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The story of Underwood Grove Missionary Baptist Church begins with the 4 elders; Reverend John Thomas Freeman, Reverend John O. Evans, Reverend Thomas Sutton, and Reverend Henry Burrow Poore.  Who were these men, these pioneers?  We found information on these 4 men through census records, family genealogy, and a few local people who still remember the families of these men.  Their story unfolds in the community of Lonesome Valley.

Lonesome Valley was formed by a small community of people who settled there from areas of North Carolina and Virginia.   The N. L. Holt General Merchandise Store served most of Claiborne County and in the 1890s, a post office was established in one of the two Holt store buildings and operated as Duo, Tennessee, until 1906.  There was grist, flour, and sawmills, and a blacksmith shop.  The community had a school, Mayes Elementary School, located near Holt Cave.  There was a grist mill on the Lonesome Valley Creek built by Jonathan Mayes who was a millwright and came to Lonesome Valley in the early 1800s.* 

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  * Full text of “Tennessee county history series: Claiborne County / by Edgar A. Holt;  


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