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Archiver > FAIN > 1998-08 > 0903085524

From: Darrell Rainey <>
Subject: Jonesboro, TN
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:05:24 +0000

Hi all, I visited Jonesboro, TN on the 4th of July. This is where
Nicolas and Samuel FAIN settled. And where Ebenezer FAIN married Mary
MERCER. Anyway the following is from "Washington County Historical
Association Speeches, 1987-1988"...


George and Margaret Holley

Knob Creek was one of the earliest settlements in what is now East.
Tennessee. Names of some of the settlers were John McMahan, Nicolas
Fain, Joseph Young, Charles Duncan, John Calahan, Pharoah Cobb William
McBee, Peter Range, Isaac Hammer, John Miller, Joseph Bowman, William
and Peter Reeves, Henry Bashor, Bill Melvin Michael Krouse, and John
Carr. Some of these men fought in the Revolutionary War and received
land grants. They have left their mark as some of their houses and a
mill still stand today.

Knob Creek was a self-sufficient community with grist and flour mills a
foundry, blacksmith shops, stores, a stage coach road and inn, post
offices, schools, and churches.

In the center of the community was the Knob Creek Brethren Church
Nearby was the Oak Hill School. The Knob Creek Brethren Church was the
first Brethren church in the state of Tennessee, being established in
1799. The first Love Feast, which was communion by washing of the feet,
breaking of the unleavened bread, and drinking of the wine, was held in
Michael Krouse's house. Church services were held other times in homes
until the log church was built in 1834. Deacon Joseph Bowman's home was
built with removable panels in the two front rooms and was used for
church meetings. The log church building was 50 feet by 36 feet with a
council room addition of 16 feet by 18 feet. In 1844 an additional shed
was built for the purpose of holding Tennessee's first Annual Meeting
of the Brethren Churches. The chief ministerial force of the church was
Daniel Bowman and Michael Krouse. The former preached in English and
the latter in German. The first deacons were Joseph Bowman and John
Bowman. The present church building was erected in 1905.

The 1790 the Rev. Samuel Doak and Hezikiah Balch organized the Hebron
Church at the head of Knob Creek. The first elders were John Blair
McMahan, Samuel Fain, and Adam Mitchell, Sr. The log building was also
used as a school house. Eventually the Hebron congregation left the old
log building on Knob Creek and relocated in Jonesborough. The name was
changed to Jonesborough Presbyterian Church.

On Knob Creek Road a stone monument marks the home of William Nelson as
"an ancient home of Methodists and Methodist preaching. Bishop
Asbury, an early Methodist bishop, held the annual conference here in

The Oak Hill School was built in 1886. Daniel Bowman sawed the lumber
for the school house in 1885 according to an old ledger. School was
held in this building until 1952. Education of the community's children
was carried on at other times and places such as at Hebron and at a
building near Peter Bowman's house which was a voting precinct, and at
the Carr School and at McNeil School.

Alphaeus Dove was post master at Knob Creek (location unknown) from 29
July 1856 until 18 October 1859. A post office called Vineland was in
Newton Alexander Patterson's home. He was a judge and an inventor. He
invented the eagle wing propeller which was used in ships. The post
mistress was Mary Sue Reeves Patterson from 21 May 1892 until 30
November 1900.

The Old Stage Coach Road ran through the community and a stage coach
inn was located near the David Deaderick home. A road marker (milepost
seven) marked seven miles to Jonesborough from what is now the entrance
to Roundtree Subdivision.

Beginning at the headwaters of Knob Creek and locating all the
waterpowered machinery, it is obvious that the waters of the creek were
reused many times. A dam and earthen water race provided power for a
cotton spinning mill at the Deaderick place according to an article in
Herald and Tribune by Paul Fink. Also, it is said a nail factory was
located nearby. Word was handed down that the dam broke and nearly
everything below it washed away. There was a three-story mill on the
Joseph Bowman homestead. Below the mill was a power plant belonging to
Daniel F. Bowman. Daniel B. Bowman had a sawmill and later also a power
plant was located nearby. The Reeds had a grist mill below Oak Hill
School. George Miller had several waterwheels using power for a machine
shop, a saw mill, and a blacksmith shop. Henry Bashor's mill still
stands and was built cat 1832. He married Elizabeth Bowman? a daughter
of Deacon Joseph Bowman and Mary Hoss. A short distance further Bill
Melvin's grist mill was located. The Peter Range Mill had two water
wheels. The next mills were John Edens' and Buck Hale's near the mouth
of Knob Creek.

