the late 1950's East Tennessee Natural Gas Company built
a natural gas pipeline to serve the AFG Industries plant
in East Hawkins County. A small group of local businessmen
headed by local banker and industrialist, Robert S.
(Bob) Lane, realized the importance of natural gas for
commercial and industrial recruitment and growth. These
men petitioned the Hawkins County Court to establish
a natural gas utility to provide gas service to Hawkins
On December 16, 1957, the Natural Gas Utility District
of Hawkins County was created by order of Chairman John
K. Williams of the County Court of Hawkins County. Robert
S. Lane, Lance W. Rogan and George O. Baker were appointed
to serve as the Board of Commissioners.
On May 6, 1962, following an engineering and feasibility
study, the Board passed a resolution authorizing the
issuance of $1,975,000 Natural Gas System Revenue Bonds
to finance the construction of a natural gas system.
Due to overly optimistic engineering, the repayment
of the bonds were extended beyond original expectations.
Since 1980, the District has been current on all bond
and interest payments and has attained an excellent
During the first year of operation the District had
283 customers, 6 employees, gross revenue of $52,511
and net revenue of ($24,273). Currently, the District
has 8,100 customers, 43 employees and gross revenues
of $13,400,000, with assets of almost $17,400,000. A
large part of the growth of the District can be attributed
to the implementation, in 1978,
of an aggressive gas appliance sales program. Realizing
that you cannot sell gas unless there are appliances
burning gas, all employees became "sales people",
and many gas appliances were added to the system.
The District is governed by a three (3) person Board
of Commissioners. During the 50 year history of the
District, only 8 men have served on the Board of Commissioners.
George Baker resigned due to employment transfer in
1966, resulting in the appointment of Byron Rogers who
served until his death in 1995, resulting in the appointment
of Henry Price. Henry Price retired in 2007 due to health reasons resulting in the appointment of Tommy Young. Lance Rogan resigned due to health in
1990, resulting in the appointment of J.B. Howe who
served until his death in 1994, resulting in the appointment
of Reed Matney. Robert Lane served until his death in
1992, resulting in the appointment of Fred Montgomery.
These dedicated public servants have contributed greatly
not only to the success of the District but to the growth
and success of the entire community.