Notes on early history, towns, churches and schools
The organization of this new county formed from Indian Lands was known as the "Hiwassee Purchase" and was signed in Washington, D.C. on 27 February 1819, between:John C. Calhoun, Secretary of Warand the following Cherokee Chiefs:
Hicks, John Ross, Lewis Ross, John Martin, James Brown, George Lowrey, Gideon Morgan, Jr., Cobbin Smith, Stephen Rabbitt, Samuel Wood, John Walker and Cherokee Dick.
On the 13th of November, 1819; the State Legislature at Murfreesboro passed the Act which formed McMinn county, which was named after Governor Joseph McMinn.
Calhoun was chosen as the first county seat in 1819 but in 1823 Athens was designated to represent the county and its people. Eli Hurst, a merchant in Athens, was credited with naming the town in 1821. The ridges and hills surrounding Athens reminded him of descriptions of the capital of Greece.
Calhoun, being the oldest town in the county, was settled in 1821 and named for Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, who served as Vice President under Andrew Jackson. Being situated on the Hiwassee River, it was an ideal location for a paper mill which is today, the largest newsprint plant in the United States.
Etowah was first known as Grady before the L&N Railroad organized the town in 1905 and in 1906 gave it the name of "Etowah". The name is contributed to it being a Creek word for "tribe" or "town" and also for it being a Cherokee word for "muddy waters".
WELCOME TO A PORTION OF THE TENNESSEE OVERHILL
This area was named because it was home to the Cherokee towns that were on the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains - overhill from the Lower Cherokee settlements. The OVERHILL is composed of the southeast counties of McMinn, Monroe and Polk, as well as the southern portion of the Cherokee National Forest.
Jones Chapel Church
Friendship Baptist Church (Now in Polk County)
Clear Springs Presbyterian Church
Wesleyana Methodist Church
South Liberty Church of Christ
South Liberty Methodist Church
Eastanallee Baptist Church
South Liberty Baptist Church
Double Springs Church
Clark's Chapel Methodist Church
New Zion Baptist Church
Crittenden's Fork Baptist Church
Goodsprings Baptist Church & School
Mars Hill Presbyterian Church
Double Springs School
Hanks Chapel School
Big Foot School
Jones Chapel School
Clear Springs School
Piney Grove School
Gravel Hill School
Womac's Academy - located on Cedar Springs Road
Womac's School - also known as 'Pine Knot School'