Hutchesons Became Successful In Business

  • Monday, April 19, 2004
  • John Wilson

Some of the Hutchesons settled at an early date around Sale Creek. Two sons of William Caswell Hutcheson made their way to Chattanooga and became highly successful businessmen.

William Hutcheson was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1632. Charles Hutcheson, believed to be a descendant of William, was in Amelia County in 1743 when he bought 200 acres on the lower side of West Creek from John Osburn for 16 pounds. Charles left his estate to his wife, Sarah, when he died at the end of 1768. Then it was to go to the children, except the daughter, Susannah Bradshaw, was not to get her part “during the lifetime of her husband.” Sarah sold the land in Amelia County in 1772 and moved to Pittsylvania County, buying 320 acres there on Snow Creek. This section became Henry County and later Franklin County. Sarah died there in 1792. The children, in addition to Susannah, were Paul, Phillip, Ambrose, Richard, Ann who married Joel
Estes, and William.

The youngest son, Charles Jr., was born in 1763 when the family was still in Amelia County. Charles married Rebecca Skilman. They sold their property on Snow Creek in 1786 and made their way to the Tennessee frontier. He and his brother, Paul, were in Grainger County by 1797. Charles and Rebecca later moved to the Sequatchie Valley in Bledsoe County. He died there Aug.17, 1832. His large family included Christopher, Lewis, Agnes who married Joseph Peters, Hezekiah who married Priscilla Runyan, John who married Nancy Billingsley, Rebecca who married Robert Vernon, Sarah who married James Roberson, Charles who married Sarah Worthington, Alfred who married Matilda Sigler, Betsy who married William P. Vernon, and Martha who married John B. Vernon.

Another son, William, made his way to Rhea County, where he and his brother, Alfred, acquired 5,000 acres stretching over into Hamilton County. However, William died in 1839 at the age of 49. His estate included 23 horses and mules, 49 cows, 120 hogs and 23 sheep. There were 42 books and a large ledger. His widow, Margaret Sigler Hutcheson, took Henry Gotcher, a Baptist preacher, as her second husband. He died in 1864, and Margaret then joined her children in Texas. She resided with her son, Calvin, at Johnson Station. She died in 1878.

The children of Charles and Sarah Worthington Hutcheson included Mary Angeline, William LaFayette, Samuel Washington, Charles Newton “Newt,” James Caswell and Alfred Leonidas. Newt Hutcheson, who resided at Sale Creek, married Harriet Watts McDonald. After her death in 1876 he married Adelia Gamble, who was first married to John C. Gamble. Newt's third wife was Martha Marler. His children included Charlie Patric who married Sue Stanfield, James McDonald who married Nancy S. Hutcheson, Benjamin LaFayette who married Lela Agnes Shelton, Marcella Angeline who married Joseph Gamble, Samuel Gamble who married Anna Lee Thatcher, William Alfred and Anna Adelia who married Walter Clifford Hetzler. Jane Watts Hutcheson, daughter of Benjamin L., worked at Loveman's and was a family historian. Newt died in 1908 and was buried at the Hutcheson Cemetery near Coulterville. This is also known as the McDonald Cemetery. Newt Hutcheson's family Bible passed to his grandson, James Lee Hutcheson of Pikeville.

Children of William and Margaret Sigler Hutcheson were Phillip Sigler who married Sarah Brown, Matilda N. who married John Cathey, Charles who married Margaret Coulter, George Washington “Wash” who married Emily S. Templeton, James LaFayette who married Ruth Coulter, Oliver Perry who married Emily M. Plemmons and Mrs. Sarah E. Randle, Frances T. who married the Confederate surgeon Dr. Alfred K. Middleton, Czarine M. who married Elbert M. Day, and Calvin Leonidas who married Mary “Molly” Luttrell. Isaac LaFayette fought on the Confederate side with Ruckers Legion.

