yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Decatur County Printers, 1983). Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.


Lillye Younger

History Of Perry County: The Names Are Familiar

By Lillye Younger

It is impossible to ascertain the first settler of Perry County. History gives no account of settlement prior to 1818. However, it is evident that a number of persons settled here earlier. Trading with the Indians was a great pastime if one could keep their scalp.

Among the early settlers listed in Goodspeed's history are Robert Patterson, whose son William was born on Tom's Creek in 1818. Others listed are the Whitwells, Thomas, John Samuel, Horner Cude, James Salmon, John Anderson, Rev. Joseph Kelley and Jesse DePriest were the first settlers listed on Cane Creek. Jacob Huffstedler, born aboard a sailship, settled with his family on Cane Creek in 1821.

John Horner, Elbert Matthews, Jerry Hallinger and James Wilkins and families settled on the Buffalo River near Beardstown around 1824. Issac W. Stanley was an early surveyor and also settled on the Buffalo River.

James Dixon, at whose house the County of Perry was organized after being created by an act of the General Assembly of the State in Nov. 1819, Jama Yates, Wiley Tanner, John and Jesse Newton and others settled on Lick Creek as early as 1818.

Joseph Brown, William and Nathan Ward and Nat Dabbs were among the first settled on Marsh Creek.

   Samuel Denton, John Tracy and Jesse Childress settled on Cedar Creek around 1818.

   Joshua Briley, Thomas Evans, Nicholas Welch and James Scott were the first settlers on White Oak Creek. Jacob Fraley, George Hallabough and John Webb settled on Sinking Creek about 1818 or 1820 and David Hogan, Hodge Adams and Nancy Randal settled on Rockhouse Creek. Allan Barber and the Jarmans settled on Hurricane Creek and John Siser, John Turner, Elijah Duncan and the Cobles settled on Brush Creek. Thomas Dowdy, Joshua Cotes and Abraham Barber settled on Coon Creek.

Other early settlers of the county were William Holmes, John L. Houston, Oswald Griffin, John Rains, Green B. Newson, West Wood, John A. Rains, Aaron Lewis, Jacob Harmon, Mark Murphy and Joseph Dixon.

One must bear in mind that Decatur County was a part of Perry County until 1845.

Before the division of the county, Perryville was the County Seat of Perry County. The first courthouse was built of logs and the second one of bricks. The latter one was used until the division of the county in 1845. The first courthouse at Linden was also made of logs. This was replaced in 1849-50 with a frame building, which was consumed by fire during the Civil War, together with all records. Replacing this building was a brick structure with two stories, at the cost of $9,500.

After the division of the county the court was held at Harrisburg, three miles south of Linden. This situation caused a big up-roar as to the location to the court. It was a battle between Harrisburg and Linden. An election was held and Linden came out victorious by a majority of six votes. Wonder if there was a recount?

The site of Linden consisted of 40 acres and was donated to the county by David R. Harris. He reserved a few lots, and named the place Linden at the suggestion of Maj. Thomas M. Brashear. Perry County was named for Oliver Hazard Perry.

Among some of the firsts in the county: James Dixon built the first horse-mill in the county on Lick Creek about 1820 and the first water mill was erected on Cedar Creek in 1821 by John Tracy. The first merchant in the county was James Yates, who began business in 1819 on Tom Creek. Samuel Denton started the first cotton gin on Cedar Creek in 1821. The first tan yard in Perry County was erected at Rat Tail Landing on the Tennessee River on Charles Gotthardt, a native of Germany in 1843. This river landing received his unusual name from due to fact that it was infested by rats disembarked from a St. Louis barge loaded with hides. After this initial tan yard was erected ten others popped up within the county. In 1853 all of them within the county garnered $50,000 annually.

More History Of Perry County

The first dwelling houses in Linden was erected by Jesse Taylor and Miles Prince. John L. Webb kept the first hotel and Dr. Wm. C. Moore opened the first store. He was also the first physician and postmaster.

The first school in the county of Perry was taught by Ferry Stanley on Tom's Creek in 1820 and the first school in Linden was taught by Edwin H. Eldridge about 1848.

 According to historical data of the 1886, the area of Perry County was around 400 square miles, or 256,000 acres, with a very small portion under cultivation. The length of the county north and south was about double its width east and west. The Buffalo river flows through the county from south to north, and so divides it as to leave about one-third of the area to the east and two-thirds to the west. The Buffalo ridge runs through the county west of and parallel with the Buffalo River and averages about three-fourth of a mile distant there. The ridge is about 700 feet above sea level and 300 feet above the adjacent valleys. This ridge has numerous arms and branch ridges, extending westward, between which the creeks rise and flow into the Tennessee River. The sources of these creeks are only about one and a half miles west of Buffalo River and their names, beginning at the north are Crooked, Roan, Rom, Deer, Lick Springs, Cypress, Marsh, Cedar, Bee and White Oak. A few spring branches flow from the eastern part of this ridge into Buffalo River. The eastern part of the county is a series of ridges extending east and west, between which the creeks rise and flow westward into Buffalo River. These creeks, beginning at the north, are Lost, Russell, Lagoon, Cane, Brush, Coon, Short, Hurricane, Rockhouse and Sinking. The ridges were covered with dense growth of the oak tree, in its varieties and chestnut, gum, dogwood, etc. The valleys and hillsides were covered with poplar, walnut, beech, ash, etc.

According to the geology of the county as given by the State Board of Agriculture, blue and gray limestones outcrop in all the valleys except a few in the northern part. These limestones belong to the formations known among the geologists as Niagara and lower Helderberg. They supplied geologists at home and abroad with fine specimens of fossils. Many of these fossils have been taken to Europe.

At this time it was reported that more than one half of the county was iron ore. It was found in greater quantities along Marsh, Cedar and Sinking Creeks. Along the creeks and on the west side of Buffalo Ridge blossomed outcrop in dark, bluish boulders, whose great weight shows iron to be the predominant ingredient.

Still an old landmark, the Cedar Grove Iron Furnace was erected on Cedar Creek near the mouth, by Wallace Dixon about the year of 1834. It was rebuilt about twelve years later by Ewing, McNickle & Co. A number of pioneers ran this operation however, it suspended operations in 1862.

In its hey-day it turned out 1,500 tons of pig iron annually.

Surprising as it may be, a rough species of reddish variegated marble, useful and beautiful for building purposes, was found in great quantities in different parts of the county. An early historian describes it thus: "There is a mine of wealth in the 'Bowels of the earth' in Perry County remaining undeveloped." "The cheap means of transportation for heavy articles, which the Tennessee River furnished, will undoubtedly lead capital to this mine, and cause it to be developed in some future day." Sounds promising, doesn't it?

Other industries in the county in the 1800's were grist-mills, saw-mills, tan yards and wool-carding mills. Great amounts of lumber, shingles and tan-bark were shipped on the Tennessee River to St. Louis and other points north.

