During our recent Lenoir City Civitan meeting, our guest speaker was the gentleman that runs the Lenoir City History Museum. If you have never had the opportunity to take a tour of this facility, I suggest you do. Anyway, as this man was talking about the history of the Lenoir Family and how Lenoir City and Loudon County removed themselves (smartly) from Roane County and began their own County, we learned that General William Lenoir was the largest slave owner in the entire state of Tennessee. How random is that piece of information?! It could explain a lot of things about Lenoir City we never understood, such as the minority growth rate 15% above any other county in the state. Growth that is changing our level of understanding for different cultures and our overall values as a community. How wonderful to learn these things.
We moved from this topic of conversation to a future time in our history when we learned that the Lenoir City KKK was in fact the Lenoir City KKK-K. Why the extra K do you ask? We are not sure. Why is this relevant? because Lenoir City, Tennessee was the largest manufacturer of train wheels in the entire country and the unions started to organize during a very financial trying time. At the formation time of the unions in the area, the KKK-K was a non-minority focused group who was called in to handle situations in small towns. For example; taking care of a husband that is abusive to his wife or bringing a man to Church that is refusing to attend. So, the KKK-K was called in to manage the union organizers that were halting the production of train wheels.
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