people.
Brownlow's Knoxville Whig. (Knoxville, Tenn.), 13 Feb. 1867. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>

Colored Schools.
Knoxville, Aug. 30lh, 1867.
Editor cf the Knoxville Whig:
In a former communication, I noticed the colored schools of this place and surrounding country, carried on under the supervision and control of the United Presbyterian Church. I propose, in this present communication, to notice those under the control of the Garnet League. The Garnet League is an association of colored people, with headquarters in the city of Harrisburg, Pa., for the purpose of assisting the recently emancipated slaves in education. This League has auxiliary Leagues in diverse portions of the country. The one at this place ia known as the Winan's High School League, and in connection with this League is a school numbering from one hundred and fifty to two hundred scholars. This school was conducted by Profeesbr O. L. C. Hughes and Mrs. Jones, who, for their qualifications and success as teachers, I have never seen surpassed. The conduct of the scholars was good and commondable, tbey being strictly attentive to their studies, and make groat proficiency in
learning to read and write, and in mental arithmetic; also, one class in Geography was quite advanced. Two boys, William Franklin and Jerry Jarnagon, will, if encouraged, make speakers of which any community might be proud. There is also an auxilliary League at Dandridge and Mossy Creek, in Jefferson county, with a school at each place, which have done a noble work in the cause of education.
I wish not to take up too much space in your valuable paper at one time, yet will write from time
to titne such communications in regard to the colored schools of the country as shall come under my
F. Schade
(Source:Brownlow's Knoxville Whig., September 11, 1867, Image 1 Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Link

Winan High School
AN ACT Incorporating the Winan High School at Knoxville Teunessee and for other purposes WHEREAS Sundry citizens of Tennessee have purchased suitable grounds in Knoxville, Tenn and erected thereon a building for the purpose of religious worship and of conducting therein a first class High School for males and females which High School is to be under the government and control of the Winan High School League at Knoxville an auxiliary league to the Garnett League of Harrisburg, Penn subject to such rules and restrictions as are herein set forth and whereas the security of society the supremacy of the laws and the preservation of our civil and religious liberties the perpetuation of our institutions and of the Union are materially dependant upon the intelligence and virtue of the people and whereas it is greatly to the interest of the State to encourage the erection of schools and colleges for the dissemination of knowledge and education Therefore:
SECTION 1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That a corporation is hereby constituted and established under the name and style of the Winan High School and in that name capable of suing, and being sued, pleading and being impleaded, and of buying holding improving disposing of govern and protecting suitable grounds and buildings for higher educational purposes in or near the town of Knoxville, Knox County, State of Tennessee and also capable of collecting gifts, grants, or bequests made to the purposes of education in said institution .
SEO 28 Be it further enacted: That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage
FS RICHARDS Speaker of the House of Representatives
DWC SENTER Speaker of the Senate
Passed March 5, 1868
Read the entire act here: Link

AN ACT to repeal Section 27 of an Act incorporating the Winan High School at Knoxville Tennessee and for other purposes:
Section 1 Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee That Section 27 of an Act passed the 5th of March 1868 entitled An Act to incorporate the Winan High School at Knoxville, Tennessee and for other purposes be and the same is hereby repealed.
Passed March 20 1877
EDWIN T TALIAFERRO Speaker of the House of Representatives
HUGH M McADOO Speaker of the Senate
Approved March 22 1877
Source: (Acts of the State of Tennessee Passed at the General Assembly, Tennessee, F.M. Paul, printer to the State, 1877, p 55) Link)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The National Anthem, the War of 1812 and Black History Month

By Original uploader was Dr.frog at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia, Public Domain,Link

The lyrics for "The Star Spangled Banner" were written by Francis Scott Keyin a poem called "In Defense of Fort M'Henry" on September 14, 1814. The poem was set to the tune of a British song written by John Stafford Smith. It was officially made the national anthem in 1931.

Black men fought for both sides. The Britsh promised freedom to those who chose to fight with them. "All told, more than 4000 people were freed from slavery – the largest emancipation that took place in the U.S. until the Civil War." Source: Black sailors and Soldiers in the War of 1812, PBS, Link

Also see "The Life of Charles Ball, A Black Man" Available on Google Books Link

War of 1812
There were some Americans among them but they were mostly French creoles and one band had in its formation something that was curiously pathetic. It was composed of free men of color, who had gathered to defend the land which kept the men of their race in slavery; who were to shed their blood for the Flag that symbolized to their kind not freedom but bondage; who were to die bravely as freemen only that their brethren might live on ignobly as slaves. Surely there was never a stranger instance than this of the irony of fate. (Source:The Naval War of 1812: The History of the United States Navy During the Last War with Great Britain, to which is Appended an Account of the Battle of New Orleans, Volume 2, Theodore Roosevelt, G. P. Putnam's sons, 1882, pp 206-207)