Knob Creek was placed on the National Historical Register of Historical
Places as a Historic District in 1986. Ten buildings and three
cemeteries include the following: Jacob Krouse house, 1912; Homer Sell
house, 1925; Henry Bashor Mill, 1832; Charles Duncan house, 1765:
Duncan-Melvin Cemetery, prior to 1818; George Miller house. 1830-1890;
Miller Cemetery, 18S9; Oak Hill School, 1886; Knob Creek Brethren
Church, 1905; Knob Creek Cemetery, 1848, Bowman-Bond house, 1848, Peter
Bowman house, 1907, Solomon Miller house, 1810.

Other old homes in the Knob Creek community include: Peter Miller
house, 1810; William Reeves house, 1840; Peter Miller Reeves house.
1846; Carr-Crumley house, 1790; Issac Hammer house, 1793; John Hammer
house (?); John Miller-Adam Sell house, 1788.

Old cemeteries include: Persinger, Knob Creek Church of the Brethren,
Bowman-Bond graveyard, Reed, Miller, Duncan-Melvin, Hunt,
Brown-Peoples, Northington, Crumley, Krouse, Sell, Hammer. and Range.
Other abandoned burial sites also exist.

The 1905 the Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroad (C.C.&O) was
built through the middle of the community and in 1969 Interstate 181
cut through the lower half of the once upon a time peaceful and serene

Sources of information:
1934 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Brethren Church
D.B. Bowman ledger
Bell Gardner Hammond in Herald and Tribune
Tennessee Historical Markers
Post Offices of Washington County
Paul Fink in Herald and Tribune
Community legend

Written by Margaret Sherfey Holley, Route 4, Box 183, Johnson City, TN


Wouldn't you love to have seen Knob Creek community 100 years ago? Come
with us and visit some of the historic sites of the Knob Creek Valley
from the head waters of Knob Creek almost to where it empties into the
Watauga River. Follow the directions and don't get lost! Happy touring!

1. KNOB CREEK CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN was organized in 1799. Isaac
Hammer was the first resident minister in the State of Tennessee. The
present building was built in 1905.

2. OAK HILL SCHOOL - Lumber for the school was sawed by D.B. Bowman in
1886. Clyde Bond has the ledger with this information.

3. SOLOMON MILLER HOUSE - Solomon Miller was the son of John (Jack)
Miller & Mary Kelly Miller. He was born in l 836 and buried in Reed
Cemetery. Father of blind Manuel Miller, the cattle trader.

4. REED GRAVEYARD - part of land grant from the State of North Carolina
to Samuel Fain. Nicolas Fain is supposed to be buried here. Also John
Reed and wife who gave land for Reed Nursing Home.

Retrace to Church

5. BOWMAN-BOND HOUSE - has within the walls an original log cabin built
1800-1810. The large part was under construction in 1860 and was
finished after the Civil War.

6. SITE OF LOG CHURCH - The log Knob Creek Church was built in 1834.
(Pictures in vestibule of present church.)

Turn Left - up the hill.

7. BOWMAN-BOND GRAVEYARD - established cat 1845.

8. PETER BOWMAN HOUSE & BARN - last pinned barn on Knob Creek.

9. SITE OF OLD SCHOOL HOUSE - old school was located in a grove of oak
trees on this spot.

Left and thru RR underpass and Left again.

10. JOSEPH BOWMAN SPRINGHOUSE - The old brick springhouse was built
before the big house. The house was built in 1818 of homemade brick.

11. NILE BOWMAN HOUSE - Nile Bowman was a son of Dr. Sam Bowman & Sue
Virginia Bowman, daughter of George Bowman.

one of the earliest settlers.

Left to Headtown Road


14. WATER RACEWAY & DAM TO NAIL FACTORY - evidence can still be seen of
the water race that furnished the power for the nail factory and mill.

15. PETER MILLER HOUSE - Peter Miller built his house of homemade brick
about 1885. His daughter married Edward P. Reeves, father of Peter
Miller Reeves.

