Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
South Central States
Tennessee Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga was incorporated as a city in 1839.

The Chattanooga Water-works Company was incorporated in 1856 by William D. Fulton, Spence Rogers, Jonathan M. Lees, Robert Cravens, Robert M. Hooke, and Joseph L. Gillespie "for the purpose of supplying the city of Chattanooga with water, by means of Artesian wells, or otherwise."   Charles E. Grenville was the first president of the company.  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

The Union Army entered Chattanooga on September 8, 1863 and was essentially under siege until November 26.  On October 19th, work began on a water works system originally intended to serve the army's hospitals and fortifications   Early work was done by Pioneer Brigades, and Second Lieutenant Raymond E. Wiswell of the 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry was in charge of the works by June of 1864.  Wiswell was promoted to First Lieutenant in August and transferred to the 1st Veteran Volunteer Engineer Regiment.  The system consisted of a pumping station built on the side of Cameron Hill with a steam suction pumping engine taking water from a 976-foot tunnel from the Tennessee River and a second steam force pumping engine that raised water to an elevated tank and reservoir on Cameron Hill.  Both pumping engines had been secured locally from a blast furnace and flour mill.  Several miles of cast-iron pipe was installed, which a 1948 articles says came from England.  The system began operating in 1865, but broke down after several weeks and was out of service for some time.  The following two pictures show the pumping plant under construction and completed around 1863:

U.S. Army water works, Cameron Hill, by Matthew Brady. Chattanooga water works, by Isaac H. Bonsall,

The water system was probably given by the Federal government  to the city of Chattanooga, which sold it in May, 1866 to Thomas W. Yardley, Charles E. Lewis, and R. E. McEwen. Lewis was mayor at the time and McEwen was a merchant from Knoxville who later owned a coal mining company.  Yardley was from Pottsville, Pennsylvania and had been engaged by the Department of Military Railroads to build a complete rolling mill at Chattanooga to produce rails from those damaged during the war.  The rolling mill began operation a week before the war ended and was sold to the Southwestern Iron Company in November, which kept Yardley on as general manager.  He resigned in March, 1866, shortly before he became involved in the water works.  His involvement in the works is unclear, as later that year he was in Utah as part of the Pacific Railroad enterprise.  He was later connected with the Holly Manufacturing Company and the pipe manufacturing firm of Gaylord, Son & Co. of Portsmouth, Ohio.  The water system apparently had financial difficulties and was reportedly sold at auction in 1868.

The Chattanooga Water Company was incorporated on March 11, 1868 by Thomas J. Carlisle, Robert R. Byard, R. E. McEwen. Carlisle had served in the Union Army in Chattanooga during the war and remained in the city, being elected Mayor in late 1877.  He succumbed to yellow fever while trying to relieve suffering from an epidemic that swept in the city in 1878.  No information on Bayard has been found and the name might not be spelled correctly in the charter.  This company was sold in 1869.

The Lookout Water Company was incorporated in 1869 by George H. Hazelhurst, Morris Ketchum, Abraham Malone Johnson, Thomas Webster and John W. James. The Tennessee Secretary of State considers this a name change to the prior Chattanooga Water Company.  Hazlehurst later bought the water works in Montgomery.  Johnson was the president of this company for twenty years, until Hazlehurst's death in November, 1883 resulted in the sale of bonds he held that represented the controlling interest in the company. 

The Mountain Spring Water Company was incorporated in 1886 to develop elevated springs to supply water to Chattanooga.  A 50-year lease on the springs was acquired by Charles S. Hinchman, who assigned it to Mountain Spring Water Company.  A 1943 court case includes details of the lease, for which Hinchman and his heirs received over $270,000.

The Lookout Water Company and Mountain Spring Water Company were acquired by the American Water Works and Guarantee Company in early 1887, and the Lookout company was renamed the City Water Company of Chattanooga on February 7, 1900.  

The company changed is name to the Tennessee-American Water Company on August 31, 1973.

Water is provided by the Tennessee-American Water Company, which has a history page stating that "Public water service in Chattanooga began in 1850 when pipes were installed to bring water from artesian wells to the homes of Chattanooga's 2,500 inhabitants."  No evidence of an 1850 water system has been found, and the company has not responded to an inquiry about the source of this information.

1856 An act to incorporate ... the Chattanooga Water-works Company.  February 23, 1856.
Sections 10 & 11 refer to the Chattanooga Water-works Company,

1863 Chattanooga from the north bank of the Tennessee, September 1863, from Harper's pictorial history of the Civil War, 2:540, by Alfred H. Guernsey and Henry M. Alden.

1864 Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, March 19, 1864, Page 1.
Letter from the Army of the Cumberland.  City Water-Works.  The military authorities are building a reservoir on Cameron Hill, an elevated point, preparatory to distributing water throughout the city, for which soldiers will be thankful, as well as residents who return after the reestablishment of peace.