Article I
There shall be a firm and universal peace between His Britannic Majesty and the United States and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people of every degree without exception of places or persons. All hostilities both by sea and land shall cease as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both parties as hereinafter mentioned. All territory places and possessions whatsoever taken by either party from the other during the war or which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, excepting only the islands hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without delay and without causing any destruction or carrying away any of the artillery or other public property originally captured in said forts or places and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty or any slaves or other private property. And all archives records deeds and papers either of a public nature or belonging to private persons which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands of the officers of either party shall be as far as may be practicable forthwith restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong. Such of the islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy as are claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occupation they may be at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty until the decision respecting the title to the said islands shall have been made in conformity with the fourth article of this treaty. No disposition made by this treaty as to such possession of the islands and territories claimed by both parties shall in any manner whatever be construed to affect the right of either. (Source:The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812: Or, Illustrations, by Pen and ..., Benson John Lossing, p 1071

Article X
Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and justice and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an object (Source: Old South Leaflets, Issue 212, Directors of the Old South Work, 1818, p.8)

"The Senate finally voted to ratify the treaty and it was published to the world. Then the opposition opened upon it their heaviest batteries of abuse. The chief targets for their shot were its provisions for the payment of honest debts contracted before the Revolution and the omission to provide for the remuneration of slaveholders for their negroes carried away during that war. As the Constitution of the United States and the public sentiment and judicial decisions of Great Britain did not recognize man as property, the claim relating to slaves in the old treaty was passed over." (Source:The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812, Benson John Lossing,p. 87)

Article V the contracting parties agreed to refer to arbitration the question whether under Article I of the Treaty of Ghent American slaveholders were entitled to compensation for slaves carried off by the British forces. The Emperor of Russia was chosen arbitrator but the commission appointed under his award in 1822 could not agree. This unsavory question was finally laid at rest by a special convention of November 13, 1826, by which the British government paid the United States $1,204,960 in complete satisfaction of its claim. ((Source: Old South Leaflets, Issue 212, Directors of the Old South Work, 1818, p. 18)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mossy Creek WInter of 1863

Mossy Creek

"Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 24, 1863: 2nd Brigade 1st Cavalry Division Army of the Cumberland Col Oscar H La Grange commanding the 2nd brigade was attacked by two small brigades of Confederates under Gen Armstrong. After a sharp fight the enemy was repulsed leaving 17 dead on the field. La Grange's brigade suffered to the extent of 2 killed and 9 wounded. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 26- 27, 1863: 1st Brigade 1st Division Cavalry Corps Army of the Ohio Rain prevented more than slight skirmishing at Mossy creek, along which the Federals held a strong position on the 26th. No casualties resulted .Late on the afternoon of the 27th, the Federals attacked and drove the enemy from every position to within a short distance of Talbott's station, when the pursuit was stopped by darkness. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Dec 29, 1863: Cavalry Corps, Army of the Ohio. During the night of the 28th, Brig Gen SD Sturgis, commanding the cavalry, learned that the enemy was advancing on Dandridge, and immediately sent off the greater part of his command to intercept him. About 9 o'clock the next morning, the combined cavalry of Martin Morgan and Armstrong, about 6,000 strong, advanced in line of battle, the main effort being directed against the Federal left, but the attack was repulsed by Campbell's brigade after a hard fight. During the day an artillery fire was kept up by the enemy, with a hope of breaking the line so that a position could be secured on the bank of the stream. The attempt was unsuccessful, and later in the day when the detachments sent out during the night to Dandridge returned, the enemy was routed and driven off Sturgis loss was 17 killed, 87 wounded, and 5 missing ,while that of the enemy was not reported. 

Mossy Creek Tenn Jan 10 and 12, 1864: Detachments of 2nd Brigade Cavalry Division Army of the Ohio, Col Oscar H La Grange, commanding the 2nd brigade, reports under date of Jan 10: 'I have the honor to report that a scouting party from the 2nd brigade today surprised one of the enemy's outposts on the Dandridge road about 6 miles from Mossy creek and killed 4 including 1 leutenant, besides making 7 prisoners without loss.' Again on the 12th, La Grange reports, 'The forage detail from the 2nd brigade to day drove back one of the enemy's outposts for the purpose of foraging behind it. Killed 1 and captured 15 prisoners without loss."
(Source:The Union Army: Cyclopedia of battles, Federal Publishing Company, 1908, p.616)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mary Ann Emily Good

When Mary Ann Emily Good was born on January 15, 1859, in Greeneville, Tennessee, her father, Hartsell Good, was 27, and her mother, Martha Milburn, was 25. Hartsell was the son of David Good and Hannah Hartsell. Martha was the daughter of the Reverend William Elbert Milburn and Martha Frame.

