McMinn County

McMinn County

McMinn County was formed in 1819 from Indian lands

(Acts of Tennessee 1819, Chapter 7)

The county seat is Athens.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Englewood - The Town and its People (Dixon, 1985?)
  • Etowah (Tullock, 2013)
  • Hard Times Remembered: A Study of the Depression in McMinn County (Wiggins, 1983) [name index]*
  • Hidden History of McMinn County: Tales from Eastern Tennessee (Guy, 2007)*
  • McMinn County (Byrum, 1984) [name index]*
  • McMinn County (Guy, 2010) *
  • McMinn County, Tennessee and Its People, 1819-1997 (McMinn County Heritage Book Committee, 1997) [surname index]*
  • "Over Here" and After: McMinn County, Tennessee, During World War I and the Twenties (Wiggins & Akins, 1986) [name index]*

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: McMinn County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  


Published Local Records
  • 1880 Census, McMinn County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1995) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Bordwine Funeral Home Death Index 1969-December 31, 2004 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]
  • Chancery Court Records of McMinn County, Tennessee (Boyer, 1980) [name index]*
  • Chickamauga Reservoir Cemeteries (Douthat, 1986) [surname index]
  • Dender Funeral Home Death Index, 1929-1971 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2004) [alphabetical]
  • Index to McMinn County, Tennessee Tax Lists, 1829-1832, 1836 & Detail from 1836 Tax List (Reksten & Boyer, 1996) [name index]
  • Jerry E. Smith Funeral Home Death Index, 1964-December 31, 2004 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]
  • Kyker Funeral Home Death Index [vol. 1 1914-1947; vol. 2 1948-2004; vol. 3 1977-2004] (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]
  • Legacy of New Hopewell Baptist Church, Co. Rd. 121, McMinn Co., Athens, TN, Eighteen Hundred Twenty-Four to Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight (Boylston, 1999) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Ninth Federal Population Census, 1870 (Broyles, 1983) [surname index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee Cemeteries (Templin, 2000?) [surname index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Court Proceedings, 1819-1829 [2 vols.] (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Deeds and Other Data, 1820-1880 (Boyer, 1986) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Eastern Cherokee Claims, 1797-1909 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Loose Marriage Records, 1821-38 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1838-1848 (WPA, 1936) [name index for grooms]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, Vol. D & E, 1848-59, 1859-64 (WPA, 1936) [name index for grooms]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee Marriages [sic] records, March 1871 thru December 1885 (Wilson, 2004) [alphabetical by bride & groom]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Records: W.P.A. Transcript (Douthat, 1991) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Tombstone Inscriptions, vol. 1 (WPA, 1940) [name index]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Tombstone Inscriptions, vol. 2 [2 pts.] (WPA, 1940) [name index in pt. 1]
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1914 Through 1925 (Wiefering, 1993) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1926 Through 1930 (Wiefering, 1997) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1931 Through 1935 (Wiefering, 1998) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1936 Through 1941 (Wiefering, 1999) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1942 Through 1946 (Wiefering, 1999) [name index]*
  • McMinn County, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories, Vol. 2, 1828-1834 (WPA, 19??) [name index]
  • McMinn County, TN Death Certificates [sic] records [vol. 1 1914-1921] (Templin, 2005) [alphabetical by year]
  • McMinn County, TN Death Certificates [sic] records, 1922-1929 (Templin, 2005) [alphabetical by year]
  • McMinn County, TN Polk City Directory (2003)
  • Marriage License Records of McMinn County, 1838-1880 (Wilson, 2005) [alphabetical by groom & bride]
  • Marriage Records of McMinn County, Tennessee, 1820-1870 (Boyer, 1964) [alphabetical]
  • Marriages of McMinn County, Tennessee, 1821-1864 (Whitley, 1983) [name index]*
  • Murphy Funeral Home Death Index, 1957-1970 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2004) [alphabetical]
  • Population Schedule of United States Census of 1850 for McMinn County, Tennessee (East Tennessee Historical Society, 1961) [surname index]*
  • Private Acts of McMinn County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1994)
  • Quisenberry Funeral Home Death Index, 1931-1954 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]
  • Quisenberry-Laycock-Hobbs, 521 N. Jackson Street, Athens, Tennessee Death Index, 1955-December 31, 2004 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]
  • Tennessee Negro Cemetery Records and Marriage Records: counties of Campbell, Dickson, Madison, McMinn, Monroe, Roane, Sevier (WPA, 1938)
  • Wills and Estate Records of McMinn County, Tennessee, 1820-1870 (Boyer, 1966) [name index]*
  • Wills and Inventories, 1838-1848 [vol. 1 1838-41; vol. 2 (2 pts.) 1841-48] (WPA, 1936-37) [name index in vol. 1; name index in pt. 1 of vol. 2]
  • Ziegler Funeral Home Death Index, 1958-December 31, 2004 (McMinn County Historical Society, 2005) [alphabetical]


