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1. Private Acts of 1905, Chapter 465, Page 978, provided that Sevier County, by virtue of the 1900 Federal Census figures, might give its credit, up to $50,000, to any railroad incorporated under Tennessee law by complying with the terms of this Act. The railroad must run through the county or within one mile of the county seat. The President of the railroad must file an application giving plans, the amount of credit desired, and the time within which the railroad would be constructed. Then the County Judge must call a special meeting of the Court within ten days to consider whether or not the question would be submitted to the people in an election, provided with "for" or "against" ballots, wherein three fourths must vote favorably. If defeated in the election, another one may be held after 60 days. The County would supervise the expenditure of the funds, if the decision should be in the affirmative.


1. Private Acts of 1866-67, Chapter 66, Page 190, Sections 13 through 21, incorporated the Sevierville Turnpike Company naming Wyatt F. Nichol, Jesse Stafford, John C. Yett, Charles Inman, and John McAndrew, as directors of the company which would macadamize a road from Sevierville in the direction of Newport in Cocke County, by way of Fair Garden. The County Court was authorized to issue up to$10,000 in 6%, 10 year bonds to be applied to the building of the road. Toll gates could be established when the road was completed.

2. Private Acts of 1897, Chapter 158, Page 345, allowed the Sevier County Quarterly Court, two-thirds of the Justices being present, to $75,000 in 6%, 15 year bonds, to build a pike road from Shook's Gap to Sevierville on or near the route now surveyed, and on to Newport. All the incidentals of a bond issue were contained in the act.

3. Private Acts of 1903, Chapter 312, Page 907, allowed the Quarterly County Court to issue up to $50,000 in 5%, 20 year bonds to repair and macadimize the present pike road from the Knox County line at Shook's Gap to Sevierville and on the Hadsden's Bridge as it has been surveyed and built. All details of the bond issue were present in the Act along with the requirement that two-thirds of the Justices must be present at the vote.

4. Private Acts of 1907, Chapter 384, Page 1288, authorized Sevier County, using population figures of 1900, to issue bonds up to $35,000, at interest rates up to 5%, and under maturity schedules not to exceed twenty years, to repair and macadamize the pike road from the Knox county line at Shook's Gap to Sevierville and to Hadsden's Bridge beyond as the same has been surveyed and built. This is almost verbatim the same as the 1903 Act above and it is presumed that the bonds authorized here were in addition to those permitted under that Act. All other details essential to bond issues were in the Act.

Historic Roads

1. Acts of 1801, Chapter 72, Page 162, authorized the County Court of Sevier County, as a body politic, to open a road from Sevierville to the boundary of the State in a direction towards the most convenient part or commercial place in Georgia. The court could appoint one or more viewers to view, lay off and mark the road at a compensation of $2.00 per day. The Court was authorized to levy a road tax to defray the expenses of building the said road, and, in addition, could appoint toll gate keepers to collect tolls in accordance with the schedule set up in this law. The Court could make such other rules and regulations deemed necessary to accomplish the objective. Anyone passing a toll gate without paying was subject to a fine of $10.00.

2. Acts of 1803, Chapter 38, Page 84, permitted the County Court to contract with any person, or persons, to open, clear and keep in repair a road (unidentified in the act but apparently well known to the County Court), and the Court may grant such person toll collecting rights not to exceed twenty years and may cause a toll to be collected for the use and benefit of the county for a period not to exceed twenty years.

3. Acts of 1819, Chapter 40, Page 52, recited that it had been represented to the General Assembly that James P. H. Porter, and others, had viewed and marked a road from David Frazier's place in Sevier County to the top of Smokey Mountain running from Knoxville to Augusta, Georgia by way of Sevierville, which would reduce the distance by 80 to 100 miles. This act appointed Porter, above, Alexander Preston, Robert H. Rodgers, William Henderson, and James Wilson, as Commissioner to superintend the opening and completing of the said road. They were required to make a bond and would not be paid for serving as Commissioners. When, and if, it became impossible to keep the road going by means of subscription, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions may levy a tax to sustain it.

4. Public Acts of 1821, Chapter 6, Page 10, required the County Courts of the various counties to classify all the roads in the County into three different classes and to index them which was the first step towards a statewide system of roads and the pattern for many road laws to follow. Width and surfacing were the two standards to be used and penalties were incorporated for damaging or obstructing public roads for the first time.

