Jennie Woodworth

Jennie WoodworthJennie Woodworth reached White Bluff, TN in November 1905, having driven in a one-horse spring wagon with a cover from Chicago, Illinois. The group she was with camped all the way (this is written in another story). They bought and paid for forty acres, at $4.00 per acre, of timber land about a mile from White Bluff. She had lived in the area previously in the 1880's and upon returning, described White Bluff then as being a distressing place with many shabby houses, a few short boardwalks, muddy streets, and pigs and cows running lose everywhere in town.

Jennie had been instructed by an old family friend and mentor, Colonel Killibrew of Montgomery County, to go there and make the town over and try to "civilize the place." There were no sidewalks, no school, nothing, and no one seemed to care or know how to do anything about the situation.

Jennie was an advocate and lobbyist who went to the state legislature and requested incorporation of White Bluff, which was opposed by two of the biggest tax payers. After incorporation, a school came, sidewalks were built, and she campaigned for a tax increase for improvements.

Jennie's most notable accomplishment was the construction with private funds of the Elizabeth House which was the home of the first library. The library was created with donated books and funds. There were reading classes for all and sewing classes for young ladies.

First Christmas at Elizabeth House
Jennie also had the first Christmas tree and celebration there that was ever held in the town. Jennie Woodworth had a vision and determination to make things happen that no one else believed could.

*Colorization of Christmas Tree picture by Rachel Christian

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