Clarksville Connections

Clarksville Connections 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

Dorothy Jordan

Actress Dorothy Jordan was born in Clarksville in1906. She studied at Southwestern University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, learning about acting in theater and film as well as ballet. She first graced the stage as a chorus girl in the Broadway musical Funny Face, then in 1923, made her screen debut in the film The Taming of the Shrew.

Pat Head Summitt
NCAA Basketball Coaching Legend

From the Summer Olympics to the SEC and NCAA, Pat Head Summitt is a name every basketball fan knows and knows well. This Clarksville native was the fiercest of competitors. When offered the job to coach the UT Women's Basketball team shortly after finishing college herself, she had never led a single practice. After 38 seasons with the Lady Vols, she garnered a record 1,098 wins and 8 national championships. Her program maintained a 100-percent graduation rate for players who completed their eligibility at Tennessee.

Asahel Huntington (A.H.) Patch

A.H. Patch moved to Clarksville in 1875 at age 50 to purchase a plow company. As a conservative Yankee outsider, he struggled for 10 years to earn trust. After going broke, he carved a wooden model of a corn sheller he had dreamed of as a child. Cast in iron, it because immediately popular and sold worldwide.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter whose career spanned only four years. Still, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.” What you may not know is that Jimi started playing professional gigs here in Clarksville. He made connections here that led him to Nashville, where he shortly became the world's highest-paid performer. 

Cave Johnson
U.S. Postmaster General

U.S. Representative Cave Johnson successfully managed a presidential campaign for Tennessean James K. Polk and was rewarded with the office of postmaster general, where he served all four years of Polk’s administration. Afterward, Johnson returned to his home in Clarksville where practiced law until 1860.

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.

Dr. Robert Burt

After graduating with honors from Nashville's Meharry Medical College in 1897, Robert Burt relocated to Clarksville in 1904 and set up a medical practice. Two years later, Burt opened Clarksville’s first hospital: The Home Infirmary. The facility served all people and was Clarksville’s first and only hospital for 10 years. The Home Infirmary was recognized by the National Medical Association and operated for 40 years. Dr. Burt remained an active civic leader and education proponent in Clarksville until his death in 1955.


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