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Humphreys County (TN) Museum and Fort Waverly

Archive for August 2013

Tennessee Products once owned a large part of Tennessee

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From the Tennessee Magazine, August 2013, by Bill Carey

In the 1920s, there was a sign along Highway 70 in White County that read:

Property Line Tennessee Products Corporation For 18 miles, you are within our gate You are welcome Any of our employees will give you information or necessary assistance.

Today, it is hard to imagine a single entity other than the government owning 18 contiguous miles of land. But the Tennessee Products Corporation and its predecessor company, the Bon Air Coal and Iron Corporation did. It also owned land in Hickman, Lewis, Wayne and Hamilton counties.

The number of acres only begins to tell the story, however. Tennessee Products owned the mines as well as everything in the towns near the mines. The company owned the houses where their miners lived, the stores in which they shopped, the newspapers they read and even the cemeteries where they were buried.

Looked at in that way, the Tennessee Products Corporation might have been one of the most powerful companies in Tennessee history.

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Written by humphreyscountymuseum

August 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Posted in Economic History