Category: Research Guidance

Grainger County Courthouse Fire in 1946

By , February 4, 2014

Grainger Court House Burns, Old Records Believed Safe

Valuable Papers Are in Vaults; Officials Confer Today on Steps for Rebuilding; Loss $200,000

Rutledge, Jan. 17 — Only the 42-year-old brick walls of the Grainger County court house were standing today.  Fire yesterday destroyed the entire interior, with loss estimated at $200,000.

Officials met this afternoon to consider what to do.  Steps will probably be taken to rebuild.  A special session of County Court will be called, probably next week.

Most Records Safe

Records in vaults were believed safe.  They were those of the county court clerk, register, Circuit Court clerk, clerk and master, and those of the trustee which were in a steel safe.  Other minor papers, in filing cabinets, burned.

W. I. Daniels [sic], county court clerk, today opened temporary offices at the Red Cross rooms.  He saved most of his records and furniture.

Trustee Arnold Roach is using the directors’ room of the Citizens Bank & Trust Co.

“We do not know the cause of the fire,” said Mr. Daniel today.  “It seemed to have started in the back of the building upstairs.  Some seem to think it might have started from a defective flue and others think it may have been wiring.  There had been a fire in an open grate.  The fire was going through the slate roof when it was seen and it was too late to do much.  We used a garden hose to play water on the vaults.

Morristown Sends Aid

“Firemen came from Morristown, but the fire had gained such headway there was not much the could do.”

The fire was discovered by a passing truck driver, who gave the alarm.

Among the records saved were those dating back to the establishment of the county in 1796.

This was the third court house of Grainger.  Court houses were building in 1801, 1848, and 1904.

Cost $200,000 to Replace

The building which burned cost $30,000, but replacement was figured at around $200,000.  It was an attractive two-story brick building, with 10 offices.

Court was not in session at the time of the fire.  Grainger County is a part of the Second Judicial District, of which Judge George R. Shepherd at Newport is judge.

Source:  Knoxville News-Sentinel, 17 Jan 1946, page 24

Top Ten Tennessee History Reference Books

By , January 20, 2014

Your Webmistress has tried to create a list of her personal Top Ten Tennessee History Reference Books, meaning the ones she refers to over and over. The list is more than 10, but it was really hard to stop!

If you have comments, please follow the Contact Us link on this page.

Here they are, in no particular order ~~

TN Historical Society, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (1998) — you’ll get lost in this book, the full text of which is available for free on-line. Click here to start your browsing.

Samuel Cole Williams: Honestly, anything this man ever wrote on Tennessee history is awesome. You should read each book at least once. They are all scarce, even though they’ve been reprinted over the years.

Some Samuel Cole Williams books are available at Amazon for very reasonable prices. If you begin your shopping from the link below, a few cents from your purchase(s) will go to support the cost of maintaining the Knox, Jefferson, and Sevier County TNGenWeb sites.
Samuel Cole Williams’ books available for sale at

John Haywood, Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee (1823) — click here to read/download 2nd edition full-text for free at Google Books

John Haywood and Robert L. Cobbs, The Statute Laws of the State of Tennessee, of a Public and General Nature (1831) — click here to read/download Vol. I full-text for free at Google Books

Hale & Merritt, A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and Representative Men – 8 volumes (1913) — click here to read/download some volumes full-text for free at Google Books

Albert Pruitt, Glasgow Land Fraud papers, 1783-1800, North Carolina Revolutionary War, Bounty Land in Tennessee (1988, 2 vols.) [all his works on NC & TN land are outstanding]

Henry Whitney, The Land Laws of Tennessee (1891) — click here to read/download 2nd edition full-text for free at Google Books

Irene Griffey, Earliest Tennessee Land Records & Earliest Tennessee Land History (reprints, currently 2003 edition) — click here for a limited preview on-line at Google Books or click here to purchase the book at Amazon.

