The New International Encyclopædia/Knoxville (Tennessee)

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KNOXVILLE. A city and the county-seat of Knox County, Tenn., 111 miles northeast of Chattanooga; on the Holston River, at the head of steam navigation; and on the Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern, the Knoxville and Augusta, the Knoxville, Cumberland Gap and Louisville, and the Southern railroads (Map: Tennessee, H 5). It has a site of great natural beauty among the foothills of the Clinch Mountains. There are State asylums for the insane and for the deaf and dumb, a fine Government building, a city hospital, court-house, city hall, city market, Lawson McGhee Memorial Library, the building which served as the first Capitol of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee (q.v.), the Agricultural College, and Knoxville College, for colored students. Other points of interest are the iron bridge across the river, Gray Cemetery, and the National Cemetery, in which are 3261 graves, 1047 of unknown dead. In commercial importance, Knoxville ranks with the chief interior cities of the South. It is the centre of the marble region of the State, and, besides a large trade in marble, both dressed and undressed, it has extensive wholesale interests, and ships considerable agricultural produce. Its manufactures also are important, including furniture, cotton and woolen goods, flour, lumber, foundry products, cars and car-wheels, wagons, and many other articles. The government is administered by a mayor, elected every two years, and a unicameral council, which controls elections to the more important offices, the executive having no appointive power, and the three members of the board of public works alone being chosen by popular election. The municipal budget balances at over $350,000, the principal items of expense being $45,000 (approximately) for schools, $30,000 for street expenditures, and $25,000 each for the fire department, for street lighting, and for the police department (including amounts for police courts, jails, reformatories, etc.). Population, in 1880, 9693; in 1890, 22,535; in 1900, 32,637.

Settled in 1787, Knoxville was laid out and named (after Gen. Henry Knox) in 1791, and became organized as a town in 1794. It was the capital of the ‘Territory South of the Ohio’ from 1792 to 1796, and of the State from 1796 to 1811. During the Civil War it was held by the Confederates until August, 1863, when General Burnside took possession. From November 10th to November 30th a Confederate force besieged it unsuccessfully, and on the 29th made a desperate assault on Fort Saunders, in which they lost about 600 killed and wounded and 300 prisoners. Knoxville was chartered as a city in 1815, and was enlarged in 1888 and 1889 by the addition of West and North Knoxville. Consult Powell, Historic Towns of the Southern States (New York, 1900).