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Sevier County
Genealogy and History

Local History


Was erected by the Territorial Assembly on September 27, 1794, out of Jefferson County and was attached to the district of Hamilton. It was named for John Sevier, as was the county seat, Sevierville. The settlement of Sevier County began in 1783, when pioneers built a fort on Dumplin Creek and soon held a friendly conference with the Cherokee Indians. Maj. James Hubbard, whose family in Virginia had been murdered by the Shawnees, and who was an implacable enemy of all Indians, attended and attempted to intimidate the Cherokees. His efforts were thwarted by Capt. (afterwards General) James White. Among the early settlers were: William Cannon, Jacob Huff, Samuel Blair, Allen Bryant, Peter Bryant, Joshua Gist (Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of Franklin), Thomas Bucking, who built the first brick house in the county eight miles south of Sevierville, and Isaac Thomas, a giant. After the collapse of the State of Franklin, in 1788, the people who had been permitted by the Indians to locate in the region south of the French Broad River, which included what is now Sevier County, were ignored by the Governor of North Carolina. Being technically trespassers upon the lands of the Indians, in their emergency they set up a government of their own, which was the fourth independent government established in the State of Tennessee. This government continued until 1792 when Jefferson County was organized by Governor William Blount.

Sevierville was laid off in 1795. Only a few sessions of the court were held before the admission of the state into the Union. The first court after that event was held on July 4, 1796. The following magistrates were present: Samuel New- ell, Joshua Gist, Joseph Wilson, Andrew Cowan, Joseph Vance, Robert Pollack, Peter Bryant, M. Lewis, John Clack, Robert Calvert, Adam Wilson, James Riggin, Alexander Montgomery, Jesse Griffin, Isom Green, James P. H. Porter, and Lewis Renan.

The first white child born in the county was Nancy Rogers, who married James P. H. Porter. Her name was bestowed on Nancy Academy, for the establishment of which the Legislature in 1813 authorized the holding of a lottery. George W. Pickle, State Attorney-General and reporter, was a resident of Sevierville in 1869.

Statistics of Sevier County: population, 1920, 22,384. Assessed valuation of taxable property, 1921, $8,840,827. Area, 560 square miles. Number of farms, 3,450. Railway mileage, 36. Drained by the French Broad River. Surface is mountainous and partly covered with fine timber. The soil in the valleys is rich and fertile. Fine limestone is quarried in the county. Staple products are: wheat, corn, grass, and live stock. Grazing for live stock is abundant. Sevierville, the count seat, with a population of 776, is on the Little Pigeon River and the Knoxville, Sevierville and Eastern Railroad, 30 miles from Knoxville. It has good schools, churches, two weekly newspapers, banks, and general stores and manufacturing establishments. Scholastic population of county, 8,503; high schools, none; elementary schools, 99.
Counties of Tennessee By Austin P. Foster 1923

      Resources of Tennessee

(Contributed by Sam Maner)
Dr. Joseph A. Sharp County Historian from 1950 till 1971 left the county with many great treasures, records and short histories of Sevier Counties long forgotten past. These histories are searchable by name and can be printed for your use. They are on file at the East Tennessee Historical Societies McClung Collection in Knoxville

Abstracts of Sevier County Chancery Court Cases

Chancery Court Cases Index 1840

Sevier County First Settlers Land

Spencer Clack one of Sevierville's First Settlers

Old Fort Wear History

Sevier County Courthouse

History of Sevierville

Radford Gatlin- Gatlinburg's First Tourist

History of Pigeon Forge

History of Nancy Academy

History of Murphy College

History of John Sevier and Sevier Countians

A Look back at the Sevier County of 1850

Description of Sevierville in 1860

Petition of 1848

Unsolved Crime in 1905

One of the First Documented White Men in Sevier Co.

Petition of The Lost State of Franklin