1864 The Ebensburg Alleghenian (Ebensburg, Pennsylvania), April 21, 1864, Page 2.
The Government has been arrangements with Messrs. John Fritz of Bethlehem (formerly of Cambria County,) and Thomas W. Yardley, of Pottsvile, for the erecting of a Rolling Mill at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1864 Plate CXXII, Chattanooga, taken April, 1864, from Atlas to accompany the official records of the Union and Confederate armies (1891) | Also here | and here |

1864 The Richmond Palladium, May 11, 1864, Page 1.
Letters from the War. By Benjamin Taylor.  From his letter to the Chicago Journal, the 20th inst.  Chattanooga is busy as a hive in June.  The work upon a spacious reservoir in rapidly approaching completion, on Cameron Hill, whereby water can be conveyed over a town that, all these years, lapped in its laziness from pails 'toted' on the heads of Ethiopia from the brink of the Tennessee.

1864 "The New Water Works," Chattanooga Daily Gazette, June 3, 1864, Page 3.
The New Waterworks.- Among the many works of importance commenced by the United States Government, and an around Chattanooga, none exceeds in magnitude and in the benefits which will flow from its completion, the working now being done in erecting a reservoir to supply this city with a bountiful supply of fresh, pure water.  We paid a visit to works yesterday, and to Lieut. Wiswell, 59th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, the officer in charge of them, we are indebted for the following account of what has been done and what is intended to do.  The works are situated in a hollow at the foot of the eastern slope of Cameron Hill, and distant from the river 976 feet.  Operations were commenced by order of the Engineer Department, on the 19th of last October, and have progressed steadily ever since, though somewhat delayed at times by the scarcity of animal transportation.  The first work done was to make an excavation in the side of the hill, and erect a stone wall to prevent the earth from caving in.  This wall is built of cut stone and is 16 feet high, 95 feet long and 2½ feet thick and forms one side of the main building.  This building is 80 feet long, 30 feet wide and 35 feet high.  In addition to being occupied by the waterworks, it is intended to put up two runs of burrs, on the second and third floors, which will be used for the purposes of a grist mill.  In one end of the building a shaft, 13 feet square, has been sunk to a depth of 60 feet, and a tunnel is being dug to extend the shaft to the river, the end opening in the river bank being 15 feet above low water mark.  This tunnel is four feet high and three feet two inches wide, inside of the framework. At a distance of 200 feet from the main shafts is a second one, which is five feet square and 37 feet deep.  From these two shafts gangs of men are working in each direction  About 500 feet of the tunneling have been completed, leaving something over 400 feet yet to be dug.  Fresh air is supplied to the workmen in the tunnel by means of two large fans, one in each shaft.  The main shaft, of the one which is dug inside the main building, contains a suction pump–a double action–and its engine.  This pump is eight inches in bore and 40 inches in stroke, and is calculated to make fifteen revolutions a minute.  It throws a steady stream, six inches in diameter, into a cistern, fifteen feet above the mouth of the shaft.  From this cistern the water flows down again into the force pumps.  These pumps are two in number, and are connected by a walking beam, so that when one is filling the other is emptying, and vice versa, thus forcing a regular, constant stream of water, 5½ inches in diameter, up to the reservoir.  The pumps make twenty-five revolutions per minute, and throw 3¼ gallons per stroke, or 83 per minute.  The engine that drives these pumps is of forty horse power.  The reservoir has been built on the side of the hill, 280 feet above the river.  It is 64 feet long, 30 feet wide and 14 feet deep, and will contain over 200,000 gallons.  A wall built of cut stone six feet thick, prevents the water from escaping.  In erecting these works, numerous obstacles have been encountered, but the zeal of those engaged on them has allowed nothing to interfere with their vigorous prosecution.  In sinking the shafts, the workmen were compelled to dig through a species of shell rock and hard gravel mixed with quicksand.  The tunnel is being dug through this rock unmixed with any earth whatever.  Owing to its shelly nature, it cannot be blasted, while it renders progress with the pick exceedingly slow and tedious.  On account of the size of the tunnel, only one man can work at a time, there being three gangs at work, the men working by reliefs.  Inside of the framework in the man shaft there is a clear space of nine feet.  All the material for the works, the timber, pump engines, &c., were obtained in and around this place, the Government not being at any cost whatever.  The suction pump and engine, together with three hundred feet of pipe, were obtained from the blast furnace on the river above the landing.  The force pump was taken out of the rolling mill, on the railroad, below town.  The engine for this pump was taken from the flouring mill, near the depot.  These pumps and engines have been completely repaired and put up in this present position by soldiers, all the men engaged on the works being detailed for that purpose from the Pioneer Brigade.  The iron used in making the smoke stack for the furnace was obtained from the cupalo of the blast furnace beforementioned.  It was cut up into the proper lengths and is now being made up by the blacksmiths in the shop connected with the works.  This shop was also built by the detachment.  It is 40 feet long and 24 feet wide.  In it all the necessary repairs needed on any part of the machinery can be done.  The men have laid the foundation for a machine shop and carpenter shop, 90 feet long by 24 feet wide, just below the blacksmith shop.  Still another building which has been erected in the kiln, or dry house, for the purpose of seasoning lumber.  The furnaces for heating it are built in one end of the kiln, and the hot air passes through two boiler flues, the entire length of the building, and escapes by means of a chimney.  This kiln will hold 10,000 feet of lumber.  Besides this, no less than three roads have been made in the side of the hill.  Two of them are to enable teams to get down and up the hill from the works; the third leads up to the reservoir.  The labor performed in making these this, erecting the buildings, sinking the shafts, &c., has been immense, and though much yet remains to be done, much credit is due those who have carried the work so far toward completion.
When these works were commenced they were intended mainly to supply the hospital and fortifications, but the scarcity of transportation during the winter delayed it greatly, and the size and capacity of the works having been increased, the water will probably be conducted to every part of the city so that all may share in its benefits.

