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Bio – Mira Webb

Originally from Washington County, TN, Miria has spent the last ten years as the director of the Clinton Public Library. She has a bachelor’s in English from Lees McRae College and master’s in information science from UTK. As of the end of March, she has eighteen total years of experience in libraries in Tennessee and North Carolina. One of her proudest genealogy research moments was finding a friends grandfather in less than an hour when the friend didn’t even know his legal name.

Bio – Ron Evans

Ron Evans is a family historian for the Evans, Paul, Humphrey, Darr and Underwood families )and associated families) of East Tennessee and has been doing genealogical research since 1980.  His interests in genealogical research led to historical research of the many East Tennessee Counties where his ancestors lived, including Knox, Anderson, Sevier, Union, Bradley and Polk.  Ron served as Vice President and President of the Anderson County Historical Society from 2004 – 2013.  He is administrator the Anderson County Historical Society website since 1999 and administrator of the Anderson County TnGenWeb website.  He is now researching the Powell Community of Northwest Knox County.  He co-authored the book Stooksbury – Ancestors and Descendants of Robert “Squire” Stooksbury.

Bio – Kristi Sumner

Dr. Kristy Sumner holds a PhD in Public Affairs with an emphasis on Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. Her professional background includes 8 years as a Senior Director and spokesperson for a Registered Traveler company focused on biometric clearances for the traveling public, where she routinely gave presentations before national airports, local and national media, and members of state legislatures and the US Congress. She was also a consultant for a biometric credentialing company, and she was a college professor at Metro State College of Denver and at the University of Central Florida. In 2021, Dr. Sumner, along with her business partner, Miranda Young, founded History, Highways, and Haunts, LLC., a female owned and operated company located in Tennessee and operating out of the Historic Scott County Jail and Museum. The goal of the business is to promote tourism and encourage historic preservation through creative endeavors.

Bio – David Needs

David Needs is a graduate of Carson-Newman University with a degree in Political Science and History.  He was President of Phi Alpha Theta the History Honor Society while a student at C-N.  He was also in ROTC and was commissioned a 2nd LT in the Field Artillery.  He currently serves Carson-Newman University as an Instructor and Director of the Nationally Ranked Track and Field Team.  Among the many classes David teaches at C-N is “Mossy Creek History 1850 to 1900”.  In 2019, David received the Community History Award from the East Tennessee Historical Society for his work in preservation and sharing the Mossy Creek Story.   In 2019, he was also named the President of the Lakeway Civil War Preservation Association.  In the Fall of 2021, he was named the first City Historian for Jefferson City.  In 2023, he traveled to Austin, Texas and Colorado Springs, CO to share information and speak about the 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Mossy Creek.  Additionally, he led the City of Jefferson City’s remembrance of the Battle on December 29th.  David Needs has been active in our community, researching, cemetery preservation, historical documentation, archaeological work, leading tours, engaging student groups, and lecturing.  He is also currently writing a book about the personal stories of the men and units  who fought at the Battle of Mossy Creek.

David Needs

Director of Track&Field and Cross Country
Carson-Newman University
Coach of the Year 2019, 2022, 2023
22 National Championship Appearances
4 National Champions
59 All Americans

Bio-Ted Barnes

My name is Frank Edward Barnes, but actually “Ted” to most. I have been a member of the Anderson County Historical Society for several years, and would like to do what I can to help with this organization. I have been a resident of Clinton and Oak Ridge for about 20 of the last 30 years, where my wife Agatha (a Medieval Historian) and I raised our daughter Sietske, and I was a scientist in the Physics Division at ORNL and a Joint Professor of Physics at UTK from 1989-2011. I was later a Program Manager in Nuclear Physics at DOE HQ in the DC area until retirement in 2018. I have long been fascinated by world history and ancestry research, and since moving here I have discovered that many of my ancestors lived in East Tennessee, dating back to the 1780s, notably through the Gallaher and Disney families. I hope that we can increase local interest and involvement in our Society, since all people should be aware of their own history. As related background, I am the current Editor of the Monthly Bulletin of the ORION (Oak Ridge) Amateur Astronomy Society, which is approximately 35 pages per month, and is distributed and stored online. A copy of the most recent issue can be found at this link:

