Archive Record

Object Name Article
Catalog Number 2009.026.014
Description Article transcribed below.

"His Diamond Anniversary

James Williamson Seventy-Five Years of Age

Lived At Lookout's Foot Since His Marriage In 1867

Genuine Pioneer of St. Elmo Community, Having Settled There in 1861 - Descendant of Oglethorpe Colonist and of War Officer

James Williamson celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday with a dinner at his home in St. Elmo recently.

Mr. Williamson is one of the pioneers of St. Elmo, having resided there since 1861, excepting a short time during the civil war. He is well known to the older residents of Chattanooga and vicinity. He was born in Emanuel county, GA., Jan. 21, 1839. He is the son of William Williamson, who was born at Wainsboro Burk County, Ga., Jan 6, 1800 and Sally Kite who was born in Emanuel County, GA., in 1806. He is a descendant of one of the oldest and most influential families in the state of Georgia. His grandfather, Shade Kite, lived over seventy-five years in Emmanuel county, GA., and is buried in the kite graveyard in the little town of Kite, which bears his Name. Mr. Williamson's grandmother on his father's side was Lydia Harold, who came to this country from England with the Oglethorpe colony, among the first settlers of Georgia. Her two brothers, Raymond and Elisha Harold were commissioned officers in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Williamson came to Chattanooga in 1861; was married in 1967, at the First Methodist church of this city, on the second day of June, by the Rev. John W. Mann. He and his bride went to housekeeping at the foot of Lookout mountain and have lived there since that time.

Mr. Williamson will be remembered as a charter member of the old government police force of Chattanooga. He was a member of the county court for a number of years, being the first member to make a motion in court to build good bridges in the county, and was successful in getting the steel bridge built across Chattanooga creek in 1872. He was elected justice of the peace in March, 1870, when the county seat was at Harrison. He worked hard to have the present site of the county courthouse purchased, and was one of the court that was moved to Chattanooga, when the county seat was moved here from Harrison. Mr. Williamson was also school director, just after the war, and organized the public schools in the old Seventeenth district. The first white school teacher was Miss Deborah Haskins, and the first negro teacher was Henry Buchner.

Mr. Williamson has, for the most part, lived an outdoor life, and is unusually strong and active for a man of his years. He has hosts of friends in Chattanooga who wish him many happy returns of Jan 21.

Mrs. Williamson is a daughter of James and Laura Lambeth Van Story. She was born in Greensboro, N.C., April 11, 1846, and came to Chattanooga July 4, 1860, where she has resided ever since, near the foot of Lookout mountain Many of the old citizens will probably remember the fourth of July, 1860, on account of a big barbecue given on that day on Cameron hill. She remained here through all of the civil war and saw some of the battles around Chattanooga.
Date 1914
Dates of Creation January 29, 1914
Extent of Description 15.00" x 6.25"
Title Pioneer Settlers of St. Elmo Have Anniversary
Accession number 2009.026