Memories of the KNOX County Poorhouse by:  Chuck Ballard

 Yes, there was a poorhouse in Knoxville. I visited there when a boy with my mother. We had a friend, a Granny West, who had lived in a room of my cousin’s house on West Scott Street before going out there. 

I remember my mother sent me to take food and wood to her when I was a boy. I used to sing and talk to her and try to cheer her up. Her children had all deserted her. She had a daughter as I recall. Her name was Annie. Mrs. West reminded me of the old song “Rocking Along In an Old Rocking Chair” by Eddy Arnold. She gave to me a little song book which her father carried with him when he was a boy. It was her most prized possession. I was greatly honored. 

I met an old Cherokee man there, I remember his last words to me. He said, “My son, I don’t know if we will ever meet again in this life. If we don’t, let us meet up above (heaven).” He was a beautiful person with long white hair down to his shoulders. I will never forget him or Granny West. 

I don’t know why there are no records of the Home or the people there. I would like to know all about my friends there and where they are buried. If any one finds out, will you please let me know.

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