Between 1866 and 1880 Thomas Whitwell operated a wool-carding mill on Rockhouse Creek. It was later moved to Hurricane Creek and operated by Henderson and Williams. During the seventies Josiah Bastiau operated a woolen-mill on Cane Creek.

Indian Mounds Offer Trail To The Past

By Lillye Younger

Despite the fact that the "Vanishing Americans" lived in this section a number of years ago, it is evident that their signs remain.

Located 12 miles north of Linden, Tennessee, three fourth miles from the Tennessee River, near Lady's Bluff there are a number of Indian Mounds with a 500 feet elevation, following an old Indian trail. The Cherokee Indians invaded these parts.

One of these mounds is 100 feet across the base and is thought to be a Ceremonial Mound. J. B. Jones, landowner, of Linden said, "A geologist that came through this area told me that when the Indian Chief died, he and his wife, who was alive, were burned in this mound. Rocks were placed on top of the mounds to keep the dogs from digging them up, since they were buried shallow. Mr. Jones also noted that iron ore rock are also placed on top of them.

"One Sunday morning Elbert Moore, a friend of mine, and I, who were youngsters at that time, decided to settle the curosity of our childish minds, and dig one of the small graves up. When we reached a short piece down, we discovered the skull, bones and teeth of a young child." "We put the dirt back over them and the mound is still intact."

The Geologist also explained that an Indian grave was plowed up near the Tennessee River, according to his research.

J. B.'s friend's family, J. A. Moore lived only a short distance from these mounds and to the children, it was a play ground. "We could visuilize tents, bead-dress, etc. in our imagination," Mr. Jones smiles and said. Moore's River Landing was only 1/2 mile away.

The interesting chain of Indian Mounds are shaded by giant oaks, hickory and cedar timber. The sun peeps through at noon and it is undisturbed with the exception of birds, hawks. crows and wild animals. The weird sound of the early fall breeze was shattered only by the voices of the interviewer and party.

Another interesting spot flanking the mounds is what Mr. Jones explained as "Fossil Land" consisting of 100 yards of gray land, perched on a high hill overlooking miles and miles of Perry County land. "The only trees that grow on this gray land is scrubby cedars," he explained. From all appearance this spot hasn't been dug up by the amateur geologists and fossil collectors in Perry and Decatur County. Perhaps it's because they are not aware of its location, according to Mr. Jones.

The trek from the main highway to these mounds is about three forth miles each way and one walks down a long deep hollow, worn by the action of a stream, equal to a mountain gorge, unmarked, and filled with a thicket of cedars, elms, sumac, weeds, briars, thorns, plus "beggar lice" that changed the color of ones clothes and stick to clothing like a leech. From the deep hollow, one walks to the top to the mounds.

It has been said that Perry and Decatur County, although quite small counties flanked by the Tennessee River, are geologist's paradise. Some prize specimen of the collections have also been found in the gravel pits.

One of the outstanding fossil collector and geologist was the late Moss Arnold of Parsons. in Decatur County. His interest stemmed from reading an article by the editor of Rocks and Minerals Magazine and realized he had seen many fossils like the author described. Among his prize specimen were a straight Ordovician cephalopod, the body of the trilobite Camoracrinus bulbs, bryozoa, crinods and gastropods. The flesh of some of the animals have been turned by fossilization. One of his collection, on display at the Tennessee State Museum at Nashville is a tribute, a crusty, crablike little creature which lived some 480,000,000 years ago.

Early County Settlers Remembered

By Lillie Younger

William Patterson, son of Robert Patterson is thought to be the first person born in Perry County on Tom's Creek in 1818.

Ferney Standing taught the first school in the county on Toms Creek in 1820.

Rev. W. M. Hodge, Rev. Samuel Atkins, John Stanely. W. M. O. Britt, Enoch Hooper and John Young all settled on Toms Creek about the year of 1818.

First settlers on Cane Creek were Whit Wells, Thomas Lomax, Cudes, Salmons, Andersons, Kelleys, and DePriests.

Settling on Buffalo River near Beardstown about 1824 were John Horner, Elbert Matthew, Jerry Holligan and Hames Wilkins.

Isaac W. Stanely was perhaps the first surveyor of Perry County.

Jacob Hufstedler, born on board a sailship enroute from Germany to America in 1775, settled with his family on Cane Creek in 1821. He is an ancestor of Fielder Hufstedler.

James Dixon, at whose house the county of Perry was organized James Yates, Wiley Tanner, John and Jesse Newton were among those who settled on Lick Creek as early as at least 1818.

Joseph Brown, William and Nathan Ward and Nat Dobbs were among the first settlers on Marsh Creek.

Samuel Denton, John Tracy and Jessie Childress settled on Cedar Creek about 1818. Joshua Briley, Thomas Evans, Nicholas Webb and James Scott were the first settlers on White Oak Creek.

Jacob Fraley, George Hollabough and John Webb settled on Sinklng Creek around 1818.

History Of Perry County Continues

By Lillye Younger

Taxes have played a very important part in the history of our country. It is always interesting to compare the taxes of yesteryear to those of today. For instance, take the county taxes of Perry County. The county tax levied for 1886 was 15 cents on each $100 of taxable property and 50 cents on each poll.

The first term of Circuit Court was held in Perry County on April 1820 at the house of James Dixon on Lick Creek. Judge Humphrey presided. Prior to the formation of the Chancery Court, the Circuit Court had jurisdiction over the Chancery practice. The first term of Chancery Court was held in Linden on the first Thursday after the third Monday of June 1854, with Hon. Stephen C. Pavatt, chancellor, officiating. This court, as well as other courts, did not convene during the Civil War. In 1886 the Perry County bar consisted of James L. Sloan, T. W. Sims, L. W. Morrison and George Pearson. Other lawyers who resided the county were H. E. Rice, H. C. Carter and J. W. Doherty.

Linden, the county seat, located on the west bank of Buffalo River, three miles southeast of the geographical center of the county and ten miles east of Perryville, the former county seat, had its first dwelling house erected in 1847 by Jesse Taylor and Miles Prince. This is the time the county was divided, forming Decatur County west of the Tennessee River. John L. Webb was the first hotel operator, which was erected in 1849 and Dr. William C. Moore opened the first store in 1847. He also served as the first physician and also as the first postmaster.

Linden was incorporated in 1848, and the charter repealed in 1883. For some years prior to that date. Linden was infested with saloons and intemperance prevailed to an alarming extent. In order to clean the town up, the better class of citizens petitioned the Legislature to abolish the charter. This was done and the saloons had to close up in obedience to the "four mile law."

The town of Linden had two hotels, two schools, Linden High and the black school, one Union Church, three stores, one restaurant and some mechanic shops, three doctors and four lawyers in 1886. It also had county buildings. There were 25 dwelling houses.

Farmers Valley, on the Buffalo River, ten miles above Linden, had a post office, two stores and a warehouse at this time. Theadore, a post-hamlet on Hurricane Creek had a wool-carding mill, grist mill and saw mill.

Beardstown, established in 1830, was named for George Beard, it's first merchant, and was listed as a post-village located on a high bluff on the west side of the Buffalo River, eight miles below Linden. It had two stores and a post office.

