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Anna Doggett Cannon Collection, c.1886-1977

KC Manuscript Collection 482

INTRODUCTION

Title: Anna Doggett Cannon Collection

Collection Number: Kingsport Community Manuscript Collection (KCMC) 482

Physical Description: 2 boxes

Creator: Various

Repository: Archives of the City of Kingsport

 

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Provenance: This collection was donated to the Archives of the City of Kingsport by Anna Doggett Cannon in April 2010.

Access/Restrictions: There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Processed by: This collection was processed by Joseph J. Penza and opened for research in April 2011.

Language of material: English

 

COLLECTION CITATION

This collection should be cited as:

Anna Doggett Cannon Collection, c.1886-1977. KC Manuscript Collection 482, Archives of the City of Kingsport, Tennessee.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Anna Doggett Cannon is the niece of John Frederick (J. Fred) Johnson (1874-1944). The acclaimed “Father of Kingsport,” Johnson was born in 1874 in Hillsville, Virginia to Joe Lee Johnson and Mary Pierce Early Johnson. From around 1916 to his death in 1944, Johnson helped develop the City of Kingsport, Tennessee through his dealings with, among others, George Lafayette Carter (1857-1936) and John Bartlett Dennis (1866-1947).

George L. Carter was born in 1857 in Hillsville, Virginia to Walter Carter and Lucy Ann Jennings. By the beginning of the twentieth century Carter had created the Carter Coal and Iron Company, which mined large amounts of iron ore throughout Appalachia. Carter also amassed vast tracts of land in what is now the city of Kingsport as well as in Russell and Dickenson counties in Virginia. He developed business ties with J. Fred Johnson through Johnson’s marriage to Carter’s sister Ruth. As the primary financier of the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railway, Carter also brought industrial development to the region as well as financial backing from Northern investors. When Carter faced problems bankrolling the railway he often turned to John Bartlett Dennis to rescue the undertaking.

John Bartlett Dennis born in 1866 in Gardiner, Maine to David and Julia Bartlett Dennis. In 1890, Dennis began his career with the New York banking firm Blair and Company. Around 1910 Carter, through the Carter Coal Company, sold over 6,000 acres of land to Kingsport Farms, Inc., a subsidiary of Blair and Company. Within several years, the Kingsport Improvement Company (KIC), also owned by Blair and Company, and later managed and headed by J. Fred Johnson, purchased the land from Kingsport Farms and the City of Kingsport officially began its journey to becoming “the model industrial city.”

 

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Anna Doggett Cannon Collection contains correspondence and legal documents from J. Fred Johnson’s personal and business records, as well as newspaper clippings related to Kingsport history, Johnson family photographs, a collection of postcards of buildings in Kingsport, and a booklet about Kingsport published by Kiwanis International. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, mostly Johnson’s, and details the amounts of commission and salary he received for his work as president of the Kingsport Improvement Company. Other prominent individuals who contributed correspondence to the collection include H. E. P. Clifford, John B. Dennis, H. R. Dennis, Mark W. Potter, and George L. Carter. Materials in the collection also include deeds, promissory notes, and insurance policy, and lists of property values and real estate sales in the Kingsport area.

 

SUBJECTS

Personal Names

Carter, George Lafayette, 1857-1936.

Carter, Mayetta.

Clifford, H. E. P.

Dennis, H. R.

Dennis, John Bartlett, 1866-1947.

Franke, W. B.

Hurd, Anderson J.

Hurd, Martha Florence

Johnson, Joe Lee.

Johnson, J. Fred (John Frederick), 1874-1944.

Johnson, Ruth Carter.

Maher, Stuart.

Netherland, G. P.

Netherland, Mary.

Pennybacker, B. R.

Potter, Mark W.

Russell, C. H.

Russell, Ethel F.

Stone, J. C.

Wilcox, P. S.

Corporate Names

Carter Coal Company.

Clinchfield Portland Cement Corporation.

Eastman Corporation.

General Shale Products Corporation.

J. Fred Johnson & Company.

Kelly, Penn & Hunter.

Kingsport Hosiery Mills, Inc.

Kingsport Improvement Corporation.

Kingsport Pulp Corporation.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

North British & Mercantile Insurance Company.

The Securities Company.

Willkie, Owen, Otis & Bailly.

Subjects

Kingsport (Tenn.)

Kingsport (Tenn.)—Aerial views.

Kingsport (Tenn.)—Buildings, structures, etc.

Kingsport (Tenn.)—Economic conditions—20th century.

Kingsport (Tenn.)—Genealogy.

Kingsport (Tenn.)—History.

Kingsport (Tenn.)—Industries.

 

ARRANGEMENT

This collection is arranged in four (4) series, the first of which is further divided into two (2) subseries.

 

Series I, Correspondence, 1911-1967

Subseries I-A, Loose Correspondence, 1911-1967

Subseries I-B, Correspondence Packets, 1914-1944

Series II, Legal Documents, 1915-1943 and undated

Series III, Published Materials, c. 1927-1977

Series IV, Visual Materials, c.1886-c.1934 and undated

 

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Series I, Correspondence, 1911-1967, Box 1, Folders 1 to 18.

This series contains correspondence related to various aspects of J. Fred Johnson’s business dealings. Also included are letters sent to his second wife. Several topics addressed include the amounts of salaries owed to J. Fred Johnson for his work as president of the Kingsport Improvement Company, vacation pay for plant workers at the General Shale Products Corporation Kingsport Plant, and J. Fred Johnson’s commission on the sale of cemetery lots. The bulk of the correspondence dates between 1916 and 1944. This series is further divided into two (2) subseries, Loose Correspondence, and Correspondence Packets.

 

Subseries I-A, Loose Correspondence, 1911-1967, Folders 1 to 5.

This subseries contains J. Fred Johnson’s incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1913-1944. The letters pertain to business as well as personal matters. Also included are a letter from Mark W. Potter to J. Norment, a letter from H. E. P. Clifford to Kelly, Penn & Hunter, and two letters sent to Mrs. J. Fred Johnson (Johnson’s second wife). Correspondence is separated in folders according to either recipient or sender. Folders are arranged chronologically by the earliest correspondence in each folder. Items in each folder are arranged chronologically.

 

Subseries I-B, Correspondence Packets, 1914-1944, Folders 6 to 18.

This subseries contains packets of correspondence pertaining to a variety of J. Fred Johnson’s business and personal matters. Each packet contains correspondence sent and received by multiple individuals along with enclosures such as tables, figures, and prior authorizations for pay. Each folder in this series contains one packet. Folders are arranged chronologically by the earliest correspondence in each folder. The correspondence within each folder arrived at the archives stapled in the order in which it is arranged.

 

Series II, Legal Documents, 1915-1943 and undated, Box 2, Folders 1 to 3.

This series contains deeds, financial records, and a fire insurance policy. The deeds detail a variety of properties around the Kingsport area sold to J. Fred Johnson and several other individuals and companies. The financial records contain promissory notes for debts owed to J. Freed Johnson, as well as lists of real estate prices, of Johnson’s yearly salary, and of securities exchanged for bank notes. The fire insurance policy covered property at 278 Hammond Avenue. Folders in this series are arranged alphabetically by type of document. Deeds and financial records  are arranged chronologically by date written or signed.

 

Series III, Published Materials, c. 1927-1977, Box 2, Folders 4 and 5.

This series contains three (3) newspaper clippings and a booklet published by Kiwanis International. The newspaper clippings are related to general Kingsport history, the Eastman Kodak Works, and George L. Carter. The booklet advertises Kingsport as the “Model Industrial City.” Newspaper Clippings are arranged chronologically by publication date.

 

Series IV, Visual Materials, c.1886-c.1934 and undated, Box 2, Folders 6 and 7.

This series contains thirteen (13) photographs of Johnson and his family, friends, and business associates. It also contains a collection of twenty-three (23) postcards displaying various structures located in and around the Kingsport area. Folders in this series are arranged alphabetically by type of material. Items are arranged alphabetically by individual or subject.

BOX, FOLDER AND ITEM LIST

Series I, Correspondence, 1911-1967, Box 1.

 

Subseries I-A, Loose Correspondence, 1911-1967, Box 1, Folders 1-5.

