William Simpson Shields

1853–1933

William S. Shields came to Knoxville in 1888. He was a founder of the City National Bank, one of Knoxville’s three largest banks, and became its president in 1892. (In 1930, City National Bank was absorbed into East Tennessee National Bank, which was reorganized after the Depression as the Park National Bank, then became First American, then AmSouth, then Regions.) He served as a UT trustee. A person of many financial interests, one of his enterprises was Gillespie, Shields, and Co., which made clothing known by its Shield brand of medium-priced garments. In 1905 he purchased the large elegant residence at 1600 Melrose Avenue, built by James Van Deventer in the 1880s.

His will and that of his wife (Alice Watkins Shields) conveyed the house at 1600 Melrose to UT, which UT used for student housing. The structure sustained a fire in November 1934 because of careless attention to cleaning a fireplace grate. The damage was repaired, and in 1936 the Shields’ house (now the site of Hodges Library) became the first Faculty Club. Shields made possible the acquisition of the property on which Shields-Watkins Field was built.

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  • Title William Simpson Shields
  • Coverage 1853–1933
  • Author
  • Keywords William Simpson Shields
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date September 27, 2022
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 16, 2018