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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tennessee

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TENNESSEE (see 26.619). The pop. in 1920 was 2,337,885 as against 2,184,789 in 1910, an increase of 153,096, or 7% as against 8.1% in the preceding decade. The negro pop. during 1910-20 decreased numerically from 473,088 to 451,758, and decreased proportionally from 21.7% of the total to 19.3%. The average density of pop. in 1920 was 56.1% per sq. m.; in 1910 it was 52.4. The urban pop. (in places of 2,500 inhabitants or more) increased from 20.2% of the total in 1910 to 26.1% in 1920. Only two cities, Memphis and Nashville, had in 1920 more than 100,000 inhabitants; only two, Knoxville and Chattanooga, had between 50,000 and 100,000. The following table shows the pop. and increase per cent, for the six cities exceeding 10,000 for the decade 1910-20:—

1920 1910  Increase 
per cent




 Memphis  162,351   131,105  23.8 
 Nashville 118,342  110,364  7.2 
 Knoxville 77,8i8  36,346  114.1 
 Chattanooga 57,895  44,604  29.8 
 Jackson 18,860  15,779  19.5 
 Johnson City  12,442  8,S02  46.3 

Agriculture.—During the decade 1910-20 the interests of the state remained predominantly agricultural. Although the total land area in farms decreased from 20,041,657 ac. to 19,510,856 ac., the improved land increased from 10,890,484 ac. to 11,185,302 ac., and the number of farms increased from 246,012 to 252,774. During the same period the average acreage per farm decreased from 81.5 ac. to 77.2 ac.; but the average value per farm increased from $2,490 to $4,953, and the value of all farm property increased from $612,520,836 to $1,251,964,585. The average value of land per acre in 1920 was $41.40; in 1910 it was $18.53. Of the 252,774 farmers in 1920 214,592 were whites and 38,182 were negroes. Of all farmers 148,082 were owners; 103,885 tenants; and 807 managers. Of the total 11,374 were women. The total value of farm crops in 1919 was $318,285,307, of which amount $144,778,157, or 45.5%, represented cereals; the total value in 1909 was $111,133,210, cereals representing 49.8%. The cereal acreage in 1919 was 4,186,373 ac. as against 4,136,647 ac. in 1909, an increase of only 1.2%. The following table shows comparative acreage, production, and value of the important crops for 1919 and 1909:—

Acreage Production Value




 Corn 1919  3,301,075   70,639,252 bus.     $127,150,649 
 Corn 1909 3,146,348  67,682,489 bus.    45,819,093 
 Oats 1919 162,417  2,413,409 bus.    2,534,082 
 Oats 1909 342,086  4,720,692 bus.    2,378,464 
 Wheat 1919 684,497  6,362,357 bus.    14,506,174 
 Wheat 1909 619,861  6,516,539 bus.    6,913,335 
 Hay and forage 1919  1,751,123  1,907,345 tons    49,649,657 
 Hay and forage 1909 1,060,480  1,100,838 tons    12,784,783 
 Cotton 1919 807,770  306,974 bales  48,808,866 
 Cotton 1909 787,516  264,562 bales  17,966,517 
 Tobacco 1919 138,561   112,367,567 lb.      24,720,869 
 Tobacco 1909 90,468  68,756,599 lb.      5,661,681 

The value of vegetables sold in 1919 was $27,947,250 and of fruits and nuts $7,888,912; the values respectively in 1909 were $10,430,975 and $4,486,281. Of the chief domestic animals on farms in 1920 and 1910 the number and value were as follows:—

Number Value



 Horses 1920  317,921   $35,582,960 
 Horses 1910 349,709  39,320,044 
 Mules 1920 352,510  51,042,649 
 Mules 1910 240,282  32,489,724 
 Cattle 1920 1,161,846  51,370,208 
 Cattle 1910 996,529  20,690,718 
 Sheep 1920 364,196  4,021,678 
 Sheep 1910 795,033  3,009,196 
 Swine 1920 1,832,307  19,477,775 
 Swine 1910  1,387,938  7,329,622 


In 1920 there were 11,835,303 fowls valued at $10,591,690, and 191,898 hives of bees valued at $698,258. In 1919 the reported milk production was 115,119,224 gal.; the value of milk, cream, and butter fat sold and of butter and cheese made was $20,640,849. The office of inspector of apiaries was created in 1911. The Smoky Mountain area (59,213 ac. in Blount and Sevier counties) and the White Top area (33,619 ac. in Johnson and Sullivan counties and Washington co., Va.) were approved for purchase in 1912 by the National Forest Reservation Commission under the Federal Act of March 1 1911 to, preserve upland watersheds. In 1920 254,118 ac. of farm land were reported as provided with drainage and 640,479 as needing drainage. Capital invested in drainage enterprises, Dec. 31 1919, totalled $2,925,944. On that date there were completed 777 m. of open ditches and 42 m.of levees; there were under construction 135 m. of open ditches and 10 m. of levees. Most of these enterprises are in the western division of the state, where the tributaries of the Mississippi are utilized. The above figures do not include private supplementary works installed by individual farmers.

