Extracted by Billie McNamara from the full document maintained by the State of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service.

The current full document is viewable on-line, but it is a large PDF file that contains much information not germane to historical research.  Therefore, the transcription on this Web site contains the portions useful to historical and genealogical researchers.

Private Acts of Sevier County, Tennessee
Revised Edition - February, 1999
Prepared by County Technical Assistance Service,
The University of Tennessee
Institute for Public Service, Nashville
Compiled and Edited by William C. McIntyre
Revised and Edited by Ron Fults


Contents of the transcription on this Web site:

  • General Reference
  • County Boundaries
  • Court System, County Judge, County Court, Chancery Court, Circuit Court
  • Taxation, Elections
  • Education & Schools
  • County Attorney, Register of Deeds, Sheriff
  • Railroads, Roads & Historic Roads
  • Animal Laws
  • Hospitals

This compilation is updated through the 1998 Session of the 101th Tennessee General Assembly.



Preface


County government in Tennessee is a political subdivision of state government. As a political subdivision, county government has only that authority which is delegated to it by the state. In Tennessee, the process of delegation of power from state government to county government is accomplished through legislative action of the general assembly, either through a general (public) act or private act. In the case of the general act, the general assembly grants certain powers which have general application to all or a large number of counties across the state. These general acts are assembled and codified in the Tennessee Code Annotated which is revised and published on an annual basis and is widely available. However, finding individual county legislation (private acts) is not so easy since it is not published in the official code.


The presence of a large body of private legislation in this state is the result of two basic factors. First, although the Tennessee Constitution mentions some county government offices, the provisions of the Tennessee Constitution dealing with county government lack detail, thereby allowing the general assembly wide latitude in county government administration. Secondly, the Tennessee General Assembly has seen fit to enact much of the law relating to county government on an individualized county-by-county approach. The result has been that the 95 counties in Tennessee operate under both general laws and private acts. This body of private legislation is a mass of separate acts, with each applying to only one or a very small group of counties. Since these acts affect counties on an individual basis, they are not included in the Tennessee Code Annotated but rather are published annually in separate volumes.


The result of this past method of publication of private legislation has been the accumulation of a large portion of county law in a cumbersome mass of chronologically arranged volumes which at last count numbered over 120 books. To further complicate matters, the older volumes have not been reprinted, so that there are today only a handful of complete sets of the private acts in existence. Nevertheless, scattered through these hard-to-obtain volumes is the only public record of those laws from which Tennessee counties draw a large portion of their authority to govern and under which they operate daily. Before the County Technical Assistance Service began compilation of the private acts on a county-by-county basis, there was no statewide effort to organize these acts into a body of current law easily accessible for reference by county officials and interested citizens. It is our hope that this volume of The Private Acts of Sevier County will provide a useful reference for county administration in Sevier County.


We are indebted to the Sevier County legislative delegation for its continued support of the County Technical Assistance Service and this compilation.




How to Use the Privat Acts of Sevier County


The private acts currently in effect for the county are reprinted in this volume. When going through this volume you will note that there are some acts noted herein which are no longer current laws due to subsequent passage of acts which have superseded them in usage. The compiler has described these acts which have been superseded in historical notes at the end of the chapter wherein the current act on the subject is reprinted. Under topic headings throughout this volume, brief summaries or references are made to general law codified in Tennessee Code Annotated that deals with the particular topic.


The acts that are printed in full in this volume include any subsequent amendments to the act. Although no statement is made regarding whether the amendatory act was ratified, the ratification was checked by the compiler to insure that the amendatory act was approved locally and is in effect.


The following private or local acts constitute part of the administrative and political history of Sevier County but are today no longer operative because they have either been superseded, repealed, or failed to receive local approval. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1795, Chapter 7, Page 21, recited that the act to appoint commissioners to erect a court house, prison, and stocks in Sevier County had proved ineffectual. This act appointed Peter Bryan, Joshua Gist, Mordecai Lewis, and John Clark as Commissioners to act in conjunction with the Commissioners heretofore provided for, to agree and contract for 25 acres of land in Sevier County, as near the center as possible, and to agree and contract with workmen to build a court house, prison, and stocks thereon. They would lay off the plat into one-half acre lots, lay out the streets and alleys in the 25 acres for a county seat which would be called Sevierville. The lots would be sold at public auction to the highest bidder and the proceeds used to build the public buildings. The purchaser must build on the lot within 2 years from purchase or land would revest into the Commissioner's hands.

2. Acts of 1798, Chapter 15, Page 40, appointed Josiah Rodgers, William Henderson, Samuel Blair, and Isaac Thomas, as Commissioners for Sevierville, all to serve in addition to all the Commissioners heretofore appointed.

3. Acts of 1803, Chapter 1, Page 1, was a statewide militia law organizing the state armed forces into their respective units and setting up the regulations under which they would operate. Sevier County's militia was assigned to the Eleventh Regiment and would be divided into Battalions, Companies, and Platoons. They were required to hold at least one semi-annual muster.

4. Acts of 1805, Chapter 10, Page 10, named William Porter, Isaac Love, John Brabson, Floyd Nichol, Robert Wear, Benjamin Ominet, and William Mitchell as additional Commissioners for Sevierville and charged them with the same responsibilities given to the original Commissioners about laying out the town, selling the lots, and causing the buildings to be erected. They must give a strict accounting of all monies received to the Treasurer.

5. Acts of 1805, Chapter 26, Page 25, is indicated in some works as applying to Sevier County but this act which concerns the sale of some lots in Greenville does not apply. The jail lot in Greenville was sold by an agent named Valentine Sevier.

6. Acts of 1809, Chapter 26, Page 59, appointed David Ownes, Alexander Preston, and William Frazier as additional Commissioners for Sevierville.

7. Acts of 1809, Chapter 23, Page 32, corrected the name of David Owens in the above act to Stewart Owens.

8. Acts of 1815, Chapter 199, Page 263, provided for a town to be established on the land of Ferrill Hester, in Sevier County, consisting of 30 one-half acre lots to be laid out in proper streets and alleys under Hester's direction. The town would be called Hesterville, and when the lots were sold, they would be subject to taxation as other lots were.

9. Acts of 1819, Chapter 20, Page 26, Section 10, gave the County Court of Sevier County full power and authority to appropriate any money now in the hands of the Trustee, or that may hereafter come into his hands, for the purpose of building a prison in Sevierville on such part of the public square as the Commissioners of the town may think proper. The commissioners were given the authority to sell the old prison as the county court may direct.

10. Acts of 1820 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 21, Page 25, made it appear that the language in a grant was insufficient to give the title to 25 acres to the commissioners in order for them to pass it on to purchasers of the same in Sevierville. This act requires the Register to permit an amendment to the conveyance by removing the phrase "and heirs" from the grant by adding the phrase "and successors" in its place, thus curing the alleged defect in title.

11. Acts of 1822 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 207, Page 164, permitted John Brabson, of Sevier County, to build a dam across the south sluice of the French Broad River at the place where he is how building a set of mills, provided that the County Court of Jefferson County agrees that it is in the best interest of the community to do so.

12. Acts of 1823, Chapter 148, Page 144, provided that Catherine Hardin, of Sevier County, was empowered to acquire and dispose of property to contract, to sue and be sued, and to do all things belonging by law to an adult single woman, except that she cannot intermarry with another man. Nothing in this act shall be construed as prohibiting her from resorting to the divorce courts, if she should so desire.

13. Acts of 1825, Chapter 69, Page 78, provided that Sevier County shall compose the 11th Regiment and hold a regimental muster on the second Saturday in October of each year. They were assigned to the First Brigade. The remainder of this lengthy Act was confined to the enactment of regulations for the organization, maintenance, and operations of the State Militia.

14. Acts of 1826 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 12, Page 17, provided that all marriages celebrated under licenses obtained from the Clerk's office in Jefferson or Knox County which authorized marriages in those counties for citizens supposed to be residing therein but were in reality residing in Sevier County were hereby validated and legalized. Further, all entries of land heretofore made by citizens of Sevier County residing between Bays Mountain and the Holston River in the Entry Takers office in either Knox or Jefferson Counties describing land supposedly in Knox or Jefferson County but actually located in Sevier County are also made legal, valid, and binding.

15. Acts of 1829, Chapter 108, Page 87, provided that Elijah Robertson, of Sevier County, be released and discharged from the payment of a $100 fine assessed by a jury for an assault and battery on the body of one Jeremiah Blalock at the June Session of the County Court. He is not released from the payment of costs in the cause, however.

16. Acts of 1831, Chapter 162, Page 131, stated that all deeds, or other written instruments heretofore registered in Greene, Sevier, Cocke, Washington, Hawkins, Carter, Grainger, Claiborne, Campbell, Jefferson, Blount, Monroe, and Sullivan Counties, although the certificates may not specify that the instruments were acknowledged by the grantor, or bargainor, yet the same shall be as good and valid, in law and equity as if they had been certified in a most formal and legal manner.

17. Acts of 1831, Chapter 257, Page 216, stated that Knobb Creek in Sevier County, a branch of Boyd's Creek, is hereby declared to be navigable from the mouth of the said Creek up to the place where the public road leading from Sevierville to Maysville crosses the same.

18. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 21, Page 97, was the next statewide Militia Law which assigned the two companies in Sevier County to the 19th Regiment of the 5th Brigade.

19. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 157, Page 223, Section 3, amended the State Militia Law by requiring a county drill in every county at sometime in September of each year which would take place in the county seat. Sevier County would attend to this requirement on the second Friday and Saturday in September. The Regimental musters would be held in every county in October of each year.

20. Acts of 1867-68, Chapter 64, Page 128, incorporated Matthew Tarwater, B. C. Andes, W. F. Nichols, J. M. Thomas, James P. Catlett, Isaac Trother, Jesse Stafford, R. W. Crowson, William Burns, M. P. Thomas, West J. Ernest, J. C. Murphy, Henry Butler, John Snapp, Harvey Keenerand, and S. O. Dickey, as the "The Sevier County Farmer's Club" which was authorized, among other things, to promote fairs, exhibitions, expositions, and like events for which they might purchase land, build buildings, and maintain and operate them.

21. Acts of 1899, Chapter 419, Page 982, authorized Sevier County, at such place or places where ferrys run, or may hereafter run, to purchase such boats and equipment, and employ such personnel as may be needed to operate the said ferrys without any charge therefor if the County Court should consider the same to be in the best interests of the county. Additional costs, if any, may be appropriated out of any funds belonging to the county.