1864 The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 38, Part IV correspondence, etc.  (1891)
Page 639:  Hdqrs. Department of the Cumberland, Office of Chief Engineer, June 29, 1864.  George Burroughs, Lieut. Engineers and Actg. Chief Engr., Dept. of the Cumberland.
Defenses of Chattanooga. Water-works.  Machinery nearly set up.  Excavation for reservoir complete.  Six hundred and fifty feet of tunnel made.  Three hundred and twenty-six feet remaining.  The force is thrown principally upon Redoubts Carpenter and Jones, Forts Lytle and Creighton, the water-works and magazines, constructing block-houses, platform, &c, besides the parties procuring logs, running saw-mills, building store houses, hospitals, etc.

1864 Chicago Tribune, November 22, 1864, Page 1.
From out own reporter, Chattanooga, November 14, 1864. Transfers from Atlanta. Vast amounts of machinery and valuable material have been received here from Atlanta.  The last train loads are just coming in.  It will be found very useful to repairing out steamboats as well as sawmills and other manufactories, and in constructing the water-works now in progress on Cameron Hill, by means of which it is proposed to supply the hospitals with pure water.  Wells are now digging and iron pipe is laid up the hillside into a large wooden tank or reservoir, whence the pressure will force the water wherever required.

1864 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, December 1, 1864, Page 2.
Here let me speak of one of nature's noblemen, Lieut. Wisell, Superintendent of the Water Works, who, upon learning of the destitution of the refugees, without any solicitation on my part, proceeded to take up a collection for them, and handed me this day, one hundred and twenty-four dollars and fifty cents.  Such a humanitarian effort as this will surely meet with its reward.  John McCrea, Chaplain, 33d Ind. Infantry, Sup't Refugee's Home.

1864 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, December 2, 1864, Page 3.
The Waterworks.- The late rains, causing a high stage of water in the river, have prevented the laying of the pipes to supply these works.  The water having receded sufficiently, Lieut. Wisell, in charge of the works, has commenced operations.  Tow lines of pontoon boats have been anchored in the stream, and bridges laid on them, to enable workmen to lay the pipes in the water.

1864 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, December 11, 1864, Page 3.
Supply of Water.- Chattanooga, in a short time, will have an abundant supply of water in case of a conflagration.  We have the Tennessee river at the north end of town, the water works on Cameron Hill, at the west end, cisterns have been sunk on Market street, near the Post Commissary warehouse, five cisterns have been dug on Market street, between 7th and 8th streets, and today we have to note another lot of four which are being excavated near the new warehouse at 7th and Railroad streets.  Two are being dug on Railroad street and two on Chestnut.

1865 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, January 21, 1865, Page 3.
Completed.- The work of digging a tunnel from the Waterworks on Cameron Hill, to the river, was completed last night, after a continuous labor of nearly nine months, the men working in reliefs, day and night, thought the labor was seriously interrupted at times by the water flooding the shafts.  Two gangs of men were at work, approaching each other, and for a week past each party has been able to hear the other, though it was not until yesterday that they could judge the distance which has to be evacuated.  At 8 o'clock yesterday evening Corporal Warner passed through the tunnel and the working of boxing the top and sides will probably be finished to-day.