Lobelville is also listed as a post-village, on the west side of the Buffalo River about five miles below Beardstown. It was established in 1854, and named for Henry De Lobel, a French immigrant, who stayed here seventeen years and then returned to France. In 1886 this town had three stores, a schoolhouse and church combination.

Did you know...

By Lillye Younger

Perry County had no military history until the Civil War, worthy of mention. Some of her early settlers were survivors of-the war of 1812 and in the war with Mexico.

At the Outbreak of the war, a strong Union sentiment prevailed, which was maintained by its adherents throughout the entire struggle. The people were greatly divided, the majority, however, being in favor of a Southern Confederacy.

With the citizens of the county the intestine. Those favoring the Southern cause were the first to enter the struggle. In 1861 Capt. Lewis Shy enlisted the Perry Guards and joined the Confederate Army with his company, which became Company G. Twentieth Tennessee Infantry, Zollicoffer's brigade. The Captain had his leg broken early in the war and then resigned. He was succeeded by Capt. Robert Anderson and he by Capt. George Pettigrew. This company lost more men in the battle of Fishing Creek, Ky. than any other company in the regiment.

Captain N. Cox afterward Colonel of the Tenth Tennessee, raised a company in Perry County in July, 1861 and with it joined Wheeler's battalion of cavalry.

Capt. W. H. Harder enlisted the third company in the county in 1861, from Cedar Creek. This company joined the Twenty-third Tennessee confederate Infantry.

Capt. I. N. Hulme raised the fourth company in the county called the "Perry Blues" in November 1861. This became Company G, Forty-second Tennessee Infantry.

The fifth company was raised by Capt. W. H. Whitwell early in 1862. This became Company G. Tenth Tennessee Confederate Calvary.

The sixth company was raised by Capt. Bass, and became Company A. of the last named regiment.

Capt. Elisha Stephens of Perryville, raised a company B for the same regiment. About half of this company enlisted from Perry County. Capt. B. C. Rickman's Company H. of the Tenth Tennessee was also from Perry County. Enough men to make half of a company went out of the county and joined the twelfth and twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiment. There were about 800 men of the county who joined the Confederate Army.

The Union men of the county tried to avoid the war by remaining at home. But finding it dangerous to remain where they were constantly harassed by their enemies decided to take up arms and fight for their principles.

Accordingly Capt. W.C. Webb took the initial step, and with about forty men joined the Sixth Tennessee Federal Cavalry and became a part of Company G of that regiment. Afterward Capt. R. A. Guthrie raised a company for the Second Tennessee Mounted. A number of citizens of the county who were pressed into the Confederate Army early in the war escaped and joined different commands in the Federal Army, so that it is fair and safe to estimate the number of Union Soldiers furnished by the county at something over 200.

In the spring of 1863 Col. Friferson, with about 120 Confederate soldiers, had possession of and commanded the post of Linden; and early one morning Col. Brekenridge and Capt. Webb, with a portion of the Sixth Tennessee Federal Calvary took the place by surprise, and captured Col. Frierson and over 50 of his men, and about 100 horses, a number of mules, a wagon load of arms and burned the courthouse in which the Confederates were partially quartered. Only two or three men were killed in this engagement. Near the close of the war a dash was made through Linden by a troop of Confederate Calvary when the Federal soldiers were not holding it in force. A few Federal Soldiers however, were there and all made their escape except one who was captured and killed. The war became desperate here before it closed, and was conducted mostly by mounted men who ceased to take prisoners.

Happy thoughts after it ended, those who were bitter enemies then became friends and all bitterness engendered by the war soon wad forgotten or at least forgiven.

Remembering Yesteryear

By Lillye Younger

Buffalo River Review, June 16, 1982, Linden, TN

It has been said that nostalgia is remembering the good things of the yesteryear aid discarding the bad things. However, the words seem to leap out when career personalities take a walk into the past:

Time rolled backward to a retired school teacher of Linden whose eyes sparkled like a diamond glows in the dark, when being interviewed.

Mary Norton Bell "first saw the light of day" at Cumberland City in Steward County where her father taught school and was Superintendent of Steward County Schools. "My father M. N. Norton and mother, Sally Sutton Norton, were both teachers," the versatile blue-eyed personality explained.

Misfortune hit the family when Mrs. Bell was two years of age. Her mother died, leaving her and her older sister, Thelma Norton. We went to live with our grandmother on the old Sutton farm, eight miles of Linden, presently owned by Fielder Hufstedler," she said. "My father continued his teaching career."

"Life on the farm was intriguing to the young mind. I recall attending my first funeral at the age of four, with my grandmother. I asked her why everyone cried." Seems that the friend died of "Flux," an unknown disease of today. However its name has been changed to "Colitis."

A keen interest in getting an education stemmed quite early for Mrs. Bell. "I visited Sutton, a one-teacher school, at the age of five and started to school here in the primer at six," she recalled. "In the early days we only went to school four months out of a year." The avid reader enjoyed school from the primer through college where she received her BS degree.

Among her farm chores were carrying water from the Sutton Cave Spring for her grandmother. "It was here that we kept our milk and butter cool," she smiled and said. Sutton's Spring has been a great attraction to people far and wide, for its picturesque rock formation and huge stream of water flowing from its walls.

"I also helped my grandmother plant the garden however it was very hard for me to tear away from reading. I can recall, quite vividly, pleading with grandmother to let me read just one more word. She never let me milk the cow though."

A desire to earn money prompted the youngster to start out early. Among her early short termed jobs were planting and picking peanuts, one of the chief crops of Perry County, and digging May Apple roots. "I planted peanuts and earned $1 and later picked and sacked three sacks, which took me three days and earned another dollar." Her last venture was picking May Apple roots where she earned 30 cents. "I did this to buy material for a new voile dress, which my grandmother made me."

After finishing grade school Mrs. Bell went to Obion, Tennessee where she stayed with Dr. and Mrs. Alex Hufstedler, her uncle and aunt, and attended her first year of high school. Laughingly she turned and said, "I started my journey to Obion via the "Peevine train" from Perryville to Lexington." She completed high school in Linden in 1930.

After high school days she attended college, what was then called Middle Tennessee State College at Murfreesboro. "I would go to college three months which enabled me to teach a year." This continued until the educator received her BS degree.

In her forty-one (41) years in the teaching profession she taught at Sutton School, Culp Chapel, Pineview, White Oak. Deer Creek, Crooked Creek, Standing Rock, Roan Creek, Cypress Creek, Parnell School, Coon Creek, Bethel, Flatwood, Linden and Lobelville. She returned to teach at many of these schools more than once.

"We moved from the farm to Linden an 1945," she explained. "I taught my last school at Lobelville in 1973 before retiring." Odd as it may seem, the soft-spoken lady noted that at Lobelville she felt of little use.

