Tacoma was incorporated
in 1887. The first settlers were Dr. S. Hoge, Henry Seavers, Daniel Bruce,
Harvey Bruce, and F. A. Ashworth. Now living and about 93 years old. Samuel
Horn, Daniel Eaton, Johnson Horne who had 15 children: William Horne, Shade
Greer, Dr. Grenoc Milton Bruce and Dr. Sparks.
Some or part of
these old settlers were prisoners from the north and had fled and had settled
here in Tacoma. This valley, the first settlers said, was one of the most
ideal places to live in Wise County. W. E. Harrison and F. A. Stratton
were two of the men who put up real estate offices there in Tacoma, and
Tacoma was going to be one of the richest
young cities in Wise county on account of the coal, scenery, railroad coming
in and farming. These men are the two who started the boom of Tacoma. Several
lots were sold, and
the people of Tacoma even thought they would
get the County Courthouse there. And if Wise had not beat them to building
the railroad to Wise, that would have been the County seat now, if not
Elbert Kilgore ran
the first planing mill in Tacoma. There was a three-story, 30 room
hotel run by Captain Biggs in Tacoma was named the El Dorado. Stuart Kelly
also ran a hotel in Tacoma, just a small one and afterwards ran as a boarding
Guest River Post
Office was run by Dr. S. Hoge, across from Mrs. Renfro's store there in
a field. Big dwelling house with 2 rooms, with log partition between rooms
and a chimney in the middle of the house. One of these rooms was used as
the Post Office. No one remembers the dates of this or the exact size.
Harvey Bruce was
one of the first Magistrates of the district and he put the fear of God
into them the old people says. He would make people stand around, and was
one-eyed and weighed about 275 pounds.
In 1851 John Eaton
built the home of F. A. Ashworth at the foot of Stone Mountain, on Eaton
Creek or some time called Mill Creek.
Dr. S. Hoge land
was bought from George W. Kilgore, Commissioner and had in it 592 acres,
on July 10, 1877. He lived at the foot of the Stone Mountain.
Harvey Bruce had
211 acres of land around and in Tacoma. The Hodge Lodge of Norton No. 8
was named after Dr. Hodge of Tacoma.
Tacoma had the first
phone in Wise County, owned by J. W. Ashworth now of Coeburn, VA. Mr. Ashworth
bought a phone and paid about $50.00 for it. This was about 47 years ago.
It was made on the tin can type, with three wires drawn tight and at each
and there was a mahogany hollow box, tin lined, and the
wires wrapped around this box tight, so that
the sound would carry better and cheap earphones. Mr. Ashworth, had the
line from his house to J. M. Durham's, at one time Deputy Sheriff of Wise
county. He was also Superintendent of Tacoma Schools, and also Wise County.
When the first railroad
ran through Tacoma, VA, the Superintendent said that if the train would
make a certain run into Norton that the "Boys" would buy the train crew
a big barrel of whiskey and they did win the whiskey. The number of the
first train that ran through Tacoma was No. 144 and everyone in Tacoma
could pay and ride it, rode the train on
The railroad was
built through Tacoma, was about 1889. J. D. Clay was the Engineer of the
road. First Furniture Store in Wise County was in Tacoma and was
run by F. A. Ashworth & Son in 1880.
First Bank in Wise
County was in Tacoma about the year 1878. The President was Judge Kilgore
and it was located in a frame building. This building held the drug store
also and was run by Dr. Livingston. The furniture store was also
located in the same building.
Captain J. J. Wolfe
ran the first saw mill in Tacoma. He was from Tennessee, also returned
there and died. Daniel Ramey was also the saw dust man for Captain Wolfe.
Tacoma was named
after a stove says F. A. Ashworth of Coeburn who lived most of his life
in Tacoma. Some of the leading men were in the town there and some one
had brought a stove in for his house
and the name of the stove was Tacoma. The
men were trying to think of a name for the town and one said, "Let's name
it after the stove and so it was."
F. A. Ashworth was
the first Superintendent of the Sunday School in Tacoma and was Superintendent
there a long time, as long as the old Church was there. The Church was
about « mile from the railroad station
along U. S. Highway above Beam Railroad crossing
on the side of the hill to the north. It was called the Guest River Church.
There were Circuit Riding Preachers at that time and no records were kept
of that Church but one of the first preachers was a preacher named Hill.
Also through the years were Frank Wampler, Tom
Comann, J. W. Belt, L. D. Adams, Eugene Blake.
This first old church was Methodist.
Graves in Tacoma
S. D. Erwin, born
March 25, 1823, died January 11, 1910.
Clyde Miller, born
August 8, 1921, died September 19, 1923.
1 grave rough stone
east side, with an old axe head pushed down by the head stone. Axe very
odd, long and rusty and bent up. About 8 inches long and about 3 inches
wide. Very old looking.
J. C. Gipson, very
old grave. No dates.
John M. Sparks,
born June 16, 1882, died August 21, 1918.
One rough stone
by the above said grave. I think this is old Dr. Sparks.
W. F. Flanary, son
of T. L. and Avie Flanary, born January 28, 1895,
died April 24, 1913.