1865 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, January 24, 1865, Page 3.
The Waterworks.-In the Gazette of Saturday morning last, we announced the fact of the completion of the tunnel intended to supply the water which is to be pumped up into the tanks on Cameron Hill. This tunnel will was commenced last March, and the work has been diligently prosecuted over time, with the exception of short intervals of time, during which the work was interrupted by water flooding the tunnel and causing a suspension of the labor.  From the shaft, in the main building of the waterworks to the edge of the river, the tunnel is 1,000 feet long, and is five feet high by four in width.  On account of the rocky nature of the ground through which the digging has to be done, the tunnel is not dug in a straight line, but pursues a somewhat zig-zag course.  About two hundred and fifty feet of the pipe have been laid, one hundred and fifty of which is put down in the bed of the river.  It will take some time to lay the remainder of the pipe, but it is expected during next week to pump a sufficient supply of water into the upper tank to supply the forts and camps on the hill.

1865 Chattanooga Daily Gazette, January 28, 1865, Page 3.
Grist Mill.- The new grist mill, which is to be run in connection with the Waterworks on Cameron Hill, will soon be in running order.  The mill has two run of stones and will be able to turn out large amounts of work.  It is probable that nothing but Government business will be done in the mill after its completion.

1865 Pittsburgh Daily Post, April 7, 1865, Page 3.
Chattanooga rolling mill begins operation.

1865 The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 49, Part II.  (1897)
Pages 391-392: Office of Inspector-General of Fortifications, Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn., April 18, 1865. Z. B. Tower, Brigadier-General and Inspector-General Fortifications.
Water-works.—In the ravine between Cameron Hill and the spur upon which Fort Carpenter stands is a large machine-shop, containing turning lathes, planing machine, a grist-mill, steam boiler, and the pumps for forcing the water of the Tennessee over the ridge above, and even to the summit of Cameron Hill, if needed. These waterworks, though started under the auspices of Generals Rosecrans, Morton, and W. F. Smith, have been mostly executed under Colonel Merrill's direction. The machinery was obtained from workshops and foundries in Atlanta and Chattanooga, and was fitted and set up by mechanics from the engineer regiment. The outlay for pipes and bands has been the only expenditure made excepting that for nails, spikes, and glass necessary for the building and the construction of the water-tanks, about the size of those used at railroad stations. Had Chattanooga remained as it formerly stood, a secondary base to a grand army and a vital point on the great eastern and western route, the building of these works would have proved very useful. One pipe laid from the tank on the ridge to the ordnance, quartermaster, and commissary storehouses, and thence to the railroad buildings, would be a great security in case of fire, and would furnish water to the railroad engines which now are obliged to run over the road two miles and a half to the foot of Lookout Mountain to fill their boilers. The major general commanding the Department of the Cumberland directed labor on the waterworks to be continued, with a view to protecting the public buildings against tire. The policy of further expenditures in laying pipes is at least doubtful. The decision of this question, as well as the execution of the work if required, rests with the chief quartermaster of the department.
Pages 433-434:  Headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Office of the Chief Engineer, Nashville, April 22, 1865, Wm. E. Merrill, Colonel First U.S. Veteran, Volunteer Engineers, Chief Engineer, Department of the Cumberland.
Chattanooga - The high and the general-service reservoirs of the waterworks are visible on Cameron Hill. The former consists of a single tank, and is located by the side of an excavation which I commenced for a reservoir, but stopped for lack of labor. Just behind the two lower tanks is faintly distinguishable the reserve magazine, of interior capacity 150 by 22 by 11 feet. Each tank will hold 18,000 gallons. The large three-story house on the right of the picture (corner of Market and Fourth) is the military prison. Just above it is Fort Carpenter, on the northeast spur of Cameron Hill. The water-works are in the ravine between Fort Carpenter and Cameron Hill, and are entirely concealed from view. The top of the smoke-stack is barely distinguishable above the lowest part of the line of the hill between Fort Carpenter and the two lower tanks. Plate CXXIII View 1 of the Atlas (reference immediately above).

1865 Defenses of Chattanooga, Tenn. Inspector General of Fortifications, Nashville, Tenn., April 18, 1865. | also here | This map shows the location of the water works and rolling mill.

1865 The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume V.
Page 47:  Chattanooga, June 1, 1865, L. C. Eicholtz, Acting Chief Engineer, Government Railroads, Military Division of the Mississippi.
I omitted to state we had built an engine house and a large reservoir adjoining the machine-shop at Chattanooga of a capacity of 80,000 gallons. The shops in the yard, as well as the locomotives, are now amply supplied with water from the works built by the U. S. Engineer Department. We have, in connection with their tubs on Cameron Hill, erected a tank of a capacity of 50,000 gallons, and have laid alwut 5,000 feet of main pipe and 4,000 of branch to the commissary building, store and mess houses.
Page 537:  U. S. Military Railroads, Office of Chief Engineer, Washington D.C., November 30, 1865. W. W. Wright, Chief Engineer, U.S. Military Railroads.
About 5,000 feet of main pipe, six inches diameter, was laid to supply the shops and locomotives with water from the works on Cameron Hill, erected by Colonel Merrill's engineer regiment. These works furnished an abundance of water for about two or three weeks, and then, owing to some defect in their construction, they had to be stopped, and were not again in operation during the time we were in possession of the railroads centering at Chattanooga.