Bio – Honorable Jamie Brooks

James W. Brooks, Jr. (Jamie) serves the 7th Judicial District, Anderson County, as Judge of the Chancery Court which is a state trial court.  Jamie was appointed to the position by Governor Bill Lee on April 18, 2023, after the retirement of Chancellor Nichole Cantrell.  Prior to taking the bench, he practiced law at Wilson & Brooks, P.C. for 37 years. He and his law partner, James Frank Wilson, practiced law together from 1985 until Mr. Wilson retired in 2016.  Jamie continued as a solo practitioner until his appointment by Governor Lee.  While in private practice, Jamie handled court cases primarily in the Chancery Courts in Anderson, Morgan and Roane counties.  He represented and helped thousands of individuals, families and businesses with their legal needs.

Chancery Court is vital to our community.  More than 1500 cases are filed in this court each year.  The cases consist of family law matters including adoptions, divorces, child custody and orders of protection. Additionally, Chancery Court hears all probates (wills and estate) and most real property disputes.  Originally a Court of Equity, Chancery court jurisdiction has expanded over the years.  Today, we have concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit Court on most non-criminal matters.

Jamie grew up in Nashville. He earned his B. A. degree in History from Trevecca Nazarene University in 1982.  He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1985.  He and his wife, Carol, have lived in Oak Ridge since 1987 where they raised their son.  They attend Christ Community Church.  Jamie serves on the board of the Morgan County Community Fund which provides grants to 501© (3) charities.  He is a member of the Tennessee, Anderson County and Roane County Bar Associations.  Jamie enjoys traveling, reading and playing golf in his spare time.

Bio – Joey Smith

Joey Smith – Sellers Realty has deep roots in Clinton, TN, and the surrounding areas. He is devoted to providing personal residential real estate services to both buyers and sellers. His philosophy on real estate, which is a foundational element for the Sellers Realty team as well, is “Connection to Community.” He joined Sellers Realty in 2006, armed with my lifelong love of architecture, urban design, historic homes and the city of Clinton.  Joey serves as the Vice Chair for Historic Downtown Clinton and is a board member for Clinton City Schools as well as an active member with the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce.  His love for Clinton history has made him one of the most knowledgeable residents of Clinton on the subject as you will often find him at the library or the register of deeds office.

Bio – Katherine Birkbeck

Katherine Birkbeck is a 2000 graduate of Clinton High School and a 2004 graduate of Berry College with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University with a Master’s of Arts in Professional Writing with a focus in business and grant writing.  While she started her career in Atlanta as a photographer and marketing director for an Atlanta Realty Group, she always knew she was an entrepreneur at heart.  Once she photographed her first wedding, the business took off from there and in 2007 it was a full-time gig.  In 2010 Katherine placed 3rd Internationally for the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s quarterly contest for best photographers around the world.  It was then that Katherine and her family moved back to Katherine’s hometown of Clinton.  Shortly after moving, she fell in love with a building on Market Street that she bought and renovated in 2019.  This building quickly became a successful second business for small events such as birthday parties, showers, etc. Throughout her time in Clinton, Katherine became an active Board Member for the Chamber of Commerce, the Education Foundation, the Business Development Committee and the Chair for the City of Clinton’s beautification committee.  This all led to her taking the charge to apply for the State of Tennessee’s Main Street designation and ultimately to her becoming the Executive Director for Historic Downtown Clinton.

Bio – Marilyn Childress

Marilyn Childress was a US Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class and earned the National Defense Medal, She also received Special Orders for Representing the Navy at the 1975 United States Volleyball Tournament. She was an Operating Room Technician Vietnam Era Veteran serving from 1972 -1975.   Side Note: She was the only female Hospital Corpsman at NAS Glynco, GA for 10 months. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. She went to college for two years, joined the Navy, and came back using the GI Bill to complete her studies.

Marilyn is one of the founding members of Veterans Heritage Site Foundation and their first President. VHSF was organized in 2016 as a nonprofit organization. It is one of the few veteran organizations that do not require their members to be veterans.  Their mission statement is to preserve and maintain veteran heritage sites to properly honor our veterans and pass the legacy on to future generations. Heritage Sites include military and veteran cemeteries, marked and unmarked burial sites, monuments, veteran parks, and honoring veterans.