Romance entered the picture when Mrs. Bell was teaching at Culp Chapel, despite the fact that she had decided to be an "Old Maid Schoolteacher." "I had a blind date with a guy who later became my life mate." She met Ralph Bell whom she married a year later. "Our wedding was quite unusual since the ceremony was performed in a car near the Perry-Lewis County line by a Baptist minister. The old Hohenwald highway was full of hairpin curves which was hard to take," she smiled and said. Like many young couples they meant to keep their wedding a secret but it was impossible.

She has been a member of the United Methodist Church since 1921 and is active in her church work. Her other outlets include visiting her husband, who had a stroke and is confined at the Perry County Nursing Home, everyday, attending the Perry County Senior Citizens Club and the Linden Home Demonstration Club. The active lady walks to see her husband every day, a distance of approximately a half mile each way.

"I have traveled quite a bit and enjoy going on trips," she admitted. Her hobbies include sewing, reading, gardening, watching TV and work. "I arise around 6AM and retire around 10:30 PM.

Perched on a hill near Perry County Memorial Hospital, you can find the talented personality whose home echoes the past. Every antique in her home breathes history from the striking wall clock to the walnut bedroom suit, made from timber on the Sutton farm.

Averett's Grocery Preserves The Past

By Lillye Younger

Perched high on a kill, overlooking a panaroma, dotted with houses, surrounded by giant oak trees is a place depicting the yesteryears. It's oft time called "The Old Country Store." However, it furnishes entertainment as well as groceries amid of the collection of items dating back to the horse and buggy days."

The concrete block building, with its inviting front porch, amid the weather-beaten sign, one can hardly read, which is inscribed "Averett's" is reached by a number of concrete steps.

Upon entering the store, if you look up, you are greeted by an unusual antique sign. It is a two and one and one-half foot triangle in the shape of an "A". This Mr. Jim Averett created from a T-Model Ford radiator rods. Placed at intervals on top of the rods are old-timey telephone bells, taken from the wall-type crank telephones of oak.

Responsible for bringing so much joy, happiness, and nostalgia to youth and adults alike goes to Mr. and Mrs. Jim A. Averett, who opened the business shortly after they married and are the sole owners.

"We built a one-room block building to begin with," Mrs. Averett explained, "and handled groceries only at first, soon, being an ardent lover of antiques, Jim began adding antiques he collected out in the country. I didn't care for antiques and he slipped that on me at first. He would go out and come in with an old gun and maybe I didn't notice it at first but later I'd ask him where he got it. We were trying to rear two children and times were really hard then, I didn't think he should spend our money for antiques." Mr. Averett chirped in and said, "I'd hide a bit of extra cash in the barn so she wouldn't know about it for she always knew how much I had in my pocket. Later she didn't seem to mind," the slender gent explained.

Soon the building, located one mile east of Linden, on Nashville highway, outgrew the stock so it has had two additions added and it is still "bursting at the seams."

Besides the grocery stock, one finds antiques hanging from the ceiling and on the side walls as well. Some are in the floor.

Among a few of the collections are smoothing irons, sometimes called "sad-irons," school bells, a flat-sided baby bottle sofa room chairs, cane bottom chairs, bull horns and fox horns, sausage mills, long wooden biscuit trays, blue fruit jars, kerosene lamps, called "cole oil" in ____ [remainder of paragraph missing]

Not only is this an ordinary business, it affords other types of things. A quilting club. called "The Jolly Dozen Club" meets here every Monday and quilt a quilt out. "We started with 12 quilters but we only have 8 left, four died," Mrs. Averett explained with a sad look in her eyes. They use old-timey quilting frames, which are hung to the ceiling when not in use. It seems that the oldest one in the bunch comes in and puts the quilt up and then they are ready to begin. When a customer comes in, Mrs. Averett waits on them and goes back to her quilting. This group sells the quilts for $100 apiece. They take time about quilting each other's tops and also do fancy quilting for $50.

At lunch time, the group stops for an add-a-dish meal, served in the store kitchen. Guests often come by and join them for the meal including men and women. The Averetts have moved their kitchen to the store for convenience and have three meals a day.

Despite the fact that modern-time, small, independent merchants have been forced out of business, this is one that has played a very important part to the Perry Countains. It is the backbone of the early days. Hats off to Jim A. and Lola Mae Averett for preserving items of the last generations for the youngsters to visit and appreciate independent merchants who, with God's help, had a large part in making this the great nation it is today.

Mr. Averett's prize antique is an old broad axe, used in making logs, that was his fathers. After he got that he was offered others for sale and now he has a tremendous collection. He has inscribed a short history of every president across the front of the axes and hung them on one side of the store wall. Another unusual collection is a huge number of dog tags he collected the year Linden bought an excessive supply. These are strung on a long line across the store.

A six-eye black and white iron cook stove is in one of Mr. Averett's work shops. He has one of the shops overflowing and built him another one. He spends part of his time in the shop and lets Mrs. Averett tend to the store. He and his sister make quite an unusual craft piece from a round board that underscore four wooden hens and one rooster. They begin picking up grain when a string is pulled. "We sell more than we can make," he said. He also does repair work.

Mrs. Averett takes care of the unusual business. The stocky built attractive lady meets the public with a smile and makes friends almost instantly. She recalls the early days of glass showcases, filled with stick candy, apples and oranges, etc. "The little children would look at the candy with mouth watering," she smiled and said. The showcase still graces the counter.

A poem, penned by Roy Graham, about the Jolly Dozen, goes this way:

The day is set, the lassies meet,
And at the frame are seated.
In order placed, they work in haste
To get the quilt completed.
While tongues, they ply,
And animate their laborers
By counting beans, discussing clothes,
And talking of the neighbors.

Other interest carried on at the country store besides selling groceries, antiques, and quilting is card playing for women and men each Friday and Saturday nights. "We play Rook and Pitch and in bad weather we play every night," she explained. This has been going on for the past 33 years and includes both men and women. "In summer we have horseshoe games and washer games outdoors, week-day afternoons and on Sunday. As many as 25 meet here," she smiled and admitted.

Meet The Review's Ridge Runner

By Lillye Younger

The cliche, "There's no place like home" doesn't necessarily describe a new-corner to Perry County. It's more like, "Any place I hang my hat, it's home sweet home to me." Sam Roberson had never heard of the town of Lobelville until he saw an advertisement in the Tennessean newspaper of a 60 acre farm for sale, which he bought.

"Prior to this time I traveled anywhere I dang well wanted to go and stopped when night hit me," the free lance writer and photographer explained. "I had no base for five years after my wife died in 1972. I'd camp along side the road from Alaska in the summer to Florida in the winter months, writing along the way."

"I did travel stories for a number of publications and served as staffer for an outdoor magazine," he said. The stocky built gent excels in photography and submitted his own pictures with his features. His pictures have been used on the cover of Wildlife magazines they are so outstanding. He also sells them to be used alone in magazines. Prints were made when he lived in Alaska and he sold them on postcards.

"I made good while traveling in the Camper", he admitted. "I enjoy writing however you don't get rich at it." He writes a column in the Perry County paper, "The Buffalo River Review" in Linden.

Writing and photography work has been only a side line occupation. The versatile personality served a stretch of ten years in the Navy and worked as a C.W. operator. After his stint here he moved to Alaska where he became a C.A.A. Aircraft communicator and later worked as an airline mechanic. He worked at a Missile base in California at the time John Glen made that flight and later an electrician for the Alaska Juneau Gold Mine. He cooked on a Bear boat for the bear hunters in Alaska. There were four hunters and four guides on the boat and later he worked as a radio operator on a ferry boat out of Juneau, Alaska for eight years.

"I had a beach house and dog here and after my wife died I sold everything and bought a motor home and my dog and I traveled over 80,000 miles before I discovered this neck of the woods. I could take my camper to any town in the world, open my front door and leave my McKenzie Husky dog tied and no one would bother a thing while I was away," the down to earth Taurus sign man explained. The McKenzie Husky dog is the official dog of the Canadian police?

Having been reared on a farm, a member of a family of ten and accustomed to farm life in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, he wanted to return to the farm for his retirement years, which he hasn't quite reached. "I tried to find a farm nearer my former habitat but to no avail. This one suited me and I bought it July 1, 1977."

His social life is limited since he is a home body, however he does accept invitations to coon suppers and visits in nearby Linden where he drops in at Averett's Store for a look at the antiques, to sit a spell and to join the couple for lunch sometimes. Often he drops in on quilting days and joins the ladies for the noon day meal. "I don't quilt," he said with a chuckle. He lives between Lobelville and Crooked Creek.

When asked if he has achieved his goal in life he said, "I never bad one. I suppose I've reached it for if I haven't, I'd better start reaching it pretty dog-gone fast. I just finished writing a Craft Improvement article a feature in which I said 'I had done everything I wanted to do' and went on to say all I ever wanted to be was a 'Fiddle Footed Bum.' I have succeeded admirably. If that's a success, I'm a great success, he concluded."

"During my high school days we owned a dairy farm and milked 30 cows by hand all through my high school days. Our crops were mostly corn and sweet potatoes and we also raised hogs," he admitted.

In regard to his present location he said, "this is just another place to be, I wouldn't say I like it or don't like it here. I wouldn't like living in town if somebody paid me to," he explained. "I have good neighbors, however, I don't bother anyone," the gentleman explained. His hobbies are fishing, hunting, reading and taking pictures as well as gardening.

"I really don't have to work however I raise a good garden and put up enough food for the winter here. He put up 250 jars and filled his freezer last summer. "I bet I gave away three times as much as I use." Besides his garden he has tame black raspberries, blackberries and strawberries which he freezes. Sometimes rattlesnakes and copperhead snakes inhabit his garden for a short time. His dog always lets him know they are there. "This is rattlesnake country, between the rocks," he smiled and revealed.

Riverboats and Ferries Were Once The Only Way To Travel On The River

By Lillye Younger

The Tennessee River has played a tremendous part in the shaping of the lives of the early settlers that settled West Tennessee. The nomad Indian tribes lost their foothold when the treaty was made with them on October 19, 1818 and West Tennessee was opened to settlement. However, it was not opened to settlement tax for nearly two years after the purchase.

The main types of transportation, prior to good roads, were the steamboats, ferry boats, and trains. The river landing at Perryville linked Perry County and Decatur County and was the main course of transportation in frontier days.

There were two ferries here, known as the lower and upper ferry. Walker Howard owned the lower ferry and Will Dennison owned the upper ferry. Howard received a charter and later the ferry was handed down to Dick Howard, Sr. and then to Ben Howard Sr., father of Dick Howard of Pope, Tennessee. It was later sold to Buck Conder who operated it.

Other ferries operated on the river in this area were Denson's .Landing, Point Pleasant, Bobs Landing, and Vise Town Landing. Perryville was the largest landing.

Another river landing on the east side of the river was Britt's Landing. The landing was owned and operated by William O. Britt and Son which also had a large general store and warehouse. Warehouses were of prime importance in those days, since the farmers brought their products and left them there to be shipped by boats to market. As early as 1844 this landing became a point of considerable commercial importance. It was established in 1839. Cotton, in considerable quantities, was once shipped from this landing but peanuts later took its place. In 1886, from 100,000 to 120,000 bushels of peanuts were shipped annually. The post office at Britts was established about 1850. It was also the society landing. Guests from Paducah and St. Louis would attend the balls hosted by the Britt family. The big white house had curved stairs and was fabulously furnished. Money was no object when the Britts entertained. Now it is only in memory. The house is gone, with no trace of warehouse. etc.

Mousetail Landing, much in the news today, was established in 1840-45 after which Horner and Blackburn operated a grocery store for a number of years. Later a warehouse was built and peanuts were also its main item. Immense quantities of tan-bark from the tan yard here was shipped from this landing. The post office was established here at the close of the Civil War. It too had a store and warehouse. A Perry Countian, now deceased, said that this landing was first names Rat Tail Landing. Seemingly Mousetail Landing is coming to the front since it is slowly becoming a State Park.

Cedar Creek Landing had a store and warehouse as well as a post office as did Peter's Landing and New Era. At Webbs there was a warehouse and post office only.

In those early days the mail came by train to Johnsonville and was sent by a mail boat to these landings along the Tennessee River in this section. The mail was delivered by the week only and sometimes every two weeks. People in bateau boats would cross the river to get their mail.

Opening Of York Bridge Remembered

By Lillye Younger

Buffalo River Review, Thursday. December 6, 1979, Page 20

Towering toward the sky, the steel structure can be seen for miles around. A sign reads "Alvin C. York Memorial Bridge." The mile long span bridges the Tennessee River at Perryville.

Construction of the bridge began in 1928 and it was opened for traffic July 5, 1930. It was built at a cost of two thirds of a million dollars under the supervision of the state engineering department. The State of Tennessee began a major road building program at the time and Highway 100 was established linking Nashville and Memphis.

"I shall never forget the opening day of the bridge," Mr. Dick Howard said. "I cooked breakfast five times that morning for guests." Mrs. Howard's husband was the first toll keeper at the bridge and she felt kinda like hostess on opening day. Dick Howard said, "It was the hottest day I ever experienced and the ribbon cutting ceremony took place under the bridge on the Perry County side because it was in the shade."

"Governor Henry Horton cut the ribbon and made the opening speech. There were people from one end of the bridge to the other and all that could get in the shade beneath the bridge also."

The Howards live just around the bend from the bridge and Mr. Howard recalls his well being drawn dry of drinking water that day by thirsty people. "Finally," she said, "we just had to take the well bucket down."

That was the day before she had running water in the house. Dick said most of the springs nearby were dipped dry by the thirsty crowd.

It was a gala occasion. Airplanes landed in fields nearby and took advantage of the occasion by taking passengers up for an aerial view of the bridge. The panoramic scene included fertile soil dotted with trees, the blue rippling water of the Tennessee and the gigantic structure of the Alvin C. York Bridge.

That night a big square dance was held at the Decatur County end of the bridge.