1865 "For Sale Chattanooga Rolling Mill," National Republican (Washington, District of Columbia), August 11, 1865, Page 3.
United States Military Railroad Rolling Mills at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  T. W. Yardley, Superintendent.

1865 The Pittsburgh Gazette, November 30, 1865, Page 3.
The United States rolling-mill at Chattanooga has been handed over to its new purchasers, the Southwestern Iron Company.  Mr. Thomas Yardley, of Pottsville in this state, and who has been identified with these works from the beginning, will remain in charge as manager and superintendent.

1865 Portraits of the Officers of the 1st United States Veteran Volunteer Engineers, includes portraits of Colonel William E. Merrill and First Lieutenant Raymond E. Wiswell.
The 1st Veteran Volunteer Engineer Regiment was organized at Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 30, 1864, by Col. William E. Merrill, under the Act of Congress of May 20, 1864, which authorized the enlistment for three years of any enlisted man who had served or was serving as a pioneer, pontonier or engineer. The regiment served with the Army of the Cumberland.... It never took the field in combat operations. However, in and about Chattanooga it constructed earthworks and revetments of Forts Creighton, Phelps, Putnam; and Redoubt Jones, and was engaged in such activities as building reserve magazines, the water works, and hauling and rafting lumber.

1865 Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861, '62, '63, '64, '65. Part VI. Indiana, Illinois
Page 316:  Second Lieut. Raymond E. Wiswell, August 26, 1864, to First Lieut, 1st regiment, U. S. V. V. Engineers.

1866 Columbus Daily Sun, March 30, 1866, Page 2.
General Gustavus W. Smith replaces Mr Yardley, resigned at Chattanooga Rolling mill

1866 Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, May 30, 1866, Page 2.
Water in Chattanooga.- Chattanooga (Tenn.) has sold its water works to a private company, who have agreed to enlarge them.

1867 The weekly North-Carolina Standard, March 27, 1867, Page 2.
Chattanooga. The Awful Flood. Corn for the Poor.  The city authorities have kept the mill of D. Laylor, in the Water Works building on Cameron Hill, at work for several days, grinding corn for issues to the poor.  The authorities furnish the corn, but it is so wet that the grinding is necessarily a slow process.

1868 An act to incorporate the Carthage Bridge Company.  March 11, 1868.
Whereas, During the recent war, the United States Government established in the city of Chattanooga, water works for supplying water to be used for army purposes, and laid pipes through the principal streets of said city; and, whereas, Thomas W. Yaraley, Charles E. Lewis, R. E. McEwen and their associates, purchased the pipes, tanks, machinery and improvements from the United States Government, for the purpose of supplying water to the inhabitants of the city of Chattanooga; Therefore,
Sec. 19. Be it further enacted, That Thomas J. Carlile, Robert R. Byard, R. E. McEwen, their associates and successors, be, and they are hereby, incorporated a body corporate and politic, under the name and style of the “Chattanooga Water Company” to "bring into the city of Chattanooga, a sufficient supply of water from the Tennessee river, or elsewhere in the county of Hamilton, by means of pipes or tanks, and or in any other way; and to construct reservoirs for the reception thereof, and to connect the reservoirs with the pipes now laid in Chattanooga, and by such other pipes as they may deem proper for the purposes aforesaid.

1869 An act to incorporate the Tennessee Manufacturing Company and for other purposes.  February 19, 1869.
Sec. 12. Be it further enacted, That George H. Hazelhurst, —— Ketchum, A. M. Johnson, Thos. Webster and J. W. James, and their associates and successors be, and they are hereby incorporated a body corporate Lookout Water Company, with all the rights, powers and privileges granted to, and subject to all the rules, restrictions and penalties imposed upon the Chattanooga Water Company by Act of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, entitled "An Act to incorporate the Carthage Bridge Company," and for other purposes, passed March 11, 1868, chapter 91.

1870 Rules and regulations governing the introduction, supply, and consumption of water from Lookout Water Company.

1871 Birds eye view of the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.  The water works is building #3 at the foot of Pine Street and the reservoir on the top of Cameron Hill is also shown as #3.  

1878 James S. Snyder v. William W. Summers, 69 Tenn. 534, 1 Lea 534, December Term, 1878, Supreme Court of Tennessee.  Suit about the flour mill and distillery bought by Snyder.

1879 A. N. Foster v. Lookout Water Company and Mayor & Aldermen of Chattanooga, 71 Tenn. 42, 1879, Supreme Court of Tennessee.

