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Special Collections Online at UT

"The Historic Heritage of Kingston Pike"

Identifier: MS-0868

  • Staff Only

In this pamphlet, W. Russell Briscoe describes the history of Knoxville's Kingston Pike from its beginnings in 1792 through approximately 1975.


  • 1975

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.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)


In this pamphlet, W. Russell Briscoe describes the history of Knoxville's Kingston Pike from its beginnings in 1792 through approximately 1975.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Russell Briscoe was born to William Nicholas (1871-1952) and Lynn Russell (1876-1904) Briscoe in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 5, 1899. He graduated from the Knoxville public schools and from preparatory school, but the outbreak of World War I forestalled any further education. Near the end of the war, he was stationed in Washington, D.C. where he was introduced to Deas Adams (1902-1987), the sister of a Marine Corps friend. The couple married in the early 1920s and settled in Knoxville, where they raised two children: William Russell Jr. (1925-1950) and Margaret Deas (1929-2005).

W. Russell Briscoe Sr. began his business career by investing in a textile factory that went bankrupt when the Great Depression struck. In order to earn extra money, Briscoe worked nights and weekends making toys, dolls, and miniature furnished homes. His wife assisted him, painting the toys and making the furnishings for the miniature homes. Briscoe later joined the J. E. Lutz Company (Knoxville's largest general insurance agency) and eventually became the company's Vice President. He also served as the Director of Agencies and the First Vice President of the Tennessee Insurance Company. Briscoe was also very involved in the Knoxville community, serving as President of the Downtown Knoxville Association, as President of the Old Gray Cemetery Association, as a Commissioner of the Knoxville Utilities Board, and as a Board Member for the Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Fidelity Bank and Trust Company, and the Knoxville Tourist Bureau.

Briscoe is, however, perhaps best known for his art. Deas (Adams) Briscoe gave him a set of oil paints and brushes for his 57th birthday, and he spent the next two decades creating images of local subjects. A number of these paintings were used to illustrate a history of Knoxville entitled Heart of the Valley (1976). W. Russell Briscoe died of a heart attack on January 18, 1979 and was interred in the Old Gray Cemetery.


This collection consists of a single folder.

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