Tag Archives: First

Founders Day – Nov 2018

{Amber Cofer, Assistant to the County Executive}

Pause and Honor Our County’s Treasures
Roane County was officially founded on November 6, 1801. In 2007 Roane County began celebrating Roane County’s Birthday with the Founder’s Day Celebration by naming a Class of Roane Treasures each year. Every year we pause to honor the individuals who have shaped Roane County into the county it is today. These individual have made tremendous contributions not only to our county but also the state and nation. The Treasures are individuals who have helped shape the county’s history through different endeavors.

Roane County will be honoring the following individuals at this year’s Founder’s Day Celebration:
Roane Treasures (70-90 years old): James Little, Dillard Moore, Earl Nall, Jessie June Raby Nelson, and Alton Richards.
Golden Treasures (90 years or older): Gerald Lay, Charles Harris, and Warren Kocher We welcome all to celebrate Roane County’s 217th birthday as we honor the Twelfth Class of Roane Treasures.

Among those honored will be the first African American coal tester at TVA in Kingston, a senior fitness instructor, Boys and Girls Clubs mentors, military veterans and a WWII POW survivor.

Florence E. and B.J. Campbell

{Robert Bailey, County Historian}
Prof. B.J. Campbell – Prof. B.J. Campbell was born in Cleveland, Tennessee and died Jan 24, 1926. When young he moved with his parents to Knoxville and later he taught in the city schools of Knoxville. He married Florence E. Smith in 1893 and moved to Harriman and became principal of the Harriman Colored School for about fifteen years. In 1914, Prof. Campbell and his wife moved to Rockwood, and he became the principal of the Rockwood Colored High School, and she became a teacher there. The Rockwood Colored High School later became Campbell High School (which was named after him) and was the only high school for all black students in Roane County.

His wife, Florence E. Smith (1872-1922) was the first black teacher in Harriman having come to Harriman in 1891. She was born in Canada and was convinced to come to Harriman from Maryland to teach by her father, John A. Smith, who came to Harriman in 1890 because he was a strong prohibitionist.
























































Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, December 2018 and February 2016.

First Official Roane County Historian

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Marilyn McCluen, age 98, passed away on August 8, 2016. She was appointed the first official Roane County Historian in 1969 when the Tennessee State Legislature authorized counties to appoint county historians. In 1965, she, along with Mrs. Willis Hutcherson, began organizing the County’s loose papers, books, and all kinds of records dating back to 1801, the date Roane County was established. These records had been stored for decades in the attic of the Old Roane County Courthouse and were scattered among dead birds and whiskey bottles. She was involved at the beginning of The Roane County Historical Society and with others was involved in the saving of the Old Courthouse which had been slated to be torn down in 1974. This led to the creation of “The Roane County Heritage Commission” which was given the responsibility of preserving one of the seven antebellum courthouses still standing in Tennessee. Among many other things, she was also involved in the first historical sites survey in Roane County. Roane County was very fortunate to have had Marilyn as she worked tirelessly to help preserve Roane County’s history. Her legacy of work will ensure that future generations will know about their history.

Marilyn McCluen Center

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, October 2016.