The first person to cross the bridge in a car, other than the employees, was Jim Tomlin, who had just purchased a new car. He crossed it the Fourth of July, before opening day. The two sons of the Howards, Ben, age 10, and Frank 7, were the first to cross it on horses.

With the opening of Hwy. 100 the ferry boat at Perryville became outdated and the bridge took care of the increasing traffic. The ferry continued to operate, but soon fade away.

The bridge opened a great trucking industry for the towns of Parsons, Decaturville, and Linden.

These trucks delivered directly to the business places.

The truck line, eventually took most of the business from the railroad and in 1936 "the Pee-Vine" folded its tent and silently stole it away. No one made a fight to hold the branch railroad line since trucking service was cheaper, and more convenient.

The bridge was first opened as a toll bridge and the fare was 50 cents per car., and 5 cents for each additional passenger excluding the driver. Trucks were charged $1 but a coupon book was issued at a discount to trucks making regular trips.

Howard said the largest amount taken in during his eight years of service was $300 a day however business picked up later.

Other serving as toll keepers were Dick Hooton, Al Conder, Malcolm Pratt, Tom Dees and Val Johnson.

The first shift was from noon until midnight, Howard said. He worked the noon shift to midnight shift. Later it was changed to three eight hour shifts.

The toll was discontinued Feb. 4, 1947, when the late Morg Conder, floterial representative at the time, introduced a bill to this effect. He worked hard to get the bridge freed of all and got to cross it only once after it was taken off. He died Feb. 8 of that year.

The Alvin C. York Bridge has played a great part in the economic growth of Decatur as well as Perry, County. It opened up a tremendous trade route, provides beautiful scenery, and is a great memorial to the fearless and daring late Alvin C. York, World I. Hero.

"Poor House" Provided Home For The Homeless

By Lillye Younger

Do you remember the "Poor House"? It was often called the Pauper's Home or the County Home.

The first "Poor House" built in Perry County was on a 277 acre farm that belonged to W. C. and J. L. Webb in December 1880 and cost $5,000.

According to Goodspeed's history of 1886 the farm "lies on the east side of the Buffalo River about a mile above Linden, a home for the paupers of the county is provided." At that time the average number of persons provided for was eight. Sufficient buildings and repair were incurred on the county at this time.

The house had six rooms and was a frame building with a 'Dog Trot" (hall) down the center. The family that operated the home lived in the house also. In the early days before electricity, there was no bathrooms so privies or toilets were built in the back yard.

An L-shaped structure was built near the big house where the poor people lived. Mrs. Arkie Doyle, who lives four miles from Linden in the Bethel Community, recalls her father, Poke Denton, running the Poor House. She explained that he kept eight or nine persons at a time. "He kept as many as could find sleeping quarters," she smiled and explained. "In those days there was always a demand for a room at the Poor House. When one person died, another was ready to take his place."

The versatile lady recalls incidents that happened during the time her father operated it. It seems that romance entered the picture and there was a marriage at the home. "I recall Al Barber and Aunt Jane, I can't recall her last name, got married. People called it 'The Poor House Wedding.' Judge Barney Duncan came out to perform the ceremony," Mrs. Doyle added.

"My mother prepared their meals, which was served at the Poor House," Mrs. Doyle said. The county paid the operator $12 a month per person and they were allowed income from the farm also. They had to pay for these persons clothes and for their food out of the income.

Mrs. Mary Bell recalls the Poor House. "I remember happenings in Linden since 1918," she said. "It was a frame building," she noted. Mr. and Mrs. Cleve Paschall ran the Poor House prior to Mr. Denton, Mrs. Doyle recalled and she named Mr. and Mrs. Tom Stephens who also ran it.

Buck Hickerson bought the house from the county and sold it to Leonard Hinson. He sold it to David Dodson who updated the house and continues to live there.

Located at the foot of a hill, the Ante-Bellum house is a picture from the past. Located on some of the land that comprised the Poor House is Dr. O. A. Kirk Cemetery, the Fair Grounds and Ball Park.

The Poor House is unknown to the young but lingers in the minds of those who remember.

The Story Of Mousetail Landing

By Lillye Younger

Do you know the history of Mousetail landing, which is fast becoming a State Park?

Mousetail landing was one of the most interesting and oldest landings along the Tennessee River, located on the east bank of the river in Perry County. The landing dates back before the Civil War days. Tom Smith was the first to operate a general store there, according to the late Frank Weems of Pope, who remembered his father tell the story.

Smith was ordering some goods and asked the question, "What are we going to name this landing?" Someone said, "Lets name it Mousetail to match Rat Tail Landing" which had a tan yard about one quarter of a mile up the river.

The landing started with one big mercantile store that carried everything from horse collars to whisky to ladies fancy lace. It was a log building with a wide plank front door. During the Civil War bullet holes were shot through the big door. Soon competition followed when Joe Thomas started a similar business here.

"A big warehouse, bearing the name of 'Horner and Sparks' was operated here by my father," Mr. Weems said. Here steamboats left cargo for merchants for miles around. Staples came in large quantities in those days. Flour was shipped in wooden barrels. "I remember seeing barrels of flour rolled down the bank for merchants," he said.

Bateau, a homemade skiff, transported persons across the river to Burton's Landing. Trading was carried on in this fashion.

Steamboats, trains and wagons were the chief mode of transportation in the early days. It was here that he reared 14 children.

All the buildings have been torm away and nothing remains of Moustail today except a road leading off Highway 100 which carried the name of Mousetail Road.

The mail first came once a week by boat, however by 1895 a daily mail delivery was made to the landing. Edgar Cherry ran a mail boat from Danville, coming up one day and returning the next day. After his boat was sold, it was replaced by the Steamer Shiloh.

Weems, who lived near Pope at the time of his death, was born September 20, 1879, one quarter of a mile from the landing and was the son of Tom and Mary Lewis Weems. He lived there until 1917 when he moved to Parrish Hollow. He married Harriet Conder in 1897 and settled in the same community in which he was born.

"I remember hearing the steamboat whistle, clear and loud out a cold winter night and I knew someone had to get up and meet the boat," his wife said.

After the years that have passed by and the many changes, Weems' nostalgic feeling prompted him to say, "I can close my eyes today and see Mousetail, the thriving river port of the late 1880's."

Other history of Mousetail included a bit from the late Mr. Tom Burt on of Parsons.

"During the Civil War there was a steamboat landing about half a mile below the present Mousetail," he said. "It was called Rat Tail and was owned and operated by my grandfather, W. K. Dickson. After the war, the landing was moved up the river and named Mousetail. A post office was built here and the people of Perry and Decatur Counties received their mail from there."

"When I was a boy one of my friends and I went to Mousetail Landing for the mail. He received a letter addressed in this way:

"Bear me away at a rapid rate to Mousetail Post Office, Tennessee State. At Mousetail Post Office let me stay, till W. T. Brown calls me away."