Marilyn is also the Vice President of the Veterans Council of East Tennessee and a board member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1078 (VVA). She is also a member of Team RWB and the Irrelevant Warriors. She volunteers with many of their activities in Knoxville. She developed a relationship with the Board of Directors of Ramsey House so VHSF can hold events at their location. VHSF now honors the veterans that are buried at the Lebanon at the Forks cemetery, the oldest cemetery with a named marker in Knox County, where 12 veterans are buried and Ramsey House maintains.  She is also Treasurer of the Friends of Cavett Station whose mission is to maintain and improve the graves at Mars Hill Cemetery.

Marilyn is the spokesperson for VHSF and speaks at various organizations about VHSF projects. VHSF was selected by East TN PBS and Home Federal Bank to be the Non Profit of the Month Nov 2021 and spoke on VHSF behalf. She is available to be a speaker at organizations to bring the story of VHSF and our projects to their members.

Marilyn approached Joe Emert, a board member of the National Park System, and asked about veterans buried in the Great Smoky Mountain Park. After his research, he found that there was not a list. VHSF now have over 230 veterans identified and being honored by VHSF has now started reaching outside the Park to recognize and honor Revolutionary War Veterans and surrounding cemeteries where veterans are buried who lived in the Park before it become the Great Smoky Mountain Park. Marilyn was awarded a Preservation Award in 2022 for her work on the work in the GSMHP for preserving our veterans information who are buried in the Smokies. VHSF also planned the maintenance program to ensure the veterans headstone or footstone continues to be readable for future generations. We will also place flags during the Memorial Day Holiday.

She earned a Lady Vol Letter for her volleyball playing days at the University of Tennessee. Marilyn was heavily involved in women sports for over 25 years as a player and an administrator.  She has received many awards including being inducted into the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame. She is recognized for being the driving force for having women’s soccer added to the 1996 Olympics. In September 2022, Marilyn was inducted into the United States Adult Soccer Association’s Hall of Fame.

Some of Marilyn’s recent awards include the following: U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett selected Marilyn to be the 2nd District Veteran of the Month for February 2020; Next Level Brewery selected Marilyn for the Veteran for the Quarter Fall 2021; South High School Class of 1970 awarded Marilyn a Special Recognition Award at their 50th Reunion for her service to veterans; Most Recently Marilyn was awarded the Tennessee DAR Veteran Volunteer of the Year where she was also was named the Veteran Volunteer for the National Society DAR Southeast Region. Just this past weekend at the National DAR Convention 2022, the Department of Defense Committee for the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration awarded Marilyn the DAR Outstanding Member of Tennessee.

Bio – Stephanie A. Hill

Stephanie A. Hill is a professional genealogist, archivist and local historian with 44 years of active research experience.  Her late husband was a native of Anderson County and she has lived here for 33 years, having been drawn to the area after learning of her mother’s employment in Oak Ridge during World War II.  A long time member of the Anderson County Historical Society, she served 3 terms as its President and 9 years as an editor of its quarterly journal, The Pellissippian.  Mrs. Hill currently serves as both Treasurer and Historian of the Society and edits its monthly newsletter.  She is also the editor of the Anderson County site on the TNGenWeb and is the admin of two Facebook groups on Anderson County history – Anderson County, TN Genealogy & Local History and Anderson County, TN History.  She is the author of the books East Tennessee Hills and Clinton, and has compiled 6 privately printed family histories.  In addition, Mrs. Hill has written articles for several genealogical publications and has been a featured speaker at local and regional genealogical workshops.

A longtime volunteer at the Clinton Public Library, Mrs. Hill taught their genealogy classes and serves as their volunteer researcher, answering questions concerning area resources, family and local history, and various genealogical research methodologies.  Mrs. Hill also served as Chair of the Anderson County Library Board and of the Briceville Library Committee, was a member of the board of directors of the Coal Creek Miners Museum and is currently serving a third term on the Anderson County Public Records Commission.

In addition to being a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Mrs. Hill’s affiliations include the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia, the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Colleton Genealogical Society and the North Carolina Genealogical Society.