Another son of William and Margaret was William Caswell, who was born in 1821 in Bledsoe County. He married Dorcas Ann Hunter. In addition to being a successful farmer and merchant, he was also a lawyer, judge and justice of the peace. He lived at Georgetown and at Sweetwater. His children included Margaret Catherine who died when she was 5, Charles Henegar, Harriet Virginia who died when she was two, Mary Frances who married John Ballard Whitman, Thomas Calvin who died when he was two, Samuel Calhoun who died at age 26, Martha Ann “Mattie” who married Edward C. Osborne, Robert Douglas, Caswell Leonidas and Nannie Czarena who married Samuel Henegar Campbell. W.C. Hutcheson died in 1892 and was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery.

Another son of W.C. Hutcheson was William Franklin Hutcheson, who was born in 1851 at Georgetown. He was a merchant at Sweetwater until he came to Chattanooga in 1890 and founded the Mountain City Flour Mill. He was a long-time director of the American Trust and Banking Company and was active at First Presbyterian Church. He married Annie Inman Carter and they lived in the brick mansion at South Crest Road and Old Ringgold Road on Missionary Ridge. His son, Samuel Carter Hutcheson, headed the family's flour mill and was also involved in a number of other businesses. He married Katharine Lenoir Andrews, daughter of Garnett Andrews. William Franklin Hutcheson died in 1933 at the age of 82. Samuel Carter Hutcheson died in 1952.

Another son of W.C. Hutcheson was John LaFayette Hutcheson, who was born two years after the Civil War. He was one of the founders of the Park Woolen Mills, which produced jeans throughout the South, and of the Peerless Woolen Mills, which grew into the largest woolen mill in the country. He bred fine cattle in Chattanooga Valley. The hospital at Fort Oglethorpe was named for him. He married Laura Lewis, and their children were John L. Jr., Samuel Lewis, Dorcas Anne and Laura Thatcher. John L. Jr. headed Peerless Woolen Mills until its merger with Burlington Industries in 1952. He continued the cattle breeding operation at Happy Valley Farms at Rossville, where he made his home. He married Hazel Montague, then Marion Louise Housch. His children were John L. III, Hazel Montague, William Frank, Theodore Montague and Marion Housch.

Dorcas Anne married John Robert Harrison McDonald, whose father was knighted in 1937 by King George VI. The McDonalds lived in Scotland until after World War II. Dorcas McDonald later resided on Elder Mountain. She helped compile the Hutcheson history and was a leader at Reflection Riding. When she died in 2001, she left $1 million to First Presbyterian Church, $500,000 to Bright School and $250,000 to her alma mater Girls Preparatory School.

Laura Thatcher Hutcheson married Oscar Handly Jr. and their daughter, Laura Franklin “Muffett,” married Sen. Bill Brock.

John L. III married Mary Ann McKinney, then Betty Rose Rewcastle. His children are John L. IV, Thomas Rewcastle and James Eric. John L. IV and Thomas have a metal heat treating firm here and Eric is in real estate. John L. IV married Margaret Hines and has sons John L. V and Joshua Ryan. Thomas married Katherine Grosvenor and has a daughter, Katherine Rose.

Hazel Montague Hutcheson married John Edwin Banks, then Joseph Jones Meadow Jr. William Frank Hutcheson married Ida Patricia Marks, then Nancy Brown. Theodore Montague Hutcheson married Judith Alana Ryan, then Dorothy Gilstrap. By his first wife, he had T.M. Jr., Elizabeth Alana and Ryan Hunter. By his second wife, he had Summer Stewart, Evan Miles Montague and Courtney Lauren Montgomery.

Samuel Lewis Hutcheson Sr. married Jean Ruth Crowe. Samuel L. Jr. married Patricia Marie Mills, daughter of Olan Mills. His sister, Jean Crowe Hutcheson, married Walter Carl Champion Jr., then George Cosby Fontaine. A brother, William Crowe Hutcheson, married Janet Drew.

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