The energetic industrialist Sam Winchester was among the Roane Iron Company executives who made their homes on the East Terrace of Cameron Hill.
Winchester was born Feb. 25, 1825, in Chautauga, N.Y. He married Emeline Wyman at Chautauga.
He made his way to Chattanooga in 1872 and had one of the earliest mansions at the top of the hill. It was at 41 (later 941) East Terrace "between Gillespie and James." The home was between the Xenophon Wheeler and D.P. Montague showplaces.
The home, set back above a sprawling lawn, was a type of the English country manor. There was a circle drive just in front of the house leading to a wide entryway. Banks of windows were on either side to take advantage of the extraordinary view. Above were small balconies on each side.
Winchester soon switched to the lumber business, joining with his son-in-law J. Edgar Line in a plant at the foot of Market Street. The Lines at one time lived at Winchester's spacious home on Cameron Hill. The firm was known as S.M. Winchester & Co. with operations behind the Alabama & Chattanooga Railroad depot. Later, Winchester headed the Southern Lumber Company.
Winchester in 1886 erected the Winchester Block at the corner of Seventh and Market. This was later superceded by the Richardson Block, which was destroyed by fire. Then the Miller's Building was erected there.
Sam Winchester died April 23, 1903, at the age of 78. He left a widow and one daughter. The funeral was conducted at the East Terrace residence.
His widow stayed on for a couple of years at the Cameron Hill home. Then it was sold to the R.A. Cliffords. Clifford was an Englishman who had married Louise Chamberlain, daughter of H.S. Chamberlain. He was born at Oxfordshire, England, in 1865. His parents died when he was at a young age and he was raised by his grandfather. Following the death of his grandfather, R.A. Clifford decided to come to the United States. He had joined the Chattanooga Wagon Company upon his arrival in Chattanooga. Clifford later went to Owensboro, Ky., as an official of the Owensboro Wagon Company. The Winchester home then went to T.L. Montague.
After the Cliffords later returned to Chattanooga, they lived in the old J.F. Loomis home at 1121 East Terrace for many years.
The last use of the Sam Winchester home was for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Mental Health Association. Hazel Montague donated it to the group.
Frank L. Winchester, who was apparently a kinsman of Sam Winchester, was also a Cameron Hill resident. He lived in a two-story frame house across from the distiller J.O. Martin at 309 Cedar Street. It was next door to a ravine that caused Third Street to end at Cedar.
Frank L. Winchester was an official of Loomis and Hart sawmill and furniture dealer.