22. Acts of 1909, Chapter 245, Page 825, permitted the practice in Lauerdale, Gibson, and Sevier Counties for any person, firm, or corporation, partnerships, or combinations to operate under one and the same management and to take out corporate charters to acquire both real and personal property for putting into operation a system of waterworks, electric lighting, and ice making plants under the same corporation. All powers, privileges, and obligations conferred upon his type of outfit shall also be conferred upon others of similar nature which are formed in the same way.

23. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 296, authorized the Quarterly Court upon a majority vote to subscribe for and purchase capital stock in any bank within the county. Article 2, Section 29 of the State Constitution declares that no county may invest in stock of a corporation until authorized to do so by a three-fourths vote of the people.

24. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 156, Page 806, removed all the disabilities of minority from Mrs. Flora Seaton, of Sevier County, giving her the right to conduct herself in all things as an adult.

25. Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 356, Page 1103, also removed the minority from Frances Leatherwood, of Sevier County, to the same extent and degree as the one above.


Creation of County
Acts of 1794 (First Session) - Chapter 11

WHEREAS, THE INHABITANTS OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, WHO LIVE ON THE SOUTHOF THENCE, BROAD RIVER, LABOUR UNDER DIFFICULTIES IN ATTENDING AT COURTS AND MUSTERS, IN HAVING THE RIVER TO CROSS, AND OTHER INCONVENIENCIES ATTEMDING THE PRESENT EXTENSIVE BOUNDARIES OF SAID COUNTY:

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SOUTH OF THE RIVER OHIO, That the county of Jefferson be divided by a line as follows, to wit. Beginning on the Eastern boundary of this Territory; from thence a direct line to the ridge that divides the waters of Little Pigeon from the waters of Big Pigeon river; thence along the same to the head of Muddy creek; thence a direct line to the lower end of an island in French Board river, formerly known by the name of Hubbert's island; thence a direct line to the mouth of Crosswell's mill creek; thence with the Knox county line to the top of Bay's mountain; thence along the said mountain to where French Broad river runs through the same; thence along the said; and with the extreme height thereof, to the place where the dividing ridge that divides the waters of French Broad from those of Little river intersects the same; thence with said ridge to the Pigeon mountain; thence along said mountain to the Indian boundary, and with the same to the Eastern boundary of the territory; thence to the beginning. And all that part contained in the said boundaries, shall thenceforth be erected into a new and distinct county, by the name of Sevier.

SECTION 2. That Jospeh Wilson, Robert Polk, Samuel Magahee, Samuel Newell, and Thomas Buckenham are hereby appointed commissioners; and authorized to lay off, and appoint a place the most centrial and convenient in said county, for the purposes of erecting a court house, prison, and stocks.

SECTION 3. And for the due administration of justice in said county, BE IT ENACTED, That the court for the said county of Sevier shall be held constantly by the justices of said county on the last Mondays in January, April, July, and October in every year; and the justices for said county of Sevier are hereby authorized and empowered to hold the first court for the same at the house of Isaac Thomas; and all subsequent courts for said county, on the days above mentioned for holding courts therein, at any place to which the said justices shall from court to court adjourn themselves, until a court house shall be built for the said county of Sevier; and then all causes, matters, and things depending in the said, and all manner of process returnable to the same, shall be adjourned to such court house; and all courts held in and for said county of Sevier, shall be held by commission to the said justices in the same manner, and under the same rules and restrictions, and shall have and exercise the same powers and jurisdiction as are or shall be prescribed for other courts held for the several counties in this Territory.

Passed: September 27, 1794.


Acts of 1795 - Chapter 14


Be it enacted by the Governor, Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of the United States of America South of the river Ohio, That from and after passing of this act, the line that divides the aforesaid counties of Jefferson and Sevier, on the south side of French Broad river, shall begin on said river at the lower end of Hubbard's island, thence a direct line to where the dividing ridge that divides the waters of Flat creek from the waters of Peerey's creek intersects said river, thence with said ridge to the ridge that divides the waters of Flat creek from the waters of Muddy creek, thence with that ridge to the ridge that divides the waters of Little Pigeon from the waters of French Broad and Big Pigeon to the eastern boundary of this Territory.

Passed: July 11, 1795.


Private Acts of 1796 - Chapter 35


WHEREAS the lines between Sevier and Blount counties have not been sufficiently ascertained, to prevent disputes between the citizens of said counties

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That the line dividing Sevier and Blount counties, begin at where the said lines intersect on the top of Bay's Mountain, thence taking the ridge that divides the water of Little River from the waters of French Broad, and with said ridge to the eastern boundary of this state.

Passed: July, 1796.

Acts of 1809 - Chapter 91


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That from and after the passing of this act, that part of Blount County included within the following lines, to wit: Beginning at the extreme height of the round top mountain near William Davie's in Weir's cove, from thence running due south until the said line intersects the Indian boundary line, thence along said line until it intersects Sevier county line, thence along said line to the beginning, be, and the same is hereby annexed to and shall in every respect whatever compose part of the said county of Sevier: Provided, the aforesaid location may not include any of the citizens of Tuokylechy cove in the county of Sevier; And provided also, that nothing in this law contained, shall prevent the sheriff of Blount from making such collections as he is authorized to make under the laws in force, previous to the passage of this act.

Passed: November 22, 1809.

COMPILER'S NOTE: This Act was cited, along with several others in the land dispute contained in the case of Hitchcock v. Southern Iron and Timber Company (1896), 38 SW 593.


Acts of 1849-50 - Chapter 82

WHEREAS, it appears to this General Assembly by the petition of a number of the citizens of the counties of Knox and Sevier, that the dividing line between the said counties from the mouth of Criswell's Mill creek, to the top of Bay's mountain, or the butt thereof, has never been run as was provided for by the above recited act. Therefore,

SECTION 1. That John W. Legg, county Surveyor of the county of Knox; John Mullendore, county Surveyor of the county of Sevier; and Enoch Undersood, of the county of Sevier; be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to run and mark said line, according to the provisions of the above recited act of 1794.

SECTION 2. That after said commissioners shall so have run and marked said dividing line, they shall make two fair plain plats or plans of survey of said line, one of which shall be by them filed with the clerk of the county court of Knox county, and the other with the clerk of the county court of Sevier county, which shall be by said clerks recorded in their respective offices, under the direction of said county courts for which surveys so to be performed by said commissioners when the labor is done and performed, they and each of them shall be entitled to the sum of dollars each, for their services to be paid out of the county treasury.

Passed: February 4, 1850.


Private Acts of 1879 - Chapter 119

SECTION 1. That the County line between Blount and Sevier Counties be changed as follows:

Beginning on the Blount and Sevier County line, near Millstone Gap in Bluff Mountain; thence a direct line to Shook's Gap, in Bay's Mountain; thence with the top of said Mountain, to the Sevier County line.

SECTION 2. That the County Surveyors of the Counties of Blount and Sevier, together with J. R. Chandler and E. S. Thompson, of Sevier County, and Hugh Cox and Andrew McTeer, of Blount County, are hereby appointed Commissioners to run and mark said County line.

SECTION 3. That said Commissioners shall take an oath, before some Justice of the Peace, that they will faithfully, honestly and impartially perform the duties of said Commission; and they shall perform the duties above designated within six months after the passage of this Act.

SECTION 4. That said Commissioner shall make two plats of the survey, and shall accompany them with such report as may be necessary to explain said survey; and said plats of survey shall be signed by the Commissioners, and one copy filed in the Register's office of each County of Blount and Sevier, which shall be registered by the respective Registers thereof.

SECTION 5. That the Commissioners shall mark the line on such standing timber, with such fore and aft marks an side lines as they may deem necessary to make said line plainly known; and said County Surveyors shall be paid the sum of three dollars per day -- while they are employed at said service, to be paid by their respective Counties.

SECTION 6. That the fractions of either of the above named Counties that may be added to the other County by the change of the County line as above provided for, shall continue to be liable for their pro rata of all debts contracted by their respective counties prior to said change, and shall be entitled to their proportion of any stock or credits belonging to the county from which said fractions are taken.

Passed: March 14, 1879.


Acts of 1941 - Chapter 459

SECTION 1. That the line between the Counties of Sevier and Blount in the State of Tennessee be and the same is hereby changed so as to include within the boundaries of Sevier County and in the present Ninth District thereof that part of Blount County in the Thirteenth District bounded and described as follows, to-wit:

Beginning on an iron pin on right-of-way of highway and runs S. 6. deg. 30 min. W. 128 feet to an iron pin, 3.57 min W. 90 feet to an iron pin, 3.20 min. W 305½ feet to an iron pin, S. 64 deg. W. 320 feet to an iron pin. All the foregoing calls run along north side of roadway leading toward Levalor State Highway N. 36 deg. 30 min. W. 258½ feet to Cunningham line with same, N. 32½ E. 231 feet N. 38 deg. 30 min. E. 414 feet to beginning of right-of-way, S. 70 deg., E. 187½ feet to the beginning, containing 4½ acres, more or less, being the lands of S. E. Williams of Blount County in the Thirteenth Civil District.

SECTION 2. That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

Passed: February 14, 1941.



Acts Specific to Individuals' Land


The private act has often been used as a means for transferring parcels of land from one county to another, often because the boundary lines would bisect an individual landowner's property, placing the landowner under the jurisdiction of two counties. This type of boundary change was often very general in its description of the land transferred, without any metes and bounds description. The following is a summary of acts which authorized boundary changes for Sevier County.

1. Acts of 1796, Chapter 24, Page 82, appointed Joseph Greer, Abraham McClery, and William Bailes as Commissioners to run the line between Knox County and Sevier County according to the description in the 1794 Act creating Sevier County. They may start at any point they choose and each would be paid $2.00 per day, plus $1.00 per day for a marker, for each actual day worked which would be paid equally by the two counties.

2. Acts of 1805, Chapter 14, Page 15, appointed Peter Bryan and Joshua Gid as Commissioners to ascertain the line between Jefferson and Sevier County, and Mordecai Lewis, of Jefferson County who would work with them, all being given compensation at the rate of $2.00 per day. All chain carriers hired would be paid $1.00 a day.

3. Acts of 1832 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 64, Page 51, appointed John Mullendore, of Sevier County, and Robert Weir, of Blount County to run and mark the line between the two counties; according to the acts of the assembly and provided that the county courts of both counties compensate these men in an adequate fashion as their discretion directs. They shall report to their County Courts and the line they determine shall be the line between the two counties.

4. Acts of 1839, Chapter 36, Page 64, required the county surveyors of Sevier and Blount Counties to run and mark the line which was changed between the two counties commencing at a point of said line on the top of Round Top Mountain and running from thence a due south course to the North Carolina line, at such compensation as their county courts may direct. Either of the two counties may act independently of the other, and, when done, the line established from such will be the line between the two counties. This act was repealed by Chapter 98, Acts of 1845-46.

5. Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 174, Page 259, changed the boundary between Sevier and Jefferson Counties so as to include all the lands of and the house of William Thompson in Jefferson County.

6. Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 98, Page 288, Section 4, expressly repealed Chapter 36, Acts of 1839, in its entirety.

7. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 189, Page 271, so altered the lines between Jefferson and Sevier Counties at Creswell's Creek so as to include all the lands of Thomas Stringfield in Jefferson County.

8. Acts of 1853-54, Chapter 177, Page 245, recites in the preamble that lawsuits have been filed in the Courts of Knox County to settle a boundary line dispute between that County and Sevier County, therefore to settle the same, all the lands belonging to William Moulden, and to the heirs of D. Adams are declared to be in Knox County.

9. Acts of 1881, Chapter 54, Page 68, transferred all the lands belonging to S. A. Sims from Jefferson County over to Sevier County.

10. Acts of 1883, Chapter 38, Page 44, moved all the land and improvements belonging to John Russell, William Felker and Benjamin Fanning from Jefferson County to Sevier County.

11. Acts of 1883, Chapter 54, Page 56, also transferred lands belonging to B. C. Thornburgh, James A. Caldwell, and John Caldwell from Sevier County to Jefferson County.

12. Acts of 1887, Chapter 51, Page 121, provided that the land belonging to Andrew Creswell, deceased, and now belonging to W. G. Creswell and M. G. Creswell, formerly located in Sevier County, now be included in Blount County.

13. Acts of 1887, Chapter 132, Page 231, changed the lines between Knox and Sevier counties so that all properties belonging to G. W. Underwood and George King be included in Knox County.

14. Acts of 1887, Chapter 136, Page 240, transferred the entire farms belonging to W. P. Keener, J. G. Cannon, the heirs of William Thomas, deceased, and Rufus Kelly from Knox County into Sevier County.

15. Acts of 1889, Chapter 106, Page 212, so altered the boundaries between Jefferson and Sevier Counties that the lands of S. A. Sims and Benjamin Manning was included in Sevier County.

16. Acts of 1895, Chapter 95, Page 160, detached about 50 acres belonging to D. A. Ferguson from Sevier County and attached them to Knox County, thus placing all his land in Knox County and making the road running east and west on the boundary of his property the county line.

17. Acts of 1899, Chapter 117, Page 194, moved the farm and the residence of T. F. Adams from Sevier County into Knox County.

18. Acts of 1899, Chapter 256, Page 584, changed the lines between Sevier and Knox Counties so as to include in Knox County all the land lying in the 14th District of Sevier County belonging to H. C. Blair, J. G. Cannon, E. W. Housely, J. N. McMillin, Rufus Kelly, Lula J. Walker, S. G. Randles, and J. W. Creswell, thereby making the county line run with the French Broad River.

19. Private Acts of 1901, Chapter 208, Page 448, moved all the lands belonging to Sam L. Pickens from Sevier into Blount County making the new county line run the south corner of S. H. Cunningham's and run with his line and Pickett's to the Knoxville and Sevier Pike, then with the Pike to Shook's Gap.

20. Private Acts of 1901, Chapter 260, Page 572, detached the farms belonging to James Langston, and M. A. Langston from Sevier County and attached them to Jefferson.

21. Private Acts of 1901, Chapter 283, Page 649, moved all the lands from Sevier County into Jefferson County which belonged to W. G. Cate, J. W. Douglas, J. P. Moore, W. G. Bull, and E. Bull.

22. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 55, Page 96, transferred the property belonging to Hugh Garner from Sevier County into Blount County.

23. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 478, Page 1323, changed the line between Sevier and Blount County so as to begin on the extreme top of Roundtop Mountain at the southwest corner of Wear's valley and running due south to the state line of North Carolina and Tennessee, all conflicts being repealed.

24. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 514, Page 1382, transferred all the properties of Hugh Gamble and Park P. Delozier from Sevier County into Blount County.

25. Private Acts of 1917, Chapter 186, Page 2549, transferred about 50 acres belonging to the James Gamble farm from the Tenth Civil District of Sevier County to Blount County described as being bounded on the south by the county line, on the west by the lands of Andrew Davis, on the north by the lands of A. J. Davis, and on the east by the lands of Thomas Meddling and Mrs. Erven Rogers.

26. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 355, Page 842, moved from Sevier County into Knox all the lands of George Creswell, J. B. Kelly, C. M. McAfee, Lula Walker, George Maples, Paul Styles, Mollie Lafollette, Henry Lafollette, and Veda M. Freels which lie on the north side of the French Broad River.

27. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 672, Page 1802, has a metes and bounds description of the property in the act but simply moves the land of George Petty, then located in Jefferson County, into Sevier County.

28. Private Acts of 1939, Chapter 303, Page 880, detached a 50 acre tract of land belonging to J. Ed Ogle from the 13th Civil District of Blount County and attached the same to the 9th Civil District of Sevier County. The second part of the act transferred from Sevier to Blount County a 12 acre tract belonging to Matlie E. Carr, a 7 acre tract belonging to Walter E. Ogle, and a 31 acre tract belonging to E. H. Carr.

29. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 458, Page 1594, changed the lines between Sevier and Blount Counties so as to take out of the 16th Civil District of Sevier and place in the 18th Civil District of Blount that part of land owned by Tipton Brothers and the 75 acre tract belonging to J. T. Trotter.

30. Private Acts of 1945, Chapter 610, Page 1861, transferred about 8 acres belonging to O. L. Boyd and John H. Kerr from the 13th Civil District of Blount County to the 9th Civil District of Sevier County. The metes and bounds description contained in the act is not repeated herein because of the small area involved.

31. Public Acts of 1975, Chapter 134, would have transferred the property belonging to Fred M. Pierce from Blount County to Sevier County but, according to our information, was not approved by the Sevier County Quarterly Court and therefore never became a law.


Court System


1. Acts of 1794, Chapter 12, Page 93, stated that Sevier County shall compose a part of the District of Hamilton in the same manner and for all purposes, civil and military, as it did where undivided from the counties of Jefferson and Knox and the counties forming the Hamilton District at the next term of the Superior Court of Law and Equity shall furnish jurors for the court. Knox County will furnish 14 jurors, Jefferson, 11, and Sevier, 11.

2. Acts of 1795, Chapter 7, Page 21, stated that Sevier County would furnish seven jurors for the Grand Jury of the Hamilton District.

3. Acts of 1797, Chapter 6, Page 26, provided for the Superior Court of Law and Equity to hold Court in the Hamilton District on the fourth Monday in March and September.

4. Acts of 1797, Chapter 7, Page 28, stated that Sevier County shall furnish four jurors for the Grand Jury of the Hamilton District; Knox County would furnish twelve, Blount County, five, Cocke County, four, Jefferson County, seven, and Grainger County, five.

5. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 3, Page 26, provided for three Divisions of the State wherein the Supreme Court would hear cases. These were the Eastern, Middle, and Western Divisions with courts at Knoxville, Nashville, and Jackson. Sevier County was in the Eastern Section.

6. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 28, Page 127, declared that each Judicial Circuit in the State would also be a Solicitorial District for the prosecution of crimes.

7. Acts of 1897, Chapter 223, Page 530, detached Sevier County from the Second Judicial Circuit and attached it to the Criminal District of Knox County for the hearing of criminal cases. The act made it the duty of the Judge of the Criminal Court of Knox County to hold the Circuit Court of Sevier County and the District Attorney to attend the terms of court and prosecute the cases.



County Judge


Private Acts of 1949 - Chapter 850


SECTION 1. That the office of County Judge of and for Sevier County, in the State of Tennessee is hereby created and E. T. King, the present Chairman of the County Court and a present member of the Quarterly County Court of Sevier County, shall hold said office of County Judge until the next regular election to be held in August, 1950, when his successor shall be elected by the qualified voters of Sevier County, which successor shall hold said office of County Judge for Sevier County for a term of four years expiring September 1, 1954, and at the regular election in each succeeding four years the qualified voters of Sevier County shall elect a County Judge for Sevier County for a term of four years; provided, further, that in the event the said E. T. King, the present Chairman of and a member of the present Quarterly County Court of Sevier County, fails or refuses to serve as County Judge until the 1st day of September, 1950, or in the event a vacancy shall occur in the office of County Judge hereafter, the Quarterly County Court, composed of the Justices of the Peace for Sevier, shall elect a County Judge to fill such vacancy in said office until the next regular election, and in the event of a vacancy in said office it shall be filled at a special session of said County Court, or at its next regular session.

The references below are of acts which once applied to the office of county judge, or county executive in Sevier County. They are included herein for historical purposes only. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1856, Chapter 253, Page 511, created the post of County Judge for every county in the State, who would hold office for four years except for the first one who would hold until the next general county election after the passage of this act. The Quorum Courts of the county were abolished and their jurisdiction conferred upon the County, as well as the responsibilities of the Chairman of the County. The court's jurisdiction was outlined in Section 6. In addition, the County Judge would be the accounting officer and general agent of the county, his powers and duties as such being enumerated. The Judge would be paid $5.00 per day when holding Monthly or Quarterly Courts and the Court could award him additional compensation for his other duties as they might desire. This act was repealed by Chapter 5, Acts of 1857-58, Page 3, which also restored the Quorum Courts.

2. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 38, Page 46, again created the position of County Judge for Davidson, Shelby, Knox, Montgomery, and Williamson Counties, and was later made to apply to Sevier County. The Judge would be learned in the law and elected to serve eight years, the first election to be held on first Saturday in March, 1858. The remainder of this act is virtually a verbatim copy of the terms and conditions of Chapter 253, Acts of 1856 outlined above. This Act was cited as constitutional in Grainger v. State (1904), 111 Tenn. 277, 80 SW 759.

3. Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 176, Page 542, repealed the 1857-58 Act, Chapter 5, as the same involved Sevier County, and made the above Act, Chapter 38, applicable to the county. Arrangements were made for the Sheriff to hold the election. The Judge would receive $3.50 per day for sitting on the monthly and quarterly courts. This act required a referendum to be held before becoming effective.

4. Private Acts of 1935, Chapter 667, Page 1785 created the office of County Judge and appointed C. A. Temple, the chairman of the County Court, to the post, to hold it until the next regular election in August, 1936, when a successor would be elected to serve until September 1, 1942, and at that time, a Judge would be chosen to serve the full eight year term. The County Court would fill vacancies until the next general election. The Judge must be over 30 years of age and a resident of the county. The office of Chairman of the County Court was abolished and the duties of it assigned to the Judge who would fill the office and preside over the Court. The monthly court would be held on the first Monday of each month until the docket was completed and the Quarterly Court was slated to convene on the first Monday in, April, July and October. The Judge was also designated to be the accounting officer and general agent. His salary was set at $1500.00 per year. This act was repealed by the one below.

5. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 487, Page 1716, expressly repealed Chapter 667, Private Acts of 1935, above, to take effect on the first Monday in October, to which date the present County Judge would continue to occupy the office mentioned above.



County Court


The following acts once applied to the quarterly court or the county legislative body of Sevier County and are included herein for historical purposes. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1794, Chapter 11, is the Act which created Sevier County and provided that the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions would meet on the last Mondays in January, April, July, and October at the house of Isaac, or at whatever place in the county to which the Justices might adjourn until a courthouse is built.

2. Acts of 1795, Chapter 7, Page 21, changed the time for the meetings of the Quarterly County Court of Sevier County to the first Monday in, January, April, July, and October.

3. Acts of 1797, Chapter 6, Page 26, set the time for the regular meetings of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Sevier County on the second Monday in February, May, August, and November.

4. Acts of 1809, Chapter 93, Page 121, set the times for the start of the regular terms of the Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for every county in the State. Sevier County's Quarterly Court would meet on the third Monday in March, June, September, and December.

5. Acts of 1820 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 80, Page 84, changed the regular court terms of the Quarterly County Court of Sevier County to the first Monday in March, June, September, and December. This act further ordered that some lawsuits, filed in Sevierville against various people for breaches of the laws of that town, which were founded upon warrants issued from Justices of the Peace, and which have found their way into the County Court and the Quorum Court of the county and which would be heard by those justices of the Quorum Court, be tried by Justices who were not on the Quorum Court.

6. Acts of 1820 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 89, Page 84, Section 1, provided that the County Court of Sevier County would thereafter be held on the first Monday in September, December, March, and June. All process will be made conform to those dates.

7. Acts of 1855-56, Chapter 246, Page 502, Section 14, permitted the town of Sevierville to elect an additional Justice of the Peace for that city at an election to be held on the first Saturday in the coming month of April.



Chancery Court


The chancery courts are the traditional trial level equity courts in Tennessee. Equity law deals with matters not traditionally addressed by the common law (case law) of the law courts or the statutory law. Equity acts when a traditional law court remedy is not adequate to reach a just result. In Tennessee, chancery courts have exclusive jurisdiction over some matters that are traditionally considered to be equity cases, but the statutory law has given chancery courts concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts over most civil cases.

The following acts form an outline of the development of equity jurisdiction in Sevier County, although they no longer have the force of law since they have either been superseded by general law, repealed, or failed to receive local ratification. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. For the first few years after Sevier County was created, the Chancery Court for the county was probably held at Greenville. The Supreme Court Justices held the Chancery Court and the entire state made up one Chancery district.

2. Acts of 1824 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 14, Page 41, Section 8, provided that the Judges of the Supreme Court should arrange to hold Chancery Court twice a year in all the counties of the State. Chancery Court would be held at Greenville for Carter, Washington, Cocke, Green, Jefferson, and Sevier Counties on the third Monday in May and November.

3. Acts of 1827, Chapter 79, Page 80, divided the State into two Chancery Districts. The Eastern District was composed of those courts held at Rogersville, Greenville, Kingston, Carthage, and McMinnville.

4. Acts of 1827, Chapter 88, Page 90, was almost a repetition of the 1824 (Ex. Sess.) Act, above. The Court at Greenville for Greene, Cocke, Washington, Jefferson, Carter, and Sevier Counties would be held on the third Monday in May and November and for two weeks, or longer, if the business of the court demanded it.

5. Acts of 1829, Chapter 27, Page 48, changed the Court dates for the Chancery Court at Greenville to the second Monday in May and November.

6. Acts of 1831, Chapter 127, Page 191, provided that the Chancellor of the Eastern Chancery Division would hereafter hold a Chancery Court at Knoxville on the third Monday in April and October for the Counties of Campbell, Anderson, Knox, and Sevier.

7. Acts of 1832 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 19, Page 32, changed the Court terms for some of the Courts in the Eastern Chancery Division but the Court at Knoxville would continue to meet on the third Monday in April and October.

8. Acts of 1835, Chapter 4, Page 32, divided Tennessee, into three Chancery Divisions and provided for the appointment of a Chancellor for each Division by the Legislature. The 5th District of the Eastern Division was composed of Jefferson, Cocke, and Sevier Counties. The Court for this District would meet at Dandridge on the first Monday in April and October.

9. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 116, Page 181, Section 12, rescheduled the terms of the Chancery Courts in the Eastern Division assigning the Court at Dandridge to the third Monday in June and December.

10. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 21, Page 44, Section 7, changed the times for holding the Chancery Courts of the Eastern Division, 5th District, to the second Monday in June and December at Dandridge in Jefferson County. Section 12 of this same Act states that Sevier County shall compose one Chancery District and the court will be held at the courhouse in Sevierville and the second Monday in April and October of each year. This also repeals all other laws in Section 14 which made Sevier County a part of any other Chancery District.

11. Acts of 1843, Chapter 201, Page 225, Section 2, declared that theof Cocke County may file their Bills in Chancery at both Dandridge and Sevierville at their option and convenience.

12. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 88, Page 96, divided Tennessee into the Eastern, Middle, Western, 4th, 5th, and 6th Chancery Divisions. Sevier County was in the Eastern Division with Court terms to begin in Sevierville on the second Monday in April and October.

13. Acts of 1859-60, Chapter 59, Page 267, changed the court terms for the Chancery Court in Sevier County at Sevierville to the third Monday in March and July of each year with the requirement that process be made to conform to those dates.

14. Acts of 1865, Chapter 7, Page 21, was a post Civil War Statute which created the 8th Chancery Division composed of Sevier, Blount, Monroe, Roane, Knox, Anderson, and McMinn Counties. A Chancellor would be appointed who would enjoy all the powers of other Chancellors and draw the same salary.

15. Acts of 1865, Chapter 14, Page 30, established Court terms for the counties in the 8th Chancery Division, listed above, and assigned Sevier County's Chancery Court to the second Monday in April and October. The Chancellor of his Division may interchange with the Chancellors of the others.

16. Acts of 1870, Chapter 32, Page 60, reorganized the lower system of equity courts of the State into twelve Chancery Divisions. The Second Chancery Division consisted of Knox, Sevier, Campbell, Union, Anderson, Roane, Monroe, Blount, Scott, Morgan, Fentress, and Christiana, if established.

17. Acts of 1870, Chapter 47, Page 81, scheduled the Court terms for the Chancery Courts of all the Counties. Sevier County would begin the terms of the Chancery Court on the second Monday in April and October.

18. Acts of 1872 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 15, Page 37, changed Court terms for some of the counties in the Second Chancery Division but left Sevier County's terms on the second Monday in April and October.

19. Acts of 1883, Chapter 85, Page 84, changed the starting days for the Sevier County Chancery Court to the fourth Monday in April and October instead of the second Monday. Conflicting Acts were repealed and process would be adjusted to conform to the changed dates.

20. Acts of 1885 (Ex. Sess.) Chapter 20, Page 96, divided the State into eleven Chancery Divisions. The Second Division was made up of Knox, Campbell, Sevier, Union, Anderson, Blount, Roane, Loudon, Morgan, and Scott Counties. Court terms in Sevier would begin on the fourth Monday in April and October. This Act was the basis for litigation in the case of Flynn v. State (1958), 203 Tenn. 341, 313 SW - 249, but only the criminal court in Memphis was involved.

21. Acts of 1887, Chapter 92, Page 182, changed court terms for several of the counties in the Second Chancery Division but left Sevier County on the fourth Monday in April and October.

22. Acts of 1899, Chapter 212, Page 456, abolished the Second Chancery Division of the State of Tennessee.

23. Acts of 1899, Chapter 214, Page 458, added Sevier, Blount, and Loudon Counties to the First Chancery Division and the remainder of those counties in the abolished Second Chancery Division were assigned to the 12th Chancery Division. Sevier County would continue to start the terms of Chancery Court on the fourth Monday in April and October.

24. Acts of 1899, Chapter 427, Page 991, reorganized the lower judicial system into ten Chancery Divisions. The Second Division was composed of Sevier, Blount, Loudon, Campbell, Anderson, Roane, Morgan, Scott, Union, Fentress, and Jefferson. Court terms would begin in Sevier County on the first Monday in January and July.

25. Acts of 1901, Chapter 438, Page 1050, amended the 1899 Act which reorganized the lower courts by placing Sullivan, Johnson, Carter, Washington, Unicoi, Greene, Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier, and Blount Counties in the First Chancery Division with Court terms commencing in Sevier County on the fourth Monday in April and October.

26. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 382, Page 1286, changed the time for starting the terms of the Chancery Court in Sevier County to the second Monday in April and October instead of the fourth.

27. Public Acts of 1931 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 38, Page 267, also reorganized the lower Judicial structure of the State into fourteen Chancery Divisions. This Act placed Sevier County in the 13th Chancery Division where it still remains. The original counties in that Division were Cocke, Blount, Hamblen, Greene, Jefferson, Union, Grainger, and Sevier whose terms of Court would begin on the third Monday in April and October. Court changes would occur only through public acts from this date.



Circuit Court


The circuit court is the traditional trial level "law" court (as opposed to equity court) with broad civil and criminal law jurisdiction. Traditionally, the circuit courts (the "law" courts) applied the common law (case law) and the statutory law. The circuit courts continue to act as law courts, but Tennessee's statutory law has given the circuit courts concurrent jurisdiction with the chancery courts in most civil matters. Circuit courts exercise criminal law jurisdiction as well as civil law jurisdiction in most counties in Tennessee, but in some counties a separate criminal court has been established.

Sevier County, by general law found in § 16-2-506 of Tennessee Code Annotated, is part of the 4th judicial district. Title 16, chapter 10 of Tennessee Code Annotated contains the general law applicable to the circuit court. Judges and chancellors are covered by title 17 of Tennessee Code Annotated.

The following acts were once applicable to the circuit court of Sevier County but now have no effect, having been repealed, superseded, or having failed to win local approval. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1794, Chapter 12, Page 93, provided that Sevier County, newly created, would become a part of the Hamilton District for all purposes both civil, for courts, and military, and be just as much a part as it was before being taken from the counties of Jefferson and Knox.

2. Acts of 1809, Chapter 49, Page 65, divided Tennessee into five Judicial Circuits of which the Second Judicial Circuit was made up of Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier, Blount, Knox, Anderson, Roane, Rhea, and Bledsoe counties. Circuit Courts would be held twice annually and in Sevier County this would occur on the fourth Monday in January and July. The Judge of the Circuit would appoint a Clerk for each of the courts over which he was to preside.

