Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Founder of Bristol

Marker ID:  
Location: in East Hill Cemetery, Bristol, TN
County: Sullivan
Coordinates: N 36° 35.67    W 082° 10.338
  36.5945    -82.1723
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Erected in 2010 in honor of Joseph Rhea Anderson (1819-1888) who founded the original Town of Bristol, Virginal/Tennessee in 1852. Both sides of the town were given recognition on the official records of the time. He erected the first building in the town and became the first merchant, postmaster and banker. As the town grew he became a prominent business, civic and church leader and so remained throughout his lifetime. On the day before his death Anderson was nominated for Governor of Tennessee. In 1856 a group of citizens combined the original Bristol Virginia with adjoining Goodsonville to form the composite Town of Goodson. A point of confusion resulted since the depot, and for most years the post office, remained in Bristol. In 1890 all the Virginia side returned to the name Anderson had given it in 1852, was incorporated as such and so remains today.

Erected by City Historian of Bristol.