5. Private Acts of 1821, Chapter 105, Page 205, incorporated James P. H. Porter, Alexander Preston, Simeon Perry, Robert Rogers, all of Sevier County, and others in other counties, as the Smokey Mountain Turnpike Company to build a road from Sevierville towards the Georgia line. Anyone working for one week on this road in Sevier County could travel it for one year toll free.

6. Private Acts of 1835-36, Chapter 87, Page 216, appointed James P. H. Porter, Micajah C. Rogers, Anthony Lawson, John Mullendore, and Elijah Cate, as Commissioners to lay off and build a road of the first class from the end of the Smokey Mountain Turnpike in Sevier County to the public road in or near Cumberland Gap in Claiborne County. They were to make reports to the County Courts through which the road would pass whereupon the Court shall appoint an overseer and hands to keep the road in good repair. Any failure to comply could lead to indictment and trial.

7. Private Acts of 1841-42, Chapter 32, Page 34, appointed William Ogle, Senior, Andrew Pearee, Robert Shealds, George W. Cowan, William Catlett, Ira M. Hill, Allen S. Bryan, Jesse Langston, and William Thompson, as Commissioners, to open books and to receive subscriptions of stock up to $25,000 to make a turnpike road from the northern end of Smokey Mountain Turnpike to some point on the route leading to Cumberland Gap which point would be designated by the Commissioners. The point, however, would be kept below the Pigeon River mountains. When the road was completed, one till gate could be erected but no resident of Sevier County would be compelled to pay any toll charges.

8. Private Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 52, Page 54, appointed several people including James P. H. Porter, John Walker, Lemuel Bogart, George Fox, and John Bird, all of Sevier County, as Commissioners to view, mark, and lay off an alteration in the location of the road leading from Newport in Cocke County to Sevierville. When the alteration has been marked by this group of Commissioners, it shall not be changed by anyone else.

9. Private Acts of 1843-44, Chapter 203, Page 226, appointed George McCown, John Mullendore, William Henderson, Martin Shultz, William Ogle, Senior, William Trentham, Robert Shields, William Catlett, John Ellis, Samuel Bailey, John Walker, J. M. Hammer, G. W. Porter, and George Fox, as Commissioners to open the books and receive up to$10,000 in stock subscriptions for a road to run from the north end of the Smokey Mountain Turnpike to Pigeon Forge on the west fork of the Little Pigeon River. Shares would be sold at $20 each and this company could purchase all the shares of the Turnpike Company, if it so desired.

10. Private Acts of 1845-46, Chapter 150, Page 226, authorized James P. H. Porter, John Mullendore, Alles S. Bryan, William Catlett, George McCown, John Walker, William Ogle, Senior, J. H. Hammer, and William S. J. Ford, and their associates, to incorporate as the Sevier County Turnpike Company to build apparently the same road mentioned above. They could issue up to $6,000 in $20 shares. The act had a schedule of tolls to be charged at the one toll gate to be allowed but residents were exempted from paying it.

11. Private Acts of 1851-52, Chapter 276, Page 480, incorporated M. W. McCown, William Catlett, Milton Carter, West J. Emert, William Ogle, Senior, Daniel W. Ragan, and H. M. Thomas as the Sevier County Turnpike Co., with up to $5,000 capital to build a road from the top of Smoky Mountain on a line between North Carolina and Tennessee to the first ford of the west fork of the Little Pigeon River above West J. Emert's place in Sevier County. There were rules for the operation of the company and specifications for the road which must be met. A schedule of tolls to be charged was included and provisions made for periodic examinations to be conducted both of the physical aspects of the road and the financial records of the company.

12. Public Acts of 1901, Chapter 136, Page 237, was a statewide road law for all counties under 70,000 in population. The County Court would elect one Road Commissioner in each Road District which would be co-extensive with Civil Districts who would serve two year terms. Their duties were set out for which they would receive $1.00 per day for each day actually worked, not to exceed ten days in one year. A road tax of two cents per $100 of property valuation was levied and the duties of the courts, the chairman of the Road Commission and the members of the Commission were enumerated fairly extensively. All males between the ages of 21 and 45 were subject to work on the roads as the County Courts might determine and penalties established for any failure to do so. Prisoners were also required to work on the roads under prescribed conditions. Procedures to open, close, or change roads were promulgated which must be observed by anyone desiring them. Work on the highways could be contracted under certain conditions. This act was involved in litigation in the case of Carroll v. Griffith (1906), 117 Tenn. 500, 97 SW 66.

13. Public Acts of 1905, Chapter 478, Page 1016, amended Chapter 136, Public Acts of 1901, above, in several minor particulars but primarily in the procedures to be followed to open, close, or change a road.

