Everyone knows that Union County is home to a good number of Country Music Stars but did you know it is also the home place of a Visual Artist Star? Enoch Lloyd Branson was born in Union County in 1853 (the year of the birth of Vincent Van Gogh). His family moved to Knoxville in 1868, where Lloyd found work in a brickyard. Around the time of the Civil War, prominent Knoxville physician John Mason Boyd noticed a sketch of Ulysses S. Grant Branson had made on a cigar box, and provided financial assistance for Branson to attend East Tennessee University.
When the bell rang at Oak Grove School Sept. 30, a hush fell over the assembled crowd, not students this time but a community of volunteers, sponsors and well-wishers celebrating the grand opening of the renovated building.
“We’re going to ring the bell and take up books,” said Preservation Union County board member Betty Bullen. “Who remembers hearing that in a school like this?”
The Union County Heritage Festival announces its 2017 collectible print "Coming Home". Keeping with this year's Festival theme, "Come Here Come Home", Artist Betty Bullen has delivered an emotional picture of a veteran returning home from service to Union County. Betty says she gathered inspiration for the painting from numerous sources, including an episode of Bill Landry's Heartland Series where Landry interviews a Sharps Chapel Farm boy who returned home to Union County from service in WW II.