The first self-made female millionaire in the United States was Sarah Breedlove, also known as Madam C.J. Walker. She was born on a plantation near Delta, Tennessee, in 1867.
Rhea County, located in southeastern Tennessee, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Creek, who relied on the fertile land and abundant wildlife for sustenance. European settlers began arriving in the late 18th century, with the establishment of small farming communities.

In the early 1800s, Rhea County experienced a period of growth and development as steamboats became a popular mode of transportation along the Tennessee River. The county's economy thrived on agriculture, with crops such as tobacco, corn, and cotton being cultivated. The establishment of railroads in the mid-19th century further bolstered the local economy by enabling goods to be transported more efficiently.

Rhea County gained national attention in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. The trial took place in the county seat of Dayton and centered around the teaching of evolution in public schools. The contentious trial, which pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan, highlighted the clash between religious and scientific beliefs. The trial brought Rhea County widespread media coverage and cemented its place in American history.

In recent years, Rhea County has experienced growth and development in various sectors, including manufacturing and tourism. The county's scenic landscapes, such as the Tennessee River and the Cumberland Plateau, have attracted outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Rhea County continues to preserve and celebrate its rich heritage through events, museums, and historic sites, serving as a testament to its vibrant past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Rhea County, Tennessee.

  • 1807: Rhea County is established on March 12.
  • 1819: The county seat is moved from Washington to a new location on the south side of the Piney River, later named Rhea Springs.
  • 1847: The county seat is relocated once again, this time to the town of Washington.
  • 1863: During the American Civil War, the Battle of Rhea's Mill takes place on November 24.
  • 1890: The county seat is moved to its current location, the city of Dayton.
  • 1925: The infamous Scopes Trial, also known as the "Monkey Trial," takes place in Dayton.