From the founder of Picnooga, David Moon, Chattanooga Then elevates and shares Chattanooga’s history through photographs, postcards, and other historical artifacts.

H. Clay Evans residence on Cameron Hill

Positioned on a large lot at the corner of East Terrace and Gillespie Avenue on Cameron Hill sat American politician Henry Clay Evans’s (June 18, 1843 – December 12, 1921) stately 1870s-era Second Empire home.

Henry Clay Evans was a politician and businessman representing Tennessee’s 3rd district in the United States House of Representatives from 1889 to 1891.  He ran twice as a candidate for Governor of Tennessee (1894 and 1906). Later, he served as U.S. Commissioner of Pensions from 1897 to 1902 and as U.S. consul to London from 1902 to 1905.

A supporter of progressive causes such as the Lodge Bill, Evans frequently found himself at odds with the Southern Democrat-controlled state legislature. 

Evans participated in local politics in his adopted hometown of Chattanooga, where he championed education. He served two terms as Mayor of Chattanooga (1882–1883) and served as Chattanooga’s first Commissioner of Education.

Born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, Evans moved to Wisconsin in 1844. He attended the common schools, a business school in Madison, and graduated from a business school in Chicago in 1861.

During the Civil War, Evans enlisted on May 6, 1864, as a corporal in Company A, 41st Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served until he was discharged as a quartermaster sergeant on September 24, 1864. He was an agent with the quartermaster department in 

Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a year. Evans then spent some time in Texas and New York. He married Adelaide Durand in Westfield, New York, in 1869, and they had three children.

In 1870 Evans returned to Chattanooga. Elected mayor in 1881 and served two terms. He organized the public school system of Chattanooga.

From 1884 to 1885, Evans worked as a cashier at Chattanooga’s First National Bank. He became president of the Chattanooga Car and Foundry Company and remained principal owner until 1917.

A note from the curator: This high-style Second Empire home was unique to Chattanooga. It would later be remodeled, the tower removed, expanded, and the roofline altered. It’s also a very early scene from Cameron Hill.

This stereoview is also unique, as I had not run into its series before. It’s also an early work of A. W. Judd, with a studio address of the 200 block of Market Street.

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No Copyright – United States
The H. Clay Evans residence on Cameron Hill from an 1886 lithograph map


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