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Special Collections Online at UT

Lenoir Manufacturing Company Records

Identifier: MS-0627

  • Staff Only

This collection houses 84 volumes documenting the activities of the Lenoir Manufacturing Company between 1873 and 1898. Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.0016 for more information about the Lenoir family and their business.


  • 1873-1898

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


63 Linear Feet


This collection houses 84 volumes documenting the activities of the Lenoir Manufacturing Company between 1873 and 1898.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Ballard Lenoir founded the Lenoir Manufacturing Company in 1817 in Lenoir City, Tennessee. The early business included a gristmill on Town Creek that had been in operation at the time of Lenoir's arrival in 1810 and a sawmill that Lenoir later added to the area. By 1831, the company had expanded to include growing cotton, spinning cotton thread, and weaving cloth. Later additions included agricultural products (including their famous hams) and a flour mill. As railroads proliferated in East Tennessee, the company's market expanded and eventually reached such distant cities as Atlanta, Washington D.C., and New York. When W. B. Lenoir died in 1852, he left the majority of his property to his sons, who continued to operate the family business as William Lenoir & Bros. Union troops destroyed most of the Lenoirs' holdings during the Civil War because the Lenoirs were Confederate sympathizers, but the brothers rebuilt the company after the war ended. When one brother, Israel P. Lenoir, died intestate in 1876, the remaining brothers formed a stock company (incorporated in 1877) to ensure that they did not lose Israel's share to a Chancery Court Sale. The company was finally dissolved in 1890, when the Lenoir brothers sold their estate to the Lenoir City Company for $300.00 per acre.


Collection consists of 82 volumes divided into 11 series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Assets and Liabilities
  2. Series II: Blacksmith Shop Account Books
  3. Series III: Cash Books
  4. Series IV: Day Book
  5. Series V: Insurance Policy Expiration Books
  6. Series VI: Invoices
  7. Series VII: Journal
  8. Series VIII: Ledger
  9. Series IX: Letter Books
  10. Series X: Mill Account Books
  11. Series XI: Store Produce and Shipping Books

Acquisition Note

This collection is property of the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA