published Monday, July 9th, 2012

Barbara Fagan receives rare award for her history work

Barbara Fagan, retiring as manager of the Cleveland/Bradley Library's History Branch, was presented an award Sunday the Cleveland/Bradley Historical and Genealogical Society for her work preserving documents and promoting history studies. She is the third person to receive the award since the 1990s.
Barbara Fagan, retiring as manager of the Cleveland/Bradley Library's History Branch, was presented an award Sunday the Cleveland/Bradley Historical and Genealogical Society for her work preserving documents and promoting history studies. She is the third person to receive the award since the 1990s.
Photo by Randall Higgins.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Barbara Fagan became only the third person to be named on a local history award Sunday since the award was created in the mid-1990s.

Fagan, who is manager of the Cleveland/Bradley Public Library's History Branch, is retiring at the end of the month. The Col. James F. Corn Sr. Award's only other recipients were Dr. William Snell, in 1996, and Katherine Trewhitt in 1998.

The presentation was made at the restored Cleveland railroad depot during a meeting of the Bradley County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Corn wrote about the Cherokee Removal in Bradley County, including his book "Red Clay and Rattlesnake Springs," and helped preserve Red Clay to become a state park.

Snell was county historian and a Lee University professor who wrote several books and edited the diaries of Civil War teenager Myra Inman. Trewhitt was a contributor to "The History of Bradley County" during the 1976 U.S. bicentennial year.

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"Barbara has transcribed many volumes of Bradley County records," said Bryan Reed, historical society president. "It is painstaking work."

She has also been the county genealogist for several years and a local history researcher, Reed noted.

Her work transcribing many years of nearly illegible handwriting on court and government documents will help in future research, he said.

Fagan recalled starting to work at the library on in September of 1985. It was Friday the 13th, she said.

She indexed Bradley County court records dating from 1846-1976 and transcribed court minute books, tax ledgers, Centenary College records, guardian bonds and other records.

"It was almost like I was living with all those people," she said, as she worked each day over their trials, disputes and business lives.

Sunday's meeting was held at the depot, completed in 1911. Its restoration was celebrated a week ago. It now is the headquarters for Cleveland's local bus system.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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