Tag Archives: Bethel-Kingston Cemetery

Thomas N. Clark, One of the First Seven Commissioners

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Thomas N. Clark, Sr. – Thomas N. Clark, Sr. was born 1763 May 5, probably in Scotland and died 1847 Oct 21 in Roane County. He married Susannah Randolph Payne (1768-1842). Clark was one of the first seven commissioners of Kingston of 1799. He was a charter member of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston and a Trustee of the Rittenhouse Academy. He rented the ferry across the Clinch River at Kingston from an Indian named Doublehead for $600 per year. At that time only Indians could own ferries and toll gates into the Indian Territory which was West of the Clinch River at that time. It later became known as Clark’s Ferry. Clark’s “Big Spring” supplied the water of Kingston until the building of Watts Bar Dam. In many ways, he is considered the father of Kingston. He and his wife are buried in the Bethel-Kingston Cemetery.

Thomas N. Clark Sr.


Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, November 2018.

Tennessee Williams

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Tennessee Williams, whose original name was Thomas Lanier Williams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, who wrote several well-known plays that have been adapted into movies, had ancestors who lived and are buried in Roane County. Among his famous plays which were adapted into movies were “The Glass Menagerie”, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” His ancestors, who were from Roane County, are Gideon Morgan (1751- 1830), a Revolutionary War soldier, whose home is located across from the Historic Roane County Courthouse and Rufus Morgan (1781-1826), a son of Gideon. Tennessee Williams was a 2nd great-grandson of Rufus Morgan. Both Gideon and Rufus Morgan are buried in the Bethel-Kingston Cemetery.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, December 2014.

Guido and Hindo – The German Police Dogs

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Thomas L. Brown (1866- 1931) was one of the best known (notorious?) Roane County “characters” of his time. He was superintendent of the Roane Iron Company’s Chamberlain ore mines, south of the Tennessee River. Besides owning two ferries that operated in Roane County, he also was the owner of a steamboat that operated between Knoxville and Kingston. In today’s terms, he would be a multimillionaire. In a time when very few people in Roane County owned automobiles much less seen them, Tom Brown could be seen driving with his German police dogs, Guido and Hindo, riding with him. When he died in 1931, he left a trust of $1,500 in his will to take care of his two dogs. Today, $1,500 would be about $23,000. Tom Brown is buried in the Bethel-Kingston Cemetery in an unmarked grave. It is not known when Guido or Hindo died or where they are buried.

Originally Written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, September 2014.