Life on Mill Creek, part 2

This is a part 2 of an excerpt from “Bryant, Sullivan, Gossett Family History” written by Robert Bryant.


The Little Rock Church is located 2.1 miles from where Washer Road intersects with Highway 100, and is 1.2 miles south of Wrigley. The homes of W. S. Sullivan, Jim Gossett, Bud Sullivan and Clarence Bryant were within sight of the Church and the school. High on a hill just to the west and overlooking the beautiful scenery below stands the Little Rock Cemetery. Though not certain when it was started, there are Beasley’s buried there that died during the early and mid 1800’s. They would have been contemporaries of some of my ancestors, such as W.T. Allen, John Parham, Mary Gossett, Moses Thornton, James Lovell, Hezakiah Bryant, William Gossett, Meredith Gossett and others. During the 1980’s I did a lot of research on Hickman County, TN Cemeteries, including Little Rock, by visiting and photographing them. As a result of that research, I put together a four volume photo album, including a descripton of their locations and directions on how to get there. The album covers a large portion of cemeteries located in the county.

Mill Creek flowed gently thru the community from it’s northern beginning, all the way to the beautiful Piney River in Pinewood. From the Little Rock Church building back to the north and east, the creek was clear and clean. However, just behind the church building a polluted stream of water coming from the Wrigley plant emptied into and merged with those clean waters, polluting the creek from that point all the way to Piney River. The pollution stemmed from all the waste chemicals it carried from the plant. In the early 1960’s, when the plant ceased operations, the water became clear and clean along its entire length. Mill Creek Road begins north of the Rocky Valley Community and runs mostly parrallel to the creek passing west across Highway 100, past our old homeplace, thru the Little Rock Community, the Bells Branch Community, and ending where it intersects with Highway 48 near Pinewood.

On Sunday mornings nearly everyone in the community thought about nothing but going to church at Little Rock. Some of the families were Bryants, Gossetts, Sullivans, McCords, McFarlins, Dotsons, Victorys, Givens, Temples and Rices. On most Sundays Uncle Jim Gossett or Bud Sullivan led the singing, which was always beautiful with a lot of good bass, tenor and alto. My Daddy was a good bass singer, Sadie Gossett wife of Jim Gossett was a good alto singer, Cecil Hatley was a good tenor; and none of them held back anything when it came to singing. Occasionally, Deany or myself would lead singing. He and I were taught to read notes and music by Daddy and Mr. Claude Russell a well known song leader in the county. There were two amen corners in the building, one for the women and one for the men. Some Sundays there was preaching, while on others someone would read from the Bible. When the men led prayer, most of them knelt down on their knees. I remember so well that when Mr Percy Gossett led prayer, he would always include “we are not to be heard for long prayers and much speaking unto thee”. Sunday School Classes followed the Service, but not every Sunday.

Almost every summer there was at least one Gospel Meeting and Dinner on the Ground, and some years there were two. Crowds were always big with plenty of good food. Each night we made the trip down Mill Creek for the services. In 1950 at age thirteen, I was baptized by Brother Larimore Austin who was holding a meeting there. The baptism took place up the creek from the Church just below the “blue hole”.

Little Rock Church of Christ

Following is a summary of the Gospel Meetings at Little Rock Church of Christ during the first half of the 1900’s and the responses during those meetings. Many of those people lived on Mill Creek and a good number of them were relatives. But there were also many who came from neighboring communities.

July, 1907 – Will Hassell, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Mary Bradford None
Rosa Gossett Bryant (Mother of Clarence Bryant)
Connie Potts Gossett (Wife of Gentry Gossett)
William S. (B) Sullivan (Father of Mary D. Sullivan Bryant)
September, 1907 – Brotherford Buford, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Eva Allen None
Jasper Bates
Mrs Bozard
Jones Collins
Mrs Jones Collins
Gentry Gossett (Son of Claiborne & Mary P. Randolph Gossett)
Mrs Bet Hall
Ray Hamburg
Edith Lyell
Will Morton
Tossey Moss
John V. Thornton (Son of J. Francis Marion Thornton)
Nettie Thornton
Raymond Thornton
Susana Thornton
August, 1918 – L. B. Thompson, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Hester Bibbs Walker Thornton (Son of John V.)
Ercy Brewer
George England
Earl Lawson
Lee O. McCallister
Julia Smith
Jimmy Waddell
Walker Warren
August. 1920 – Sam Pittman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Eunice Bradley Fosie Fitts
Ewell Coleman Jess Hooten Lida Haskins Mrs Jess Hooten
Idella Fitts Mort McGahey
Edd Gossett (Son of Claiborne Gossett) Mary Thompson
Emory Gossett Birdie Thornton
Vera Horner Ella Thornton (Dau of Lewis P.)
Dewey Keys Mollie Truett
Willie Lavender
Carter Thornton (Son of John V. Thornton)
Mattie Vaughn
September. 1920 – Sam Pittman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Alene Beasley (Wife of Coy Houston) Roof Coleman
Sim Hudgins Clara Allen Gossett (Dau of W.T.)
Annie Lee Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. Sullivan)
July 1927 – L. C. Jones, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Chester Bass Slaydon Leathers
Mrs Will Bentley Ellis Randolph (Father of Norris)
A. B. Craft
Tisy Dotson
May Anna Dotson
Hubert England (Husband of Georgia Bryant England)
Katy England (Wife of Ellis McFarlin)
Thelma England
Mary D. Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. and Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Emma Jane Temple (Daughter of Charlie & Susanna Gossett Temple)
Eva Victory (Wife of Bad Eye Victory)

