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Knoxville's Little-known History: Aldermanic Bicentennial 

In 1791, when Knoxville was founded, it wasn’t actually as a city government.

Knoxville was first recognized as the capital of the Southwest Territory. A quarter century later, in 1816, the City of Knoxville officially incorporated. It was managed by a Board of Aldermen, beginning 200 years ago last January.

Of the seven men who served on Knoxville’s first Board of Aldermen, none are known to be from Tennessee. At least three were immigrants from Ireland.

Fast forward 108 years. By 1924, the board was becoming known as City Council - and it’s remained that way ever since.

For a lot more details about Knoxville's first political leaders, reread a Jan. 6, 2016, column in the Knoxville Mercury written by Jack Neely, director of the Knoxville History Project, on the bicentennial of the former Board of Aldermen:


 Columnist remembers bicentennial of City's Board of Aldermen.

As Knoxville approaches the 225th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 3, 2016, City Blog is exploring some of City government's little-known historical facts and interesting trivia. For example: Did you know Knoxville has an official flag? (Click HERE.) In a City County Building gallery of former mayors, which City chieftain boasts the most flamboyant facial hair? What sorts of unenviable tasks did Public Service crews perform 100 years ago?

If you've got a suggestion for a vignette on an interesting historical tidbit about Knoxville's city government, please email your idea and whatever facts you've gathered to Eric Vreeland at evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov.

- Communications intern Tyler Cookston

Posted by evreeland On 14 September, 2016 at 9:33 AM