Union County, Tennessee's best kept secret. Nestled in the foothills of the
Great Smoky Mountains, it offers benefit to the vacationer, historian and
industry. From a very low cost of living to a ready workforce Union County
has it all. Just 15 minutes north of metropolitan Knoxville, Union County
is the ultinmate in retirement living. Fully serviced by Norris Lake and
Clinch River it has recreation for young and old.
Union County lies immediately north of Knox County, and is divided into two
very nearly equal parts by the Clinch River \ Norris Lake. Powell River forms
a part of its northern boundary. These streams, with their
tributaries, afford an abundance of water and power. The area of the county
is about 220 square miles, The surface is generally broken, but there is
a very large number of valleys, furnishing excellent soil.
The county contains much valuable timber, but its greatest wealth lies in
its mineral resources,which are varied and abundant. It contains rich deposits
of iron ore, which as yet have been worked to avery limited extent; vast
beds of the finest marble, silver-bearing lead ore and zinc. The last named
is abundant, and has been worked quite extensively by the Edes, Mirter &
Heald Zinc Company.
The first act providing for the erection of the county was passed on January
8, 1850, but not meeting with the requirements of the constitution it became
necessary to amend it. This was done November 21, 1858. It provided for the
formation of the new county from fractions of Knox, Anderson, Camphell1 Claiborne
and Grainger Counties, and appointed James W. Turner, William Needharn, C.
H. Howard and Allen Hurst, commissioners to hold the elections and organize
the county. The elections were accordingly held and resulted in a vote of
868 to 100 in favor of organization. The county court was organized on February
6, 1854, at Liberty meeting-house, in what is now Maynardville.
From lost silver mines to Civil War battles Union County has a rich and sometimes
The site of the filming of the Rod Steiger classic Lolly Madonna War to the
original Thunder Road made famous in the Robert Mitchum movie.
A complete history and genealogy can be found online at
Chip Brown's Rootsweb page
and also at Tom Cooke's and Fred
Smoot's TnGenWeb page.