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1849 Thomas Crutchfield, Sr.

Mayor Thomas Crutchfield circa 1849(Lived 1801–1850)

Thomas Crutchfield and his family moved to Chattanooga in early 1830’s, just as the Cherokees were being removed.  As the town of Chattanooga was established, Crutchfield helped survey and clear the streets.

Crutchfield and his brother-in-law established a brick kiln near the river and built Chattanooga’s first brick homes for James Whiteside and Dr. Milo Smith.  

A strong businessman Crutchfield built one of Chattanooga’s first hotels near his home along Ninth Street.  The large wooden Crutchfield Hotel played a significant role in the history of Chattanooga, often serving as a meeting place for civic leaders, political rallies and a general gathering place.

Crutchfield was extremely interested in the Western and Atlantic railroad being built by the State of Georgia and worked with officials to assure that Chattanooga would be the northern terminus of the rail line.  Unfortunately, Crutchfield did not live to see the rail line or depot completed as he died while on a trip to Nashville in 1850.  His hotel passed to his son, Thomas Crutchfield, Jr.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea