Notable Clarksvillians

"Notable Clarksvillians" is an ongoing project to share the stories of historically significant people who have a Clarksville connection. We are working diligently to share content to the site so please visit often for updates. We also invite your input. Please email your information and ideas to

Literature and Journalism

Evelyn Scott

Evelyn Scott was born Elsie Dunn in Clarksville, TN in 1893. This would by no means tie the often-overlooked author to the traditional beliefs and values of typical Southerners of her time. Well-learned through self-teachings and private tutors and with access to many resources, she was greatly inspired by philosophers and scholars such as Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Marx. As a youth, she held very controversial beliefs. She had interest in writing, and used her writings to advocate fair treatment for blacks, poor people, and women.

Allen Tate

Renowned poet Allen Tate was born in Winchester, Kentucky in 1899. At Vanderbilt University, he met and befriended roommate Robert Penn Warren, as well as a number of other fellow members of The Fugitives, a literary group that met weekly to discuss poetry and the defense of Southern literature. Tate lived in Clarksville from 1930-38 with his wife Author Caroline Gordon.

Robert Penn Warren
U.S. Poet Laureate

Born in Guthrie, Kentucky and the nation’s first officially titled Poet Laureate in 1986, Robert Penn Warren was an accomplished writer, the only one to receive a Pulitzer Prize in both poetry and fiction among numerous achievements. But many years before that, Warren came to Clarksville in 1920 with one goal in mind: to join the Naval Academy. 

Caroline Gordon

On October 6, 1895, Caroline Gordon was born near the city of Clarksville at a farm called Merry Mont. After receiving a Bachelors degree in Greek at Bethany College in 1916, she worked as a teacher at Clarksville High School and then as a reporter for the Chattanooga News. Caroline published her first novel in 1931 and continued writing until she retired in 1979.


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