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.

Wilma Rudolph
Olympic Gold Medalist

Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in a region of Tennessee known, at the time, as St. Bethlehem, which later became a part of Clarksville. Rudolph was born into a large family, being the 20th of her father’s 22 children. After a bout with pneumonia and polio at age eight, doctors told her she would never walk again. A mere eight years later, at age 16, she earned a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympic Games in the women's 400-meter relay and would soon be known as the fastest woman in the world.

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. 

Valentine Sevier
Pioneer Settler, Revolutionary War Colonel

Sevier Station is Clarksville’s oldest building, built in 1792 on a 640-acre purchased with the Revolutionary War grant of Valentine Sevier II. Although the Native-Virginian is little known, he is a pioneer who experienced Clarksville before it was established as Clarksville.

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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