Mineral Products.—Tennessee produces most of the copper mined in the southern states. Its entire product of copper, gold, and silver comes from mines worked primarily for copper in Polk county. Lead production, first reported in 1915 (1,660 lb.), amounted to 4,376,000 lb. in 1919. In the latter year gold was valued at $5,662. The silver output was 98,288 oz.; copper 15,623,589 lb.; zinc 47,494,000 lb. Because of strikes the coal amounted to only about 5,000,000 tons. The demands of the World War led to the working of known manganese deposits in 16 counties. In 1916 oil was discovered in Scott county, and later some producing wells were drilled. In 1919 the Bankers Petroleum Co., of New York, obtained large tracts of land in Robertson and Dickson counties, a promising shallow-oil field. In 1910 natural gas was found near Franklin. In 1919 the production of phosphate rock was 473,985 tons.

Manufactures.—The product of manufactures remains relatively small, the value of 1914 being less than 1% of the total for the United States. Their growth between 1909 and 1914 was as follows:—

1914 1909



 Establishments 4,775  4,609 
 Wage-earners 74,373  73,840 
 Capital  $211,423,167   $167,923,784 
 Salaries 11,828,691  9,186,243 
 Wages 33,082,987  28,251,591 
 Cost of materials 123,430,135  104,015,834 
 Value of product 212,071,489  180,216,548 
 Value added by manufacture 88,641,354  76,200,714 


In 1914 lumber and timber products still led, having a value of $31,430,208. Flour-mill and grist-mill products were valued at $26,413,574; cottonseed oil and cake $11,414,243. There were nine other industries each with a product valued at over $4,000,000; food preparations; foundry and machine-shop products; general shop construction and repairs by steam railway companies; printing and publishing; hosiery and knit goods; cotton goods; patent medicines and druggists' preparations; fertilizers; bakery products. In 1914 84.6% of the average number of wage-earners were males over 16 years old, 13.6% females, and 1.8% children under 16. In 1909 the respective figures were 85.3%, 11.3%, and 3.3%.

Transportation.—On Jan. 1 1919 the total railway mileage of the state was 4,083 m., or 9.79 m. per 100 sq. m. of territory. The chief railways were: Louisville and Nashville 952 m.; Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis 903 m.; Southern railway 891 m.; Tennessee Central 291 m.; Illinois Central 143 miles.

Finance.—The balance in the state Treasury Jan. 1 1918 was $368,818. Receipts for 1918 were $7,954,650 and disbursements $7,481,756, leaving a balance, Dec. 20 1918, of $841,682. On the same date the total bonded debt was $11,481,000. On Dec. 20 1912 the balance in the state Treasury was $317,270 and the bonded debt $15,218,600. The number of all reporting banks, June 30 1920, was 546; aggregate resources $489, 162,000; capital stock paid in $35,041,900; individual deposits $312,222,000.

Education.—By an Act of 1909 state normal schools were established in Johnson City, Memphis, Murfreesboro, and (for negroes) at Nashville. In Jan. 1911 Bruce R. Payne (b. 1874) was elected president of the George Peabody College for teachers in Nashville. Later in the year this college was moved from South Nashville to a new site adjoining the campus of Vanderbilt University. Arrangements were made for an interchange of courses of instruction between the two institutions. In 1918 the total school pop. was 790,959. The enrolment in the public schools was 604,633 and the average daily attendance 418,709 (368,888 in 1912). The number of teachers was 11,880, of whom 8,375 were women. In 1919 the compulsory school age was raised from 14 to 16 years.

