An American Family History

Samuel Massengill

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

Samuel Evans Massengill was born on February 5, 1871 near Piney Flats, Tennessee.

He married Ina May Jobe.

Hattie Pauline Massengill
John Tipton Massengill

He graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia with his pre-med degree in 1890. He graduated from the University of Nashville Medical School in 1899.

He became a pharmaceutical representative for the Arthur J. Connor Company of Boston.

In 1897, Samuel and his brother, Norman, founded Massengill Brothers which became the S. E. Massengill Company when Norman retired.

In 1937, the S. E. Massengill Company was responsible for at least 105 deaths. Seventy-one adults and 34 children died after taking a drug called Elixir Sulfanilamide to treat a variety of ailments, from gonorrhea to sore throat.

Sameul died on December 15, 1946.

elixir clipping label

Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.



Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
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Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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