August, 1931 – Granville Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Harold Bell (Son of Bert Bell) None
Mrs Carter Bishop
Mildred Gossett (Daughter of Percy & Zippy Thornton Gossett)
Tommie Gossett (Daughter of Percy & Zippy Thornton Gossett)
Lucille Hatley (Daughter of Cecil & Maggie Harrington Hatley)
Junior Hudgins
J. T. Martin (Son of Jim Martin)
Mrs Murphy
Lula Randolph
Gertrude Stinson
J. B. Walls
Woodroe Walls
August, 1933 – Brother Totty, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Elizabeth Coleman Mattie Bradford
Frances Craft Georgia Victory Bryant (Wife of Russell B)
Opal Gossett (Dau of Less Gossett) Russell Bryant (Son of Hezekiah3)
Reppie Lankford Elbert Foster
Prince Lyle
Raymond Lyle
Alice Victory (Wife of Jack Gossett)
August, 1933 – Brother Bachman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Alvin Dotson (Son of George Dotson) Edward Bass
Louise Givens Eddie Bryant (Dau of Hezekiah B.)
Douglas Gossett (Son of Jim & Sadie Gossett) Daisy Potts Givens
Oscar Mc Cord Pearl Givens
Clint Powell Lawson Williams
Mrs Odell Powell
Viola Powell
Marie Randolph (Daughter of Ellis Randolph)
Mrs Ruth Thompson
William Thompson (Son Of L. P. and Lona Thornton Thompson)
August, 1935 – Granville Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Mary Ollie Bass E. Bass
Bobby Boyd (Daughter of Robert Boyd) Edward Bass
Claude Bryant (Son of Jack & Ada Clark Bryant) Lorraine Bass
Arch Cochran Rachel Bentley
Raymond Christian Reed Cochran
Susie Marie England (Wife of Everett Gossett) Adell Epps
Louise Harvill Everett Gossett
Ed Lane Irene Neely
Mrs Maude Grady Smith
Scott Short Allene Street
Wilma Short John V. Thornton (Son of J.F. Marion)
Lucille Stinson
Bertha Temple (Dau of Harry and Stella) Pembroke Thornton (Son of J.F. Marion)
Dorris Thornton Birdie Tilley
Stella Tilley Thornton Warren
Ruby Warren Clyde Williams
Mrs Paul Winn
1938 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
May Baggett Daisy Dotson
Nancy Bates Mrs George Dotson
Johnnie Dotson Pearl Givens
Wayne Dotson Cecil Hatley (Son of Cecil)
Glen Givens Taylor Hatley (Son of Cecil)
Cecil Hatley, Jr (Son of Cecil) Gracey Jackson(Dau of Joe Bryant)
L. Landrum Amy Parker
James Landrum Walter Parker
Birdie Littleton Joe Sullivan (Son of Willey Sullivan)
Clay Nicks Hollis Thornton
Christine Parker Bernice Vaughn
Mildred Porter Lawson Williams
Bud Sullivan (Son of W. B. & Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Lizzie Sullivan
Pearlie Sullivan
Hilda Temple (Daughter of Cliff & Stella Parker Temple)
Edwin Tilley
Howard Vaughn
Valley Waters
July, 1939 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Bula Dotson (Daughter of George Dotson) John Harrington
Eula Dotson (Daughter of George Dotson) Mrs Arch Littleton
Myrtle England
Charley Givens
Dollie Ruth Givens
Morrell Gossett (Daughter of Jim & Sadie McAllister Gossett)
Dorothy Holt (Daughter of Clarence Holt)
Margie Hudgins
Irene Jackson (Daughter of Herschel & Gracey Bryant Jackson)
Geraldean Landrum
Lois Littleton (Daughter of Arch Littleton)
Louthell Lynn
Lois Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. & Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Ruth Warren
July, 193- – Brother Bachman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None Edward Bass
Herbert Craft
Annie May Dotson
(Son of George Dotson) R. C. Dotson
William McCord
Susana Thornton
August, 1939 – D. Ellis Walker, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None Sewell Anderson
Daisy Potts Dotson
Mrs Will Martin
Lawson Williams
July, 1940 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Dilla May Bates Nannie Heathcoat
Marie Givens Monroe Potts
Lucille Givens Mrs Monroe Potts
Warner Holt Joe Sullivan(Bro of W.B.)
Rolland Landrum
Christine Lowe
Mrs Dewey Lowe
J. C. Lynn (Son of Calvin Lynn)
Mr Perigo
Floyd Potts
Walter Potts
Wesley Potts
Jack Temple (Son of Cliff & Stella Parker Temple)
Clifton Thornton
Edith Thornton
August,1941 – Leonard Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Ethel Divinny Dennis Bishop
Catherine Givens Nellie Bullion
Bernice Holt (Daughter of Clarence Holt) Mrs Louis England
Delbert Holt (Son of Clarence Holt) Johnnie Lee Gordon
Margie Holt Mort McGahey
Math Holt (Husband of Pearl Bryant) Bessie McGahey
Elton Johnson Dorris Sanders
Audrie Lynn Grady Smith
Laws Lynn Claggett Victory
Dorothy Sanders Mrs Claggett Victory
Annie Lou Vaughn Henry Vaughn
Laverne Waters
Eugenia Williams
August,1943 – Leonard Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Arthur Coates Joe Dotson
Alvin Herron Charley Givens
Mrs Monroe Luther Mrs Elbert Gossett
Frances Plunkett
Mrs Sam Stone
Mrs Joe Dotson Miss Victory
August,1946 – Jack McElroy, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Dotson None
Arnold Johnson (Son of Allene Johnson)
Mary Lou Johnson (Daughter of Allene Johnson)
Paul Litton (Son of Buford & Emma Jane Temple Litton)
September,1947 – B. B. James, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Richard Bridgette Wanda Bentley
Paty Bryant (Son of Eddie Bryant Agnes Gossett
Delpha Parker Douglas Gossett (Son of Jim)
Dorothy Randolph (Daughter of Norris & Mary Lee) Mary Littleton
Jesse Wright (Husband of Ava Jackson Wright) Vernon McGahey
Ollie B. Parker
Joe Sullivan
James Victory
Sutton Warren
August, 1950 – Larrymore Austin, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
David Bentley (Son of Buster Bentley) Dillie Mai Mallory
Robert Bryant (Son of Clarence & Mary D.) Joe Sullivan
June, 1952 – Bill Thurman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None None
September, 1953 – Glen Mayfield, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Deany Bryant (Son of Clarence & Mary D.) None
Martha Rice (Daughter of Walter & Nell Sullivan Rice)
Christine Victory (Daughter of Claggett Victory)
August, 1955 – Carmack Skelton, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Jean Gordon (Daughter of Dude & Johnny Lee Gorgon) Shirley Gossett (Daughter of Jack & Alice Victory Gossett)
Homer Malugin
Robert Poor
Rosa Rice (Daughter of Walter & Nell Sullivan Rice)
Dorothy Victory (Daughter of Claggett Victory)
Although I have no record of his holding a meeting at Little Rock, it is known that William Nicks was one of the early preachers on Mill Creek.
Some of the Bryant Ancestor Famililes who attended Church at Little Rock were:

Hezekiah Bryant**
W. S. Sullivan**
Jim Gossett
Percy Gossett
Less Gossett
Edd Gossett
Joe Sullivan
Cecil Hatley
Stella Temple Family
One of the fondest memories of the late 1940’s was going with Daddy, Deany and Cecil Hatley to ALL NIGHT SINGINGS at the old Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show started about seven or eight o’clock and continued most of the night. We usually left by two or three in the morning and drove home, sometimes stopping at the old Lampley’s Café in what is now the East Community, for something to eat. Performers at those singings included the Happy Goodman Family, The Rangers, The Statesman, The LeFevors, The Harmoneers and the Spear Family. Daddy enjoyed good gospel singing as much as anyone. In fact, back in those days we did some singing as a quartet ourselves, with most of it at churches that held singings on Sunday afternoons. I sang lead, Deany alto, Cecil Hatley tenor and Daddy bass.

Our home was located on a bluff overlooking Mill Creek, about a half mile down the creek from where it flows under the bridge on Highway 100. Just under the bluff and across Mill Creek stood the home of Harry and Stella Temple. My grandparents on both sides of the family lived relatively close to us; the Sullivans about a half mile further down Mill Creek, and the Bryants in Barlow Hollow about three or four miles away. Almost everyone on the Creek knew everyone else. All of the kids attended Little Rock Elementary School, and most of them and their parents attended the Little Rock Church of Christ. It seemed like everyone was a member of one big family.

Life on Mill Creek

by Robert Bryant

This is an excerpt from “Bryant, Sullivan, Gossett Family History” written by Robert Bryant.

Mill Creek and surrounding communities, such as Rock Valley on the east; Little Rock on the west; Wrigley, Lyle, and Bon Aqua to the North; Pinewood, Vernon, Nunnelly and Coble further west; and Little Lot, Hassel’s Creek and Lick Creek to the South and East, were bustling communities from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s. The Tennesse Products and Chemical Plant at Wrigley was the source of jobs for many of the men of the Mill Creek community, including my father. Most of the other families made their living by farming. The Little Rock Church of Christ, the Rocky Valley Church of Christ and the Wrigley Church of Christ were the prominent churches in the area; and there were also Elementary Schools located in each community. Some of the larger communities also had Junior Highs, which went thru the 10th grade. It seemed that life on Mill Creek always centered on church, family, work and school. In gathering information for this publication, I thought it fitting to include memories that family members have expressed about growing up on Mill Creek. Those memories were put together as part of a William Stephenson Sullivan family reunion in the early 1980’s at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson, TN; and were written by myself, my brother Deany, my Sisters Betty and Sue; and some of the brothers and sisters of my mother. Some of the detail may not be particulary interesting to many readers, but is included because it paints a clear picture of what it was like to grow up in a small rural community in the early to mid 1900’s. Following is the text of those memories as written:


(Robert was born in 1937, and with wife Sandra lives in Centerville, TN)

I was born the first son and third child of Clarence and Mary D. Sullivan Bryant on June 16, 1937 at Bluff Springs on Mill Creek. The day of my birth Mildred Temple Paris, daughter of Cliff and Stella Temple who lived just across the creek, and her husband Robert Paris came to visit. Mildred suggested to Mama and Daddy that they name me after her husband Robert and they did. My memories of growing up on Mill Creek are clear and it seems just like yesterday. Almost everything revolved around Church, Family, Work and School. During the week we worked and went to school; and on Sundays we went to church. During that period of my life World War II was fought and won, and the Yankees were winning baseball’s World Series. The first thing I remember hearing on the radio was a Yankee baseball game. Sometime in the 1940’s electricity and running water were installed in our house, allowing us to build an indoor bathroom. Betty finished high school in 1948 while Sue graduated in 1950. Deany was born in 1940 and started to school about 1946.

Thinking about those early years now, I don’t remember Mama or Daddy ever talking about the Depression and how it affected them. It must have been difficult, because all four of their children were born during that period of time. Betty (1931) and Sue (1932) were born in the early stages of it, while Deany (1940) and myself (1937) were born near the end of it. Perhaps I was too young to remember, but I can’t recall hearing anything said about it, even when I was older. Growing up on a place like Mill Creek in the 1940’s was a unique experience that kids raised in the city didn’t have. It taught me that you have to earn your way in life and nothing is given to you on a silver platter. And that’s the way it should be.


Daddy worked for Tennessee Products at Wrigley, and Mama worked at Southern Sportswear and later at Genesco in Centerville. We didn’t have much money , but were probably better off than many other families on the creek. They both worked hard and gave us all the things we really needed. Although we did a little farming, Daddy didn’t have much time to devote to it because of his other job. We raised a garden every year and had plenty of food from it. As teenagers, Deany and I often worked on Papa Sullivans and Uncle Bud Sullivan’s farms for $2.00 per day. We had a good team of mules to ride to the fields early in the morning, to the house at noon to eat, and back to the fields in the afternoon. The work included plowing, planting corn, picking corn and hauling hay. Picking corn was a hot job, very rough on the hands, and the person who got the “down row” was likely to have a stiff back as well. But from first hand experience I can tell you the hottest job had to be taking in hay. At that time some farmers were beginning to use hay bailers, but neither Papa Sullivan or Bud had one. We used pitchforks to throw the hay on the wagon, and from there it was taken to the barn to unload. A large “hay needle” was inserted into the hay to lift it up into the barn. At that point it was necessary for someone to be up in the loft to guide the hay into the back corner, and boy was it hot in that barn loft. My Aunt, Lois Sullivan Cude, has the old hay needle we used back then to lift the hay. At noon Mama Sullivan always had a good meal prepared for us. Most afternoons the weather was hot and humid, so after work Deany and I headed for the creek and the swimming hole. This served two purposes; cooling us off and at the same time giving us a good bath.