1882 Chattanooga, Engineering News, 9:444 (December 30, 1882)

1882 Chattanooga from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1885 "Water, Fuel and Lights," by R. A. Conner, Past, Present and Future of Chattanooga, Tennessee, "the Industrial Center of the South."

1886 Engineering News 15:365 (June 5, 1886)
Chattanooga, Tenn.-  A company has been incorporated by Charles G. Anderson, M. H. Clift, - Mahan, - Trimble, and J. A. Hart to build water-works.

1886 The Chattanooga Water Company was incorporated on June 21, 1886.

1886 The Maryville Times, June 23, 1886, Page 4.
Chancery court in Chattanooga orders the sale of $30,000 of bonds of the Lookout Mountain Water Company belonging to the late Geo. H. Hazelhurst. These bonds constitute the controlling interest in the company and are sold for the benefit of the minor heirs of the deceased Geo. H. Hazlehurst.

1886 Engineering News 16:15 (July 3, 1886)
Chattanooga, Tenn.- The name of the company to build water-works, by M. H. Clift, Charles G. Anderson, J. A. Hart and others, is the Chattanooga Water Company.

1886 Engineering Record 14:255 (August 12, 1886)
Chattanooga, Tenn.- The Mayor and Aldermen have contracted with the Lookout Water Company for a supply of water, the contract to run fifteen years and the city to pay for the first five years, $5,000 per year, for the second five years, $7,000 per year, for the third five years $9,000 per year, the whole sum to be paid to be $105,000i.  The purposes for which water is to be supplied are for fire protection, for public schools, for public buildings, for use in constructing streets and sidewalks, and for supply to five drinking and watering fountains (2,000 gallons daily to each).  The Chattanooga Water Company offered to furnish a supply for all city purposes at $9,000 per year for twenty years.

1886 The Mountain Spring Water Company was incorporated on September 28, 1886.

1886 "Chattanooga Water Works.  Philadelphia Capitalists Lease the Mountain Spring Water Works," Macon Telegraph, October 23, 1886, Page 7.

1886 Engineering Record 14(22):520 (October 30, 1886)
Chattanooga, Tenn.- The Mountain Spring Water Company has passed into the control of Philadelphia capitalists, and they will push the works rapidly.  It is said they will build a large reservoir and erect power pumping-engines.

1886 Engineering Record 14(23):541 (November 6, 1886)
Chattanooga, Tenn.- We have referred before to the supply of water to be furnished by the Mountain Spring Water Company now leased by Philadelphia capitalists. It is now stated that preliminary matters have been arranged and the laying of pipe will begin in ninety days.

1887 Huntsville Weekly Democrat (Huntsville, Alabama), January 12, 1887, Page 2.
The Lookout Water Company, of Chattanooga, was sold on the 5th, to the American Water Works and Guarantee company, for $163,600.

1887 "Chattanooga's Water Supply. Taken Right Out of the Heart of Lookout Mountain," Philadelphia Inquirer, February 2, 1887, Page 4.

1887 "Chattanooga's Waterworks," The Atlanta Constitution, June 23, 1887, Page 1.
Colonel A. M. Johnson, for twenty years president of the Lookout Water company, resigned today.  W. S. Kuhn, of McKeesport, Pa., who was one of the recent purchasers, was elected president.

1888 "Chattanooga," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1889 "Chattanooga's Water Supply," St. Louis Post Dispatch, January 6, 1889, Page 10.  Study of city ownership of water system.

1889 "The Development of an Army Water-Works," Engineering Record, 19:170 (March 2, 1889)

1889 Democrat and Chronicle, November 11, 1889, Page 1.
Standpipe to supply historic Lookout mountain with 3,000,000 gallons of water daily from the Tennessee river, 2,100 feet below.

1889 Report of the Chamber of Commerce, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Page 32:  The Water Supply.

1890 "Chattanooga," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 Engineering News 26:21 (July 4, 1891)
Chattanooga, Tenn.- The Chattanooga Water & Electric Co., of Chicago, Ill., has been incorporated to operate electric lights, water works, street railway and a pleasure resort here.

1891 "Water-Purifying.  Pseudo-Filters Self-Confessed at Last," The Sanitary Era 5(6):276-277 (March 1891)
The Chattanooga water works company is the principal concern whose affiliations have led it into the disastrous experiment of Mr. Deutsch's filters.

