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Lillian Mashburn Collection

Identifier: MSC 0988

Scope and Contents

The Lillian Mashburn Collection contains newspaper clippings, brochures, and publications relating to both TVA’s Watts Bar nuclear facility whistleblower scandal and the Butcher brothers bank fraud scandal, both in 1980s East Tennessee. Other materials including correspondence, writings, real photo postcards, and genealogies reveal information about Mashburn’s ancestors and heritage.

Newspaper clippings comprise a majority of the collection, recounting the breaking and development of the Watts Bar nuclear facility scandal. Family files contain original correspondence, newspaper clippings, wills, and family histories. Among the interesting items in the family files are a July 1865 letter from O. C. Sims to his cousin John asking him for a job. John H. Loyall and a photocopy of John H. Loyall’s will are in the Loyall family files. Photographs depict the amusement rides at Chilhowee Park and threshing work at Tauxe farm near Millertown in Knox County from the 1930s. Among the publications are select issues of United American Bank’s “The Monthly Statement” from April 1978-December 1979, while Mashburn served as editor.

Yearbooks detail Knoxville area high schools Central High School (1917) and Park Ridge School (1911).


  • 1865 - 1994
  • Majority of material found within 1985 - 1994

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Lillian Tauxe Mashburn was born on February 12, 1943, to Samuel Louis Tauxe and Jean Sitton Tauxe. After attending Alice Bell School and graduating from Holston High School in 1961, she matriculated at the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1965. She taught in Knox County Schools for two years before becoming the executive director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. She then joined Jake Butcher’s United American Bank as public relations director, serving from 1977-1980. During that time, she operated a public relations firm Public Relations Associates and later LTM consultants. She served as chair of community involvement for Knoxville’s 1982 World’s Fair. In 1987, she joined the staff of the University of Tennessee as the assistant to the dean of the college of engineering before serving as director of the Office of Federal Relations for the university. She was among the founding members of the Executive Women’s Association and served as the organization’s first president. She has also been involved in a number of other organizations including Church Women United, the Knoxville Women’s Center, Planned Parenthood, and the Board of the Friends of the Knox County Public Library. She served as the University of Tennessee’s Councilor for the Oak Ridge Associated Universities in 2005-2007 before retiring. In 2011, Mashburn participated in a series of oral histories with the University of North Carolina which can be found here:

TVA’s Watts Bar nuclear facility was slated to become the last commercial nuclear reactor in the United States. Construction began in 1973, but progress was plagued by delays. In 1985, whistleblowers alerted the press to structural and safety deficiencies and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission halted construction to investigate. TVA finally completed the facility and achieved criticality on January 1, 1996, with commercial operation following close behind.


2 boxes

Language of Materials


Zachary Keith
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection Repository

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