Local Records on Microfilm

An inventory of microfilmed McMinn County records is available on our website.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1838
  • wills from 1819
  • deed index from 1893 (deeds from 1820)
  • chancery court minutes from 1844
  • county court minutes from 1819
  • circuit court minutes from 1860
  • tax books from 1829


The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:

  • Marriage Records -- 1838-1879  (#68, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1819-1848  (#104, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1849-1862  (#105, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, McMinn County (Record Group #107, Roll 52, 1 reel). Roll includes Court Proceedings, pts. 1 & 2 (1819-1829), Eastern Cherokee Claims (1797-1909), Wills & Inventories, Vol. 2 (1828-1834), Wills & Inventories, Vol. C (1838-1841), Will Book D, pts. 1 & 2 (1841-1848), Loose Marriage Bonds (1821-1838), Marriage Records (1838-1864), Tombstone Inscriptions, Vol. 1 (undated) and Tombstone Inscriptions, Vol. 2, pts. 1 & 2 (undated).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Athens, Calhoun, Englewood and Etowah.  Scattered early issues are available from 1827, and a complete run begins in 1924.  Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased.  An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at the Library and Archives is available on our website.


Selected Manuscripts Material
  • Anderson County Records, 1800-1974 (Microfilm Manuscript #506, 1 reel)*
  • Athens Methodist Episcopal Church Records. McMinn County, 1865-1929 (Microfilm Manuscript #369, 1 reel)*
  • Baptist Church Records. Athens, 1834-1939 (Microfilm Manuscript #333, 1 reel)*
  • Blanch (Spurlock) Bentley Papers, 1761-1942 (Microfilm Manuscript #1063, 1 reel)*
  • Bradley County Miscellaneous Records, ca. 1835-1960 (Microfilm Manuscript #561, 4 reels)*
  • Dodson Family Records, ca. 1780-1940 (Microfilm Manuscript #475, 1 reel)*
  • Dr. John A. Long Medical Records, 1851-1871 (Microfilm Manuscript #758, 1 reel)*
  • Eastanallee Baptist Association Records, 1891, 1908-1913, 1916-1923 (Microfilm Manuscript #276, 1 reel)*
  • First Baptist Church of Englewood Records. Englewood, 1900-1969 (Microfilm Manuscript #308, 1 reel)*
  • First Baptist Church of Niota Records. McMinn County, 1885-1967; Niota Methodist Episcopal Church Records. McMinn County, 1919-1956 (Microfilm Manuscript #247, 1 reel)*
  • First Baptist Church Records. McMinnville, 1838-1916 (Microfilm Manuscript #261, 1 reel)*
  • First Methodist Episcopal Church Records. Athens, McMinn County, 1865-1960 (Microfilm Manuscript #1341, 1 reel)*
  • Grace Langdon, Diary, 1899  (Microfilm Manuscript #1642,  1 reel)*
  • Gustavius Memminger Bloom Papers, 1858-1869 (Microfilm Manuscript #367, 1 reel)*
  • Hiwassee Baptist Church, Calhoun (McMinn County) , 1824-1995 (Microfilm Manuscript #981, 1 reel)*
  • J. Matthews and Company Journal. Athens, 1867-1869 (Microfilm Manuscript #388, 1 reel)*
  • James J. Womack Diary, 1872-1879 (Microfilm Manuscript #260, 1 reel)*
  • John A. Long Record Book, 1844-1851 (Microfilm Manuscript #223, 1 reel)*
  • Lawrence Family Papers, 1780-1944  (Microfilm Manuscript #811, 1 reel)*
  • Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. McMinnville, 1831-1869; Friendship Baptist Church Records. Warren County, 1831-1912 (Microfilm Manuscript #259, 1 reel)*
  • McKenzie and Son, Surveyors Maps. Chattanooga, 1880-1916 (Microfilm Manuscript #1477, 1 reel)*
  • McMinn County Baptist Association Records. 1924-1968 (Microfilm Manuscript #283, 1 reel)*
  • McMinnville City School Records, 1890-1923 (Microfilm Manuscript #179, 1 reel)*
  • Main Street Presbyterian Church Records. McMinnville, 1871-1949 (Microfilm Manuscript #262, 1 reel)*
  • Mamie Frances (Moser) Dyche Scrapbooks, 1870-1966 (Microfilm Manuscript #246, 2 reels)*
  • Mars Hill Presbyterian Church Records. Athens, 1832-1967 (Microfilm Manuscript #466, 1 reel)*
  • Savage Family Records, 1837-1903 (Microfilm Manuscript #652, 1 reel)*
  • Shellsford Missionary Baptist Church Records. McMinnville, 1855-1960 (Microfilm Manuscript #286, 1 reel)*
  • Zion Hill Baptist Church Records. McMinn County, 1822-1865  (Microfilm Manuscript #1310, 1 reel)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for McMinn County:  1830-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1830-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • McMinn County census records in book form:  1850*, 1870*, 1880*