Mary Ann Emily Good was called Mollie and had two brothers: William David (1855-1911) and Elbert Hartsell (1861-1929).

In 1860, the family lived in District 10 Greeneville, Tennessee. Hartsell's parents had lived next door to Andrew Johnson and his family. After David Good died, Hartsell sold the house Andrew Johnson. They attended the same church. (First Methodist, now Christ's Chapel).

Hartsell Good was a tinner before the Civil War. On 27 Jan 1863, he enlisted in the Tennessee 4TH Reg Tennessee Infantry, Union Army.

Hartsell died on July 14, 1863 and is buried in the National Cemetery in Nashville.

On June 15, 1865, Martha filed for a window's pension and soon after she moved to Rheatown with her two youngest children.

On September 15, 1877 Mollie Good and James Randolph White were married by J R Hughes.

Minnie Hartsell White (1878–1971) married James Granville Keebler
Walter White 1880–188
Martha Elizabeth White 1882–1957 married James Ruble Bailes
Isaac William White 1885–1959 married Susan Wiley Chambers
Lula Morley White 1887–1971married William Earl Thomas
Eva Franke White 1890–1968
James Henry White 1892–1918
Elma White 1896–1896
Elbert Carl White 1896–1915

Losing her son Elbert Carl to pneumonia on January 3, 1915, then James Henry in on October 10, 1918 in Chateau-Thierry, France during World War I was very hard for her. James Henry was buried in France, but after the war, his body was brought back to Rheatown to be buried in the Rheatown Cemetery.

Mollie Good White died on April 15, 1926 and is buried in Rheatown Cemetery.

The inscription says, "She was a kind wife, a loving Mother and a friend to all.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marble Championship

Karl Witkowski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Knoxville Marble Tournament
April 1923
April12: Lonas School
April 14: Claxton
April 15: Meade
April 16: Marble City
April 17: University Ave:
April 18: Peabody
April 19: Rayl
April 21: McMillian
April 22: Griffin
April 23: Pickle
April 24: Hampden- Sydney
April 25: Staub
April 26: West View
April 28: Flenniken
April 29: Bell House
April 30: Fair Garden

May 1: McCallie
May 2: Mountain View
May 3: Beaumont
May 5: Brownlow
May 6: Mynders
May 7: Belle Morris
May 8: Lincoln Park
May 9: Van Guilder
May 10: Lonsdale
May 12: South Knox
May 13: Boyd
May 14: Oakwood
May 15: Moses
May 16: Park City- Lowry
May 17: Knoxville High

After a champion is named at all the schools, a final tournament was played at Caswell Park.
Clarence Stedman won and went on to compete in Atlantic CIty.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Prof. W E F Milburn Seriously, If Not Fatally Injured by A Runaway

A Terrible Runaway Accident

Prof. W E F Milburn Seriously, If Not Fatally Injured by A Runaway

It is with feelings of distress that we are called to chronicle the particulars, as we gather them from Mr. Gaines Harrell, of the terrible accident which befell our friend Prof. W E F Milburn last Tuesday evening, and which, in all probably, cost him his life.

He had been to Rheatown on Tuesday in a buggy, and was returning home about dark and while driving along alone his horse suddenly took fright by some means or another, and becoming uncontrollable dashed away at a fearful rate throwing the rider out and mangling him up in a most frightful manner. His entire jaw, we are informed, was literally crushed into jelly and her was otherwise seriously injured. The buggy was also smashed to pieces.

The horse, however, became detached and ran on at almost lightning speed until he was stopped by some parties in the road. They suspecting some one had been hurt by the runaway went back until they came to the place of the accident, and there they found Mr Milburn in terrible condition.
His body was taken up and conveyed to his home, when the services of Dr Morley were secured and the wounds dressed. The doctor gave the opinion that it was almost impossible for him to recover. He was, however, perfectly conscious, and although from the condition of his mouth and jaw, he could neither speak, eat or drink, still he communicated with his friends through the medium of a pen.

The next paragraph is about a premonition of death attributed to WEF Milburn prior to this accident.

We have not heard of anything for a long time that grieved us more than this sad occurrence, for Prof. Milburn was a most estimable and worthy young gentleman. He is the son of Rev Wm Milburn of the Methodist Church and lived at Milburnton, Greene County. He is a graduate of the University at Athens (Tennessee Wesleyn) and has taught very successfully at New Market, Jacksboro' and other places. Although our information is that his chances for recovery are exceedingly doubtful, we earnestly hope that he may get over it. - (Source: Knoxville Chronicle (Union and American
(Greeneville, Tennessee)
, 30 Aug 1876, Wed • First Edition • Page 3)