1891 "Chattanooga," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1891 Standard History of Chattanooga, Tennessee: With Full Outline of the Early Settlement, Pioneer Life, Indian History, and General and Particular History of the City to the Close of the Year 1910, by Charles D. McGuffey

1893 "Water Supply," East Tennessee: Historical and Biographical
Pages 206-207:  Water Supply. During the occupation of Chattanooga by the Federal Army, a water system was built to supply the forces, and for fire protection. About seven miles of main pipe (eight-inch) was put down with fire-plugs convenient to all the great warehouses and storage buildings of the smaller class, and two engines were maintained.
The water was taken from the Tennessee river at a point directly fronting the city on the north. The reservoirs were two or three huge wooden tanks, located on the side of Cameron Hill about eighty-five feet above the general level of that part of the town lying between the river and Ninth street. This small plant was purchased by a company, at the head of which was T. W. Yardley, Esq., an iron man of Pennsylvania, under whose supervision the re-rolling rail mill built by the Government was erected. The water system was operated for two years, failed, and was sold by order of court, being purchased by the late John Hazlehurst, an eminent engineer of Georgia, who took charge of, improved and rub the works, which were liberally enlarged, from 1870 forward. One of the benches of Cameron Hill, on which stood an abandoned fort, built to protect the river traffic of the Government, was purchased. The parapets of the works were straightened, trimmed up, covered with a lining of puddled pipe-clay, and the water turned in. This was along in the early seventies. The reservoir was subsequently lined with brick, enlarged to a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons, a new pump-house built, new and larger pumps put in. The water was taken from the river on the immediate north front of the city. In 1887 the works were sold to the American Water and Investment Company.  The pumping station was moved to a point above the city, also above the mouth of Citico creek, which drains into the river the northeastern suburbs of the town.  Here an enlarged pumping plant was erected, also a stand-pipe and elaborate filters, at a total cost to date of $150,000.  During the summer of 1892 an additional stand-pipe was put up on a plat of land formerly occupied by Fort Wood, the highest point within the northeastern quarter of the city, at a cost of $36,000.  The company has laid mains for the supplying of Highland Park, Ridgedale and East Lake, suburbs east of the city, and St. Elmo, to the southwest.  The filtering plant has cost a great deal of money, and is measurably successful in clearing the water; but the opinion of those who have tried it thoroughly, is that no large filter, required to clear several million gallons every twenty-four hours, can be made that will take out all the impalpable atoms of red clay that mix with river water in time of freshet, and even when there is but an ordinary rise in the stream.  Nor is it the opinion of high authorities in medicine and chemistry, that these atoms in the water are the least injurious to health. It is well know here that those who use the hydrant water without home filtering are among the healthiest of our people, being singularly free of febrile and bowel disorders, though a Liebig filter will not hurt the water, it but makes it look better, not in the least adding to its wholesomeness.
The supply is in abundance, the pumping capacity being more than 20,000,000 gallons daily until 1892, when it was materially enlarged.  There are sixty-three miles of main pipes, ranging from three to fourteen inches in diameter, and these are extended whenever the service in any part of the city or suburbs will meet the expense of supplying the water—the company being willing to wait for profits when the neighborhood builds up.
The pressure supplied by the standpipe at the pumping house, and that on Fort Wood Hill, is sufficient to throw a stream to the top of a four-story house and give it a good force at that height. The cost of the service to householders and manufacturers is about the average for like service in other cities, and will be considerably lowered as the demand grows.

1895 The history of the One hundred and fourth regiment of Illinois volunteer infantry, by William Wirt Calkins
Page 192:  At the termination of the battles and campaign around Chattanooga the One Hundred and Fourth enjoyed a period of rest from fighting and again settled down to the duties of camp life. On December 1st the army passed in review before General Grant, and it was a proud occasion for the heroes of many battles. During the month the Regiment was employed on the new water-works or reservoir, projected and built on Cameron Hill. When finished the water was pumped into it from the Tennessee by using the motive power of an old flour mill which stood on the bank of the river. Pipes were run from the reservoir to the Government buildings in the town. This enterprise proved to be a great blessing to Chattanooga and was in use until a few years ago.

1896 "Jewell Filter at Chattanooga, Tenn.," Engineering News, 35:356 (May 28, 1896)

1896 Claim of James and Emma S. Thompson, June 26, 1894, H. R. 1166, 53d Congress, 2d Session.  Claim for Cameron Hill property taken during the war.

1897 "Chattanooga," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

[1897] Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Tenn., by Mayor George Washington Ochs
Page 37: The late Dr. J. E. Reeves, former president of the American Public Health Association, who resided at Chattanooga during the last ten years of his life, wrote as follows, in a signed article dated Sept. 18, 1895: "Probably there are but few American cities that can boast of a better water supply, both as to quantity and quality, than is afforded the people of Chattanooga from the Tennessee river. *** Strikingly in contrast with experiences of other cities north, east, west and south, is the infrequency in Chattanooga of scarlet fever, diphtheria and typhoid fever.

1899 "The Water-Works Question in Chattanooga," Engineering Record 39:201 (February 4, 1899).  Agitation for municipal ownership.

