Place:Rhea, Tennessee, United States

Watchers
NameRhea
Alt namesRheasource: Getty Vocabulary Program
TypeCounty
Coordinates35.633°N 84.933°W
Located inTennessee, United States     (1807 - )
See alsoMeigs, Tennessee, United StatesChild county (source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990)
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Rhea County (pronounced "ray") is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,809. Its county seat is Dayton.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Rhea County is named for Tennessee politician and Revolutionary War veteran John Rhea.

A portion of the Trail of Tears ran through the county as part of the United States government's removal of the Cherokee in the 1830s.

During the American Civil War, Rhea County was one of the few counties in East Tennessee that was heavily sympathetic to the cause of the Confederate States of America. It was the only East Tennessee county that refused to send a delegate to the East Tennessee Convention of 1861. The county voted in favor of Tennessee's June 1861 Ordinance of Secession, 360 votes to 202. Rhea raised seven companies for the Confederate Army, compared to just one company for the Union.

Rhea had the only female cavalry company on either side during the Civil War. It was made up of young women in their teens and twenties from Rhea County and was formed in 1862. The girls named their unit the Rhea County Spartans. Until 1863, the Spartans simply visited loved ones in the military and delivered the equivalent of modern day care packages. After Union troops entered Rhea in 1863, the Spartans may have engaged in some spying for Confederate forces. The members of the Spartans were arrested in April 1865 under orders of a Rhea County Unionist and were forced to march to the Tennessee River. From there they were transported to Chattanooga aboard the USS Chattanooga. Once in Chattanooga, Union officers realized the women were not a threat and ordered them released and returned to Rhea County. They first were required to take the oath of allegiance to the United States government. The Spartans were not an officially recognized unit of the Confederate Army.

In 1890, the county seat was moved from the Washington community to its present location in Dayton. This was a result of the Cincinnati-Chattanooga Railroad being completed through Dayton.

The Scopes Trial, which resulted from the teaching of evolution being banned in Tennessee public schools under the Butler Act, took place in Rhea County in 1925. The trial was one of the first to be referred to as the "Trial of the century". William Jennings Bryan played a role as prosecutor in trial, and he died in Dayton shortly after the trial ended. A statue of Bryan was recently erected on the grounds of the Rhea County Courthouse. In 1954, the laws were changed to allow teaching of evolution alongside Bible studies in school. On June 8, 2004, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling banning further Bible instructions as a violation of the First Amendment principle of "Separation of church and state".

On March 16, 2004, Rhea County commissioner J.C. Fugate prompted a vote on a ban on homosexuals in Tennessee, allowing the county to charge them with "crimes against nature." The measure passed 8-0. Several of the commissioners who voted for the resolution chose not to run for reelection or were voted out of office. The resolution was withdrawn on March 18. In protest, a "Gay Day in Rhea" was held on May 8, 2004 with about 400 participants.

Timeline

Date Event Source
1807 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1808 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1808 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1810 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1815 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1825 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1840 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1908 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1810 2,504
1820 4,215
1830 8,186
1840 3,985
1850 4,415
1860 4,991
1870 5,538
1880 7,073
1890 12,647
1900 14,318
1910 15,410
1920 13,812
1930 13,871
1940 16,353
1950 16,041
1960 15,863
1970 17,202
1980 24,235
1990 24,344

Research Tips

External Links

  • Outstanding guide to Rhea County family history and genealogy resources (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, censuses, wills, deeds, county histories, cemeteries, churches, naturalizations, newspapers, libraries, and genealogical societies.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Rhea County, Tennessee. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.