3. Acts of 1833, Chapter 201, Page 110, made it the duty of the Judge and the Attorney-General of the Second Judicial Circuit to examine, certify, and allow under the existing law of the State, the bill of costs the State is liable to pay in the case of State v. Thomas D. Allen, which was decided in Sevier County during the year of 1828.

4. Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 5, Page 38, divided Tennessee into eleven Judicial Circuits with provisions for holding Court three times a year. The Second Judicial Circuit was made up of Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier, Blount, Knox, Campbell, Anderson, and Morgan Counties. Circuit Court terms in Sevier County would commence on the fourth Monday in January, May, and September. Chancellors and Circuit Judges were to be paid a salary of $1500 per year.

5. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 3, Page 12, organized the State's lower civil judicial structure into fourteen Judicial Circuits. The 12th Judicial Circuit consisted of Cocke, Sevier, Jefferson, Grainger, Claiborne, and Campbell counties. Court terms in Sevier would begin on the fourth Monday in April, August, and December.

6. Acts of 1837-38, Chapter 116, Page 181, Section 8, changed the time for holding the Circuit Court in Sevier County to the second Monday in April, August, and December. The terms for the other counties in the Circuit were also changed.

7. Acts of 1839-40, Chapter 5, Page 13 provided that the terms of the Circuit Court in Sevier County would begin on the first Monday in April, August, and December and continue for two weeks, or longer, at each term, or until the business of the court was completed.

8. Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 352, Page 643, Section 3, stated that the Circuit Court for Sevier County would begin on the third Monday of March, July, and November, and if necessary, continue for two weeks.

9. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 98, Page 110, reorganized the Circuit Courts of the State into sixteen Judicial Circuits. The Second was made up of Campbell, Claiborne, Union, Grainger, Cocke, Jefferson, and Sevier Counties whose Court sessions would start on the third Monday in March, July, and November.

10. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 112, Page 283, stated in the preamble that a fire had destroyed the courthouse in Sevierville in March, 1856, which destroyed many valuable papers and the Reports of the State. The Clerk of the Circuit Court has since bought another set of Reports and is willing to sell them to the county at his cost. This act authorizes the Comptroller of the Treasury to issue a draft for $150 to M. W. McCown to pay for the set of Reports which would become the property of the Circuit Court Clerk's office in Sevier County.

11. Acts of 1870, Chapter 31, Page 59, divided Tennessee into 15 Judicial Circuits. The Second Circuit was composed of Cocke, Jefferson, Grainger, Union, Sevier, Scott, Campbell, Claiborne, and Hamblen counties.

12. Acts of 1870, Chapter 46, Page 75, scheduled the terms of the Circuit Court for all the counties in the State. Sevier County, in the Second Judicial Circuit, would start on the third Monday of March, July, and November.

13. Acts of 1885 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 20, Page 96, created fourteen regular and one special judicial circuits in the State. The Second Judicial Circuit had in it the counties of Claiborne, Campbell, Grainger, Union, Hamblen, Jefferson, Cocke, Anderson, and Sevier, whose terms of court would commence on the third Monday in March, July, and November. This act was the subject of litigation in Flynn v. State (1958), 203 Tenn. 341, 313 SW2 249, but only involved the court at Memphis.

14. Acts of 1897, Chapter 223, Page 530, detached Sevier County from the Second Judicial Circuit for criminal court purposes and attached it to the criminal District for Knox County. The act made it the duty of the Judge of the Criminal Court of Knox County to hold the court and the District Attorney of the same District shall attend Court and prosecute cases.

15. Acts of 1899, Chapter 427, Page 991, reorganized the entire number of Circuit Courts into fourteen Judicial Circuits. The Second Circuit was made up of the Counties of Jefferson, Grainger, Hamblen, Cocke, Morgan, Scott, Campbell, Anderson, Union, Fentress, and Sevier whose court terms , presumably for Civil cases only, would begin on the third Monday in January, May, and September.

16. Acts of 1899, Chapter 409, Page 966, Section 4, predates Chapter 427, Acts of 1899, above, and conferred the Circuit Court jurisdiction of Sevier County upon the Law Court of Knox County along with all of the Knox County criminal jurisdiction. Sevier County would hold her courts on the first Monday in January, May, and September.

17. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 227, Page 496, changed the court terms for all the counties in the 2nd Judicial Circuit switching Sevier Coutny to the first Monday in March, July, and November.

18. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 101, Page 216, amended Chapter 227, Acts of 1903, above, by changing the starting dates for several terms of the Circuit Court in the Second Judicial Circuit. Sevier County went from the first to the third Monday in March, July, and November.

19. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 477, Page 1015, again changed the beginning dates for the Circuit Court terms for counties in the Second Judicial Circuit, assigning Sevier County to the fourth Monday in February , June, and October.

20. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 205, Page 750, changed the schedule of the Circuit Court terms in Sevier County to the first Monday instead of the fourth Monday in February, June, and October.

21. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 15, Page 41, changed the starting dates for the terms of the Circuit Court in Hamblen and Sevier Counties which went to the first Monday in March, July, and November. All bonds and process would be adjusted to fit those dates.

22. Public Acts of 1931 (2nd Ex. Sess.), Chapter 18, Page 169, corrected some errors which were made when the General Assembly amended the 1932 Code with reference to the Second Judicial Circuit. The correct counties were Cocke, Union, Sevier, Jefferson, Grainger, and Hancock with Sevier starting its terms on the first Monday in March, July, and November.

23. Public Acts of 1931 (2nd Ex. Sess.), Chapter 38, Page 267, reorganized the lower judicial structure of the State into twenty Judicial Circuits. The Second Circuit consisted of Cocke, Union, Jefferson, Grainger, Hancock, and Sevier counties. Court days in Sevier remained on the first Monday in March, July, and November.


Taxation


The following is a listing of acts pertaining to taxation in Sevier County which are no longer effective. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1797, Chapter 7, Page 28, Section 3, allowed the Quarterly County Courts of Sevier and Blount Counties to levy taxes at specified rates upon certain classes of property, such as fifty cents on white polls, one Dollar on black polls fifty cents on each 100 acres of land, One Dollar on town lots, and One Dollar on each stud horse.

2. Acts of 1801, Chapter 64, Page 148, permitted the County Court to levy and additional tax for the next two years not to exceed the limits stipulated in the act to be applied to the building of a prison. A commission would be appointed to contract with a person or persons to build the prison. The Sheriff must collect the tax and pay it to the Commissioners who shall use it for no other purpose than the above-mentioned one.

3. Acts of 1803, Chapter 80, Page 136, declared it lawful for the County Court of Sevier County to levy a tax to repair the Court house, prison, and stocks, which would not exceed the amount specified in the act for white polls, black polls, each 100 acres of land, each town lot, each stud horse, and each billiard table. All surplus money, if any, was to be paid over to the County Trustee.

4. Private Acts of 1823, Chapter 259, Page 224, authorized the court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions to levy a tax upon all taxable property, which tax shall not be less than $100 in any one year until a sum sufficient to pay the costs and charges accrued, or hereafter accrued, on the imprisonment of Herman Mayfield, Leonard Cain, and William Atkison who are in jail in Knox County on a State charge.

5. Private Acts of 1870, Chapter 50, Page 58, gave counties and cities the authority to levy taxes for county and municipal purposes upon the following conditions: (1) that all property be taxed according to its value based upon those principles established for State taxation, and (2) that no credit of any county, or city, shall be given, or loaned to anyone or anything, except on majority vote of the County Court or municipal council to hold an election, and then only upon the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the people of the county.

6. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 636, Page 1750, required the County Trustee in Sevier County to write all poll tax receipts in ink except when they were paid as part of the property taxes. The poll tax receipts must be printed on white paper unless issued sixty days, or less, before the election when they should be printed on blue paper. It was declared unlawful to issue receipts in any other manner than this making all Trustees, Deputies, or Clerks, doing so, subject to fines ranging from $50 to $250.

7. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 837, Page 2184, provided that all properties in Sevier County against which condemnation proceedings had been filed by the State for National Parks, or had been conveyed to the State for these purposes are relieved of all taxes for the year 1931 and of all back assessments. This act was repealed by the one below.

8. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 159, Page 419, repealed expressly and entirely Chapter 837, Private Acts of 1931, above, which exempted certain lands in Sevier County from taxation.

9. Private Acts of 1953, Chapter 101, Page 367, authorized Sevier County's Quarterly Court, and the cities, to levy a 2% tax on the amount paid for accommodations in hotels, motels, tourist homes, taverns, rooming houses, and the like. Definitions of the important terms were written in, and provision made for the person renting the accommodations to collect the tax. This Act was repealed by Chapter 327, Private Acts of 1955.



Elections


The following is a listing of acts for Sevier County which affected the elective process, but which have been superseded or repealed. They are listed here for historical and reference purposes. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1796 (2nd Ex. Sess.), Chapter 4, Page 10, appointed electors for the President and Vice-President of the United States in every County of the State. Samuel McGahey, Joshua Gist, and Alexander Montgomery were chosen to represent Sevier County.

2. Acts of 1798, Chapter 15, Page 40, apportioned four Senators and eight Representatives to the Hamilton District of Tennessee. Sevier would have one Representative alone and share a State Senator with Blount County. The Sheriffs of Blount and Sevier Counties would meet at the home of Joseph Vance in Sevier County to compare the votes.

3. Acts of 1812 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 27, Page 23, divided Tennessee into six U. S. Congressional Districts. The Second District numbered Jefferson, Grainger, Claiborne, Knox, Sevier, Blount, and Cocke among its counties.

4. Acts of 1812 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 57, Page 56, apportioned the State into 20 Senatorial Districts and 40 Representative Districts. Sevier County would elect one Representative alone and share a State Senator with Blount County.

5. Acts of 1819, Chapter 69, Page 135, also allotted 20 Senators and 40 Representatives to counties. Sevier County still had one Representative for itself but shared a Senator with Cocke, Blount, and Monroe Counties. The place for counting the votes for each district was also named in this act.

6. Acts of 1822 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 1, Page 1, reorganized the State into eight U. S. Congressional Districts. Grainger, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Blount and Sevier Counties were all in the Second District.

7. Acts of 1826 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 3, Page 4, reapportioned the State but did not change the number of Senators and Representatives. Washington, Greene, Cocke, and Sevier Counties made up one State Senatorial District whose votes would be counted at Greenville. Cocke and Sevier County would share a Representative, the vote being compared at the house of Jacob Bird.