James Phelan

Garrett & Goodpasture, History of Tennessee (1903) (written for school children) — click here to read/download full-text for free at Google Books

Wilma Dykeman: Everything she wrote is absolutely golden.

Resource Contact Details

By , May 17, 2011

Grainger County

Grainger County Archives
E-Mail Mary Lynn Gilmore, Certified Archives Manager
PO Box 408 , 7850 Rutledge Pk., Second Floor
Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3693
Grainger County Historian
Kenneth Coffey
Bean Station, TN  37708
Grainger Today Newspaper
Web Site
691 Main Street, PO Box 519
Bean Station, TN 37708
Phone: (865) 993-0713 Fax: (865) 993-6474
Grainger County Historical Society
PO Box 215, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-8345
Grainger County Chamber of Commerce PO Box 101, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-4222
Grainger County Clerk Highway 11W, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3511
Grainger County Courthouse PO Box 116, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3511
Grainger County Historical Society
PO Box 215, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-8345


Note:  There is no genealogy research collection in Grainger County libraries.  See the Archives, above.

Bean Station Public Library PO Box 100, Highway 25 E, Bean Station, TN 37708
Phone: (865) 993-3068
Blaine Community Library PO Box 66, Indian Ridge Road, Blaine, TN 37709
Phone: (865) 933-0845
Rutledge Public Library PO Box 100, Highway 11 W, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-4784
Washburn Community Library Route 1, Box 129, Highway 131, Washburn, TN 37888
Phone: (865) 497-2506


Claiborne County Historical and Genealogical Society PO Box 32, Tazewell, TN 37879
East Tennessee Historical Society PO Box 1629, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: (865) 215-8824
McClung Historical Collection
McClung Digital Collection (regional images)
601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN  37902
Phone: (865) 215-8801
Knox County Archives (don’t overlook this!) 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN  37902
Phone: (865) 215-8800
H B Stamps Memorial Library (excellent!) 407 East Main Street, Rogersville, TN 37857-3366
(423) 272-8710
Hamblen County Archives Hamblen County Courthouse Basement, Morristown, TN 37814
Phone: (865) 586-1961
Hawkins County Historical & Genealogical Society PO Box 429, Rogersville, TN  37857-0429
Union County Historical Society 3824 Maynardville Hwy., Maynardville, TN 37807
Phone: (865) 992-2136
Union County Cemeteries Association PO Box 1315, Maynardville, TN 37807
East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association PO Box 3714, Knoxville, TN 37927
Phone: (865) 633-8337


Tennessee Historical Commission Department of Environment and Conservation, 701 Broadway, B-30, Nashville, TN 37243-0442
Tennessee Historical Society Ground Floor, War Memorial Building, 300 Capital Boulevard, Nashville TN 37243-0084
Tennessee Genealogical Society Library/Offices: 7779 Poplar Pike, Germantown TN 38138
Mailing: PO Box 381824, Germantown TN 38138-1824
Tennessee Sons of Confederate Veterans
Tennessee United Daughters of the Confederacy
Tennessee Society, Sons of the Revolution (SOR)
Tennessee Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
Tennessee Daughters of the American Revolution

Bibliography of Grainger County Resources from TSLA

By , May 17, 2011

This document was created by staff of the TN State Library & Archives.   It was copied here for the convenience of our site’s visitors.

PLEASE NOTE that TSLA does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the TSLA Online Catalog or e-mail TSLA to verify we have an item in our collection.

