McMinn County - Calhoun
Founded on the banks of the Hiwassee River on the county's southern border, the town was carved out of land owned by the Cherokee Indians.
Twelve Cherokee chiefs met with John C. Calhoun, then the U.S. Secretary of War, to sign the treaty turning the land over to the federal government in 1819. The town was named in Calhoun's honor.
Gov. Joseph McMinn, for whom McMinn County was named, operated a tavern in Calhoun after leaving the governor's office and also served as Indian Agent for the area. He was one of the town's first settlers. McMinn is buried in the old Presbyterian Cemetery located next to Hiwassee Meadowlands Park.
McMinn County was organized in Calhoun in the home of John Walker. Later, Pumpkintown, which was to become Athens, was designated the county seat.
Calhoun has an estimated population of 500 people, many of whom moved to the area in 1954 when Bowater established its paper mill there. Bowater is the largest employer in McMinn County.
Calhoun has been an incorporated city since 1961. Currently, the town is governed by a City Commission made up of Mayor John Walker and Commissioners Joe Watson, Gary Barham, Larry Holland, and Terri Damonth. City Commission meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Calhoun Municipal Building.
Joe Bryan is the city manager and Linda Dale is the city recorder. The city also has fire and police departments. The fire chief is Gary Knight and the police chief is Julie Tanksley. The city hall telephone number is 336-2348.