Stewart County
Model, TN ariel view
Model, TN ariel view
Model, TN street scene
Model, TN street scene
Photos Courtesy of Tripp Scott


Model, located in the Northwestern part of Stewart County, seventeen miles northwest of Dover, is about five miles from the Cumberland River on one side and near the Kentucky Lake on the other. It was first called Pryor's Creek, named for the first settler who came into the area, in or about 1800.  later, the community was known as Great Western for the Great Western Furnace established about 1854 by Brian, Newell and Company.

The iron industry lasted four years.  Slaves were used for labor.  A panic caused by the slave insurrection in Stewart County in the winter of 1856-1857 was the end of the furnace industry.

The first post office was called Bass.  Jethro Bass was the first postmaster.  This was in July 1846, and he served until August 1850, when the post office was discontinued. The post office was reinstated with John J. Gardner as post master in 1857.

The iron industry, while it lasted, furnished many jobs for whites and blacks.  An elementary school was about 1 mile from the furnace.  Some sources say a lack of fuel and transportation was given as the reason for the furnace shutting down.

There was plenty of timber, rich bottoms lands, and fertile new ground, so many people who came to work in the iron ore industry stayed to become farmers, blacksmiths, or timber men.

After the Civil War a "model town" was established as a real estate operation by the Cincinnati Cooperage Company, a maker of barrel staves, and that is how Bass passed through the fiery furnace, (so to speak) and the community became known as Model.  William M. Boyd became the first postmaster of the new town of Model on July 12, 1887.  Lytton G. Acree, a merchant, became postmaster on February 25, 1921, and was succeeded by his daughter, Mrs. Otis Steele, who was the last postmistress.

Model had the first high school in Stewart County, a two year high school in 1914.  The building also contained the elementary grades.  The population of the eighth district was 1, 121, in 1920 and half that number were Model inhabitants.  Population decreased as land was made less productive and timber diminished.  The high school was discontinued, and the pupils attended high school in Dover.

John and Jim Jones operated a grocery store at Model in the early twentieth century.  Other store operators have been Relas Blain, Oscar Salyers, Marvin Steele, and Tonza Fakes.  There was a big celebration at the end of WW II held in Model.  Gracy C. Watson operated a store between Model and Tharpe and was Magistrate from 1936 to 1967.  Mrs. Watson was a member of the board, beginning in 1958.  Dr. Alexander D. Russell was the physician for many years.

See also Model School