Additional Research Aids for McMinn County

* Indicates this title may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan from the Library and Archives.


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McMinn County Formation Act



"An Act to establish the counties therein mentioned, east of Rhea and south of Roane and Blount counties."


SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That the territory contained within the lines hereafter mentioned, shall constitute a county the name of M’Minn County.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That the said county of M’Minn, shall be bounded as follows, to wit:  Beginning at the point where the meridian line will cross the line of Roane County; thence a direct line to a point which shall be equidistant from Tillasseh, on the Tennessee, and Hiwassee on the Indian boundary line; continuing the same course to the southern boundary line of this state; thence west with said line to the county of Hamilton; thence with the eastern line of said county to the county of Rhea; thence with the lines of the county of Rhea to the county of Roane; thence to the beginning.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That all the Territory included in the lines hereafter mentioned shall constitute a county by the name of Monroe county.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the said county of Monroe shall be bounded as follows, to wit: beginning at the beginning of M’Minn county; thence running eastwardly with the line of Roane county to the Tennessee river; thence up said river to the mouth of Cowee and Nanteyallee; thence with the dividing ridge between said rivers to the eastern boundary line of this state; thence south with the said line to the line dividing this state from the state of Georgia; thence west to the county of M’Minn; thence with the said county to the beginning.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That for the administration of Justice, the courts of Pleas and Quarter sessions and the circuit courts in said counties shall be held at the following places, to-wit: For the county of M’Minn, at the house of Major John Walker, and for the county of Monroe, at the house of William Dixon, on the south bank of Little Tennessee opposite the town of Morganton, at which places the said courts shall be holden, until otherwise provided for by law, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions, and shall exercise the same power and jurisdiction that is possessed by said courts, in other counties of this state.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriffs of the counties of Monroe and M’Minn, shall each hold an election at the places appointed for holding courts in said counties on the first Friday and Saturday in May next, for the purpose of electing field officers of the Militia for said counties, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions, as are prescribed by law in similar cases; and the militia of the county of Monroe shall compose the sixty sixth regiment, and shall be attached to the seventh brigade; and the militia of the county of M’Minn shall compose the sixty seventh regiment, and be attached as aforesaid.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the commandants of said sixty-sixth, and sixty-seventh regiments, having first been commissioned and sworn according to law, to divide their regiments into such number of companies, as they shall think best, for the convenience of said companies, and it shall be the duty of each of said commandants, to issue writs of election for company officers according to law.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That said county of Monroe shall be attached to the election district of the county of Blount, and to be governed by the same rules and regulations as other elections are held in Blount County, and the sheriff of Monroe County shall make return of the votes of his county for electors to elect a president and vice president, governor, members to congress and members to the state Legislature, to the sheriff of Blount County, under the same rules and regulations as for other counties; and that said county of M’Minn shall be attached to the election district of the county of Rhea under the same rules and regulations as govern the counties of Monroe and Blount.

