Tag Archives: Roane Iron Company’s Negro Boarding House

Aunt Lize Whittenburg

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Aunt Lize Whittenburg was born a slave on the farm of Jesse Roddy of Rhea County and took the Whittenburg name when Roddy’s daughter married a Whittenburg. According to her obituary, she moved to Rockwood about 1869 and “was the first cook at the Roane Iron Company’s negro boarding house.” She died in 1926 in Rockwood. In 1955, an article written about her stated ” ‘Aunt Lize’ was very popular, well known and much loved by the entire citizenship of Rockwood. She is fondly remembered for her colorful dress and the fact that she never knew a stranger.” She was known to have worn three skirts at the same time and marched in every parade in Rockwood. She is the only known person to appear in a commercial postcard in Roane County.

Aunt Lize Whittenburg

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, December 2017.