Spring Street Property

George Parnell Home - 315 West Spring Street

The home of George Parnell at 315 West Spring Street that was built in the 1890's. George was born in Indiana to John Parnell and Katherine Croy Parnell. His father John was from England. George Parnell married Sarah E Campbell Parnell in 1882 and together they would have three sons, John Campbell Parnell who married Vesta Ruffner, the parents of Bromma Lane Parnell. The other sons were Charles Joseph Parnell and Harry Paul Parnell.

George Parnell was a lumberman and sawmill operator. The Parnells cut most of the virgin timber in the Windrock and New River area. This home was built of choice lumber of the virgin timber. George was also one the first city Alderman. He would leave for North Carolina sometime before 1920 and remain in the lumber business until he died in 1940 in North Carolina. He and Sarah are both buried in the Oliver Springs Cemetery.

His son, John C Parnell also worked as a coal miner as well as a lumberman. John's daughter, Bromma graduated from Oliver Springs High School in 1927. Because of the expense for her large family college wasn't an option but she did graduate from Knoxville Business College in 1928.

Looking for a job, Bromma moved to Oneida and lived with her aunt and uncle where she would soon be hired on a trial basis at the First National Bank. She started as a secretary but eventually became the first woman officer and director and the first senior vice president — man or woman. During her professional career she won many awards and held many top offices at the state level.

Bromma married twice, first to Roy Johnson in 1955 and later after his death to Grover C Pemberton in 1978. From this second marriage Bromma would eventually become president of Pemberton Oil and Lumber Company after Grover's death. In her later life she was known as a Philanthropist and a large supporter of the University of Tennessee. Before her death in 2011 Bromma made a donation to the Oliver Springs Historical Society that funded the Bromma Pemberton meeting room at the museum.

The home today is owned my Luke and Dot Hall and still has this fine woodwork


Evan D Phillips Home - 310 Springs Street

The Evan David Phillips and Sarah "Sadie" Thomas Richards Phillips home at 310 Spring Street that was built in the 1890's. Evan D. Phillips was born to Thomas R and Mary Ann Parry Phillips in 1868 in Wales. The family immigrated from Wales to the US in 1871 and went to Coal Creek where Thomas worked in the mines.

Sara "Sadie" Phillips was the adopted daughter of Joseph C and Ann Richards. Her biological parents were John Thomas and Sally Lewis of Wales. Sara "Sadie" was the niece of Ann Thomas Richards, the wife of wealthy Joseph C Richards who adopted her. Evan D Phillips and Sara "Sadie Phillips married in 1889 in Anderson County and they both would soon make their new home here on Spring Street.

Evan was a fine looking and highly respected gentleman, who owned and operated a coal mine, was the first elected mayor of Oliver Springs in 1905. He was re-elected in 1907. He also served as Oliver Springs Postmaster from 1921 until 1931. He was Chairman of the Water Commission in 1940. The family was very active in the Presbyterian Church that was across the street from their home. There was a church ladies meeting in the Phillips home that was supposed to be attended by the Richards sisters, who lay murdered in their home at the same time. Evan and Sadie moved to Dodds Ave, Chattanooga in the late 1940's when he retired and where they both died but are buried in the Oliver Springs Cemetery.

To this marriage they had one son, Thomas Richards Phillips, born 1894 and married Elizabeth Bauman in 1920. Unfortunately he would die in 1928 from poisoned moonshine.

Later the home belonged to Jimmy "Little Coke" and Madge Coker, who raised their sons Doug and Jimmy Coker there. The home has recently sold and is in the process of being remodeled.