In addition to working for Papa Sullivan and Bud, our work at home included tilling the ground for the farming and the garden; weeding the garden, harvesting the crops, cutting wood, feeding the chickens and hogs, carrying water from the spring and so many other things I can’t even think of now. Bringing water up the big hill from the spring wasn’t any fun, but the water was nice and cool right out of the hill. Back in those days, most of us probably drank out of the same dipper, with no worries about spreading germs. This was particulary true when drinking at the spring itself, because most of the time there would only be one container to use. When we did get sick with a cold, flu, etc it was often “on with the Mustard Plaster”, or “down with the Castor Oil”. Anyone who hasn’t experienced those treatments, doesn’t know what he/she has missed. Hog killing time was around Thanksgiving each year. I can still see daddy carving up the meat into hams, shoulders, ribs, etc., salting them down and getting them ready for the smoke house. Around July 4th every year was blackberry picking time, and there was always a good crop of them on our property. It was so hot that time of the year we usually left very early in the morning and got our buckets full before it got too hot. Of course chiggers, ticks and snakes had to be dealt with, but we managed to survive them. The work really seemed hard back then, but now I realize it wasn’t too bad. One of the benefits that came from it was good physical conditioning in my younger years.


Three of the earliest known schoolteachers on Mill Creek, long before my time, were Moses Thornton, George Ingram and Wesley Irwin. This was in the early 1800’s when the county was in the early stages of settlement. In all my research I haven’t seen anything that gives an indication of where the schools during that period were located, but I have a feeling they were in the same general vicinity as in my school days.

In 1943, I entered school at Little Rock in a small block building that had just been built. It could be made into two sections by closing curtains across the middle of the room. The school was located about a half mile down Mill Creek southwest of our home and sat next to the Little Rock Church of Christ. Betty and Sue finished the eighth grade there, while Deany and I attended there a few years before transferring to Wrigley. During the winter the school was heated by coal, but there was no air conditioning during hot months. One of the teachers in the 1940’s was Geneva McCoy Sullivan, the wife of uncle Emery “Bud” Sullivan. She was very strict, and when we did something wrong she punished us by paddling the palm of our hand with a ruler. Other teachers I can recall were Mildred Casey, Zelma Pennington, and Mrs McGahey. Betty told me that when she was in school, Alene Beasley Houston was a teacher there. And Aunt Ruth Sullivan Morton told me recently that Jewell Beasley, Alene’s sister, also taught there at one time and boarded in the Sullivan home. Ruth said Jewell helped her deliver milk to Wrigley.

Each year at Christmas someone cut a large cedar tree for the classroom. We didn’t exchange many gifts, but there usually was a good supply of apples and oranges; and it was a time we all looked forward to. Another annual school event was a picnic held somewhere in the community off school property, at which hot dog and marshmallows were roasted over an open fire. I can also remember cake walks being held there. Between the school building and the Little Rock Church of Christ Building was an outhouse used by the students. The thing I remember most about it was getting hurt while playing inside it. One of the boys daring feats was jumping from one of the seats and grabbing a rafter running across the top of the building. More than once I missed the rafter and hit the floor on my back. Playing marbles was a lot of fun, but baseball was my favorite. Seems like nearly everyone enjoyed the game and most kids, boys and girls alike, participated. The field was in front of the school building and was rough, with big rocks used for bases. The outfield was next to the church building, and many balls were banged off the front of it during our games. To get to school, we walked about half of a mile down Mill Creek, crossing it a couple of times along the way. It wasn’t unusual for the creek to dry up in the summer and freeze solid in the winter. Some of my fondest memories are of skating on the frozen water on the way to school. During the summer, movies were shown almost every week at the school and consisted mostly of westerns with stars such as Lone Ranger, Sunset Carson, Hopalong Cassidy and Lash Larue. During the 1940’s a large passenger plane crashed on a hillside a couple of miles down the creek from the school, killing all the people on board. The students at Little Rock Elementary were allowed to go down and view the wreckage from a distance. We didn’t know much about airplanes then and didn’t quite know what to make of the tragedy. The Dude Gordon family lived about a half mile up Mill Creek next to Highway 100 in the house where George Litton had priviously lived. The Gordon children, Thurman, Martha, Jean and Norman were about the same age as Deany and I, and we spent a lot of time playing with them, since they were the closest family with children our age. During our early years, Buford “Humpy” Litton and Emma Jane Temple Litton lived between our home and the Gordons. They had a son Paul and a daughter Devetta. Emma Jane was the daughter of Charlie Temple and Susie Gossett Temple.

In 1951 there was a huge ice storm that lasted several weeks and closed all the schools. Trees and power lines were down everywhere from the weight of ice, and the community was practically paralyzed. In 1977 snow and ice covered the ground during January; and school was out the entire month. The temperature never got above freezing for several weeks. There was another bad ice storm during the mid-1990’s that shut down just about everything for two or three weeks. Many residents in the East Hickman Community were without power for several weeks. The damage was greater than the 1951 storm because there were more power lines to fall and more people depended on electricity as their source of energy.