1900 Report of the adjutant general of the state of Illinois, Volume IV, Containing Reports for the Years 1861-1866, revised by Brigadier General J. N. Reece, Adjutant General..
Page 167:  Fifty-Ninth Infantry.  Second Lieutenant Raymond E. Wiswell of Chicago

1907 "Atlanta's Municipal Water-Works, Comparison of Public Ownership with Company Ownership at Chattanooga," by H. C. Beck, Water and Gas Review 17(11):7-9 (May 1907)

1910 "Chattanooga Water Works Report," Water and Sewage Works, 39(5):396 (November 1910)  Details of proposed new municipal plant for Chattanooga.

1913 "Chattanooga has Water Supply Equal to Any in the World," by L. H. Bixby, Superintendent City Water Company, Chattanooga, by The Chattanooga Daily Times

1940 The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volume 2, by Zella Armstrong (reprinted 1993)
Page 181:  The distillery, at the foot of Pine Street, was combined with a flour mill with a capacity of 150 barrels of flour and 60 barrels of whisky per day.  In 1860, '61 and '62 it was owned by Bell, Johnson and Company.  Early it 1863 it was purchased by James S. Snyder who had fled from Kentucky to establish himself, as he thought, in a region safe from war.  The mill, a four story brick building, was taken by Federal troops in September.  The bricks were used in forts and various other buildings.
Pages 183-184:  Incorporators of the Chattanooga Water Works Company, which had been chartered by the Tennessee Legislature, February 28, 1856, were: William D. Fullton, Spencer Rogers, Jonathan M. Lee, Robert Cravens, Robert M. Hooke, and Joseph S. Gillespie.  Charles E. Grenville was the first president of the company.
The War Between the States suspended the efforts of this company to furnish Chattanooga with water.
During the Siege of Chattanooga the Federal Government erected a pump at the foot of Pine Street, and pumped water into two tanks on the west side of Cedar Street. Water was supplied by pipes from those tanks to various parts of the city. In 1866 the Government sold the tanks and pipe lines to Colonel Thomas W. Yardley, of Chicago, who obtained from the Tennessee Legislature, in 1868, a charter for the Chattanooga Water Company. The incorporators were: Thomas W. Yardley, Charles E. Lewis, R. E. McEwen, and Thomas J. Carlile. They purchased the rights of the original Chattanooga Water Works Company, of which Charles E. Grenville was still president, although the company was inactive.
A human interest story appears in this brief chronicle, as five of the men who were interested In the early effort to supply Chattanooga with water served in the chief executive office.  These men, Mayors William D. Fullton, Joseph S. Gillespie, Charles E. Lewis, Thomas J. Carlile, and Charles E. Grenville, showed a spirit of service in the attempt to supply a need of the rapidly growing city, even if some one may say that they also sponsored a business enterprise! They did not profit by it, as it was many years before the company became profitable.
In fact the new company was wound up in Chancery in a few years, and the property was purchased by Colonel A. M. Johnson for Morris Ketcham of New York, Charles Greene of Savannah, Georgia, and George H. Hazelhurst of Macon, Georgia.
Colonel Johnson assumed management of the plant and secured a new charter, in 1870, under the name, Lookout Water Company. He also served as president of the company. In 1887 he sold it to the present owners, who changed its name, in February, 1887, to the City Water Company.

1943 Lydia S. Hinchman v. City Water Co., 179 Tenn. 545, 1943, Supreme Court of Tennessee.  Lydia was the widow of Charles S. Hinchman.

1948 "Chattanooga's City Water Company," Mueller Record, 35(2):3-6 (September/October 1948)
Page 3:  Chattanooga's water supply was born during the thunder of battle in the War Between the States.  During the Union occupation of the city in 1863 the source of water, consisting of springs, wells and cisterns which had been supplying the needs of the small community, was found inadequate to supply the needs of the Union troops, and General U. S. Grant erected a pumping station on the banks of the Tennessee River and a tank on the side of Cameron Hill, which were connected with about a mile of 6-inch cast iron pipe. This pipe was charcoal iron pipe, and it was imported from England. Some of this pipe is still in service.

1962 "Chattanooga," from Public Water Supplies of the 100 Largest Cities in the United States, 1962, US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1812, by Charles Norman Durfor and Edith Becker

2000 Tennessee-American Water Company v. City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, et al., August 2, 2000, Court of Appeals of Tennessee.
The City of Chattanooga asserted, by counter-claim, that the franchise rights of a state-franchised water company had terminated when the original stated corporate existence of ninety-nine years expired.
The  Hamilton  County  Chancery  Court  found  that  the  water company’s  franchise  was separate from the incorporation,
that perpetuity of the franchise is the appropriate interpretation when there exists no limiting language in the franchise grant itself, and that the water company had not trespassed by continuing to operate in Chattanooga past the expiration of the original ninety-nine year grant of corporate existence.

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce