A Union County startup business got a big boost Feb. 15, as Sweet Southern Tumbling received a $10,000 check through the Clinch Powell Small Business Loan program funded by USDA Rural Development. Business owner Breann Welch has used the loan to upgrade to a larger space and purchase additional equipment, including a 42x42 cheer spring floor.
Clean-cut, honest, hardworking, competent, accommodating–these are all adjectives used to describe Sheriff Swan Kitts. There was a sense of presence about him that said, “Sheriff.” But his moment of fame perhaps came with the death of country singer, Hank Williams. I’ve heard and read several accounts of this event, but I’ll only touch on the event involving Patrolman Kitts. Writer Wayne Bledsoe wrote a good piece entitled “Hank’s Final Journey,” which was published in the Knoxville News Sentinel on December 30, 2002.
It seems Hank Williams was scheduled to appear in Charleston, West Virginia, and Canton, Ohio, on New Years Day, 1952. Hank had intended to fly to these cities. However, bad weather caused the cancellation of his New Year’s Eve flight from his home in Montgomery, Alabama. Hank had just purchased a new Cadillac limousine and enlisted his friend’s 17 year-old son, Charles Carr, to chauffeur him to these performances. The two drove to Knoxville, then took a 3:30 pm flight from Knoxville, but that flight was turned back because of the bad weather; and they checked in at the Andrew Johnson Hotel about 7 pm. on December 31, 1951. The promoter of the shows contacted Williams and Carr and convinced them that if they started driving that night they could make the performances. They left Knoxville by way of Hwy. 11-W (Rutledge Pike) headed for West Virginia. A recollection of the story is: Swan Kitts was working as a Tennessee State Patrolman assigned to Grainger County (Rutledge) at the time. When the limo driver tried passing in a no-passing zone around midnight, Patrolman Kitts pulled him over. The driver quickly turned on the interior light in the limo; and, when Kitts shined his flashlight and asked about Williams, the driver said something like, “Oh, he’s had a swig of whiskey and a couple of pills–he’s just sleeping.” Kitts was not close enough to check Williams’ breathing. Kitts then had the driver follow him to Rutledge where the driver was cited for reckless driving, but paid his fine and was allowed to go on his way. There are many discrepancies in the stories alleging that Williams may have been dead when they left Knoxville or soon thereafter. At any rate, the next morning, Hank was pronounced dead at Oak Hill General Hospital in West Virginia.
Kitts served as Union County Sheriff from 1958 to 1963 and from 1965 to 1968. It is my understanding that during that time the Sheriff’s Department was self-sufficient and actually added money to the county’s general fund. Sheriff Kitts bought the food, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, cooked for the prisoners. Sheriff Kitts and his family lived in the old brick jail that was built in the 1950s and is still standing. While serving as Sheriff, Kitts worked nights; and during this time, E. J. Ailor was frequently called upon to be a “star witness” for DUI cases. The beat would pick up about midnight; and, since E. J. lived close to the jail and court house, Swan would call him to come over and witness the defendant’s effort to “walk the straight line.” If the person could walk straight without staggering they were released. If not, they were jailed and fined. E. J. compliments Swan as being straight forward and very honest, a good sheriff. Mr. Kitts also served as Union County Court Clerk during 1969-70. Childhood playmate, Jean Lay Palmer, fondly recalls Swan as a good person, a good citizen, and a good friend.
Mr. Kitts was the son of Judge Charles S. and Bess Evans Kitts. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Fancher Kitts for 59 years and is survived by daughters Janice and Vivian Jean as well as a brother, Hugh Kitts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this entire family. Swan Kitts will be sorely missed.
On February 14, 2018 another tragedy took place at the hand of a psychopath with a gun. 14 students, on the cusp of life, and 3 teachers were brutally gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Landmark, FL, during school hours. Before the funerals could even take place, insensitive idiots on both sides of the gun control debate began running their mouths. Gun control is obviously a touchy and complicated issue; hence the reason that it has not been solved yet.