8. Acts of 1832 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 4, Page 14, divided Tennessee into 13 U. S. Congressional Districts. The Third District consisted of Anderson, Knox, Sevier, Blount, and Monroe Counties.

9. Acts of 1832 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 9, Page 18, established electoral Districts for the election of the President and Vice President. There were 15 of these Districts of which Cocke, Sevier, Blount, and Monroe Counties composed the Third.

10. Acts of 1833, Chapter 71, Page 85, reapportioned the State. Sevier, Blount, Monroe, and McMinn Counties made up the Fourth State Senatorial District and the polls would be compared at the house of A. Congers in Blount County. Blount and Sevier County would jointly elect one Representative and the votes would be counted at the home of Robert McCaskie in Sevier County.

11. Acts of 1842 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 1, Page 16, apportioned Tennessee for the General Assembly into 25 Senatorial District of which Cocke, Blount, and Sevier Counties made up the Third. Sevier and Cocke Counties would elect one Representative jointly. All polls would be compared at Sevierville.

12. Acts of 1842 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 7, Page 30, divided the State into eleven U. S. Congressional Districts. The Second District had in it the counties of Jefferson, Grainger, Claiborne, Campbell, Anderson, Morgan, Sevier, Blount, and Monroe.

13. Acts of 1865, Chapter 34, Page 52, was apparently the first apportionment of the State after the Civil War. There were eight U. S. Congressional Districts of which the First was made up of Johnson, Carter, Sullivan, Washington, Hawkins, Hancock, Greene, Cocke, Jefferson, Grainger and Sevier.

14. Acts of 1870, Chapter 25, Page 45, provided under the new Constitution of the General Assembly would be seventy-five until the State reached one and one half million in population. One Representative each was given to Johnson, Carter, Campbell, Anderson, Union, Sevier, Macon, and Hancock counties and the remainder allocated to various combinations, some populous counties having more than one Representative.

15. Acts of 1871, Chapter 146, Page 171, immediately followed the Constitutional provisions incorporated into the act above by the reapportioning the State. Cocke and Sevier County would elect one Representative between them and with Jefferson and Blount counties added they would constitute the Fourth of Twenty-Five Senatorial Districts.

16. Acts of 1872 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 7, Page 28, delineated Tennessee into nine U. S. Congressional Districts. The Second District was made up of Sevier, Knox, Jefferson, Anderson, Campbell, Scott, Morgan, Fentress, Cumberland, White, Putnam, Overton, Jackson, Smith, Macon and Clay Counties.

17. Acts of 1873, Chapter 27, Page 52, reapportioned Tennessee into ten U. S. Congressional Districts using the recently compiled census figures. The Second District was assigned on this occasion the counties of Jefferson, Sevier, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Roane, Knox, Anderson, Campbell, Scott, Morgan, and Union.

18. Acts of 1881 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 6, Page 10, apportioned the General Assembly based on the 1880 Census figures. Sevier County would elect one Representative alone and be a part of the Third State Senatorial District with Cocke, Jefferson, and Hamblen Counties.

19. Acts of 1882 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 27, Page 34, also reapportioned the U. S. Congressional Districts according to the 1880 census. The counties in the Second U. S. Congressional District remained as they were named in Item 17 except Monroe County was removed, leaving eleven counties.

20. Acts of 1891 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 10, Page 25, reapportioned Tennessee for the General Assembly according to the 1880 census. Sevier, Knox, Jefferson, and Cocke Counties were in the 5th State Senatorial District and Sevier was given one Representative alone.

21. Acts of 1901, Chapter 109, Page 151, established ten U. S. Congressional Districts in the State under the 1900 Census report. Sullivan, Johnson, Carter, Unicoi, Washington, Greene, Hawkins, Hancock, Claiborne, Grainger, Cocke, and Sevier Counties composed the First U. S. Congressional District.

22. Acts of 1901, Chapter 122, Page 812, again apportioned Tennessee according to the 1900 Federal Census figures. Sevier County retained its Representative and joined Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson and Blount counties in the 4th State Senatorial District.


Education & Schools


The following acts constitute part of the administrative and political heritage of the educational structure of Sevier County but are no longer operative since they have either been superseded, repealed, or failed to receive local approval. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1807, Chapter 56, Page 93, named Nathaniel Buckenham and William Mitchell as Trustees for Nancy Academy in Sevier County who would have and exercise the same powers as other Trustees.

2. Acts of 1813, Chapter 36, Page 48, appointed as Trustees for Nancy Academy in Sevier County, Robert Weir, Josiah Rogers, James P. H. Porter, Isaac Love, Alexander Preston, Thomas Price, and William Mitchell who would conduct a lottery for the benefit of the Academy to raise up to $6,000. The lottery scheme must be published and the Trustee enter into bond to assure that the prizes advertised are paid and that the money realized from the lottery be applied to the academy. John Sharp was appointed as an added regular Trustee for the academy.

3. Acts of 1832, Chapter 76, Page 61, declared that the Clerk and the Treasurer of the Board of Common School commissioners for Bledsoe, Marion, Sullivan, Washington, Cocke, Greene, and Sevier counties are empowered and directed to perform all the duties required of the late Bank Agents in those counties under the same rules laid down by the General Assembly for Campbell County. All notes, papers, and books will be promptly handed over to the Clerk and the Treasurer, as provided herein.

4. Acts of 1833, Chapter 221, Page 120, provided that the Commissioners of the Common School Fund in Sevier County were authorized to invest the common school fund in the stock of the Smoky Mountain Turnpike road, in such manner and upon such terms as the Commissioners should consider best and advisable for the school fund, provided that a majority of the Commission consent thereto in writing and the writing be filed with the County Court Clerk before the investment is made.

5. Acts of 1841-42, Chapter 6, Page 4, stated that Samuel Pickens, Henry G. Hodges, Sr., Allen S. Bryan, George McCowen, Stewart O. Dickey, Albert T. W. Clendenen, and Henry M. Thomas were appointed as Commissioners to settle the business of the recent Board of Common School Commissioners of Sevier County as created by the General Assembly. The Commissioners would organize themselves into a Board immediately and call upon the Clerk of the former Board to deliver any papers, notes, books, funds and money of any kind whereupon all business of the former Board would be settled and whatever remained would be turned over to the Nancy Academy in Sevier County. This act was repealed by the one following below.

6. Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 186, Page 279, repealed Chapter 6, Acts of 1841, above, entirely and made it the duty of the institution's Trustee's to make a sworn written report to Circuit Court at each December term showing the situation and condition of the institution (Nancy Academy) and how the funds have been spent. If waste of funds is present, judgment by motion may be had against the Trustees.

7. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 103, Page 159, repealed all the laws which required the county academy to be located within one mile of the county seat as the same would apply to Sevier County. George McMahon, Daniel Emert, John Walker, Robert H. Hodsden, John Mullendore, William Cartlett, James Cummings, John W. Trundle, Allen S. Bryan, Alexander McCallie, and Benjamin J. Tipton were appointed as Commissioners to select a site for the Academy as near the county seat as possible but not more than two and one-quarter miles from it.

8. Acts of 1865-66, Chapter 6, Page 104, incorporated W. H. Trotter, James P. McMahon, Isaac Ogle, Tilman Fox, John Butler, G. W. Seaton, and Isaac Trotter as Trustees for "Middle Creek Academy" in Sevier County who would have and possess all the powers incidental to academic incorporations.

9. Acts of 1865-66, Chapter 85, Page 114, appointed James M. Sharp, James Robinson, W. H. Creswell, W. H. Wayland, and T. D. Chandler as Trustees of the Rocky Spring Academy in Sevier County. The Trustees were vested with the power to sell academy property under certain conditions and invest the proceeds in other school property. They were to organize themselves immediately, serve four year terms, and whoever became Treasurer must execute a bond.

10. Private Acts of 1901, Chapter 403, Page 917, created the Tuckahoe School District out of portions of Sevier and Knox Counties as the area was described therein. An election would be held on May 25, 1901 for three school Directors who would serve until the regular election in August, 1902, when successors would be elected for two year terms. The District was attached to Knox County and would become a part of that system being governed thereby in all things as though it lay wholly within Knox County. The District would be given its pro rata share of school funds from both counties.

11. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 319, Page 952, amended Chapter 403, Private Acts of 1901, above, so as to provide that the biennial elections to be held in the said school district, created therein, shall be held on the fourth Saturday in May, 1904 and every two years thereafter.

12. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 149, Page 320, created a Special School District in the Seventh Civil School District of Sevier County and containing the area described within the Act. The Directors of the Seventh Civil School District were required to pay over the pro rata share of school funds to the Directors of this District. The County Superintendent of Public Instruction would appoint three school Directors to serve until their successors could be elected. Upon a three-fourths affirmative vote of the legal voters in the District the Directors could levy a tax so as to have sufficient funds to operate the school for eight months.

13. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 236, Page 845, created a Board of Education for every county in the State, and the office of District Directors were abolished. All counties would be divided into five, or less school districts from each of which one member of the Board of Education would be elected by the County Court. The qualifications of the office, the duties of the Chairman, Secretary, and Members of the Board are enumerated. The County Superintendent would be the ex-officio Secretary. Terms of school guidelines for locations of schools, and the requirements for a records system were all enunciated. There would be three member local Advisory Boards in each District who would be elected by the voters of the District. Several counties exempted themselves from the operation of this law but Sevier County was not among their number.

14. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 269, Page 932, is an almost exact duplicate of the Act creating the Special School District in the Seventh Civil School District, Item 12 above, except the area embraced by this school district may be different.

15. Private Acts of 1909, Chapter 235, Page 782, provided that every parent or guardian must send every child in their custody and control between the ages of eight and sixteen to a public school for at least 12 weeks, or 60 days, or for as long as school is in session, if the term is shorter, unless excused by the District, City or County School Director. This act would not prohibit attending a private school, or being tutored privately. The county may make an appropriation to the family if the child is helping support them. An occasional absence would not be construed as a violation for which fines from $2.00 to$10.00 were provided. The act would not apply if the student's home were more than two miles distant from the school. The Sheriff, or Constable, would enforce this law and the teachers who did not keep good attendance records for pupils would not be paid.

16. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 674, Page 2173, amends Chapter 9 of the Public Acts of 1913, by making that act apply to Sevier County when making a child attend school for 80 days in the school term but they do not have to be consecutive days. This amendment applied only to Sevier County.

17. Public Acts of 1925, Chapter 115, Section 33, abolished all Special School Districts which were not taxing Districts and any taxing district was permitted to hold a referendum on the question of abolition. When all debts are paid, the District may join the county system of schools. This is T.C.A. 49-402, and the Sections following.

