The Seviers community lies between the Clark’s Creek and Chucky Valley communities, with the Nolichucky River on the north and the mountains on the south. This fertile river bottom land is in the 6th Civil District of Washington County, eight miles from Jonesborough on Highway 107.
The community was named for the Sevier family. The home of John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee, stood only a short distance from Seviers Church. This area was also the home of James Sevier, son of John and Sarah (Hawkins) Sevier. James was born in 1764 in Augusta County, Virginia and died in 1847 in Washington County, Tennessee. He married Nancy Conway (1772-1843) and they were the parents of eleven children, four of whom died in infancy.
James Sevier was a Revolutionary War soldier and fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain when he was not quite 16 years old. He served with his father in other battles and served as Washington County court clerk for 47 years. He built a large, two and a half story brick home on his estate. The homestead later came into the hands of David and Josephine (Thompson) Ruble.
In 1951, the David Ruble family sold the farm to Robert and Catherine (Sandidge) Thompson. They removed the old James Sevier brick home, which was in a very bad state of disrepair, and built a modern brick home on the same site. The Sevier family cemetery is on the property behind where the James Sevier home stood. There are five tombs, three feet wide by six feet long, walled with cut limestone and covered by stone slabs. One tomb contains the remains of Nancy (Conway) Sevier, who died in 1843. Most of the inscriptions are worn and almost illegible, but it is believed that James Sevier was probably buried here also.
There are several old homes still standing in the community. The Charlie Carson house was built around the turn of the century; it is now owned by Theodore Love, Erwin, Tennessee. The Bruce Thompson house was built in 1887 by Winfield Scott Thompson (1853-1924), who married Sallie Bayless (1850-1936). The land on which the home stands was given to him by his father, Absolum Thompson. The wood paneling in the home is original and completely hand dressed. The wainscoating was made of alternating panels of chestnut and walnut. There was a quarry behind the Thompson home where stones were cut by Italian crews for the original Jackson bridge pillars. The bridge was built in 1890 and first washed away in the May, 1901 flood. It was again damaged in the 1940 flood and replaced with a modern bridge in 1988.
This fertile river bottom land was excellent for growing Holland tulips. The first year they were grown along the river was 1941. Tulip growing continued for ten or more years. There were hundreds of acres of tulips and tourists traveled from across the country to view their beauty.
The home of John Wilson Jones (1847-1930) was built around 1901 and currently is in a good state of repair. He married Mary Elizabeth Brown (1845-1928) in 1870, and they were the parents of seven children.
Patrick Johnson came to Washington County from Unicoi County in 1888. He married Julia McInturff. They lived in this community and were the parents of ten children. The one surviving child, Tom Johnson, is 99 years of age. The ruins of the original Johnson home still stand in the community.
The earliest record available of the Seviers School is 1921, although it stood for many years before that date. Some of the teachers in the school over the years were Rose Slonaker, Katherine Dillow, Myrtle Henley, Anna Deakins, Minnie Francisco, Catherine Sandidge, J. W. Grindstaff, and Nellie Miller. The site of the Seviers School is on the W. O. Murray farm; no records of it exist after 1936.
The Seviers Methodist Church has long stood in the community. At the time of the land transfer from E. F. Sevier to John T. Broyles in 1849, the church house was already sitting on the property. The first building was a small log church on the old Embreeville road near the river. In 1901, a white frame building was erected and stood until 1945. At this time, a brick building was built on land purchased from Edna Moore on Highway 107 in the community and still stands today. Among the pastors of this church were John Cross, R. C. Cline, Wallace Chappel, and E. H. Yankee. A cemetery was established on a second tract of land behind the church in 1945 and is operated in conjunction with Enon Baptist Church.
The Indians once roamed this river valley community and others nearby. Many evidences of everyday life have been discovered, including arrowheads and other artifacts. – contributed by Jessie Odom Vines