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TN History for Kids

Campbell County

Grace Moore
Courtesy GraceMoore.net

Most folks don't know that a native Tennessean became a world famous opera star. Grace Moore was originally born in 1898 in Cocke County, in East Tennessee, and moved to the town of Jellico, in Campbell County. She had a wonderful voice and made a name for herself on the New York stage, where she became known as the "Tennessee Nightingale." In the 1930s she also became a film star after a musical she did called "One Night of Love."

Grace Moore died in a plane crash in 1947.

Coal miners in Campbell County around 1900
PHOTO: Sandra Byrge

The image of the beautiful and smiling Grace Moore isn't indicative of Campbell County's history, however. The history of this county is dominated by coal mining (and it is one of only four Tennessee counties that still has active coal mines today).

The town of LaFollette was founded by an Indiana businessman of that name who bought 30,000 acres here and for many years operated the entire area as his personal business empire. According to a local history web site, "the LaFollette operation included coke ovens . . . blast furnace, numerous coal mines, iron mines, railroads and, of course, a thriving city."

Here is the Campbell County courthouse.

Campbell County

County seat: Jacksboro

Population (2015 estimate): 40,716

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