 

Box 1

 

1. Correspondence from Mark W. Potter, 1911

A: To J. Norment Powell, December 21, 1911

2. Correspondence to J. Fred Johnson, 1913-1944

A: From Mark W. Potter, May 13, 1913

B: From George L. Carter, March 29, 1914

C: From Mark W. Potter, December 9, 1914

D: From Mark W. Potter, December 31, 1914

E: From Mark W. Potter, December 31, 1914

F: From T. F. D., August 21, 1915

G: From Mayetta Carter (J. Fred Johnson’s Sister-n-law), September 16, 1915

H: From George L. Carter, September 18, 1915

I: From Mark W. Potter, October 13, 1915

J: From Mark W. Potter, December 6, 1915

K: From Mark W. Potter, December 6, 1915

L: From Mayetta Carter (J. Fred Johnson’s Sister –in-law), December 20, 1915

M: From George L. Carter, February 15, 1916

N: From H. R. Dennis, March 8, 1916 (2 copies)

O: From George L. Carter, April 11, 1916

P: From H. R. Dennis, April 24, 1916

Q: From George L. Carter, November 16, 1916

R: From George L. Carter, December 28, 1916

S: From H. R. Dennis, January 11, 1919

T: From Edwin Gould, June 20, 1932

U: From H. R. Dennis, September 25, 1933

V: From A. J. Doggett, February 27, 1940

W: From Kelly, Penn & Hunter, August 29, 1941

X: From H. E. P. Clifford, September 4, 1941

Y: From H. E. P. Clifford, July 27, 1944

3. Correspondence from J. Fred Johnson, 1914-1944

A: To John B. Dennis, February 4, 1914

B: To George L. Carter, February 18, 1914

C: To Mark W. Potter, June 5, 1916 (2 copies)

D: To George L. Carter, September 20, 1915

E: To H. R. Dennis, January 24, 1916

F: To John B. Dennis, January 24, 1916

G: To John B. Dennis, January 24, 1916

H: To Mark W. Potter, January 24, 1916

I: To H. R. Dennis, November 2, 1920

J: To S. P. Eanes, December 20, 1921

K: To Governor Austin Peay, January 5, 1927

L: To Senator Cordell Hull, April 7, 1932

M: To H. E. P. Clifford, February 26, 1936

N: To H. R. Dennis, April 13, 1944

O: To H. R. Dennis, April 19, 1944

 

4. Correspondence from H. E. P. Clifford, 1936

A: To Kelly, Penn & Hunter, May 12, 1936

 

5. Correspondence to Mrs. J. Fred Johnson (J. Fred Johnson’s second wife), 1944, 1967

A: From Senator Kenneth McKellar, October 6, 1944

B: From Robert D. Jordan, June 30, 1967

 

Subseries I-B, Correspondence Packets, 1914-1944, Box 1, Folders 6-18.

 

Box 1 (cont.)

 

6. Correspondence related to salary owed J. Fred Johnson, 1914-1919

A: From Mark W. Potter to J. Fred Johnson, December 31, 1914

B: From Mark W. Potter to J. Fred Johnson, December 31, 1914

C: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, April 24, 1916

D: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, January 11, 1919

E: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, March 8, 1916

 

7. Correspondence related to J. Fred Johnson compiled by Essie Plaff, 1914-1944

A: From Mark W. Potter to J. Fred Johnson, December 31, 1914

B: From Mark W. Potter to J. Fred Johnson, December 31, 1914

C: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, April 24, 1916

D: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, March 8, 1916

E: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, January 11, 1919

F: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, November 3, 1926

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, November 1, 1926

G: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, September 25, 1933

H: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, September 25, 1933

I: From J. Fred Johnson to H. E. P. Clifford, October 28, 1933

Enclosure: Letter from H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, October 26, 1933

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, October 23, 1933

J: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, June 7, 1937

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, June 4, 1937

L: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, June 2, 1937

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, May 29, 1937

Enclosure: Memo from H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, May 25, 1937

M: From H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, February 13, 1939

N: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, February 6, 1939

Enclosure: Letter from H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, February 6, 1939

Enclosure: Statement of salaries and commissions as of January 31, 1939

O: From J. Fred Johnson to W. B. Franke, August 15, 1941

P: From W. B. Franke to J. Fred Johnson, August 12, 1941

Enclosure: Letter from Willkie, Owen, Otis & Bailly to W. B. Franke, July 29, 1941

Enclosure: Memo from J. Fred Johnson to H. E. P. Clifford, August 4, 1941

Q: From W. B. Franke to J. Fred Johnson, July 24, 1941

R: List of salary for J. Fred Johnson, February, 1919—February, 1932

S: List of salary for J. Fred Johnson, February 1, 1916—August 1, 1941

T: From H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, July 27, 1944

 

8. Correspondence related to salary and commissions owed J. Fred Johnson, 1916

A: From J. C. Stone to H. R. Dennis, May 31, 1916

Enclosure: Note for $10,000 from The Securities Company

B: Statement of salary due J. Fred Johnson, February 1, 1916

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to Mark W. Potter, April 26, 1916