I’m by no means an expert genealogist/researcher, but I’m surely an experienced one! Frequently persons come to me for help in compiling a family history. I am glad to help as much as I can.
So often when I ask for a grandparent’s name I’m told, “I don’t know–I just always called him grandpa–or I just always called her grandma.” Now, where does one start? There are many ways. Here are just a few suggestions. It is my hope that these suggestions will be useful to students in their history projects:
“Yours till Niagara Falls” or is it “Yours till the Statue of Liberty sits down?” Maybe it's “Yours till the United States drinks Canada Dry.” Could it be “Yours till they feed the corn on your toes to the calves of your legs?” No, that doesn't sound very nice. I know. It's “Yours till the barn dances and the fire escapes.”
Some people have pictures in their wallets or on their phones of the wives, children, grandchildren, etc. I have one picture of my wife in my wallet and maybe one of my stepson and me. I have several pictures on my phone of a special female who came into my life in May, 2009. It happened like this.
My wife was visiting the place where she lived before she married me, then as now occupied by her son and his girlfriend. One of the many cats that had been there had recently had kittens. The momma cat was run over by a car and died. No one knew where her kittens were.
I have a friend who told a humorous story about being in a meeting where someone was speaking of things that he knew to be untrue, downright bovine excreta. When he had taken all he could of it, he stood up, got up, slammed a dollar onto the table and cried out “gimme a bottle of that snake oil!” Snake oil is indeed a popular metaphor for anything being touted as true, but in reality is fraud. And those attempting to sell or convince you to accept something fraudulent are referred to as snake oil salesmen.
Whenever Mother and Dad had an argument, usually in bed at night, Mother had a litany of offenses Dad had been guilty of in the past. She never forgave him and she certainly never forgot. First on the list was when Dad punched Mother's brother, Uncle Johnny, in the nose and knocked him down. The second offense was the one I will now describe. Dad was officially listed as AWOL at the end of World War l. That sounds worse than what it was. I will explain.
Today we have much confusion in the Church about the word antichrist. However, when taken in context the scriptures are very plain about antichrist. The actual word “antichrist” is only mentioned 4-times in the Bible and all 4-times by the Apostle John. Just because the actual word is only used 4-times, does not lessen its importance, because the concept of "antichrist" is throughout the entire Bible.
Back in the 30's and the 40's small carnivals cross-crossed the country. It was before television and the Internet. Amusements were simpler back in the day. I'm not talking about the circus, just a carnival with some rides and a midway. They are gone forever.
I remember them. Dad allowed us one ride, a walk through the midway and a hot dog. What sights! What sounds! What smells! That was what childhood memories were made of. We went once.
Dixie Stampede in Branson, MO, Myrtle Beach, SC and Pigeon Forge, TN has a new name…. Dolly Parton’s Stampede. There was much talk about a name change, but the reality hit home after observing the new signage in Pigeon Forge; all remembrances of the supposed offensive word “Dixie” have been removed. This decision was made and quickly implemented after an August, 2017 Slate.com article was published. Dolly Parton has millions of fans, and many defend her by stating all the things she has done for literacy, her community and Sevier County during the 2016 fires.
Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.
Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M
Join our NEW 4-H Outdoor Club! 6th – 12th graders join forces to experience hands on learning in ecology, environmental education, wildlife, forestry, resource management, and so much more!
Meetings are held twice a month: 1st Wednesday at the 4-H office & 2nd Monday at Paulette Elementary. For more information and to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
Come to tomorrow’s meeting afterschool to get started. February 7 - 3:30-5pm
Union County Election Commission meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2:30pm in room 101 of the Union County Courthouse to conduct election business which comes before the commission pursuant to its duties listed in, but not limited to TCA $2-12-116, and to conduct any other business that may come before the election commission at that time. Union County Election Commission, 901 Main Street, Suite 108, Maynardville, TN 37807, (865) 992-3471 http://www.electionsunioncountytn.com
Fred Carl King, age 90, passed away February 21, 2018 at Westmoreland Nursing Home and Rehab Center. Preceded in death by father Taylor King, mother Lona Brown King, son Stephen King, brother Eugene King, and sister Evelyn Whaley. Survivors include sister Pauline McManus, daughter Connie Jackson, sons Fredrick King (Chrissy), David King (Penny), grandchildren Kirsten King, Tyler King, Amber Welch, Todd King, and Gregory Jackson (Renee), several great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Estelle Ella Edmondson Loy of Maynardville, Tennessee, passed away Thursday, February 22, 2018 at the age of 104.