Mrs. Lelia Conder of Parsons recalls her late husband, Al Condor, telling about his grandmother, Caroline Conder, widow who came here with her three sons, John Robert, Morgan and William Robert Conder. They ran the general store and warehouse. The post office was located inside the general store and William Robert Conder served as post-master here. William Robert was the father of Al Conder.

It was in 1903, when the rural route was established, that the Mousetail post office was closed and moved to Pope, Tennessee.

Mr. Weems said his uncle, Walter Weems never failed coming to the post office for his weekly newspaper. "The Toiler." However he would never pronounce it correctly. He would say, "I want my Tyler," which became a joke in the neighborhood.

Mrs. Conder said that this was a big shipping point and shipped peanuts, corn and hay for the farmers. Also all the merchandise the surrounding merchants sold, landed here and they had to haul it to their stores.

She and her late husband lived here for about five years and farmed, she explained.

J. P. Woody, Corinth Mississippi, veteran steamboater, said that when he was a pilot on the Tennessee River, he landed many times at Mousetail Landing. In the 1900's it was a good shipping point for crossties and peanuts. "We hardly ever passed Mousetail Landing without going in".

Mrs. Bob Taylor of Dyersburg, Tenn. wrote to the Press Scimitar and said that her father-in-law, Tom Taylor knows all about Mousetail Landing.

Goods were shipped from Paducah, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Evansville, Indiana. "The Paducah," a packet boat out of Paducah, came up the river on Monday and made its return trip, stopping at Mousetail on Wednesday to pick up cargo.

Another boat was the Steamer Clyde, which later sunk. Smaller boats carrying mail and passengers were the City of Sheffield, Belle of Savannah, City of Clifton and the W. R. Nesbett boat out of Evansville, Indiana.

It was during the Civil War that the steamer Collier, loaded with cotton, caught fire and sank between Rat Tail and Lick Creek. It took all day for the boat to sink.

The burning bales of cotton floated down the river for a week or more.

The first United States Post Office located at Mousetail was in the Henry Young General Merchandise Store in 1886. They used pigeon hole with slots labeled from A to Z to put the mail in. There were no rural routes at this time and the mail was delivered when the people came for it.

Mousetail was a community of farm people, leading a quiet simple life . . . making crossties and farming.

Tue largess house in the community was owned by Jack Parrish, an early settler. I was a big two-story structure with two chimneys.

When he was a youngster he used so go there with his grandfather to catch the boat to Nashville on business.

Another letter from a native Mousetaillian reveals the following information. "I was born in 1869 and spent the first 21 years of my life at Mousetail before I married and moved to Dyer County," says Mrs. Clara Weems Underwood. "At that time Mousetail was a busy steamboat landing and since there were very few roads and no bridges, that was the only outlet for trade and transportation. There was a store, blacksmith shop, tannery and timber business here. I helped my father prepare his rafts at Mousetail, which he would float down to Paducah, Ky. and return with merchandise and provisions for our home."

Research over the last 15 years reveals this much history of Mousetail Landing. Wonder what the story will be, say one hundred years from now?

Mrs. Josie: Ready!

By Lillye Younger

Once Mrs. Josie Morgan gets hold of an idea she doesn't let go.

The 77 year-old Perry County woman has had a desire to be buried, when the time came, in a home-made coffin ever since one of her 17 children, who died in infancy, was buried in one.

Years passed and finally she asked the man who had built her infant's casket to build one for her. He agreed, but Mrs. Morgan's oldest daughter, Mrs. Mabel Smith, "cut a rusty" (raiseed a fuss), and the man changed his mind.

"I told him he promised me he would build it and if he didn't the Ole Boogie Man would get him for lying. Yet he refused," Mrs. Morgan said.

Determined, Mrs. Morgan then set out to build the coffin herself. Again she confronted the casket maker to request a pattern. He refused This did not stop her.

"I took a plank, stood it up to my back, marked my height from it with a nail," she explained. "Then I sawed it off. I made me a pattern from an o'possum boa__ [board?] which is curved at one end and used ____ [to tack?] the o'possum's hide on to be tanned

"I did a good job," 'she said with a twinkle in her soft brown eyes.

The casket is made of oak timber with a lid of pine. "I thou I was getting poplar timber though," she added.

The illness of a cousin who lived nearby hindered Mrs. Morgan's progress in the casket since she was kept busy taking care of the woman. However she just kept on working on it in her spare time.

"I completed it in about a month," she said.

She admitted she used too many s___ headed tacks at the end a had to buy more. Also that she got a trembling feeling when she thought of making her own casket. Years faded away and she continued.

The sturdily-constucted casket is covered with a red vinyl knitted material which cost $5 a yard and lined with white cotton material underscored with foam rubber for comfort.

The only fancy things about the casket are the silver handles, which her nephew brought her from Kansas. She hasn't screwed them on yet. She has placed a white pillow at the head of the casket.

Not only has she made her own casket, but also her shroud. It is a shocking pink. long-sleeved creation, trimmed with a lace panel extending from the neckline to the hemline. The material cost her $3 a yard.

Mrs. Josie Morgan of Perry County is a woman of great charm, boundless energy and varied interests. One of these interests led her to build her own casket. Far from being morbid on the subject, her attitude toward death is as refreshing as her approach to life.

Mrs. Josie Morgan smiled while resting in the casket for a photograph almost as a youngster mounts his motorcycle. She was laughing all the time.

"I don't dread death a bit," she added. "I just hate to leave my loved ones behind. But I'll be with my little babies and my parents."

[unreadable paragraph]

She was 75 when she built her casket. She houses it in a two-room building which she constructed at the age of 64.

"I built this building with the casket in mind," she said. She uses one room for a spare bedroom, for when her children come for a visit, and the other side is used for a wash room. The casket is at one end of the bedroom.

"One of my sons has slept in this bedroom since I placed the casket in it," she said.

She also has a permanent floral arrangement which she keeps on top of the casket.

She plans to be buried at Bible hill Cemetery near Deer Creek in Perry County.

Life hasn't always been easy for the energetic lady, having lost her mother when she was six. Mrs. Morgan assisted in the rearing of her seven brothers and one sister. Her schooling was limited. "I passed the fourth readers," she said.

She is the daughter of the late Luke Marshall and Manda A. Roberts Marshall.

Romance entered the picture when she and Edd Morgan were married on Dec. 6, 1910. She was 14.

"I had one set of twins out of my 17 children," she said. Three of her children died in infancy. Only seven out of the seventeen are living now. The oldest is 62 and the youngest is 45.

When asked about such a large family, she smiled and said, "I always said when the Master wanted me to quit bearing children, he would stop me. And he did."

Hard work has been her constant cornpanion. Not only is she a good carpenter, but a good farmer as well.

"My husband has been unable to work for some time and I have a crop of corn, peas and peanuts plus a big garden this year."

She also raises hogs, chickens, cats and dogs.

Canning has always been her habit. Asked how many cans she has already filled, she said, "Lord, I don't know. Somewhere around 200 but I'm not half way through yet."

Mrs. Morgan never wastes a minute. Since March she has finished piecing 11 quilts, five of them her neighbors, and another one is almost completed.

