Category Archives: Jim Tumblin

Jim Tumblin’s posts.

Mary Boyce Temple

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

History and Mysteries: Mary Boyce Temple (1856-1929)

Those who followed the Washington scene in the 1950s, particularly during President Truman’s administration, will remember Perle Mesta. She was the socialite who gave the parties that everyone aspired to attend. When Truman appointed her U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, she continued her lavish parties there.

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James G. Sterchi (1867-1932)

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

Francois Sterchi had been a commissioner and archivist in Switzerland, but he fled to the United States to escape political turmoil in his native country. Like many Swiss immigrants to the area, he first settled atop the Cumberland Plateau in Wartburg. Finding the soil too poor for successful farming, he moved to north Knox County along Beaver Creek.

One of Francois Sterchi’s sons, Jean L.A. Sterchi, married Parthena Tunnell, and the union produced 10 children. Their eighth child, James Gilbert Sterchi, was born on June 23, 1867. He attended local schools until he was 17 and then took a sales job with Cullen and Newman, a glassware wholesaler. Those years made him an excellent judge of character and enhanced his “people skills.”

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Adelia Armstrong Lutz: Early Knoxville artist

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

1890 must have been a very busy year for the Baumann Brothers Architects as they were supervising construction of two mansions in opposite ends of Knox County at the same time: Parkview, the Col. James C. Crawford mansion in Fountain City, and Westwood, the John and Adelia Armstrong Lutz mansion on Kingston Pike. In addition, they had contracts for the Borches Block on Gay Street and for the Lenoir City Land Company office.

Westwood has recently experienced extensive restoration, and its second floor has become the headquarters for Knox Heritage thanks to a generous challenge grant from Lindsay Young’s Aslan Foundation.

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Arthur Stupka: Archivist of the Smokies

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

Arthur John Stupka was born on Oct. 24, 1905, the oldest of four children of Louis and Mary Stupka, both natives of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Louis owned a meat and produce market in Cleveland, Ohio, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. That is where Arthur first experienced the great outdoors.

He graduated from Ohio State University, where he also earned his master’s degree in zoology, and then joined the National Park Service at Yellowstone as a ranger-naturalist in 1931.

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Francis Alexander Ramsey Scott (1827-1909)

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

John Sevier considered his grandfather, James Scott Sr. (1760-1823), to be his right-hand man during the Indian Wars and said he would never enter battle without him. His father, James Scott Jr. (1797- 1838), built the handsome brick mansion Cedar Grove now occupied by Stevens Mortuary, established the Scott Flour Mills on First Creek which would operate for more than 100 years and sacrificed his life for his neighbors during the 1838 cholera epidemic.

And F.A.R. Scott himself was proprietor of another early mill on First Creek, a principal in both the Tazewell Jacksboro Turnpike Co. and the Fountain Head Railway Co. (“The Dummy Line”) and husband to Margaretta Frances Deaderick, descendant of two prominent Knoxville families, the Deadericks and the Croziers.

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Lowell Blanchard: A forgotten father of country music

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

“Why, country music, as public entertainment, was born in that Market Hall. It was there that Roy Acuff started sawing his fiddle for pay, and Lowell Blanchard gave birth to the ‘Merry-Go-Round’ and the ‘Tennessee Barn Dance.’ ” – former Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist Bert Vincent

Although legendary Knoxville live radio programs the WNOX “Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round” and the “Tennessee Barn Dance” once were held in the old Market House, they soon needed larger quarters.

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Tradin’ Claude’s remarkable life

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

He earned a law degree, played a large role in building the framework for the Tennessee Valley Fair, might have helped found the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and became a local household name selling cars, once taking a cow as partial payment for a Studebaker.

Meet Claude S. Reeder, who was born on July 14, 1886, in Knoxville, the son of Columbus Alexander and Adelia Hodges Reeder. Columbus Reeder was a prominent Knox County farmer and held several political offices in the county, including sheriff from 1876 to ’80.

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