SECTION 9. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be lawful for any justice of the peace for Blount County, to attend at the first court for said county of Monroe, and any justice of the peace for Rhea county may attend the first court in the county of M’Minn for the purpose of administering the necessary oaths to the justices of said courts.


Passed on November 18, 1819

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McMinn County Bibliography

PLEASE NOTE that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the Tennessee State Library and Archives Online Catalog or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and verify we have an item in our collection. We will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

Subjects :

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McMinn County in General
  • Adams, Donna J. Recreation resources & needs study, McMinn & Polk counties, TN. Oak Ridge, ORAU, 1966. 54 pp.
  • Akins, Bill. Trew's store: the first hundred years, 1890-1990. Athens, McMinn County Hist. Soc., 1990. 48 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (McMinn County, Preliminary #10). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 37 pp.
  • Brasington, George F. The McMinn County, TN election of August 1, 1946. Emory U. thesis, 1948. 60 pp.
  • Byrum, C. Stephen. McMinn County. Memphis, MSU Press, 1984. 129 pp.
  • Dunn, Durwood, ed. These are our lives: McMinn countians in the twentieth century. Athens, TN Wesleyan College, 1992. 225 pp.
  • Ealy, Sally D. The educational history of McMinn County, TN. UT thesis, 1985. 198 pp.
  • Early history of McMinn County, from the time it was organized to the year 1887. Athens, the Herald, n.d. 13 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: McMinn County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1991. 1 vol.
  • Frazier, Lee. "Some lore of the Sweetwater Valley." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 13 (1947), pp. 55-63.
  • Goodspeed's history of east TN (McMinn County, pp. 811-815, 1012-1032). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Ground water management & protection: McMinn County, TN. Chattanooga, TVA, 1991. 72 pp.
  • Keith, Charles F. A review of McMinn County, TN, 1819-1968. N.p., 1969. 52 pp.
  • Lewis, Tim N. "Early chapters of TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 8 (1942), pp. 27- 53.
  • Long, Grady M. "Folk medicine in McMinn, Polk, Bradley & Meigs counties, TN 1910-1927." TN Folklore Society Bull. 28 (1962), pp. 1-8.
  • McKinney, R. Frank. Tall tales & unusual happenings of McMinn County, TN. Athens, McMinn County Hist. Soc., 1988. 171 pp.
  • McKinney, R. Frank. Torment in the knobs. Athens, McMinn County Hist. Soc., 1976, 1989. 230 pp. (historical novel of the 19th century & a true story of Mason Evans, a hermit for 40 years in the wilds of Starr Mountain)
  • McMinn County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • McMinn County, TN, citizens handbook, Feb., 1971. Prepared & published by 1969 & 1970 eighth grade civics class of Mountain View Elementary School, Etowah, TN, 1971. 56 pp.
  • Martin, J. Huse. Characteristics of small Woodland owners in McMinn County, TN. Knoxville, UT, 1965. 65 pp. (preliminary report on a special problem in lieu of a thesis)
  • Neece, Stephen E. An examination of the controversy between the city of Athens & McMinn County, TN, concerning a proposed user charge for solid waste disposal service. ETSU, 1976. 45 pp. (a report presented to the Dept. of Political Science, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of master of city management, ETSU)
  • Pyott, J.I. "Minerals of McMinn County, TN." (In East TN, hist. & biog., pp. 379-383)
  • Rogers, E.G. "Borrowing from the moon." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 14 (1948), pp. 54-56.
  • Rogers, E.G. "Civil War etchings in retrospect." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 27 (1961), pp. 71-76.
  • Rogers, E.G. "Figurative language the folkway." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 16 (1950), pp. 71-75.
  • Rogers, E.G. "Switching for water." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 21 (1955), pp. 108- 111.
  • Russell, Thomas R. History of McMinn County, TN. (In East TN, hist. & biog., pp. 387-405)
  • Smith, Melvin O. Stratigraphy & structure of the middle Ordovician rocks in the vicinity of Calhoun, McMinn County, TN. UT dissertation, 1976. 155 pp.
  • Soil survey, McMinn County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1957. 109 pp.
  • Sullivan, Lynne P. "Cultural change & continuity in the late Woodland & Mississippian occupations of the Mouse Creek site." TN Anthrop. 14 (1989), pp. 33-63.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Taxpayers Association. A report with recommendations covering a survey of the finances & administrative methods of the government of McMinn County, TN. Nashville, the association, 1948. 203 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Lower Hiwassee Valley, summary of resources. Knoxville, TVA, 1963. 1 vol.
  • TN Valley Authority, Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of McMinn County, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Research Div. The effects upon local finance of real property purchases by the TVA, survey #4, Chickamauga Reservoir counties. Knoxville, TVA, 1938. 45 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Spring City, Ten Mile, Pattie Gap, Evensville, Decatur, Tranquility, Niota, Sweetwater, Graysville, Big Spring, Goodfield, Riceville, Athens, Englewood, Soddy Island, Birchwood, Charleston, Calhoun, Etowah, Mecca, Benton.
  • Wankan, Frederick E. Echoes from the great depression: & stray tales from my post-Athenian days. Knoxville, the author, 1984. 78 pp.
  • Wiggins, Genevieve & Bill Akins, eds. Hard times remembered: a study of the depression in McMinn. Athens, McMinn County Hist. Soc., 1983. 146 pp.
  • Wiggins, Genevieve & Bill Akins, eds. "Over here" & after: McMinn County TN during WWI & the twenties. Athens, McMinn County Hist. Soc., 1986. 130 pp.
  • Wooten, John M., comp. Scrapbook history of McMinn County, TN. Cleveland, 1937. 405 pp.
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  • Boyer, Reba B. A history of Mars Hill Presbyterian Church. Athens, n.p., 1973. 126 pp.
  • Byrum, C. Stephen. The battle of Athens. Chattanooga, Paidia Productions, 1987. 301 pp.
  • Cook, Howard. Swifter than eagles: Bill White & the battle of Athens, 1946: a nonfiction novel. Athens, Friendly City Pub. Co., 1980. 343 pp.
  • Ealy, Sally D. A history of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, 1824- 1984. Athens, the church, 1985. 288 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Athens, TN, McMinn County. (Rev. Dec. 4, 1986). Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1986. 27 pp.
  • Johnson, George O. "Weena & Connestoga: a legend which centers around two trees in the heart of Athens." TN Hist. Mag. 8 (1924), pp. 153-166.
  • McMinn County High School, Athens, TN. The Cherokee. (annual) High school yearbook.
  • Sharp, John M. Recollections of hearsays of Athens, fifty years & beyond. Athens, the author, 1933. 78 pp.
  • White, T. H. "The battle of Athens, TN." Harper's Mag. 194 (1947), pp. 54-61.