Always blessed with good health, she has never been hospitalized. "About all I've ever had is measles and babies," she said. "Sometimes I had heartburn."

Mrs. Morgan is a Missionary Baptist and believes in prayer. At one time she thought she had a cancer but she prayed to the Lord and the symptoms disappeared.

The Morgans have lived in Perry County near the Tennessee River all of their lives and haven't traveled far away.

They live in the community of Pineview, and their address is Box 183, Linden, Tenn. 30796.

Josie Morgan Buried in Own Coffin

By Lillye Younger, Tennssean State Correspondent

LINDEN, Tenn. - As a final gift to herself, Josie Morgan carefully handcrafted the box from oak and pine, lined it with cotton and added sterling silver handles.

It was 1972, and Mrs. Morgan was determined that her burial would be just as she planned. This week, her wish came true.

Mrs. Morgan, 85, was buried Tuesday in the coffin she made for herself, wearing the pink shroud she had sewn and resting her head on the white pillow she prepared.

"I don't dread death a bit," Mrs. Morgan told a reporter in 1974. "I just hate to leave my loved ones behind. But I'll be with my little babies and my parents."

Mrs. Morgan, the mother of 17 children of whom only seven are currently living, said she got the idea to create her own coffin when one of her sons died in infancy.

She spent a month constructing the oaken casket and added a pine lid.

"I took a plank, stood it up to my back, marked my height from it with a pencil," she said. "Then I sawed it off. I made me a pattern from an opossum board, which is curved at one end and used to tack the opossom's hide on to be tanned. I did a good job."

Mrs. Morgan's survivors include a son, J. D. Morgan, Carolton, Ga.; six daughters, Iva Young, Elsie Armstrong and Mable Smith, Linden, Minnie Trull, Hammond, Ind., and Loudean Lawrence and Zoetta Elliot, Centerville, a brother, Harvey Marshall, Detroit; 18 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

Once Upon A Time In Perry County

By Lillye Younger

Buffalo River Review, October 20, 1982, Linden, TN

Once upon a time the inhabitants of Perry County were old settlers. Not true today.

Pioneer names are intermingled with unfamiliar and hard to pronounce ones in the telephone directory.

One family liked the beauty of nature and the land here and moved from Marysville, California.

Louis and Gwen McEneree were visiting their daughter and family in search of a place to locate in Tennessee. The couple were also looking for a place to locate and found it near Hohenwald.

"My husband and I were driving around the countryside and noticed the sign "Reed DePriest Real Estate," explained Mrs. McEneree. "He showed us this property, consisting of 35 acres of woodland, eight miles north of Linden in the Beardstown vicinity and we bought it," she continued.

"I choose this property because it reminds me where I was reared in Southwest Wisconsin," Mr. MeEneree said. After building a small building, in which they bathed, the energetic 70 year old gent went to work on their house and moved in two years later. "I drew my own plans and did the work, which included the plumbing, painting and wiring. I had a bit of help on the plumbing and wiring," he admitted. He used native lumber to construct the building which includes a living room, 15 x 16 feet, two bedrooms, 12 x 14 feet, large dining area, kitchen and two baths, 8 x 10 feet. The large front porch to the attractive house, surrounded by blooming flowers, has a built-in ironing board for summer ironing. Of course, there is a large porch swing to rest in when you get tired.

"I built the kitchen to order, as my wife wanted it," he laughed and explained. The cabinets resemble those of an experienced cabinet maker. He added two, very convenient Lazy Susans in the corners. A corner hutch in the dining area was also created by Mr. McEneree which is a thing of beauty.

Viewing the bedrooms, you discover a dresser and built in cabinets, with all kinds of conveniences, which he has built.

As you sit at the dining table, seems as if you are in a forest, when you look out of the window and see the sky, in its shade of periwinkle blue, atop of the thickly forest trees. The land was excavated for the house and one doesn't have to go outside to view the beauty of nature, even in winter. It's like the stroke of an Artist's brush.

Mr. McEneree has built a shop now where he whiles his time away on finished work.

   When the couple first moved to this area Mrs. McEneree went to work at a plant in Lobelville and at Perry County Hospital in Linden. "I am retired now and keep the home fires burning," she turned and explained.

The dignified stocky built gent turned and gave a run-down of his occupations. "Fifty years ago I drove a truck in Nebraska, working on the Pipeline. After I married I became a stone mason, also logged 30 years, full time in Wisconsin, had two farms, dairy and sheep farms. Later I bought a big cattle truck and we moved to California where we lived six years."

After this busy life, he went into sales in Wisconsin and California. "I started selling Bible stories and literature for the Home, Health Education Co., sponsored by the 7th Day Advents.

"We attended other churches but after 40 years ago we became 7th Day Advents and sent our children to the 7th Day Advent schools. I might add," the gent explained, "that next to the Catholic we have more schools than any other denominations and I believe more hospitals."

"We are aware that the way Christ works is to help the sick and heal the body." "Now we have over 3 million members in 198 different languages and dialects. It's a world wide movement.

When asked about their diet, the experienced member explained, "The majority of us eat vegetables and clean meat as described in Leviticus, Chapter 11. We live seven years longer due to our diet and no smoking."

"We have a seven day program open to anyone which is 85% successful to stop smoking. Even if they are accustomed to smoking two packages a day, they can quit. I was a heavy smoker until I tried this plan," he explained. "I quit tea, coffee and bottled drinks and haven't drank them for the past 40 years. I drink mostly water from the good spring we have here."

Mrs. McEneree observed the different dialect here, early in the game. "I was shopping in a Nashville store and asked a lady where the 'waiter' was to which she remarked, 'Out on his bike'." Now she has become more accustomed to the ways down here. The couple having lived in larger places, found it a bit difficult in the small towns. "We lived near a Mall in California which made it very convenient for us" she said. "We shop in Linden and find it necessary to go to Columbia and Nashville sometimes."

Two things here amaze the man of the house. "It's so strange to us to see a river run north, like the Tennessee river does," he noted and then he turned and said, "You don't notice I don't say "You All", laughingly. "I love these people here and the way they talk."

"We attend the Lobelville Branch 7th Day Advent Church and have attended the church in Parsons," he explained. "We give studies on the Bible and believe in the great commission." They visit the sick and those in the hospitals and do a great work in this community. "There is nothing I'd rather do than to give testimony to the faith that I have," Mrs. McEneree said.

The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1981 at their home here. They are the parents of two girls and two boys. "We lost one girl at 15 months of age," he remarked. One of their sons lives next door to them.

In conclusion Mr. McEneree said, "If I had it all to do over I doubt if I would change anything. I lived the first half of my life in a rough way but it gave me a better understanding of people who do not live that way so I can talk to anyone without getting into trouble. I can understand the way they think."

The soft spoken, kind mate said, "I wouldn't change anything. We have had good health and much for to be thankful. We have made lots of friends here and would love to make thousands more."

The interviewer met these fine people while she was hospitalized in Perry County Hospital and was impressed with them and their message as they visited a friend here.

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