The Formation of Union County, Tennessee

Historic Union County Court House

By the late 1840s the political pressure to have a county seat where residents could vote and conduct business without having to make an overnight trip was sufficiently strong enough that an Act of the Tennessee legislature was drafted to form a new county from portions of the five surrounding counties–Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Knox Counties. On January 13, 1850 the Act to establish Union County was passed. There was haggling over boundary lines and some lines were redrawn. Nonetheless, Knox County was not happy about losing so much of its tax base and filed a lawsuit ...

Taking the Bite Out of Summer

Summertime brings ticks and mosquitos - safeguard yourself against these critters

So now that warm weather is here, you might have already experienced it: the eerie feeling of one crawling on your leg, or having a swarm of them cluster near your skin. Yes! The season for ticks and mosquitoes is upon us - literally, and they’re hot on the trail for blood.

Both pests are annoying in their own right, but because blood is their meal of choice, ticks and mosquitoes can cause some considerable health complications as well! In fact, their blood lust makes them the perfect vehicles for spreading diseases like Zika Virus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever among others.

The Settlement at Hamilton Crossroads

Photograph Courtesy of David Lay

It appears that THE William Hamilton was already in the vicinity of Hamilton Crossroads by the time Tennessee became a state in 1796. All this area was Hawkins County until Knox County was carved out of Hawkins County, then Grainger out of Hawkins County in 1796.
In 1794 William Hamilton received a land grant from the Governor of North Carolina. This land grant included Hamilton Crossroads, which was in Knox County from 1792 to 1796.

News letter from Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce booth opening day at the Union County Farmers Market.

It’s been a long time…
It has been entirely too long since our last newsletter, and for that we apologize. Starting this month, please look forward to this newsletter arriving in your email boxes monthly. This newsletter will serve as our primary method of communication with you, our Chamber members. And without further ado...

Happy Hollow Farm At Farmers Market

Joannah Kadron, age 10, from Papa's Happy Hollow Farm is promoting her egg sales and National Egg Month each Saturday in May at Union County Farmer's Market. May 13 she demonstrated how to make a simple healthy breakfast kids could make for mom on Mother's Day, or any day just for fun. It included deviled egg sail boats on a lake of salad greens with mom's favorite fruit on the side. On the 20th she will demonstrate making an egg salad rollup, a kid friendly snack for Healthy Kids Day.

Christian Mothers

Christian mothers are to be honored. I thank God for my mother and the love she had for all of her children. She gave this love not only to her own children but to all the children she taught in school and all that she took care of in her daycare. My mother was a courageous woman. She raised eight children and made each one of us feel as though each one was an only child. We didn’t have a lot of materialistic things but we always had something to eat and a clean outfit to wear, even if it needed to be washed several times a week.

Union County Mystery Tag

Union County Mystery Tag 927 - 1920

Help us identify the mystery tag. The tag was found by a treasure hunter using a metal detector at the Hamilton-Tolliver Historic Complex on Kettle Hollow Road. We have some ideas, but have sought some official confirmation. In the meantime, test your recollection and tell us what you think about this 1920 Union County tag.

Announcements: UCBPA, Marilyn Toppins, Ch BOD

Check out the NEW Historic Union County at Post your events for free.
Also a special committee on Economic Development is being appointed to develop a platform to promote specific economic improvements in Union County. If you would like to serve on this committee, please email your name and any specific economic interest to

A Tribute to Ruth Gentry Raley

A Tribute to Ruth Gentry Raley

Ruth Gentry Raley, second child of the late William M “Will” Gentry (b. June 16, 1889 - d. December 1, 1974, buried Union Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery and Nola Sharp Gentry (b. December 22, 1896 - d. December 7, 1978, buried Union Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery). Her grandparents are James and Martha DeLapp Gentry and William “Bill” Sharp and Elenora Warwick Sharp. Will and Nola were married September 15, 1918 in Union County.

Tennesseans Who Died at the Alamo


Tennesseans Who Died at the Alamo and the Union County Connection to the Bloody Event

According to a 1967 writing by Louise Davis of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 32 Tennesseans died at the Alamo, which was the largest number of any state that participated in the Seige of the Alamo. The following is a list of those who sacrificed their life for the independence of Texas from Mexico:

Which War?

Which War?

Which War?

I have been told that these Union County folks served in the military at some point in our history. I have not been able to verify this information. It is also possible that some of the names may be misspelled. If any of you readers have information about the military service of any of these people, will you please call me at 865-687-3842 or email me at Thank you so much.

Welcome to Union County, Tennessee

Historic Union County

Are you looking to relocate your family or retire to a simpler way of life? Would you love to return to a place where people know their neighbors and wave to passers-by?

Look no farther than historic Union County, Tennessee, the Cradle of Country Music. Nestled in the rolling hills of East Tennessee, our scenic beauty is stunning, our people are friendly, and our cost of living is low.

Remembering Ruby Rice Little

Ruby Rema Rice Little, daughter of Marcellus “Sillus, Sill” and Isabel “Ibbie” Weaver Rice was born on July 23, 1907 at the home her parents had built around 1904 on Bull Run Creek just inside Knox County. Ruby’s ancestors had been on Lost Creek since 1798, and her parents had lived in Big Valley until the early 1900s. The Rice name remains familiar to many Union Countians.


The Millers of Union County

The third weekend in July, Millers from all over the country will descend on Union County for another Miller Reunion. Here’s a little history about what they celebrate. For the most part the people at the reunion will be descendants of Martin Luther Miller, who was born in 1758 near Heidelberg, Germany, came to America and settled for a time in Alamance County (Orange County), North Carolina..


Dear Sammie

Dear Sammie,

From the time I can remember until your mother, Paralee, could not drive any more, we looked forward to the spring visit of the Cox family. Since I can remember, Uncle Charlie was already deeply stricken by rheumatoid arthritis and had to use double crutches to walk, so Aunt Paralee had learned to drive–years before it was common for women to drive a car.