yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Henderson County Times Community Series

February 4, 1981
Henderson County Times
History Of: Henderson Co., Tenn. U.S.A.

We are combining the Sand Ridge and Broadway history. They have two different identities but they are so close on the map that we are combining them.

Sand Ridge was named for its hilly, sandrock land and it is also the water divide for the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers.

In fact, Houston Fesmire states that the water from the west side of his house runs into the Tennessee River and water from the east side of the house runs into the Mississippi River.

Broadway was named this because it was the gateway to Jackson after the new Hwy. 20 was built.

Broadway and Sand Ridge are unique because the church and schools the communities attended have always been located at Sand Ridge while the majority of the grocery stores, cotton gin and other businesses were located at Broadway. This made the two communities close knit.

The first school was built at Sand Ridge in 1835 and was an old log building 12 by 16 feet. The teacher was Abraham Lawler.

The second school was built around 1900 and the last school building was built in 1928 and is now the present home of Romie Melton. Mr. Melton is the same person that said at one time that they closed the gin, moved the school and fired the preacher all in one week.


Rommy Melton now lives in what was once the old Sand Ridge School

Sand Ridge Baptist Church was once Old Hepsebe Church. Confusion began among the church members and it was moved to Sand Ridge in 1924. An addition and remodeling to the church was done in 1965.


The new Baptist Church was built in 1965. The present pastor is Wendell Todd.

People who have taken a lead in the Sand Ridge Baptist Church have been Elvin Sego, Onnie Blankenship, Chester Stephens, and Walter Moody.

Presently in Sand Ridge, there is Charlie Sipes Garage, Lopez Body Shop and Jimmy Weaver's Garage and Joe Lee "Twister" Sipes blacksmith shop.


Guy Sipes, Rita Weaver and Charlie Sipes are going over a over haul job
at Sipes Garage in Sand Ridge.


Jimmy Weaver in fromt of Weaver's Garage at Sand Ridge.

At Broadway, there is an old grocery store built by Joe Webb's father and it was later Hall's Grocery and Havener's Grocery. It is now WC. Nichols Cabinet Shop.


The grocery store that Joe Webb's father built many many years ago was once Hall's Grocerys
and Haveners Gro. is now Nichols Cabinet Shop. Behind this store building is where the
Old Winslow Cotton Gin stood.

Behind the old store building was Winslow's Cotton Gin which no longer stands.

Across the road was another cotton gin built by the Hall Bros. and it no longer is standing.

Today where Havener's Grocery now stands was R. A. Nichols blacksmith shop, cafe and barber shop.

The present businesses in Broadway are Nichols Cabinet Shop, Havener's Grocery and Tim Johnson and Joe Russell's Cabinet Shop next door to Havener's Grocery and occupying the same building.


This side is Havener's Grocery as it stands today with the cabinet shop
over at the side.

Broadway and Sand Ridge have been more notable in recent years than in years gone by.

We would like to mention a few of the oldtimers around the two communities. They are Romie Melton, George Fuller, "Coon" Nichols, Allen Nichols and the late Willie Fesmire, Jimmy Houston, Gilbert Sego, Bud Teague, Chester Ballard, Arthur Houston, Cager Sipes, Otis Hearn and Preacher Wilkins, Tom Hall and Add Hall. There were truly some of the old timers.

And of course there was Chet Crowe and C.D. Ballard.

Probaby the most notable was Cager Sipes who managed the Sand Ridge Ridge Rooters which helped put Sand Ridge and Broadway on the map.

They had such players as Howard Blankenship, Ed Hall, Joe Curtis Cagle, Billy Joe Havener, Elwood Small, Guy Sipes, Charlie Sipes, Billy Joe Duke, and several others.

But probably the most famous citizen from Sand Ridge is Charlie Sipes who is known throughout West Tenn., northern Mississippi and southern Ky. for his fiddling and he is also a good mechanic.

To put Broadway on the map, Ikey Havener is also known as good piano player and singer. Another outstanding talent from Broadway is Dennis "Snuffy" Smith who is famous for his singing and John M. Small who is a good steel guitar player.

And of course there is Joe Lee Sipes who still has one of the few remaining blacksmith shops in Henderson County and Joe Lee is probably without doubt the one of the best storyteller in Henderson County. He is equal to Tom T. Hall but does not receive the pay that Tom T. Hall does.

Of course we cannot forget "Wiggle" Crowe who is one of the better know citizens of Sand Ridge.

In basketball, Larry Frye excelled.

So you see what I mean when I say that in recent years, Sand Ridge and Broadway have come into the spotlight as some of their talented young men have received some recognition.

Of course we would not want to forget about Lyman Love. In the older days he had the sharpest cars and was one of the better dressed men of the community.

Of course the first two millionaires from this community were Lincoln Sipes and I.H. Hearn.

Mr. Ernest Love and Mr. Otis Hearn played a big part in the community also along with Bill Havener and Jimmy D. Hall.

As far as the famous women from this part of the community, we remember the five most popular girls from this part. They would have to be Carolyn Hearn, Dorothy Tulley, Betty Carol Hall, Betty Mae Middleton, and Margaret Tulley.

   There were probably a lot more of outstanding girls from the community but these are the ones I recall.


This is a picture of the old Sipes family.


This picture shows the John W. Young homestead about 1898. The Young family is [L to R]:
Cleopas, Jenny A., Zilla B., Judia and John W. Young. You can see the importance of livestock to
the earlier families. Great value was placed on horses, herds of cattle, and flacks of sheep.


This picture, made In 1918, shows the John W. Young family. Front row: Mr. Young, Eugene Y. Scott, and Mrs. Jenny Autry Young. Back row: Cleopas Young, his wife, Rachel McNaII Young, Virginia S. Houston, Zilla B. Young Scott, and Gene Scott.

John W. Young, horn in 1843, was among the early residents In the community. He and his wife, Jenny Autry Young, lived on a farm, which was settled by earlier members of the Young family, about a mile north of Sand Ridge. They had a son, Cleopas, and a daughter, Zilla B. Later the farm was operated by Gene and Zille B. Scott until Lyman and Virginia Houston purchased It In 1951 and are the present owners.


The Robert C. Wilson Family are: Robert Wilson, Frank Wilson, Lucille Wilson James, Evertte Wilson, Ester Wilson David, Cora Mae W. Gatley, Asa W. Hart, Vera W. Cook, Verna W. Boswell, Edd Wilson, Robert C. [father], Nacy [mother].


Cager Sipes is seen playing checkers with one of his neighbors on the
porch. This is a familiar past-time at Sand Ridge.


This is part of the Wilson family, but the rest is unknown.
They belong to the Sand Ridge Community.

Captions of photographs too poor to scan:

This is the remains of the Odis Hearn home at Broadway.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Add Hall is probably the oldest residence of Broadway.

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