Retrace to Simmons Road and right.


Retrace to Knob Creek Road and left.

Alexander Patterson married Mary Susan Reeves. He was the inventor of
the Eagle Wing propeller for ships. Vineland Post Office was in their

18. WILLIAM H. REEVES HOUSE - William Reeves and Peter Reeves married
Devault sisters, daughters of Valentine Devault. They were trained
carpenters' building several courthouses, one Guilford Courthouse in
North Carolina. William did the carvings in his own farm house called

Retrace thru Underpass - Go past Church on left

19. GEORGE MILLER HOUSE - first house burned before he moved into it,
then this house was constructed.

20. MILLER GRAVEYARD - founded during the Civil War. A memorial to
Jonas Little, Revolutionary War soldier was here.

21. HUNT GRAVEYARD - the antique iron fence was removed in 1985.
Possible abandonment!

22. SNOW MEMORIAL - Snow Chapel was organized in 1892. The building was
replaced in 1959 by the present brick structure.

Cross Sunset Drive

23. PETER MILLER REEVES HOUSE - Peter Miller Reeves and Will Reeves
were sons of Edward P. Reeves ~ ho lived 2 miles southwest of
Jonesborough. Peter purchased 200 acres from executors of Richard Carr.
''Sinking Springs.'

Turn Left into Summit.

24. CARP-REEVES GRAVEYARD - Peter Miller Reeves and Matilda Devault
Reeves are buried here. Also Richard Carr and wife, Martha King Carr.

Retrace to Knob Creek Mill Road.

1892-93 his sons brought plans for a ferris wheel from the World's Fair
at Chicago. He proceeded to build one. He made frequent repairs for the
railroad on their engines. George Miller owned slaves.

26. DUNCAN-MELVIN-CARATHERS GRAVEYARD - Charles Duncan gravestone dates
b. 1748-d. 1818.

27. CHARLES DUNCAN LOG CABIN - Cabin is enclosed within the walls of
this house and was built cat 1765. The two land grants state that he
resided on the land acquired by the grants.

28. HENRY BASHOR MILL - built cat 1838. Married Elizabeth Bowman
daughter of Joseph Bowman, Sr. and Mary Hoss Bowman. This mill is on
the National Register of Historic Places.

Go to top of hill, turn right on West Oakland Avenue and then right

on Peoples Street.

29. PEOPLES-BROWN GRAVEYARD - established during Civil War.

Retrace to West Oakland Avenue, Right on West Oakland, and Left on
Brown's Mill Road.

30. SITE OF PRITCHETT HOUSE - house built by Alfred Pritchett~ father
of John & Ruell.

31. NORTHINGTON GRAVEYARD - not listed in Washington County Cemetery
book - recently located.

Left on Mountain View Road, left on Homestead Lane.

Carr, Revolutionary War soldier, is buried here.

Retrace to Mountain View Road, Right to Brown's Mill Road, Left

on Brown's Mill Road to Chickasaw and Right.

33. MICHAEL KROUSE HOUSE - The first Love Feast of the Brethren Church
in Tennessee was held at this site of Michael Krouse first home.

34. KROUSE GRAVEYARD - Michael Krouse and wife and several of his
children are buried here.

Sequoyah Drive to Highway 36, Right to Mountain View Road, Left on
Mountain View Road.

35. ED THOMAS HOUSE - owned now by John Joy - Old Union Baptist Church
building moved to this site.

36. ISAAC HAMMER HOUSE - built 1793. It was an Inn on the Old Stage
Road. He was married to Susanah Milhous widow of Jacob Bowman, father
of Joseph Bowman, Sr. They are buried nearby.

Turn Right on Timberlake Road, Right on 11-E.

37. JOHN HAMMER HOUSE - related to Isaac Hammer.

To the red light on 11E and turn left on Oakland Avenue.

38. PETER RANGE STONE HOUSE - built 1804. It is on the National
Register of Historic Places. Site of Peter Range Mill.

To return to Church - Retrace on West Oakland Avenue, crossing
Highway 11E, Highway 36, go to Knob Creek Road and turn Right. Church
on left.

I highly reccomend a visit to Jonesboro if you find yourself in East
Tennessee or Western North Carolina. Its about an hours drive north of
Asheville, NC.

Darrell Rainey

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