President and general manager of the two principal companies, the American Association, Ltd., and the Middlesboro Town and Land Company, 1887-1892. This Scotch-Canadian exploited the resources of coal and iron and timber and built Middlesboro, Kentucky, on the Wilderness Road.
A well-financed British company called the “American Association, Ltd” developed a vacation resort at Middlesboro and Harrogate. At the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel and Sanitarium honored guests included Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mr. and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish, and members of the Roosevelt family. As well as several distinguished British visitors from Washington arrived by train for the champagne celebration.
On April 12, 1892 the 700-room Four Seasons Hotel and the 200-bedroom Sanatorium were opened with a formal ball and banquet. The social elite of America were well represented at the event. However, in less than one year the Four Seasons went from being a shining jewel of the social set to a deserted building.
The luxurious empire crumbled soon after Arthur received a cable from London that the bank of the Baring Brothers had closed. Frightened bondholders panicked when their stocks tumbled. The panic of 1893 in the United States also brought worry about the ambitious venture. Arthur was discharged and the enterprises were liquidated. During the summer of 1895, the Four Seasons Hotel was sold for salvage, and the other property, consisting of the Sanitarium and the surrounding lands was disposed of under the hammer for less than the foreclosure fees.
In 1893, Arthur received a cable from London that the bank of the Baring Brothers had closed; frightened bondholders panicked when their stocks tumbled. The panic of 1893 in the United States also brought worry about the ambitious venture. Arthur was discharged and the enterprises were liquidated. Following the bankruptcy of the British investment corporation, the health and vacation resort at Harrogate was destined to be sold for salvage or demolished (only the sanatorium was left standing on the deserted grounds, which later became Grant-Lee Hall) in 1895. The Four Season Hotel building itself was demolished in 1895, with only the foundation and the stonework of the wall remaining.
The Story of the Founding of Lincoln Memorial University
“When these [Civil War] matters were closed, Lincoln spoke spontaneously and affectionately of the people of East Tennessee who suffered more than most during the war” “they are loyal there, they are loyal!” he exclaimed. Howard agreed; an after the War General Howard went on to found 70 institutions and the YMCA. The General’s last labor of love was Lincoln Memorial University.
From the ashes of the defunct Hotel a vital institution would rise, to be known as “Lincoln Memorial University,” according to Howard’s suggestion, since it would operate as a living memorial to the sixteenth President of the United States.
Today Lincoln Memorial University continues to work in memory of President Lincoln to honor his name, values, and spirit. The University believes that one of the major cornerstones of meaningful existence is service to humanity. By making educational and research opportunities available to students where they live and through various recreational and cultural events open to the community, Lincoln Memorial University seeks to advance life in the Cumberland Gap area and throughout the region through its teaching, research, and service mission.
Source: Phoenix of the Mountains by Joseph Suppiger. Harrogate, Tenn.: Lincoln Memorial University Press, 1988.