Enclosure: Letter from J. C. Stone to J. Fred Johnson, April 25, 1916

Enclosure: Total sales and commission due J. Fred Johnson, April 15, 1916

C: Statement of salary due J. Fred Johnson, February 1, 1916

 

9. Correspondence related to commission owed J. Fred Johnson, 1926

A: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, November 3, 1926 (2 copies)

B: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, November 1, 1926 (2 copies)

 

10. Correspondence related to commission for J. Fred Johnson for sale of cemetery lots, 1933

A: From J. Fred Johnson to H. E. P. Clifford, October 28, 1933

B: Form H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, October 26, 1933

C: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, October 23, 1933

 

11. Correspondence related to Stuart Maher, 1934

A: From Stuart Maher to J. Fred Johnson, September 6, 1934

B: From J. C. Stone to J. Fred Johnson, September 20, 1934

C: From J. Fred Johnson to Stuart Maher, September 21, 1934

 

12. Correspondence related to adjustments to salary for J. Fred Johnson, 1935

A: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, December 21, 1935

B: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, December 18, 1935

C: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, December 16, 1935

D: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, December 4, 1935

 

13. Correspondence related to salary owed J. Fred Johnson, 1937

A: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, June 7, 1937

B: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, June 4, 1937

C: From H. R. Dennis to J. Fred Johnson, June 2, 1937

D: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, May 29, 1937

Enclosure: Letter from H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, May 25, 1937

 

14. Correspondence related to salary and commission owed J. Fred Johnson, 1939

A: From H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, February 13, 1939

B: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, February 6, 1939

Enclosure: Letter from H. E. P. Clifford to J. Fred Johnson, February 6, 1939

Enclosure: Statement of salaries and commissions as of January 31, 1939

 

15. Correspondence related to vacations for General Shale Products Corp. employees, 1939

A: From C. H. Brown to J. Fred Johnson, June 15, 1939

B: From J. Fred Johnson to Edwin H. Hunter, June 14, 1939

C: From Edwin H. Hunter to J. Fred Johnson, June 9, 1939

D: From J. Fred Johnson to Edwin H. Hunter, June 5, 1939

 

16. Correspondence related to commissions owed J. Fred Johnson, 1941

A: From J. Fred Johnson to W. B. Franke, August 15, 1941

B: From W. B. Franke to J. Fred Johnson, August 12, 1941

Enclosure: Letter from Willkie, Owen, Otis & Bailly to W. B. Franke, July 29, 1941

Enclosure: Memo from J. Fred Johnson to H. E. P. Clifford, August 4, 1941

C: From W. B. Franke to J. Fred Johnson, July 24, 1941

 

17. Correspondence related to directors meeting of The Securities Company, 1944

A: From Warren P. Eaton to Essie Plaff, May 15, 1944

B: From J. Fred Johnson to Warren P. Eaton, May 12, 1944

C: From J. Fred Johnson to E. G. Hunter, May 8, 1944

D: Minutes of Board of Directors Meeting, The Securities Company, April 28, 1944

 

18. Correspondence related to salary owed J. Fred Johnson, 1944

A: From J. Fred Johnson to H. R. Dennis, May 1, 1944

B: From J. Fred Johnson to John B. Dennis, April 26, 1944

Enclosure: Letter from J. Fred Johnson to John B. Dennis, April 25, 1944

Enclosure: Summary of sales from November, 1940

Enclosure: Statement of sales from November, 1940

Enclosure: Statement of sales from November, 1940

 

Series II, Legal Documents, 1915-1943 and undated, Box 2, Folders 1-3.

 

Box 2

 

1. Deeds, 1921-1943

A: Land sold to A. D. Brockman by H. C. Giles and E. L. Giles, December 15, 1921

B: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by John B. Nall, January 12. 1924

C: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by Charles T. Herndon, Jr., July 24, 1931

D: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by the Kingsport Improvement Corporation, April 30, 1935

E: Land released to Kingsport Improvement Corporation by Metropolitan Life Insurance

Company, July 5, 1935

F: Land sold to C. H. Russell and Ethel F. Russell by J. Fred Johnson and Elizabeth D. Johnson,

May 12, 1936

G: Land released to C. H. Russell and Ethel F. Russell by J. Fred Johnson, March 3, 1941

Enclosure: Letter to J. Fred Johnson from Kelly, Penn & Hunter, March 1, 1941

H: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by John B. Dennis and Lola A. Dennis, December 28, 1942

I: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by John B. Dennis and Lola A. Dennis, June 2, 1943

J: Land sold to J. Fred Johnson by G. P. Netherland and Mary Netherland, June 2, 1943

K: Land sold to Anderson J. Hurd and Martha Florence Hurd by John B. Dennis and Lola A.

Dennis, June 3, 1943

 

2. Financial Records, 1915-1937 and undated

A: Sist (stop payment) for stocks held by J. C. Stone from Model Mill Co., Capital Stock

Tennessee, and Carter Coal Co., December 18, 1915

B: Promissory note from B. R Pennybacker to J. Fred Johnson for $10 payable after thirty days,

March 14, 1921 (original with envelope & photocopy)

C: Promissory notes from The First National Bank of Kingsport to J. Fred Johnson for $800

payable after twenty-four, thirty-six, and forty-eight months, February 26, 1930

D: List of properties and securities exchanged for notes to The Securities Company, July 5, 1931

(1 handwritten copy & 2 typed copies)

E: List of acreages and prices for un-plotted areas of Kingsport, January 21, 1937

F: List of J. Fred Johnson’s salary February 1919-May 1932, undated (3 copies)

G: List of J. Fred Johnson’s salary February 1919-August 1941, undated

 

3. Fire Insurance Policy, 1941

A: Fire Insurance Policy from North British & Mercantile Insurance Company to Mrs. Ethel F.

Russell for property at 278 Hammond Ave, January 4, 1941

 

Series III, Published Materials, c.1927-1977, Box 2, Folders 4 and 5.

 

Box 2 (cont.)

 

4. Newspaper Clippings, 1938-1977

A: “Roads Going South – The Story of a Town,” By Garet Garrett, Saturday Evening Post,

September 3, 1938

B: “Eastman Kodak Works at Kingsport, Tenn.,” By Andrew Wolfe, Kingsport Times, Monday,

April 9, 1951

C: “The Man Who Owned Kingsport,” Kingsport Times-News, Sunday, February 13, 1977

 

5. Booklet, c.1927

A: “Kingsport, Tennessee: The Model Industrial City,” Kiwanis International Booklet, c. 1927

 

Series IV, Visual Materials, c.1886-c.1934 and undated, Box 2, Folders 6 and 7.

 

Box 2 (cont.)

 

6. Photographs, c.1886-c.1934 and undated

A: J. Fred Johnson, 1890

B: J. Fred Johnson, undated

C: J. Fred Johnson and Ruth Carter Johnson (J. Fred Johnson’s first wife), c.1934

D: J. Fred Johnson, Ruth Carter Johnson, P. S. Wilcox, and John B. Dennis, undated

E: J. Fred Johnson’s grandfather, undated

F: Joe Lee Johnson (J. Fred Johnson’s father), undated

G: Ruth Carter Johnson (J. Fred Johnson’s first wife), c.1886

H: Ruth Carter Johnson (J. Fred Johnson’s first wife), undated

I: Sullivan Street, undated

J: Unicoi County, Clinchfield railroad building, undated

K: Virginia Club Meeting, Ruth Carter Johnson’s living room, undated

L: P. S. Wilcox (signed), undated

M: Robert Wilkinson, undated

 

7. Postcards, undated

A: Broad Street

B: Central High School Building, Watauga and Sevier Streets

C: The Circle – Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches

D: Clinchfield Portland Cement Corporation & Kingsport Pulp Corp. Mills

E: Community “Y,” Center and Shelby Streets

F: Community “Y,” Center and Shelby Streets

G: Eastman Corporation, Aerial View

H: First Presbyterian Church

I: First Presbyterian Church, from Carol Doggett to her mother Mrs. M. W. Doggett

J: J. Fred Johnson & Company

K: J. Fred Johnson Memorial Stadium

L: Kingsport High School, Watauga Street and Sevier Avenue

M: Kingsport Hosiery Mills, Inc. Plant, Reedy Street

N: Kingsport Pulp Corporation Plant

O: Methodist Church

P: Old Elm Tree at Rotherwood, said to be largest in America

Q: “The Old Elm” on Rotherwood Farm & Old Silk Mill

R: Passenger Station on Main Street at head of Broad Street

S: Rotherwood

T: The Famous Rotherwood Farm at the junction of north Fork and Holston Rivers

U: Shelby Apartments, Shelby Street

V: Shelby Apartment Houses on Shelby and Sullivan Streets

W: Tri-City Airport