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  • Dickson, Bobbie Armstrong. Englewood: the town & its people. N.p., 1986.
  • Evans, Carol Jo & Helen Brown, eds. Then & now: the women at Englewood textile mills. Athens, Quality, 1993. 120 pp.
  • Floods on Chestuee, Little Chestuee, & Middle Creeks in vicinity of Englewood, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1969. 8 pp.

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  • Etowah, TN, the fastest-growing town on the Knoxville-Atlanta highway. Etowah, n.p., 1929? 16 pp.
  • Growing up with the L&N: life & times in a railroad town. Etowah, Arts Commission, 1989. 64 pp.
  • McKinney, R. Frank. A brief history of the city of Etowah, TN. Etowah, the city, 1988. 25 pp.

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Mars Hill
  • Nankivel, J.R. History & times of Mars Hill Presbyterian Church, 1823 - 1923. Athens, Session, n.d. 26 pp.

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  • Athens press presents the story of Niota, TN; its history, products & services in words & pictures. Athens, n.p., 1962. 12 pp.

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Tennessee Wesleyan College
  • Grant University. General catalogue of the graduates at Athens, TN, from the Methodist Episcopal Church University, 1866-1896. Knoxville, Ogden Bros. & Co., 1896. 50 pp.
  • Martin, Leroy Albert. A history of Tennessee Wesleyan College, 1857-1957. Athens, 1957. 296 pp.
  • TN Wesleyan College, Athens. Nocatula. (annual) TN Wesleyan College yearbook.


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