Kids I went to school with and played with on Mill Creek

Thurman Gordon – Son of Dude and Johnnie Lee Gordon

Martha Gordon – Daughter of Dude and Johnnie Lee Gordon

Jean Gordon – Daughter of Dude and Johnnie Lee Gordon

Norman Gordon – Son of Dude and Johnnie Lee Gordon

Hubert McGahey – Son of Mort and Bessie McGahey

Paul Victory – Son of Claggett Victory

Hillard Tidwell

Roy Stone – Son of Sam Stone

Ray Edward Dotson – Son of George Dotson

J. W. Dotson – Son of George Dotson

Arnold Johnson – Son of Alene Johnson

Mary Lou Johnson – Daughter of Alene Johnson

Kenneth Williams – Son of Clarence Williams

Velma Victory – Daughter of Ellis “Bad Eye” Victory

Opal Victory – Daughter of Ellis “Bad Eye” Victory

Paul Staggs – Son of Lummy Staggs

Ralph Givens – Son of Lon Givens

Herbert Hooper – Son of Spike and Reppie Lankford Hooper

Earl Hooper – Son of Spike and Reppie Lankford Hooper

Froggy Hooper – Son of Spike and Reppie Lankford Hooper

Kids I went to school with in Wrigley

Preston Bradley – Son of Joe Bradley

Hugh Bradley – Son of Joe Bradley

Don Luckett – Son of Primm Luckett

Bobby Bass – Son of J. D. and Oma Moss Bass

Harold Choate _ Son of Vernie and Lula Skelton Choate

Pud Bentley – Son of C. W. and Mildred Ferguson Bentley

James “Hootie” Bentley – Son of C. W. and Mildred Ferguson Bentley

Paul Booker – Son of Opama Bell Booker

Charles Jackson – Son of Herschel and Gracey Bryant Jackson

Billy Vaughn – Son of Grover and Nola Vaughn

Paul Vaughn – Son of Grover and Nola Vaughn

Junior Vaughn – Son of Grover and Nola Vaughn

Ray Estes – Son of Rusty Estes

Curtis Thornton

Nadine Thornton

Wayne Epps – Son of Willie Epps

Delman Ray Gray

Geraldine Griffin – Daughter of Hubert “Pop Eye” Griffin

Marjorie Griffin – Daughter of Hubert “Pop Eye” Griffin

Nina Jo Bentley

Jack Bentley

Marie Martin – Daughter of Jim Martin

Patty Martin – Daughter of Frank Martin

Patsy Bass – Daughter of J. D. and Oma Moss Bass

Christine Hudspeth – Daughter of L. C. Hudspeth

Don England – Son of Hubert “Pug” and Georgia Bryant England

Norman England – Son of Hubert “Pug” and Georgia Bryant England

Johnny Greer – Son of John Greer

Dutch Dile – Son of Fred Dile

Ralph Bass – Son of Chester Bass

Martha Bass – Son of Chester Bass

Charles Thompson – Son of William Thompson

Teachers at Wrigley included: Jesse Wright, Principal, Mr. G. O. Milam (Principal following Jesse Wright), Mrs G. O. Milam, Mrs J. J. Weatherspoon, and Claudie Luther, wife of Bryan Luther. When I was in school at Wrigley, basketball was played on an outside dirt court. A Gym was built a few years later, but both it and the old school have since been demolished. The school was located on a hill just southwest of where the methodist community cemetery now stands and Northeast of the Wrigley Church of Christ. The Louis P. Thompson’s grocery store was beside the road just east of the cemetery. Next to the grocery Louis’s son William Thompson operated a barbershop. The Wrigley commisary was located on the hill just above the Tennessee Products Plant, and just across the road from the Bon Air Hotel. Buster Bentley operated another grocery store at the top of the Wrigley hill leading down to Highway 100. Lacy Lyell ran a grocery on Hwy 100 where the northern end of Wrigley Road intersects the highway. The Wrigley Church of Christ stood high on a hill just across a hollow from Bentley’s grocery. The Ball Park, which still stands, was built in the 1940’s right in the middle of Wrigley on top of a cinder pile from the plant. This is the land that my great grandfather, Rueben Bryant, farmed during the latter part of the 1800’s. South of the Wrigley Plant going toward Little Rock, was a bottom land area thru which the black, polluted water from the plant flowed. This area was known affectionately as “Black Bottom”. Some Diles families and the Lummy Staggs family lived in this area.

Hickman County High School

During my high school days, the school was located on a hill overlooking Duck River, a couple of blocks off the town square, next to the old Fairview Acadamy. About 1955 a new gymnasium was built on the site, replacing the small one that had been there for many years. In 1976, when I was chairman of the School Board, a new high school facility including a gymnasium and football stadium was constructed about 3 or 4 miles north of town and a quarter mile or so East of Highway 100. A new baseball field was added a few years later. When Sue and Betty attemded school a Mr. Edwards was the Principal. By the time I arrived, he had been replaced by Mr. Wilton Roberts. Some of my classmates there were Britt James, Jean Bryant, Becky Jones, Carolyn Stephenson, Sarah Walker, Martha Huddleston, Margaret Mitchell, (daughter of former sheriff Guill Mitchell), Ruth Gossett, Billy Bowen, Phillip Daugherty, Barbara Aydelott, Eleanor Aydelott, Jimmy Harber, Peggy Brown, Joy Coleman, Helen Parham, Charles Thompson and many others. Teachers included Marc Nickells, Sarah Jones Tiller, Mrs Pearl Field, Mrs Cora Moore, Mrs Emma Nicks, Mr. T. J. Rogers, Mr. Brown Breece, Mr R. E. Bruner, Mr Cecil (Coach), Mrs Grady Carouthers and Farris Harmon.

All of the high school kids from Wrigley gathered each morning in the Commissary to wait for the school bus, driven by Mr. Wes Primn, to pick them up for the daily trip to Centerville. Back in those days the bus route didn’t include every little side road. Lots of kids had to walk a considerable distance to catch the bus. I walked from our home up Mill Creek Road to Highway 100 every morning and back every afternoon. Many times I would walk all the way on up to the Wrigley Commissary and to wait for the bus with all the Wrigley kids. It picked us up between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. in the morning, and brought us home about 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

Old Man Davis

I mentioned a while back that one time when we were kids we were shot at. Though I said I’d tell you about it later, I thought I should share it while it was fresh in my mind. Chances are getting increasingly strong that I’d forget it.
Anyway, Old Man Davis had the coolest lot in the neighborhood. The house has since been torn down, but it was heaven to me and all the kids who met there every day after school in the late 60s.

The house was made of stone, and set back far from the street in a jungle of apple, apricot, lemon and avocado trees. Behind the house there was a pond that was full of life, mostly gorgeous, gushy tadpoles. Once we delivered bags of them to the kids getting out of Sunday School and were disappointed to learn that the parents didn’t think it was such a great gift to give children dressed in their Sunday best. Imagine that?
Old Man Davis was the grumpiest man you’ve ever met. But we knew he loved us. On Halloween, he would make his homemade peanut brittle and never seemed to notice that we came back to his house three or four times to get this delectable treat. His wife, Anna, was soft spoken and the perfect adopted grandmother. We lived too far away to visit our grandmother so she became the neighborhood grandmom.
There was one special tree on Old Man Davis’s lot with branches that formed a great big tent. We had converted it into a clubhouse. You had to be “in” to get in and rarely did my older brother Curtis consider me “in” enough to get in. Inside the tree there were old tires used for seats, an old chest used to hold drinks, and a old Hillsboro Bros Coffee can, to hide the stash collected from pop bottles in case money was needed. Usually we could also get money, for movies drinks and candy, by picking the fruit off Mr. Davis’s trees and selling them down at certified market. They’d give us a quarter a bag. Anna wanted us to pick the fruit before it fell to the ground and rotted, so she never minded that we did this.
Anway, on one day I was allowed inside the clubhouse with my best friend Cathy. Her brother George and Curtis said they had a neat game they wanted to play, “spin the bottle.” We were playing that game even though I was totally grossed out, when Curtis kept spinning the bottle and kissing Cathy. Anyway, on George’s turn the bottle came to me. “No way!” I yelled and started to stand up. Then, outside we heard a yell, “Who’s there?”
“Get out of there before I blow your head off” we heard old man Davis yell.
Suddenly a gun went off and I nearly pe’ed my pants. Curtis grabbed Cathy and said run this way. And took off.
George grabbed hold of my hand and said “no we gotta go this way.” Before I knew it he’s pulling me in the direction of Old Man Davis. I let go and ran down the stone wall that lined the other yards of houses that bordered Old Man Davis’s lot. When I discovered I was cornered, I turned around. George was no where in sight. I looked and about 15 feet away, Old Man Davis, had a shotgun pointed straight at me.
He was squinting to get a look at me, so I squeaked, “It’s me. April!” Unfortunately, in addition to poor eyesite, he was quite deaf and didn’t hear me. Fortunately, what felt like the hand of God grabbed me by the hair and the back of my shirt and lifted me over the stone wall and into safety. Curtis had jumped one of the neighbors fences, climbed onto their big black dog’s house, and yanked me over the wall. Curtis never let me forget that he saved my life, risking the rath of blackie’s teeth to do it.
It was quite a while before I had the guts to play at Old Man Davis’s house again. Actually I only went back once or twice after that, at Anna’s request. The last time I remember going there, Anna had asked me to take out some old papers to the trash. When I did, I saw Old Man Davis crawling around looking for something. So, I started to help him. Not really knowing what it was I was looking for I kinda just turned things over then turned them back again. When I didn’t come back for my pay, Anna came out to see what was keeping me.
“What are you doing?” she asked me.
“Old Dan lost something,” I replied. “I’m helping him look but I don’t know what he lost”
“His mind,” she muttered, as she shook her head. She turned and went back in the house.

What are Friends For?

My girlfriend Carol and I were very close. We were getting home late from school and we were so worried that we would get in trouble for being late that we decided to take a short cut through a junk yard. I’ll tell you right off the bat that this wasn’t my idea. Carol was tough. She was so tough you didn’t say no to anything she said for fear of getting popped in the jaw. So, I agreed and we climbed up over the chain-link fence.
We were casually strolling through the yard and had pretty much made it safely through when suddenly we heard the low growl of a monster. Carol grabbed my hand in fear which really shocked me because as I told you she was bad. I glanced over my shoulder and the mangiest dog you have ever seen was plowing down on us fast. I swear that dog was foaming at the mouth. I was sure that he knew he was about to get a nice dinner of two little lambs. The dog wasn’t more than a foot away from us when I realized we weren’t going to out-run him. Self-preservation kicked in and I grabbed Carol, turned her around with my arm locked around her neck, and used her as a barrier between me and the mutt. I dragged her kicking-and-screaming carcass backward toward the fence. With each kick, the jaws of that mangy yellow dog snapped inches from her toes. Carol didn’t know whether to hit me with her one free left arm or focus her attention on the dog. She flaled her arm behind her toward me in a vain effort to free herself. I WAS NOT letting go.
Finally, I reached the locked gate which opened enough for me to squeeze through. I dropped Carol as I backed butt first through the thin opening of the gate while the dog approached his unwilling victim’s kicking feet. I turned to run and realized that I was safe and I’d better not leave Carol for dog food. But if…I debated, if I do save her she’s going to kill me. Well my heart got the best of me and so I grabbed her by the collar and pulled her through the fence gate. Unfortunately, she lost her shoe to the dog and her pants legs were ripped to shreds but that’s the price you pay. Luckily, for me, Carol was so relieved to get out of there alive that she only hit me in the arm. 😉

The Jenkins Story

by Sybil Knight Jenkins

Some time before the Revolutionary War, Jacob and Jerry Jeinins, (half English and half Welsh) came to this country. The chief difference in brothers was their difference in political beliefs. Jacob was a firm believer in the separation from the Mother Country of England. Jerry was very obnoxious to his acquaintance in the State of North Carolina that he was killed by his neighbors. The story goes that as he rode on his Coffin on the way to his execution, that he cried, “Long Live King George.”

Jacob married and had seven sons, all of whom were Revolutionary War Soldiers. Following the war, Jacob and his family moved to Barren River in Kentucky, by the way of Boone Trail. There, a large settlement of Jenkins grew up. Here it is noted that at this early date, the family characteristics were of extremes, rowdiness and respectability. A family feud developed over, for the want of a better term, “wild women.” Uriah and Sam, who were cousins, became particularly bitter enemies.
Some time before the Mexican War, Jacob (Grandsire) Jenkins, brought his family, consisting of Amos, Jacob, Uriah and a daughter, Nancy, to Barren Fork, in Hickman County, Tennessee to avoid the bitterness of the bloodshed in Kentucky. Uriah continued his “wild ways” in Hickman County, where he became known as “The Bull of Duck River.”
Jacob settled around Centerville, Tennessee and there is no record of his family. Uriah married and an Anderson and they had one daughter, Blanche, who married Wilson Overby. She died young, leaving no children. One day, Uriah got on his horse and started back to Kentucky for a visit. Before leaving, he told Zade Martin, that if he did not get back, he could have his wife. Arriving in Kentucky, he encountered his old enemy Sam, by whom he was killed. The story that his wife then married Martin and raised a large family.


Ever wonder why I’m so twisted? Take a gander of some of the dittys my ancestor’s passed down to me.
from Gramma Glen

(Agnes Glenavie Sullivan Heath)
Listen! Listen!

The Cat’s Pissin’

Where? Where?

Under the chair.

Run! Run!

Get the gun!

Aw, hell

He’s all done.

from my dad sung to my brother Jimmy

(James H. Heath to James H. Heath, Jr.)
Donna had a baby
She named him Uncle Jim
She put him in the toilet
To teach him how to swim.
He swam to the bottom
He dove to the top.
When he got excited.
She pulled him by the
dirty cocktail
30 cents a glass
If you don’t believe me,
You can kiss my
dirty ask
me no questions
I’ll tell you no lies.
Donna had a bag of doo
and hit him
right between the eyes

A lulliby from my Grandma Rennie

(Ruby Harrison Rennie)
When I was just a little girl.
I heard my daddy say,
I had a lot more work to do
Than youngsters do today.”
And then he goes on to say
About the chores he did
And you can bet he made it sound
like he was quite a kid.
”I had to feed a dozen cows
And milk them twice a day.
I also had some horses
That needed corn and hay.
I had to feed and water them
And keep their stable clean.
And there were other little jobs
All scattered in between.
I had to get the wood
And had to cut it too
For it would go in the kitchen stove
And then I wasn’t through.
Until I carried in the wood
And carried out the ashes.
And filled the water pails and pans
And wiped up all the splashes.”
If Daddy had to work so hard
And go to school all day
I don’t see how he ever had
A bit of time to play.

I believe this also came from my Grandma Rennie
Fortunate will Mary Mary be
Fortunate will Mary Mary be
Fortunate will Mary Mary be,
Tomorrow we’ll be sober

On a fort nite she’ll marry marry me
marry marry me
marry marry me
a fort nite she’ll marry marry me
Tomorrow we’ll be sober.

(James H. Heath)
My dad (James H. Heath) taught this to the kids of our Boy Scouts of America den, which he served as den master. It’s done in an echo, with the kids repeating his words after each line.
The other day
I met a bear
A great big bear
In the woods out there.

Chorus: The other day I met a bear. A great big bear, in the woods out there.

He looked at me,
I looked at him
He sized up me.
I sized up him.

Chorus: He looked at me, I looked at him. He sized up me. I sized up him.

He said to me
“Why don’t you run?
I see you aint
Got any gun.”

Chorus: He said to me, “Why don’t you run? I see you aint, got any gun.”

I said to him,
“That’s a good idear.”
So come on feet
Let’s get out of here.

Chorus: I said to him, “That’s a good idear.” So come on feet, let’s get out of here.

And so I ran
away from there
But right behind
me was that bear

Chorus: And so I ran away from there. But right behind me was that bear

Ahead of me,
There was a tree
A great big tree
Oh glory be

Chorus: Ahead of me, there was a tree. A great big tree. Oh glory be

The lowest branch
was 10 feet up
I had to jump
and trust my luck

Chorus: The lowest branch was 10 feet up. I had to jump and trust my luck.

And so I jumped
into the air
but I missed that branch
on the way up there

Chorus: And so I jumped into the air, but I missed that branch on the way up there.

Now don’t you fret
and don’t you frown
cause I caught that branch
on the way back down

Chorus: Now don’t you fret and don’t you frown cause I caught that branch on the way back down

Now that’s the end
There t’aint no more
Unless I meet
That bear once more.

Now that’s the end. There t’aint no more unless I meet that bear once more.

James H. Heath
Another song my dad would sing, that was one of our favorites was done by Phil Harris and I think it’s in one of the musicals, like South Pacific. It’s called “The Thing.”
One verse goes…
“While I was walking down the beach
One bright and sunny day.
I happened to see a wooden box
a floatin’ in the bay
I pulled it in to open it up
And much to my surprise..

OOOO I discovered a (Knock knock-knock) right before my eyes.”
Last verse:
“I wandered, round for many years,
A victim of my fate
Until one day I came upon
St. Peter at the gate.
And this is what he hollored at me
As he told me where to go…

OOOOHHHH… Get out of here with that (Knock knock-knock) and take it down below.”
Amazing, I haven’t thought of that song now for maybe 20 years, but I can recall every word of every line as if I’d only heard it yesterday.

Donna June Rennie Heath
Now my mother, Donna June Rennie Heath, was perhaps the most “normal” of all my elders, teaching me the familiar kids rhymes of the day…Mary had a little lamb, Jack be Nimble, There was an old lady who swallowed a spider that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her… Perhaps she taught me these tales, to offset any possible detrimental effects of my dad’s stories.
However, my mother wasn’t as “normal” as she at first appears. She had a love for popular music and to this day can Rock n’ Roll with the best of them. I really identified with Cheap Trick when they sang in ?Surrender? about coming home with their friends to find their mom and dad rocking out. ?Mama’s all right. Daddy’s all right. They just seem a little weird.?
However, my mother did have a few unusual ditties that she loved. She loved it when my brother Curtis learned to play “The House of the Rising Sun” on his guitar. She sang about the Eerie Canal and “Down in the Valley” as I recall. She also sang this song that she said her grandmother sang to her, that I have since forgotten all the words to and would love to find it again. One of the lines was:
?One hundred n sixtynine acres of farmland at home.?
Neither she or I can remember all the words and would love to find them. She told me awhile back that that was the average sized farm that people got when they got a land grant and there was a song about it, but she doesn’t remember the words anymore.
Being sure that my parents made all this stuff up, I was pleasantly surprised to hear a poem recanted on “The Walton’s” TV series, that was one of my mom’s old standbys.

It went:
Jinny kissed me when we met.
Jumping from the chair she sat in.
Time! You thief
Who’ve love to get
Penny for your thoughts
Put that in.

Say I’m weary
Say I’m sad
Say that health and wealth have missed me
Say I’m getting old
But add
Jinny kissed me.”

James Heath
My father also sang another song that I often find myself humming in hard times. I learned later in life, that it was done by Peter, Paul and Mary:
Hey Ho
Anybody Home
Meat nor drink nor money have I none
I will
Be very



by Karen Warren
Here is a story about one of my Cassidy relatives in Kentucky a 150 years ago or so. You have to read this with an Irish accent:
Seems like Mr. Cassidy was just a “wee little” man. One day 2 Indians came and attacked his house. He put up a terrible fight. He swung at them with all his might. I guess this little man must have looked pretty funny to those Indians because all of a sudden they started laughing. Well, they laughed and they laughed and they laughed so hard they couldn’t fight anymore and so they let him go.
Not all that great a story, but it’s true.

Tag! You’re It!

by Jim Heath (as told to April Heath Pastis)

We had the best time playing in the cemetery not too far from our house. It was actually very safe to play. You could run around without having to worry about getting out of the way of cars, like we did when we played in the street.

So, one night all the neighborhood kids and I were playing games. Oh, normal kids games like tag and Hide and seek.

Well, I was running away to hide and because it was pitch dark out that night, I didn’t notice that a grave had been recently dug and left open. I nearly broke my leg as I fell into the deep grave. I tried like hell to get out of there, cause it was pretty spooky, but every time I grabbed hold of the side, the dirt would just give way and crumble and I’d fall back down.

I jumped and climbed and climbed and jumped, and pretty soon, I was exhausted. So, I sat down and figured I’d wait til I heard one of them run by and yell to them.

I waited.

