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Store ledger from S. E. Thompson Store

Identifier: MSC 0961

Scope and Contents

Nile's Ferry, 1889-1904 Store Ledger from the S. E. Thompson Store. A time capsule of the Trigonia community at the McGhee-Humes-Niles property on the Little Tennessee river; over 450 pages with additional notes, receipts and ledger pages disattached from another ledger. In the mid section are several pages of contracts and leases for pasture land, timber, hauling, milling of grain, breeding of stock, etc., all carefully worded and handwritten in S.E. Thompson's hand. Some of these leases and contracts are stated copies on file at the courthouse in Maryville. Each customer is listed in the ledger index in the front. Every prominent name in this community has a few pages on account at this store and the Nile's family has many columns, particularly pertaining to the ferriage of people and stock across the river and back. It appears as if customers at the store could charge their ferry trips as part of their monthly bills, though many chose to pay ferriage in cash at the ferry which is not noted in the book. Names include T.W. Humes, J.W., C.M., M.W., S. D. G. Niles, McGhee, Anderson, Thompson, Montgomery, Dr. E. J. Foute, the Wears, the Swanays, Sparks, Jas. Saffell, Arp, Steel and dozens more, including all the business partnerships, large and handshake, the craftsmen and the women schoolteachers, who were all single. It appears to be that J.W. Niles held the financial and ownership notes on this store as he is listed as holding the deed and note to some $10,000+. Dr, Foute gradually took foothold in the finances of this business, but before he bought the Niles plantation and ferry around 1912. Settlement names mentioned here are McGhees, Cog Hill (pg.255), Brakebill, Morganton and more. Anchor Woolen Mill in Maryville is listed as a buyer.

The Nile's family has large amounts of grain, livestock, workmen who credited under J.W. Nile's debit columns, and ferriage for business hauling all listed here. This ledger is truly a daily record of life on the river, and all this going on while the ferry was still a "pole" ferry. A note to add is the charges in 1891 (pg.92) for supplies for a railroad building crew. S. E. Thompson invested in properties in Knoxville around 1904 and the banking bookwork is in the back of this ledger.


  • 1889 - 1904

Conditions Governing Use

Material is available for research. Prior arrangement MUST be made by contacting the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at


1 box

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Repository Details

Part of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection Repository

601 S Gay Street
3rd floor
Knoxville Tennessee 37902 United States