Dr. Joseph “Joe” Sharp (1903-1971) was appointed Sevier County historian in 1958, serving in this role for thirteen years until his death in 1971. An avid historian of early Sevier County history, Dr. Sharp’s collection of papers, correspondence, and primary sources are an invaluable resource for those research their ancestors and/or East Tennessee history. In the 1960s, he led the effort to save the current Sevier County courthouse structure. Many, at the time, wanted a new, more modern building; however, due to Dr. Sharp’s leadership, the current iconic structure was saved on a narrow vote of 13-11.

In 1976, five years after Dr. Sharp’s death, the Sevier County American Revolution Bicentennial committee commemorated his life and work in their keepsake publication, “Sevier County Saga,” celebrating Sevier County history, lore, and culture. They wrote, “We especially appreciate the writers of the past who have taken time to record and preserve events so important to all of us. A special tribute is due to the late Sevier County Historian J.A. “Joe” Sharp (1903-1971), who had such a great love and comprehension of our county’s heritage. So much of the early history contained in this booklet was compiled and researched by him that it would be impossible to give him all the credit he deserves.”

Many of Dr. Sharp’s papers and research are presented here in digital form. We have divided his collection into four main categories: Histories, Family documents and histories, Companies and schools, and Sevier County documents.

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