And, I waited. It must’ve been a good 15 minutes and I hadn’t heard a sound. So, I started yelling for them to come get me out of that grave.

No one came and there was no noise. I figured they gave up.And, I was starting to get really, really cold. So, I sat down in the corner, and pulled my thin jacket over my knees and tried to get warm.

Well, I was bout to nodd off when suddenly Donnie Doogie (a neighborhood friend), fell into the grave.

He didn’t notice that I was there and began jumping up like mad, just as I did, trying to get out of that grave.

So I said, “You might as well give up, I’ve been trying to get out of here forever.”

ha ha ha ha

He didn’t even turn to look at me, he crawled up the side of that grave like a treed cat.

In a few minutes, the faces of my buddies all peered over the edge of the grave.

“Oh it’s only Jimmy,” My big brother David said. Well, they had a great laugh, but Donnie had to go home and change his pants.

Go Wake up Your Grandma!

Told by Jim Heath
(as dictated to April Heath Pastis)
I loved my grandma.* My grandma’s mom, was the sweetest kindest woman who always treated me as if I was the best kid in town. One night I was awakened from my sleep and saw my grandma walk into my room. I sat straight up in bed cause I couldn’t remember grandma ever coming to our house. I had always seen her at Grandma Sullivan’s house. Grandma didn’t live nearby and I only saw her when she came visiting.
“Grandma!,” I said. “What are you doing here?”
“I need to talk to you Jimmy. I need you to do me a favor.”
“Sure, Grandma. Anything you want.”
She sat down on my bed and talked to me in a quiet kind voice.
“Jimmy, I need you to go over to your grandparents and wake up Grandpa. Ask him to go into the other room with you. When you get into the other room, tell your Grandpa that I came to you and told you to wake him up. Tell him to wake up your Grandma Sullivan very gently, and tell her that I died and she needs to call home.”
“No. You can’t go away grandma. I don’t want you to go away. I love you Grandma!”
She smiled and said, “I love you too, and I’ll always be with you Jimmy, but I need you to do this for me.”
Well, I thought it was some kind of game but I did what grandma said. I got dressed and ran down to my grandparents’ house. It wasn’t that far away. You got to understand that I spent a lot of my time over there. So, even though it was the middle of the night, I didn’t have any trouble getting to their house.
So, I got to the house and I was kind of hestitant about going into my grandparents’ bedroom. You just didn’t do it. No one, no how, no way was ever allowed to go in their room. For no reason, at all. Well you get the point. So, I crept into their room and knelt down by Grandpa.**
“Grampa. Grandpa.” I nudged him.
“Jimmy! What the hell are you doing here?” Grandpa was a man you didn’t cross.
“Gggggrandpa,” I stuttered. “I need you to come out here for a minute.”
“What? Well, all right,” he said and got out of bed and followed me into the living room.
“What is it? Is everyone OK?” he asked, worried something had happened to mom or one of us kids.
“Well, kinda.” I said and I told him about the game grandma was playing.
“ARE YOU PLAYING WITH ME?” Grandpa said. At the point, I realized it wasn’t a game.
“No sir.
“Grandma told me to come here and to wake you up. She said for to tell you to wake up Grandma Sullivan very gently and to tell her that she had died and that she needed to call home.”
Grandpa looked me up and down with a scowl on his face, then his expression softened.
“If you weren’t just like your grandma I’d whoop you good.” he said. “OK, stay in here.”
He went into the bedroom and before long I heard sobbing.
“Norm, why are you telling me this? You know mom hasn’t been well.” I heard grandma say.
Grandma came out of the bedroom and went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. Grandpa followed her and took her in his arms. That’s the first time I remember him ever holding her like that.
“Ruth, he said. “Jimmy’s here and he said your mom told him to come here and tell you that she died. Now you’re going to have to call home and find out what’s up.”
Grandma looked at me.
“Well, shxt,” she said and she walked over to the telephone to make a call. But before she got there the phone rang. It was her sister, her mom had died.

* Ida Mae Dollins, mother of Anna Ruth (Buchanan) Sullivan, wife of James Buchanan, died Feb 25, 1951 in Cardwell, Craighead, Missouri. James Harry Heath, was her great grandson. He was 13 years old.
** Norman G. Raymond Sullivan, son of Walter Gray Sullivan and Minnie Belle Duncan, and grandfather to James Harry Heath.

Flagpole Hill

by James E. Bradford

You won’t find Flagpole Hill of a map of Williamson County, Tennessee, located about one to one and half miles form Highway 100 on Pinewood Road. There were only a very few people that lived in the Flagpole Community at the time. They had no schools, no Churches, no auto’s and a whole lot of guns and wildlife. This was on a high hill, the highest hill in Williamson County above sea level. They cut the limbs of a large Oak Tree, left the center standing and connected a long steel bar at it top and put an American Flag at its top.
There were no Churches in the area at the time, and once a year, during the month of August, they would have a tent meeting and people from all beliefs would meet here and sleep in tents. There were no springs near by and Mr. Rueben Anglin and his sons would bring a wagonload of water in barrels of water for the people to drink and wash themselves with.
The men would haul sawdust and lumber from nearby sawmills to create a temporary floor for the tent. They would make wooden benches for the worshippers. Children would sit on the floor if their wasn’t any room to sit with their families. The services lasted all day, concluding by nightfall. Families would camp at the meeting place each bringing their own provisions for the two week stay. They would eat in family units rather than together as we do today, with the popular dinner on the ground method of sharing meals. Water was brought in daily by Mr. Rueben and his sons.
The Greenbrier and the Union Valley Churches were the first churches in the area. The Flagpole event was discontinued not long their after their building.
Mr. Alex Meacham was the owner of the ground where the Flagpole was located. He did not live in the area, but was a great lover of nature and wildlife. He owned about 1000 acres of land and did not allow any wildlife hunting or the cutting of the trees. There were many that did slip into the area and hunt wildlife to eat. When I returned for the Korean War, Mr Meacham had passed and his children sold off the timber very quickly after his death. This broke my heart. There were chestnut trees there, dead but still standing that were more than six foot in diameter.
The picture was given to Rick by Annie Anglin-Pewitt, the granddaughter of Reuben Anglin. She is my lifetime friend and my cuz form both the Anglin’s and the Tidwills. Her mother was a Tidwell. She also married Edward Pewitt, also my cuz.
Flag Pole, a place that hold many very precious memories.