18. Private Acts of 1925, Chapter 621, Page 2313, recited in the preamble that a school house had been built in the Belmont Community of Sevier County and had been used for many years but a new school had been now built with public funds about a mile away and there was no further need for the old one. Therefore, it is lawful for the Trustees of the old school, above, and they are hereby empowered, to advertise and sell the school to the highest bidder and to deliver the proceeds of the sale to the County Board of Education for use in the Sevier County School System.

19. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 98, Page 207, provided that all school property within the Smokey Mountain area be conveyed to the State of Tennessee.

20. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 520, Page 1253, recited that Charles King had taught for fifteen years, or more, in the county schools but had met some difficulty in securing a certificate in 1931-32. He was directed to open and teach a school by L. H. Tarwater and Edward Brannom, of the County Board of Education, which King did. However, there has arisen some question as to whether King could be legally paid and to this date, he has not been paid. This act permits the County Court to appropriate $675 with which to pay King for his services in opening and teaching the Dudley Creek School. The Trustee was instructed to receive and honor such a warrant as good.

21. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 539, Page 1867, amended Chapter 380, Private Acts of 1927, Section 6, as published herein, by striking the said Section entirely and inserting a new Section directing the County Board of Education to elect a Truant officer for one year who would have all the power and authority of a Constable in regard to executing papers incident to school, school work, and non-attendance of classes. He shall receive the same fees for his services as are now provided by law for such acts and, in addition, he may be paid $800, or less, per year, and four cents a mile for travel. This act was repealed by the one below.

22. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 179, Page 744, specifically repealed Chapter 539, Private Acts of 1941, above, in its entirety.

23. Private Acts of 1943, Chapter 281, Page 1039, amended Chapter 290, Private Acts of 1927, by increasing the term of the Superintendent of Public Instruction from two years to four years beginning in 1944.

24. Private Acts of 1955, Chapter 395, Page 1382, would have amended Chapter 380, Private Acts of 1927, as amended by increasing the compensation of members of the County Board of Education, duly elected and serving under the authority of the act amended to $10 per day when attending regular or special meetings of the Board, or when engaged in the discharge of any other duty imposed by law upon them but this Act was disapproved and rejected by the Quarterly County Court and never took effect.

25. Private Acts of 1965, Chapter 284, Page 983, amends Chapter 6, Acts of 1865 (Ex. Sess.), by striking the names of W. H. Trotter, James P. McMahon, Isaac Ogle, Tilman Fox, John Butler, G. W. Seaton, and Isaac Trotter from the Board of Trustees of Middle Creek Academy and inserting therein the names of O. E. McMahon, Glen McMahon, and Florita Butler McMahon instead. This act does not require local approval according to the publishers.


County Attorney


The following acts once affected the appointment, election, or office of the county attorney in Sevier County. These acts are included for historical reference only. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 880, Page 1981, created the office of County Attorney for Sevier County, using the 1930 Census figures, who would be elected by the Quarterly County Court for four year terms, the first one to be elected at the April term in 1933. Any vacancy occurring would be filled by the court. The Quarterly County Court would also set his salary between $600.00 and $900.00 per year, payable monthly out of regular county funds. The County Attorney would give legal advice and aid to all county officials, transact the legal business of the county, meet with the County Court and represent the county in all its litigation. The court was permitted to appropriate money to pay the expenses incidental to the office under certain conditions and could pay additional fees to the County Attorney for extraordinary, or special services rendered by him. This act was specifically repealed by the one following.

2. Private Acts of 1941, Chapter 121, Page 396, expressly repealed Chapter 880, Private Acts of 1933, above.


Sheriff


The following acts have no current effect but are included here for reference purposes since they once applied to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1823, Chapter 258, Page 222, authorized Samuel Blair and Peter Bryan, securities of the late William Mitchell, Sheriff of Sevier County to collect for one year all the uncollected taxes the said Mitchell could have collected while he was in office. People who might own taxes will be permitted to set off any claim they might have had against Mitchell, or they may apply the same as partial payment on the. If agreement cannot be reached, a Justice of the Peace shall hear the case and render judgment accordingly, either party being given the right to appeal. All money collected will be divided pro rata between these and other securities of the Sheriff.


Register of Deeds


The following act once affected the office of county register in Sevier County, but is no longer operative.

1. Acts of 1857-58, Chapter 128, Page 323, provided that all written instruments required to be registered under the state law, where the same have been registered in Sevier County, upon production of a certified copy of the document, and upon proof that the other was burned in the fire in March, 1856, the copy may be duly registered and will be valid in all things as if it had been the original.


Railroads


1. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 465, Page 978, provided that Sevier County, by virtue of the 1900 Federal Census figures, might give its credit, up to $50,000, to any railroad incorporated under Tennessee law by complying with the terms of this Act. The railroad must run through the county or within one mile of the county seat. The President of the railroad must file an application giving plans, the amount of credit desired, and the time within which the railroad would be constructed. Then the County Judge must call a special meeting of the Court within ten days to consider whether or not the question would be submitted to the people in an election, provided with "for" or "against" ballots, wherein three fourths must vote favorably. If defeated in the election, another one may be held after 60 days. The County would supervise the expenditure of the funds, if the decision should be in the affirmative.


Roads


1. Private Acts of 1866-67, Chapter 66, Page 190, Sections 13 through 21, incorporated the Sevierville Turnpike Company naming Wyatt F. Nichol, Jesse Stafford, John C. Yett, Charles Inman, and John McAndrew, as directors of the company which would macadamize a road from Sevierville in the direction of Newport in Cocke County, by way of Fair Garden. The County Court was authorized to issue up to$10,000 in 6%, 10 year bonds to be applied to the building of the road. Toll gates could be established when the road was completed.

2. Private Acts of 1897, Chapter 158, Page 345, allowed the Sevier County Quarterly Court, two-thirds of the Justices being present, to $75,000 in 6%, 15 year bonds, to build a pike road from Shook's Gap to Sevierville on or near the route now surveyed, and on to Newport. All the incidentals of a bond issue were contained in the act.

3. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 312, Page 907, allowed the Quarterly County Court to issue up to $50,000 in 5%, 20 year bonds to repair and macadimize the present pike road from the Knox County line at Shook's Gap to Sevierville and on the Hadsden's Bridge as it has been surveyed and built. All details of the bond issue were present in the Act along with the requirement that two-thirds of the Justices must be present at the vote.

4. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 384, Page 1288, authorized Sevier County, using population figures of 1900, to issue bonds up to $35,000, at interest rates up to 5%, and under maturity schedules not to exceed twenty years, to repair and macadamize the pike road from the Knox county line at Shook's Gap to Sevierville and to Hadsden's Bridge beyond as the same has been surveyed and built. This is almost verbatim the same as the 1903 Act above and it is presumed that the bonds authorized here were in addition to those permitted under that Act. All other details essential to bond issues were in the Act.


Historic Roads


1. Acts of 1801, Chapter 72, Page 162, authorized the County Court of Sevier County, as a body politic, to open a road from Sevierville to the boundary of the State in a direction towards the most convenient part or commercial place in Georgia. The court could appoint one or more viewers to view, lay off and mark the road at a compensation of $2.00 per day. The Court was authorized to levy a road tax to defray the expenses of building the said road, and, in addition, could appoint toll gate keepers to collect tolls in accordance with the schedule set up in this law. The Court could make such other rules and regulations deemed necessary to accomplish the objective. Anyone passing a toll gate without paying was subject to a fine of $10.00.

2. Acts of 1803, Chapter 38, Page 84, permitted the County Court to contract with any person, or persons, to open, clear and keep in repair a road (unidentified in the act but apparently well known to the County Court), and the Court may grant such person toll collecting rights not to exceed twenty years and may cause a toll to be collected for the use and benefit of the county for a period not to exceed twenty years.

3. Acts of 1819, Chapter 40, Page 52, recited that it had been represented to the General Assembly that James P. H. Porter, and others, had viewed and marked a road from David Frazier's place in Sevier County to the top of Smokey Mountain running from Knoxville to Augusta, Georgia by way of Sevierville, which would reduce the distance by 80 to 100 miles. This act appointed Porter, above, Alexander Preston, Robert H. Rodgers, William Henderson, and James Wilson, as Commissioner to superintend the opening and completing of the said road. They were required to make a bond and would not be paid for serving as Commissioners. When, and if, it became impossible to keep the road going by means of subscription, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions may levy a tax to sustain it.

4. Public Acts of 1821, Chapter 6, Page 10, required the County Courts of the various counties to classify all the roads in the County into three different classes and to index them which was the first step towards a statewide system of roads and the pattern for many road laws to follow. Width and surfacing were the two standards to be used and penalties were incorporated for damaging or obstructing public roads for the first time.

5. Private Acts of 1821, Chapter 105, Page 205, incorporated James P. H. Porter, Alexander Preston, Simeon Perry, Robert Rogers, all of Sevier County, and others in other counties, as the Smokey Mountain Turnpike Company to build a road from Sevierville towards the Georgia line. Anyone working for one week on this road in Sevier County could travel it for one year toll free.

6. Private Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 87, Page 216, appointed James P. H. Porter, Micajah C. Rogers, Anthony Lawson, John Mullendore, and Elijah Cate, as Commissioners to lay off and build a road of the first class from the end of the Smokey Mountain Turnpike in Sevier County to the public road in or near Cumberland Gap in Claiborne County. They were to make reports to the County Courts through which the road would pass whereupon the Court shall appoint an overseer and hands to keep the road in good repair. Any failure to comply could lead to indictment and trial.

7. Private Acts of 1841-42, Chapter 32, Page 34, appointed William Ogle, Senior, Andrew Pearee, Robert Shealds, George W. Cowan, William Catlett, Ira M. Hill, Allen S. Bryan, Jesse Langston, and William Thompson, as Commissioners, to open books and to receive subscriptions of stock up to $25,000 to make a turnpike road from the northern end of Smokey Mountain Turnpike to some point on the route leading to Cumberland Gap which point would be designated by the Commissioners. The point, however, would be kept below the Pigeon River mountains. When the road was completed, one till gate could be erected but no resident of Sevier County would be compelled to pay any toll charges.

8. Private Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 52, Page 54, appointed several people including James P. H. Porter, John Walker, Lemuel Bogart, George Fox, and John Bird, all of Sevier County, as Commissioners to view, mark, and lay off an alteration in the location of the road leading from Newport in Cocke County to Sevierville. When the alteration has been marked by this group of Commissioners, it shall not be changed by anyone else.

