A Piece of Powell's History

By Austin Durkin


Powell, Tennessee is a place where people come and go. They may stay for decades or just 10 minutes. Even though Powell is a small dot on the map, it has seen a lot more than you may think since the 1700s. All sorts of interesting facts about Powell make this town more fascinating by the day.

An example would be, Powell is now considered an unincorporated community, but Powell is actually categorized as an independent small town. This is due to Powell being founded in the year 1789, 2 years before Knoxville was created. Powell is independent to Knoxville (originally speaking). Powell was founded by a group of settlers, among them was a man named Stockley Donelson, President Andrew Jackson's brother-in-law. He owned a house named the Alexander Bishop House, it resides on Bishop Lane. Another settler involved in making Powell unique was John Manifee, who built a trading post next to what is known as Clinton Highway. It’s now a barber shop, tourist area, and historical landmark.

Powell’s name originated from the Powell Train Station/Stop, formally named after Columbus Powell. He was a very prominent and important person in the community. Unfortunately, the train stop is no longer in use, but it has not been destroyed or remodelled. This railroad was essentially life for Powell in the 20th century. The bricks made in Beaver Creek were delivered using this railroad.

It’s crazy to think that small town Powell was so interesting and important, you learn something new everyday!