Jefferson City, Tennessee is a small town of fewer than 8,000 residents located near the Smokey Mountains in East Tennessee. The city is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson. Previous to 1901 it was known as Mossy Creek, Tennessee. Mossy Creek passes through the east side of town and many companies use the name "Mossy Creek" in their business name.
You probably won't recognize most of the names on this list. However, some of their discoveries have affected us all. Most are known in the professional sports world. All of them were either born in Jefferson City or currently call our small town "Home."
Robert Edward Lee Mountcastle (1865-1913)
Robert Mountcastle was a lawyer and politician who was born and raised in Jefferson City. He earned his first Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson-Newman College. Though he moved away for a time he eventually came back to the Jefferson City area forming law partnerships in Morristown and Knoxville, Tennessee.
Dana Xenophon Bible (1891-1980)
Dana Bible was a college football player and coach with a record of 198 wins, 72 losses and 23 ties during his college coaching career. He had 30 winning seasons out of the 33 years as a coach. When he coached at Texas A&M he coached baseball and basketball along with his football coaching duties.
Between 1913 and 1946 he coached at Mississippi College, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, University of Nebraska and the University of Texas. He took one year off (1918) to serve as a pilot in World War I.
In 1919 his Texas A&M team won every game in a shutout. They scored 275 points against their nonscoring opponents.
Bible's father was a teacher at Carson-Newman College (a Christian liberal arts college) in Jefferson City when Dana was born. Dana died in Austin, Texas.
Clyde Wright (1941-)
Clyde "Skeeter" Wright was a professional baseball pitcher from 1966 to 1978. He played on Major League teams until 1975 and then played in Japan for 3 seasons. In his professional career in the US he pitched for 100 wins and 667 strikeouts in 13 years.
Wright holds the strikeout record in the NAIA World Series by striking out 22 players in one game in the 1965 NAIA World Series. This was for his hometown college, Carson-Newman.
He also has a no-hitter to his accomplishments. He pitch it on July 3, 1970. He was playing for the California Angels and pitched the game against the Oakland Athletics. Reggie Jackson almost ruined his perfect game with a long fly ball to center field. It was caught just in front of the wall. The 1970 season was his best season in baseball.
After retirement from professional baseball he opened a pitching school in California.
James M. Henry (1945-)
Jim Henry is a politician and businessman in the state of Tennessee. Even as a private sector worker after his political career seemed to come to an end, he was appointed by the governor of Tennessee in 2010 to be the commissioner of the Department of Intellectual Disabilities because of his work with developmentally disabled and troubled children. He has a child with a developmental disability and he has sought to help other children through his group called Omni Vision.
After the Vietnam War he became politically active in veterans affairs and in local elections. He was a city councilman and later mayor of Kingston, Tennessee. Henry was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives and eventually had a run for governor of Tennessee in 2002 which he lost.
Philip Mason Garner (1949-)
Phil Garner was born in Jefferson City on April 30, 1949. Garner was a Major League Baseball player and manager from 1973 to 2007. His career as a player ended in 1988 when he played for the San Francisco Giants. He managed various teams from 1992 to 2007.
Besides a long career in baseball he is one of the few players who has hit a grand slam in consecutive games. A grand slam is when a player hits a home run with a runner on each of the three bases. This gives a team four points off a home run.
Mark E. Dean (1957-)
Dean is an inventor and has worked at IBM for many years. He was part of the team that invented the ISA bus for computers (many early expansion slots used this type of architecture). The ISA bus is one of the key factors for making computer hardware interchangeable and it helped spawn the PC revolution of the 1980s. He was the first African-American to become an IBM Fellow (the highest honor given to an IBM employee.)
Currently Dean is the Chief Technical Officer for IBM in the Middle East and Africa.
Dean holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stamford University. He has more than 20 patents in his name. He holds 3 of IBM's original 9 patents for the PC.
Carolyn Arlene Peck (1966-)
Carolyn Peck is an sports analyst for ESPN. She was a college and professional women's basketball coach. Before coaching she was an accomplished player in both high school and college basketball. She played for and earned a degree from Vanderbilt University. She also played professional basketball in Italy and Japan.
Her college degree was in communications and she has used that to her advantage as a coach and now as a broadcaster for ESPN.
Carolyn Peck holds the distinction of being the first African-American coach in women's basketball to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. She did this in 1999 as head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers.
Kenneth Massey (1975-)
Though not born in Jefferson City, he currently lives here and is an employee of Carson-Newman College. Kenneth Massey is best known for his sports rating system called the Massey Ratings. These help determine which teams should be paired with one another in various tournaments. The Massey Ratings are used in various sports. His system is most helpful in situations where a large body of teams would never have a chance to play against all other teams. This is the case in college football where the system is used.
Massey Ratings are based on past performance. This takes into account not only the other teams they have played but the difficulty of the schedule they were dealt.
Other Famous Jefferson City Residents
Do you know of any other famous Jefferson City residents? Share them in the comments below along with why you think they should be included in this list.