Subjects :

Grainger County in General

  • Allred, Charles E. Educational status of rural relief families in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1936. 41 pp. (its Report #22)
  • Allred, Charles E. Relation of education to economic & social status of relief clients in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1937. 36 pp. (its Report #24)
  • Allred, Charles E. Some problems of rural relief in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1935. 17 pp. (its Report #1)
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Grainger County, Preliminary #44-A). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 45 pp.
  • Collins, Kevin D. Grainger County map. N.p., n.d. Grainger County Hist. Soc.
  • Conference on companionship of agriculture & industry. Knoxville, UT, 1933. 38 pp.
  • Dial-a-ride rural transit needs survey for Claiborne & Grainger counties. Knoxville, East TN Dev. Dist., 1979. 40 pp.
  • Faulkner, Charles H. “Industrial archaeology of the ‘Peavine Railroad’: an archaeological & historical study of an abandoned railroad in east TN.” THQ 44 (1985), pp. 40-58.
  • Flood insurance study: Grainger County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1990. 13 pp.
  • The geological history of the Thorn Hill Paleozoic section (Cambrian-Mississippian), eastern TN: SE-GSA 1985, field trip 6. Knoxville, UT Dept. Geol. Sciences, 1985. 128 pp.
  • Goodspeed’s history of east TN (Grainger County, pp. 853-856, 1152-1160). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Grainger County, 1796-1976; the only TN county named for a woman. Grainger County Bicentennial Committee, 1976. 27 pp.
  • Grainger County Regional Comm. Comprehensive plan, Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, n.p., 1969. 1 vol.
  • Grainger County, TN, its people & events. Morristown, TN, C. McGinnis, 1991. 47 pp. (copies of articles published 1985-1991 in the Grainger Ranger at Rutledge, TN)
  • Graves, Mary J. The yesterdays speak again. Rutledge, Shirley Pubs., 1983. 41 pp.
  • Hill, William T. The geology, applied geochemistry & drilling results in the Puncheon Camp Creek area, Grainger County, TN. UT thesis, 1971. 106 pp.
  • Holt, W.E. History of Grainger County. N.p., the author, 1975. 11 pp.
  • Kline, Gerald W. & Charles H. Faullkner. Archaeology of the Richland Creek site. Knoxville, UT Dept. Anthrop., 1981. 77 pp.
  • Knoxville MSA, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 49 pp.
  • Lane, Patricia. “Birth, marriage & death: past & present customs in east TN.TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 48 (1982), pp. 53-60; 50 (1984), pp. 58-67.
  • Moore, Harry. A history of the churches in Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, Grainger County Hist. Soc., 1986. 141 pp.
  • Morgan, John & Joy Medford. “Log houses in Grainger County, TN.TN Anthrop. 5 (1980), pp. 137-158.
  • Official booklist of Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, Progressive Club, 1926. 16 pp.
  • Perkins, Mardell J. A sociological study of a rural church in Grainger County, TN. Carson-Newman College thesis, 1967. 75 pp.
  • Polhemus, Richard R. & James H. Polhemus. “The McCullough Bend site.TN Arch. 22 (1966), pp. 13-24.
  • Roach, Thomas E. Gleanings from a scrapbook. Rutledge, the author, 1983. 246 pp. (reprinted from newspaper articles previously published in the Grainger County News & the Jefferson County Standard)
  • Sanders, John E. Geology of the Pressman’s Home area, Hawkins & Grainger counties, TN, 1952. Photocopy of typescript. New Haven, CT, Yale University, 1980? 253 pp.
  • Soil survey, Grainger County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1948. 203 pp.
  • TN Dept. Ed. Grainger County schools survey report. Nashville, TN Dept. Ed., 1965. 144 pp.
  • TN Dept. Emp. Sec. Summary report, manpower & other resources. Nashville, the department, 1961. 1 vol.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Grainger County. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Regional Soils Database. Important farmland in Grainger County, TN. Nashville, US Soil Conservation Service, 1980. 1 map.
  • TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Div. Research Sec. The effects upon local finance of real property purchases by the TVA, survey no. 1: Norris Reservoir counties. Knoxville, TVA, 1936. 53 pp.
  • Trent, Emma D. East TN’s lore of yesteryear. Whitesburg, the author, 1987. 621 pp.
  • US Fed. Emergency Relief Admin. Div. of Research, Statistics & Finance. The Appalalchian-Ozark area, Grainger County, TN. N.p., 1934. 4 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Tazewell, Howard Quarter, Swan Island, Powder Springs, Dutch Valley, Avondale, Bean Station, Luttrell, Joppa, Talbott, Mascot, New Market.

