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Anderson County, Tennessee

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  • Benjamin Ward, of Anderson County (c.1775 - bef.1850)
    Not the same as Benjamin Ward, of Rutherford County ✶ Benjamin Ward moved to Anderson County, Tennessee from Ashe County, North Carolina sometime between the years of 1820 & 1830 given that he is li...
  • John Maury Anderson (1919 - 1994)
  • General Burwell B. Bell III
    Baxter (B. B.) Bell III (born April 9, 1947) is a retired U.S. Army four-star general.
  • Trey Hollingsworth, U.S. Congress
    Albert Hollingsworth III, a Representative from Indiana; born in Clinton, Anderson County, Tenn., September 12, 1983; graduated from Webb School, Knoxville, Tenn.; B.S.E., Wharton School of the Univers...
  • Matthew Scott Roberts (1808 - 1858)
    Biography== Matthew Scott Roberts was born in 1808 in Anderson County, Tennessee, United States. His parents were Reuben Derrith Roberts, Sr and Mary Millie Roberts . Matthew married Louisa Roberts . T...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Anderson County, Tennessee.


Before the formation of Anderson County, Tennessee, that territory was initially land of what is today called the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which had been settled by several pioneer families including the Wallace, Gibbs, Freels, Frost and Tunnell families. Although the Treaty of Holston, signed in 1791, was intended as a negotiation with the Cherokee to prohibit settlement of the area including what is today Anderson County, the treaty became ineffective as more settlers moved through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia and North Carolina into Tennessee. The flooding of white settlers into the Indian domain was cause for several skirmishes, which eased after the Treaty of Tellico in 1798 (with an origination point for relinquished land from the Cherokee being the Tellico Blockhouse) allowed for greater ease in settling the area.

Anderson County was partitioned from a portion of Grainger County as well as a portion of Knox County, in 1801; neighboring Roane County was also formed from a portion of Knox County, in 1801, making Anderson and Roane counties effectively called 'sister counties'. Anderson County was named in honor of Joseph Anderson (1757-1847), who was at that time U.S. senator from Tennessee, and whose career also included judge of the Superior Court of the Territory South of the River Ohio and Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury.

Like many East Tennessee counties, the residents of Anderson County were largely opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. On June 8, 1861, Anderson Countians voted against Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession, 1,278 to 97.

The Fraterville Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion that occurred on May 19, 1902 near the community of Fraterville, in the U.S. state of Tennessee. 216 miners died as a result of the explosion, either from its initial blast or from the after-effects, making it the worst mining disaster in the state's history. The cause of the explosion, although never fully determined, was likely ignition of methane gas which had built up after leaking from an adjacent unventilated mine.

The Cross Mountain Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion that occurred on December 9, 1911 near the community of Briceville. In spite of a well-organized rescue effort led by the newly created Bureau of Mines, 84 miners died as a result of the explosion. The likely cause of the explosion was the ignition of dust and gas released by a roof fall.

The construction of Norris Dam, the first dam built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, brought major changes to the county in the 1930s. Approximately 2900 families were relocated from reservoir lands in Anderson and nearby counties during the construction, which began in 1933 and was completed in 1936. The town of Norris was initially built as a planned community to house the workers involved in the construction of this dam. As a result of the dam completion and operation, the temperature of the downstream Clinch River bed changed, so that a former pearl industry which had been successful for many years evaporated as the mussels, once prevalent in the river, were not able to sustain life in the changed climate.

During World War II, the federal government's Manhattan Project brought more change to the county, including the displacement of more families and the founding of Oak Ridge.

The Museum of Appalachia in Norris commemorates pioneer and rural life of past decades in Anderson County and the surrounding region.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Andersonville
  • Beech Grove
  • Belmont
  • Bethel
  • Braytown
  • Briceville
  • Buffalo
  • Claxton
  • Clinton (County Seat)
  • Devonia
  • Fork Mountain
  • Fraterville
  • Heiskell (part)
  • Laurel Grove
  • Marlow
  • Norris
  • Oak Ridge (part)
  • Oliver Springs (part)
  • Rocky Top (part)
  • Rosedale



Manhattan Project Nationl Historic Park (part)

Cross Mountain Mine Disaster

Genealogy Trails

TN GenWeb

Anderson County Historical Society