A native of Union County, Estelle was born in the Nave Hill community on January 8, 1914. She was a retired school teacher and received her teaching certification from Lincoln Memorial University. Estelle educated generations of families in the county, having taught first through eighth grades in a one-room schoolhouse in the Nave Hill and Hubbs Grove schools. She ended her 30 year-career at Maynardville Elementary School.
Irene (Walker) Nelson - age 83 of Halls passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. She was a devoted wife, mother, sister, mamaw, aunt, and friend. She is now rejoicing in heaven alongside of her husband Arvel Marion Nelson, daughter Martha Nelson, grandson Jason Nelson, parents Andy and Cora Walker, brothers Glen Walker, Houlk Walker, Perry Walker, sisters Virgie Gabriel, Cecila Brantley, and Ethel Dennis. Her legacy lives on through her loving and devoted family: daughter Judy (David) Walton, sons Tommy (Marlene) Nelson and Jeff Nelson.
Scott Sparks, age 51, of Knoxville, TN, went to be with the Lord on Monday, February 19th, 2018. Scott earned his bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina, his masters degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and was a teacher at Karns High School. He was a former College Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, former Pastor at White Stone Church, and founding Pastor of The Grove Church. Scott's passion was leading people to Christ and walking along side them in their faith journey.
John Sterling Inklebarger, age 82, of Corryton, passed away Sunday, February 18, 2018. He was a member of Graveston Baptist Church. He owned his own trucking company hauling building materials until a tragic accident in 1973 that left him disabled. He loved traveling with family and spending time with his friends whittling and trading knives. He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.
Frank Humphrey, age 81, of Knoxville, TN, gained his angel wings on Sunday, February 18, 2018. He was preceded in death by: Wife: Ann Humphrey Father: Frank T. Humphrey Mother: Ella Hammock Brothers: Eddie, John and Larry Humphrey Sister: Francis Adams Son in Law: Bob Greene Survived by: Daughter: Vickie Greene, Son: Frank “Scott” and Rhonda Humphrey Granddaughter: Tiffany and Dale Coward Great Grandchildren: Dalacie and Kyle Coward Brother: Gary Humphrey, Sisters: Brenda Owen and Linda Brooks. Special Sister in Law: Judy Ogle, Special nephew and Niece: Joseph and Alexis Stafford.
Flossie Irene “Nanny” Sherritze-age 90 of Maynardville, born December 3, 1927 went to be with her Lord Sunday morning, February 18, 2018 at home. She was devoted to her family and her church. She was a member of Hines Creek Baptist Church in which she was instrumental in getting organized in the early 1950’s. Preceded in death by parents, Edgebert and Lucy Wyrick; husband, Charles “Rattler” Sherritze; daughter, Norma Faye Sherritze; brothers, Ralph, John, Fate, Jim, Ceba, Swann, J. Will and Earl Wyrick.
Austin Logan Knight, age 18 of Knoxville passed away February 17, 2018. He was in the class of 2018 at Halls High School, where he wrestled for 1 year and played football for 1 year, and had completed all of his requirements to graduate and started college at Roane State to become an EMT. He was a member of Lonsdale United Methodist Church. Austin loved to fish and hunt and was a member of the Children of the American Revolution.
Jackie Ray Campbell-age 70 of New Tazewell passed away Friday afternoon, February 16, 2019 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He was a member of Chittums Chapel Baptist Church and was a U. S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam War.
Survivors: sisters: Margie Stansberry and Nancy Harvey, both of New Tazewell.
Private memorial service will be held at a later date. In accordance with his wishes, he will be cremated. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.