One of Knoxville’s oldest buildings, the old deaf school (now Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law), with its 1848 date proudly on the front, still stands on Summit Hill Drive. The school had barely begun to prosper when it was commandeered during the Civil War for use as a military hospital. After the conflict, Prof. Ijams, one of the nation’s leading deaf and mute teachers, hired to bring the school back to prominence, brought stature and grace to the school. But although his time in Knoxville was short-lived, his children have made a lasting impact – one son was one of the first quarterbacks for the University of Tennessee Vols football team and a respected physician; his youngest son became a notable commercial artist and a renowned naturalist whose semi-private bird sanctuary later became Ijams Nature Center.
Written by Paul James and narrated by Alex Haralson. Sound design and editing by Pete Carty. Theme song composed by Mike Stallings.
This episode is funded in part by federal award number 21.027 awarded to the City of Knoxville by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Arts & Culture Alliance.
Knoxville Chronicles is brought to you by the nonprofit Knoxville History Project.
Learn more at KnoxvilleHistoryProject.org