9. Private Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 203, Page 226, appointed George McCown, John Mullendore, William Henderson, Martin Shultz, William Ogle, Senior, William Trentham, Robert Shields, William Catlett, John Ellis, Samuel Bailey, John Walker, J. M. Hammer, G. W. Porter, and George Fox, as Commissioners to open the books and receive up to$10,000 in stock subscriptions for a road to run from the north end of the Smokey Mountain Turnpike to Pigeon Forge on the west fork of the Little Pigeon River. Shares would be sold at $20 each and this company could purchase all the shares of the Turnpike Company, if it so desired.

10. Private Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 150, Page 226, authorized James P. H. Porter, John Mullendore, Alles S. Bryan, William Catlett, George McCown, John Walker, William Ogle, Senior, J. H. Hammer, and William S. J. Ford, and their associates, to incorporate as the Sevier County Turnpike Company to build apparently the same road mentioned above. They could issue up to $6,000 in $20 shares. The act had a schedule of tolls to be charged at the one toll gate to be allowed but residents were exempted from paying it.

11. Private Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 276, Page 480, incorporated M. W. McCown, William Catlett, Milton Carter, West J. Emert, William Ogle, Senior, Daniel W. Ragan, and H. M. Thomas as the Sevier County Turnpike Co., with up to $5,000 capital to build a road from the top of Smoky Mountain on a line between North Carolina and Tennessee to the first ford of the west fork of the Little Pigeon River above West J. Emert's place in Sevier County. There were rules for the operation of the company and specifications for the road which must be met. A schedule of tolls to be charged was included and provisions made for periodic examinations to be conducted both of the physical aspects of the road and the financial records of the company.

12. Public Acts of 1901, Chapter 136, Page 237, was a statewide road law for all counties under 70,000 in population. The County Court would elect one Road Commissioner in each Road District which would be co-extensive with Civil Districts who would serve two year terms. Their duties were set out for which they would receive $1.00 per day for each day actually worked, not to exceed ten days in one year. A road tax of two cents per $100 of property valuation was levied and the duties of the courts, the chairman of the Road Commission and the members of the Commission were enumerated fairly extensively. All males between the ages of 21 and 45 were subject to work on the roads as the County Courts might determine and penalties established for any failure to do so. Prisoners were also required to work on the roads under prescribed conditions. Procedures to open, close, or change roads were promulgated which must be observed by anyone desiring them. Work on the highways could be contracted under certain conditions. This act was involved in litigation in the case of Carroll v. Griffith (1906), 117 Tenn. 500, 97 SW 66.

13. Public Acts of 1905, Chapter 478, Page 1016, amended Chapter 136, Public Acts of 1901, above, in several minor particulars but primarily in the procedures to be followed to open, close, or change a road.

14. Private Acts of 1909, Chapter 60, Page 172, seemed to be a typical county road law for some county but did not apply to Sevier County as some have indicated that it did.

15. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 496, Page 1610, allowed the Quarterly County Court to issue $5,000 in interest bearing warrants which would be used to macadamize certain roads in Sevier County on the most direct routes as determined by the Road Commission. An equal amount would be spent on the roads until they intersected and the remainder on such as were left after that. Authority to levy a tax to pay the warrants was granted in this Act.

16. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 616, Page 1971, authorized the Quarterly County Court of Sevier County to levy an annual tax not to exceed more than 30 cents per $100 to lay out, open, grade, and macadamize a public road of the first class from the present forks of the public road at the new pike near Mrs. Mollie Hicks residence in the 4th Civil District, to the new pike survey at a point on the southwest side of the big East Fork of Little Pigeon near Long ford and to construct a suitable bridge across the river between Red Bank Church and Mitchell's ford. Three commissioners were to be appointed to supervise the contract and the work and to report to the Quarterly Court. They may employ an engineer to oversee the work, if deemed essential.

17. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 626, Page 1990, amended Chapter 43, Acts of 1913, Section One by allowing the County Court of Sevier County to direct the Pike Commissioners to expend the remainder of the $25,000 provided in Subsection 7 thereof upon the public roads leaving the present new grade near Sheldon Ogle's and leading up Bird's Creek to or near the mouth of Campbell's Branch and on to Emert's Cave.

18. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 472, Page 1821, created the office of Road Superintendent in Sevier County, who would be elected by the County Court at its July term for two years. He must take an oath, make bond, and be in full charge of the roads, and the road tools and equipment. He will be the Chairman of all the road commissions and the Chief engineer of the county. He shall be 30 years old, or older, a civil engineer with at least two years experience and a person of good character. His salary is set at $2400 annually, payable monthly.

19. Private Acts of 1929, Chapter 634, Page 1762, was a road law for Sevier County which classified roads into four classes according to width and to surfacing materials. Cities would continue to exercise control over their streets. Edd Sheperd, Roy Fox, and P. J. Ward, were named to the first County Highway Commission, serving staggered three year terms taking an oath and making $2500 bond as required. The Commission would have regular and called meetings. They would exercise supervision over all roads, designating the ones to be improved, expending the road funds, and may employ an engineer and attorney, if needed. They would get $4.00 per day, and expenses, but must file an itemized, sworn statement. The Secretary would keep the records and the Commission would report to the Court. Each Civil District would constitute a road district. Each section of road would have a foreman who would serve for two years and be in charge of maintaining that section of road. All males 21 to 50 years old, were required to work six, ten hour days on the roads, or pay $1.00 for each day missed. Penalties were provided for violations of this Section, and procedures were established to enforce the working of the roads. Work could be contracted out but not in excess of the money available. The Commission was required to act on the petitions to open, close, or change the roads, and could set the allowable weights for vehicles. The Court could levy a tax from 20 to 50 cents per $100 for roads. District Road Commissioners were abolished.

20. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 199, Page 480, amended Chapter 54, Public Acts of 1929, by adding a provision that convicts may be worked on public roads and quarries in Sevier County from morning until night as deemed practical by the Chairman of the County Highway Commission, and, further, that all petitions to open, close, or change a road be addressed to the District Road Commissioner who shall immediately initiate the procedures provided in the law for hearings and appeals therefrom, if necessary. The limits on the road tax were increased from 30 cents to 60 cents per $100 property valuation. Males, aged 21 to 45 were required to work six, ten hour days on the roads or pay $4.50 as a commutation charge, but would not be required to work outside his district. All commutation fees would be spent in the district from which they were collected. All tools were to be given to the County Highway Commission whose compensation was increased to $5.00 per day, plus expenses when outside the county. This Act was repealed by Chapter 435, Private Acts of 1933.

23. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 10, Page 13, created the position of County Road Superintendent and became the next road law for Sevier County. The Superintendent would be elected by popular vote for two year terms beginning in August, 1934, vacancies occurring in between to be filled by the County Court. His salary would be $1500 annually, payable monthly, plus actual expenses incurred to the discharge of his duties, when supported by sworn, itemized statements. O. E. McMahan was appointed to serve as Road Superintendent until the election.


Animal Laws


The following is a listing of acts that at one time affected, but no longer appear to have any effect on, hunting, fishing or animal control in Sevier County. They are included herein for reference purposes. Also referenced below are acts which repeal prior law without providing new substantive provisions.

1. Acts of 1822 (Ex. Sess.), Chapter 61, Page 56, made it the duty of the Ranger of Sevier County to receive from those who might take them up any estrays, the probate of them to be under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions as now directed by law, and in the same manner as if the Ranger had been appointed by court. The law required also that those coming into possession of estrays should notify the Ranger of that fact promptly.

2. Acts of 1847-48, Chapter 153, Page 240, made it legal for any person to build, construct, and/or erect fish traps in the Little Pigion River, in Sevier County, provided the passage of boats up and down the river would not be interfered with, or obstructed.

3. Acts of 1901, Chapter 217, Page 456, declared that it was lawful to catch fish in Sevier County from April 1 to June 1 in any of its waters and by any means except poison, dynamite, or other explosives, or by wing net or dam across any stream, or by trap. Violators would be fined from $10 to $25 for each offense.

4. Acts of 1903, Chapter 568, Page 1515, rendered it illegal for live stock of any description to run at large in Sevier County, using the 1900 Federal Census figures. Fines from $5.00 to $10.00 would be imposed upon violators which money would go into the public school fund. Any damage committed by trespassing live stock would be a lien against them and the cost of taking up and caring for the stock could also be added to the damages. This Act must be approved in a referendum before it would become effective.

5. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 146, Page 430, provided that four barbed wires on good, substantial posts, set firmly in the ground, not more than fifteen feet apart with good, sound stays and braces no less than two inches thick, shall be considered to be a lawful fence in Sevier County. The wires would be placed twelve inches apart on the posts and the bottom one would be twelve inches above the ground. Provisions for plank and rail fences were also included if the specifications stated in the act were met. The Act further declared it unlawful for sheep, goats, swine and geese to run at large, subject to fines from $2.50 to$10.00 and the lien for damages and care given to the animals.

6. Private Acts of 1911, Chapter 91, Page 210, pronounced it unlawful to permit horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, or geese to run at large. The owner, or person in charge, who does so is liable in damages for which the damaged party has a lien for 30 days after trespass or until suit has been filed to enforce the law. Again, the trespassing animals, or fowl, could be taken up and one doing so could recover the expenses incurred thereby.

14. Private Acts of 1937, Chapter 597, Page 1844, stated in the preamble that there is a great need for but neither Sevier nor Blount County has a licensed veterinarian; that W. E. Ballard is a graduate of a veterinarian school of medicine and has accumulated several years of experience. The act declares that W. E. Ballard is entitled to practice veterinary medicine, and surgery, anywhere within the boundaries of Sevier and Blount Counties and he is vested with all the powers and privileges of any other veterinarian as long as he confines his practice to those areas.



Hospitals


1. Private Acts of 1957, Chapter 261, Page 768, would have authorized the County Court to issue up to $300,000 in bonds to acquire land, to erect, maintain, equip, and operate a building, or buildings for use as a general hospital for the county for which purpose the Court was allowed to cooperate fully with other governmental bodies. These bonds were general obligation bonds, exempt from the taxation of all others, and could mature no later than 30 years after issuance. No fees or charges were to be paid to any county official on this issue. A five member Board of Hospital Directors was created with Phillip A. Wynn, Rellie Dodgen, R. B. Summitt, James McAfee, and John B. Waters being named as the members of the first Board, all future vacancies to be filled by the County Court. The qualifications of members were specified. The Board would select a Chairman and a Secretary and meet once a month with full and complete authority to accomplish all objectives. They were to institute a separate financial system for the hospital, employ an Administrator and set the salary and supervise the employment of subordinate and staff people. The Quarterly County Court could levy a special tax for this purpose up to fifty cents per $100.00 property valuation. This Act was disapproved and rejected by the Quarterly County Court and therefore did not become a law under the Home Rule Amendment to the State Constitution.

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