14. Private Acts of 1909, Chapter 60, Page 172, seemed to be a typical county road law for some county but did not apply to Sevier County as some have indicated that it did.

15. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 496, Page 1610, allowed the Quarterly County Court to issue $5,000 in interest bearing warrants which would be used to macadamize certain roads in Sevier County on the most direct routes as determined by the Road Commission. An equal amount would be spent on the roads until they intersected and the remainder on such as were left after that. Authority to levy a tax to pay the warrants was granted in this Act.

16. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 616, Page 1971, authorized the Quarterly County Court of Sevier County to levy an annual tax not to exceed more than 30 cents per $100 to lay out, open, grade, and macadamize a public road of the first class from the present forks of the public road at the new pike near Mrs. Mollie Hicks residence in the 4th Civil District, to the new pike survey at a point on the southwest side of the big East Fork of Little Pigeon near Long ford and to construct a suitable bridge across the river between Red Bank Church and Mitchell's ford. Three commissioners were to be appointed to supervise the contract and the work and to report to the Quarterly Court. They may employ an engineer to oversee the work, if deemed essential.

17. Private Acts of 1915, Chapter 626, Page 1990, amended Chapter 43, Acts of 1913, Section One by allowing the County Court of Sevier County to direct the Pike Commissioners to expend the remainder of the $25,000 provided in Subsection 7 thereof upon the public roads leaving the present new grade near Sheldon Ogle's and leading up Bird's Creek to or near the mouth of Campbell's Branch and on to Emert's Cave.

18. Private Acts of 1923, Chapter 472, Page 1821, created the office of Road Superintendent in Sevier County, who would be elected by the County Court at its July term for two years. He must take an oath, make bond, and be in full charge of the roads, and the road tools and equipment. He will be the Chairman of all the road commissions and the Chief engineer of the county. He shall be 30 years old, or older, a civil engineer with at least two years experience and a person of good character. His salary is set at $2400 annually, payable monthly.

19. Private Acts of 1929, Chapter 634, Page 1762, was a road law for Sevier County which classified roads into four classes according to width and to surfacing materials. Cities would continue to exercise control over their streets. Edd Sheperd, Roy Fox, and P. J. Ward, were named to the first County Highway Commission, serving staggered three year terms taking an oath and making $2500 bond as required. The Commission would have regular and called meetings. They would exercise supervision over all roads, designating the ones to be improved, expending the road funds, and may employ an engineer and attorney, if needed. They would get $4.00 per day, and expenses, but must file an itemized, sworn statement. The Secretary would keep the records and the Commission would report to the Court. Each Civil District would constitute a road district. Each section of road would have a foreman who would serve for two years and be in charge of maintaining that section of road. All males 21 to 50 years old, were required to work six, ten hour days on the roads, or pay $1.00 for each day missed. Penalties were provided for violations of this Section, and procedures were established to enforce the working of the roads. Work could be contracted out but not in excess of the money available. The Commission was required to act on the petitions to open, close, or change the roads, and could set the allowable weights for vehicles. The Court could levy a tax from 20 to 50 cents per $100 for roads. District Road Commissioners were abolished.

20. Private Acts of 1931, Chapter 199, Page 480, amended Chapter 54, Public Acts of 1929, by adding a provision that convicts may be worked on public roads and quarries in Sevier County from morning until night as deemed practical by the Chairman of the County Highway Commission, and, further, that all petitions to open, close, or change a road be addressed to the District Road Commissioner who shall immediately initiate the procedures provided in the law for hearings and appeals therefrom, if necessary. The limits on the road tax were increased from 30 cents to 60 cents per $100 property valuation. Males, aged 21 to 45 were required to work six, ten hour days on the roads or pay $4.50 as a commutation charge, but would not be required to work outside his district. All commutation fees would be spent in the district from which they were collected. All tools were to be given to the County Highway Commission whose compensation was increased to $5.00 per day, plus expenses when outside the county. This Act was repealed by Chapter 435, Private Acts of 1933.

23. Private Acts of 1933, Chapter 10, Page 13, created the position of County Road Superintendent and became the next road law for Sevier County. The Superintendent would be elected by popular vote for two year terms beginning in August, 1934, vacancies occurring in between to be filled by the County Court. His salary would be $1500 annually, payable monthly, plus actual expenses incurred to the discharge of his duties, when supported by sworn, itemized statements. O. E. McMahan was appointed to serve as Road Superintendent until the election.

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