Torment in the Knobs
A Historical Novel of the Nineteenth Century and A True Story of Mason Evans - a Hermit for Forty Years in the Wilds of Starr Mountain Tennessee
by R. Frank McKinney
About the Book
This a tale of personal tragedy, played out on the dynamic stage of East Tennessee in the 19th Century. It is billed as a novel - but only the dialogue is fiction. The characters and events are real.
Mason Evans, a young schoolteacher and militia Captain, is rejected by his fiancee. He abandons society and becomes a hermit, spending the next 40 years wandering in the mountains.
Local and State politics, the Cherokee Removal to Oklahoma(the Trail of Tears), the War Between the States, and development of the railroads are all described from a very personal perspective in Monroe County and McMinn County, Tennessee
Oldest of six children. Grandparents were Southern Baptist missionaries to China. Father served with U.S. Army during W.W. II and later retired from the Army Reserve as LtCol. Mother served in the Navy during W.W. II with the office which cracked the Japanese message code. Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1969. Served tours of duty in the USAF as a Fighter Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and Engineer. Retired from the USAF in 1989 at Mather AFB, CA. Joined United Airlines in 1989 as Flight Operations Instructor on the Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft. Flew domestic and international line operations as a copilot on the B-767/757 and as Captain on the B-737 and B-767/757. Now retired.