Clarksville Connections is an ongoing project to share the stories of historically significant people who have a Clarksville connection. We invite your input. Please email your information and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Willie Blount settled in Montgomery County in 1790, the county territory belonged to North Carolina -- Tennessee was not yet a state. In 1809, he was elected as the third governor of the State Tennessee for his first of three terms. He served from 1809-1815, the maximum amount of consecutive terms that one could serve. As governor, Blount was known for improving communication and transportation facilities.
US Commissioner of Education
In 1927, Austin Peay Normal School was instituted in Clarksville, named after the current governor of Tennessee and intended to train potential teachers. Since then, it has been renamed Austin Peay State University, after offering more programs in science and arts, and even expanding their education program. Austin Peay’s Claxton building bears the name of Philander Claxton, the president of the university from 1930-46. Prior to that, he served as United States Commissioner of Education from 1918-21.
U.S. Postmaster General
U.S. Representative Cave Johnson successfully managed a presidential campaign for Tennessean James K. Polk and was rewarded with the office of postmaster general, where he served all four years of Polk’s administration. Afterward, Johnson returned to his home in Clarksville where practiced law until 1860.
Supreme Court Justice
Horace H. Lurton was the third of six Tennesseans appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He opened a law practice in Clarksville after receiving his law degree in 1867. While serving on the Tennessee Supreme Court, Lurton taught constitutional law at Vanderbilt University and served as dean of the law school. A State historic marker stands outside the site of his Clarksville home on South Second Street, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1999.
Austin Peay State University is named for three-term Tennessee Governor Austin Peay, who is credited with vastly expanding the state's highway system and improving secondary education in each of the state's 95 counties.
Pioneer Settler, Revolutionary War Colonel
Sevier Station is Clarksville’s oldest building, built in 1792 on a 640-acre purchased with the Revolutionary War grant of Valentine Sevier II. Although the Native-Virginian is little known, he is a pioneer who experienced Clarksville before it was established as Clarksville.