Bean Station

  • Carruthers, Amelia L. “Bean Station.Nat. Hist. Mag. 77 (1943), pp. 31-35.
  • Crouch & Adams, Inc. Bean Station revisited: a feasibility & master planning study. Oak Ridge, Crouch & Adams, Inc., 1972. 28 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Dept. Regional Studies. The Bean Station Tavern restoration project. Prepared by Robert M. Howes. Knoxville, TVA, 1944. 76 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Reservoir Property Management Dept. Population readjustment studies of Bean Station community, Grainger County, Cherokee area. Knoxville, TVA, 1940. 15 pp.


  • Flood insurance study: city of Blaine, TN, Grainger County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1990. 10 pp.


  • Roach, Thomas E. Langley, Rutledge, TN: a history of a southern mansion & its families. Rutledge, the author, 1983. 39 pp.

Tate Springs

  • Graves, Mary. Tate Springs, home of Kingswood School. Bean Station, the author, 1982. 32 pp.
  • Graves, Mary J. World famous gazebo. Bean Station, the author, 19–. 32 pp.

Updated October 22, 2004. An updated version may be available at the TSLA Web site.

Grainger County “Fact Sheet” from TSLA

By , May 17, 2011

This document was prepared by the Tennessee State Library & Archives and is copied here for convenience of our site’s visitors.

Items available at the Tennessee State Library & Archives in Nashville.  Note that some items can be borrowed on Inter-Library Loan.  Most microfilm titles can be purchased by individuals as well as research libraries.

Selected Published County Histories

  • Gleanings From a Scrapbook (Roach, 1983) [name index]
  • Grainger County, 1796-1976: The Only Tennessee County Named for a Woman (Grainger County Bicentennial Committee, 1976?)
  • Grainger County, Tennessee and its People, 1796-1998 (Grainger County Heritage Book Committee, 1998) [surname index]*
  • Langley, Rutledge, Tennessee: A History of a Southern Mansion and its Families (Roach, 1983) [name index]

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources:  Grainger County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at TSLA.

Published Local Records

  • 1860 Grainger County, Tennessee Census and Slave Schedule Iindexed (Collins, 2000) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • 1870 Grainger County Tennessee (Collins, 2000)  [alphabetical name index]*
  • *1880 Census Grainger County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1994) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • 1900 Grainger County Tennessee [Census] (Collins, 2001) [head of household name index]
  • Census of Grainger County, Tennessee, 1830 (Houston, n.d.)
  • Cherokee Reservoir Grave Removals by T.V.A. (Douthat, 2003) [name index]
  • Families of Norris Reservoir Area (Wilson, 1986) [head of household name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists (Douthat, 1993)
  • Grainger County, Tennessee 1850 Census (Treadway, 1996) [surname index]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee 1910 Federal Census (Collins,  200?)*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee 1920 Federal Census (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical index by head of household]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Bonds and Marriages [1888-1926] (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical listings]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Cemetery Records (McGinnis, 1982) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Record Book no. 3, 1812-1816 (Sheffield, 1983) [name index]
  • Grainger County Tennessee Court Minutes vol. 1 1796-1802 (WPA, 193?) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Federal Census of 1810: Population Schedule (Third Census) and County Tax Lists for 1810 (1956) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Guardian Bonds 1796-1835 (WPA, 1938)
  • Grainger County Tennessee Inventories of Estates and Wills, Nov., 1833-May, 1852 (Reeves, 1989) [surname index]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Letters of Administration, 1842-1854 (Sheffield, 1983) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Loose Wills (1994?) [name index]*
  • Grainger County Tennessee Marriage Records 1796-1837 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Marriages, January 1858-October 1870, June 1881-March 1888 (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical listings]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Marriages 1838-1857 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • Grainger County Tennessee: Memorandum of Licenses Granted Merchants Since the 1st October A.D. 1809; List Voters Names 1835; Scholastic Population 1848 (WPA, 1939)
  • Grainger County Tennessee Minutes Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions no. 3 1812-16 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Minutes of Court of Pleas [1802-1812] (Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1992?) [name index]
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Tax List, 1814-1815 (19??) [name index]*
  • Grainger County Tennessee Tombstone Records (WPA, 1939)
  • Grainger County, Tennessee Vital Statistics, 1914 Through 1925 (Wiefering, 1993) [name index]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1926 Through 1935 (Wiefering, 2001) [name index]*
  • Grainger County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics 1936 Through 1946 (Wiefering, 2001) [name index]*
  • Grainger County Tennessee Wills and Settlements 1833-1841 (WPA, 193?) [name index]
  • Liberty Hill Cemetery; Liberty Hill, Grainger County, Tennessee (Nicley & Hendrix, 1981) [name index]*
  • Marriages of Grainger County, Tennessee, 1796-1837 (Whitley, 1982)*
  • Records of Grainger County Tennessee: Letters of Administration 1842-1854 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Records of Grainger County Tennessee: Polls and Taxable Property in Grainger County, 1814-1815 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Tennessee, Grainger County Loose Wills Old Index (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Tennessee, Grainger County Marriage Bonds and Licenses [Book 1, 1796-1837; Book 2, 1838-1866] (Kennerly, 1964-) [name index]
  • Tennessee, Records of Grainger County: Minutes of Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions Vol. 2 1802-1812 Part 1 & 2 (WPA, 1939) [name index]*