History.—In 1910 Benjamin W. Hooper (b. 1870) was elected governor, following a serious split in the Democratic party over the prohibition question. He was the only Republican elected to state office, and was the first Republican governor since 1883. He took a strong stand for prohibition. The Democratic Legislature displayed much opposition to the governor, and his inauguration was delayed through lack of a quorum until Jan. 25 1911. The regular Democrats passed a bill depriving the governor of the power of appointing the state board of elections, and raising the number of members from three to seven. The bill was vetoed by the governor, and to prevent its passage over the veto the Republicans and independent Democrats migrated to Alabama, where they remained until acquiescence in the veto was forced. The governor also vetoed a bill giving $500 additional salary to each member of the Legislature, but approved an amended bill reducing the increase to $200. In 1911 the Legislature chose Luke Lea (b.1879) to succeed U.S. Senator James B. Frazier. In 1912 Hooper was renominated for governor and was reëlected over Benton McMillin (b. 1845; governor 1899-1903), the Democratic candidate. Robert Love (“Bob”) Taylor; (b. 1850), U.S. Senator since 1907, died March 31 1912. He was a representative in Congress 1879-81, governor 1887-91 and 1897-9, and unsuccessful candidate for governor 1910. He was long a picturesque figure in state politics and widely known as a popular lecturer. In the gubernatorial campaign in 1886 his Republican opponent was his own brother Alfred Alexander (“Alf”) Taylor (see below). They stumped the state together, Bob everywhere winning favour by his stories and folk songs and his “fiddle.” As his successor to the Senate the Legislature in 1913 chose John K. Shields (b. 1858), a member of the state Supreme Court since 1902 and Chief Justice since 1910. Another prominent politician, James D. Porter (b. 1828), governor 1875-9, died May 8 1912. In July 1915 the city of Nashville was placed in the hands of a receiver, as the result of the disappearance of the city's cash books covering the period 1908-12, and in 1916 the mayor was removed from office for remissness of duty. In Nov. 1915 the mayor of Memphis, the commissioner of fire and police, and the judge of the municipal court were removed from office for failure to enforce the prohibition law. In the presidential election of 1916 Wilson received 152,955 votes and Hughes 116,257. In 1920 Harding received 219,829 votes and Cox 206,558. For the first time since 1868 the Republican presidential candidate carried the state. A Republican governor also was elected, “Alf” Taylor, brother of the former Democratic governor. Taylor received 229,463 votes as against 182,836 for A. H. Roberts, who had been renominated by the Democrats.

Proposals made by the Legislature to call a constitutional convention were defeated in 1916, 1917 and 1920. In Sept. 1916 a new bridge across the Mississippi at Memphis was opened. An Act prohibiting the manufacture of intoxicating liquor in the state became effective Jan. 1 1910; in Oct. 1913 Gov. Hooper called a special session of the Legislature and secured passage of the so-called nuisance bill, intended to close every saloon in the state, forbidding the sale of intoxicating liquor within four miles of any school; in 1915 provision was made for removal from office of state, county, or city officials who failed to enforce the prohibition law; on Feb. 2 1917 Gov. Rye signed a bill forbidding the importation of liquor into the state. The hours of labour for women were reduced to 58 per week after Jan. 1 1914 and to 57 after Jan. 1 1915. In 1913 for the first time the reporting of accidents was required, wherever persons were employed; provision was made for enforcing the installation of additional fire escapes in factories; and a department of workshop and factory inspection was created. The same year an Act was passed providing “that married women be and are hereby fully emancipated from all disability on account of coverture, and the common law as to the disabilities of married women and its effect on the rights of property of the wife is totally abrogated.” On April 1 1913 the Legislature ratified the amendment to the Federal Constitution for popular election of U.S. senators. In 1915 a law was passed providing for mothers' pensions. In 1917 the letting of prison labour to private contractors was prohibited, and an Act was passed forbidding the limiting of the output of coal for increasing the price. The same year a State Budget Commission was created, having as its members the governor, the comptroller, the treasurer, the secretary of state, and the auditor. The wilful setting fire to any woods was made a felony. On Aug. 18 1920 the House by 50 to 46 voted to concur in the Senate resolution (adopted Aug. 13 by five to four), ratifying the proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution, providing for woman suffrage. As the 36th state (out of the 48 in the American Union) to ratify, Tennessee brought the number up to the requisite three-fourths. The contest among the legislators was bitter, and there were attempts to rescind the House's action on constitutional grounds. Governor Roberts, however, on Aug. 24, sent certification of the state's ratification to Secretary of State Colby, who on Aug. 26 proclaimed the Federal amendment for woman suffrage to be in effect.

In the World War Tennessee furnished to the army, navy and marine corps 91,386 men. Contributions to the various war loans were as follows: First Liberty Loan $10,924,800; Second $26,043,650; Third $33,783,250; Fourth $55,867,250; Victory Loan $37,555,450.

Recent governors have been: Malcolm R. Patterson (Dem.), 1907-11; Benjamin W. Hooper (Rep.), 1911-5; Thomas C. Rye (Dem.), 1915-9; A. H. Roberts (Dem.), 1919-21; Alfred A. Taylor (Rep.), 1921-. (G. C. S.)