Local Records on Microfilm

An inventory of microfilmed Grainger County records is available on our web site.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1796
  • wills from 1833
  • deed index from 1797
  • chancery court minutes from 1848
  • county court minutes from 1796
  • circuit court minutes from 1810
  • tax books from 1851

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from TSLA:

  • Index to Deeds — 1797-1912  (#35, 1 reel)*
  • Inventories of Estates & Wills — 1833-1852  (#33, 1 reel)*
  • Inventories of Estates & Wills — 1852-1892  (#34, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Bonds and Licenses — 1796-1809  (#20A, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Bonds and Licenses — 1810-1829  (#20B, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Bonds and Licenses — 1820-1839  (#20C, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Bonds and Licenses — 1840-1849  (#20D, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Bonds and Licenses — 1850-1859  (#20E, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Grainger County  (Record Group #107, Roll 23,  1 reel). Roll includes County Court Minute Book (1796-1802),  Minutes, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions (1802-1812, 1812-1816),  Marriage Records (1796-1857),  Polls & Taxable Property (1814-1815),  Wills & Administrations (1833-1841),  Letter of Administration (1842-1854),  Tombstone Records (undated),  Merchants, Voters Names, Scholastic Population (1809-1848), Guardian Bonds (1796-1835) and Loose Wills (undated).*

Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Rutledge.  Scattered early issues are available from 1911, and a complete run begins in 1937.  Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased.  An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at TSLA is available on our web site.

Selected Manuscripts Material

Census Records

  • Census on microfilm for Grainger County:  1810-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1810-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Grainger County census records in book form:  1810, 1830, 1850, 1870*, 1880*, 1910*, 1920*

Additional Resources for Grainger County

* Indicates this title may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan from TSLA.

Updated as of December 19, 2008, by TSLA staff. An updated version may be available at the TSLA Web site.

Primary Sources

By , May 17, 2011

This handout was developed for school teachers by the TN State Library & Archives, but it is equally excellent for everyday use by family and local historians.

Click to view the PDF file.

All donated content on this site is the copyrighted property of its owner(s).

Links to external sites are provided for information only. By providing links to external sites, Grainger County TNGenWeb does not endorse any entities or take responsibility for the content or availability of any pages not located on this Web site.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

Site last updated September 19, 2021 @ 5:41 pm