Author Archives: Jerry L Butler

Descendants of Anthony Hays

from the research of James Beltz

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Parsons High School Band – circa 1955

from the collection of Thomas E. Montgomery

Parsons High School Band - about 1956

Parsons High School Band – about 1955

Majorettes, left to right –

  • Ruth Evelyn Dodson
  • Nettie Jean Pratt
  • Suzanne Hartsfield

First row, left to right –

  • Janice Long, drums
  • Gary Carrington, drums
  • Janie Readey, clarinet
  • Carolyn Washam, cornet
  • Shirley Pratt, clarinet
  • Janice Yates, clarinet
  • Carol Roberts, cornet
  • Bill or Bob Roberts, clarinet
  • Bill or Bob Roberts, cornet
  • Jordon Moore, drums
  • Judy Maxwell, flute

Second row, left to right –

  • Joyce Jordan
  • Dale Roberts, tenor saxophone
  • Johnny Townsend, cornet
  • Tom Bawcum, trumpet
  • Gaylon Yates, drums
  • Jerry Pratt, Drum Major, alto horn
  • Thomas Montgomery, trumpet
  • Jim Rushing
  • Cynthia McIlwain, trombone
  • Pat McIllwain, baritone horn
  • Donald Moore, trumpet

Third row, left to right –

  • Gail Douglas, clarinet
  • Michael Jordon, clarinet
  • Carolyn Townsend, alto saxophone
  • Sandra Hayes, baritone saxophone
  • Jessie Mae Bartholomew, cornet
  • Sammy McIllwain, clarinet
  • Rodney Phillips, clarinet
  • Marion Young, alto saxophone
  • Jimmie Ann Long, alto saxophone
  • Kay Reynolds, alto saxophone
  • Martha Tyler

Fourth row, left to right –

  • Jimmy Joe Readey, sousaphone
  • Diane Tinker, drums
  • Oscar Spence, trombone
  • Eugene Jordan, trombone
  • James Floyd Evans, clarinet
  • Guy Dickson, sousaphone
  • Linda Tinker, trombone
  • Jimmy McIllwain, baritone horn
  • James Erby Woods, cornet
  • Darrell G. Harbaum, Director

Band Directors

Jimmy Joe Readey and James Floyd Evans were the first two band directors at Decaturville High School.

Darrell G. Harbaum was later Associate Professor Emeritus of Music at Longwood University in Farmville, VA.

HARBAUM, Darrell G. beloved son of the late William and Katherine Harbaum, passed away Sunday, May 3rd at his home in Farmville, VA, at the age of 84. He was preceded in death by one brother, William Jr. (Maxine) and three sisters: Maxine Jacobs (Joseph) of Springdale, Betty Chromzack (Stanley) of North Lake, IL, and Shirley Littlefield, of Wichita Falls, TX. He is survived by one sister, Mary Lou Burns (Clyde) of Mason. He is also survived by 12 nieces and nephews, one god-son and numerous friends. He graduated from Trenton High School in 1942 and then joined the army. He was stationed in Europe and served in the Signal Corps until 1945. Darrell graduated from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1949, earned his Masters of Music in 1953, and taught at several schools and universities before moving to Farmville, VA. Darrell was a Professor of Music at Longwood College for 30 years before retiring in 1992. Visitation will be at Breitenbach McCoy Leffler Funeral Home in Middletown, OH at 12:00 noon Friday with funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be at Mennonite Cemetery, Wayne Madison Road, Trenton. If desired, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice, or to the Trenton Mennonite Church, 2 East Main St., Trenton, OH 45067

Published in Hamilton, OH Journal-News on May 6, 2009

Bunches Chapel – 1956

from the collection of Thomas E. Montgomery

Bunches Chapel - 1956

Bunches Chapel – 1956

This building at Bunches Chapel was used as a school and church for many years.  This building was torn down and replaced with a new church building in 1956.  The Bunches Chapel Cemetery dates from 1827.

Bunches Chapel - 2015

Bunches Chapel – 2015 – Google Earth View


Decaturville High School – 1889

Savannah Courier, August 8, 1889

Decaturville High School

Prof. J. F. Hughes, Principal of the Decaturville High School, was here last week and gave us an order for his Catalogues, which we are printing this week.  Prof. Hughes is one of the most successful teachers in the State and Decaturville is to be congratulated on her good fortune in securing his services for another year.  He is also advertising his school in this paper which you will see by consulting another column.

Miss Nannie Broyles has been employed to teach in the music department of the Decaturville High School for the next year.  Miss Nannie is a fine musician and will give satisfaction and add to the popularity of the school.

Eli Lucas’ Tongs

from the research of Jerry L. Butler

Nashville Daily American, February 13, 1876

Ripley, Tennessee, NEWS. “Mr. Eli Lucas is the owner of a pair of tongs, purchased by his wife’s father, in 1800, from a Revolutionary tory by the name of Black who moved from South Carolina to middle Tennessee. The tongs were purchased by Black in Charleston during the Revolutionary War and although they have been in constant use since purchased by Mr. Lucas, have required repairs but one time.”

Eli Lucas was living in Humpreys Co. TN in the 1830 census.

1 male under 5
1 male 5 to 10
1 male 30 to 40 – Eli

1 female 10 to 15
1 female 20 to 30

Eli’s brother Edmund Hale Lucas lived in Decatur Co. during the 1850s and 1860s.

Parsons High School Football Team – 1948

Parsons High School Football Team - 1948

from the research of B. R. Jennings

Scotts Hill High School Class Pictures

Scotts Hill High School Class of 1957

Scotts Hill High School Class of 1957

Pictures of the graduating classes of Scotts Hill High School that were severely damaged by water a few years ago when the roof of the new high school was damaged in a storm.  A group of alumni have raised funds to have the photographs professionally restored or replaced.

Before they can be displayed in the new Scotts Hill High School, they require shatterproof frames.  As a by product of the restoration/replacement effort, a digital image of each graduating class picture was generated.  It was decided to fund the new frames by selling DVDs of these pictures.

The DVD contains the graduating class photographs for the years 1930 through 2011 with the exception of the years 1932, 1933 and 1936.  These group pictures are the same as those that have lined the halls of Scotts Hill High School for many years and include the names and pictures of both graduates and teachers. The pictures can be viewed either in a slide show format with background music or as individual group pictures for more detailed viewing on your computer.

The 1957 class picture shown above is a typical example but the images on the DVD are much higher resolution for easy viewing.

CD coverOrdering Information

The DVD is priced at $15 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling if mailed.  To order, please send your check made out to SHHS PICTURE PROJECT to


Be sure to include your return address for delivery of the DVD. If you are local to the Scotts Hill area and want to pick up your DVD, please contact Doris Buck at (731) 549-3495.

If anyone is able to provide pictures for 1932, 1933 or 1936 for scanning, please contact me so this important collection can be completed.




Scotts Hill High School Class of 1957



Bible Hill Tornado – 1952

from the research of Lewis Long Brown, Jr.

These pictures were originally photographed by Genevieve C. Bobbitt Brown in 1952 following the devastating tornado that struck Chesterfield and continued through the Bible Hill Community.  Lewis Long Brown, Jr. compiled the index and captions for these pictures.  His complete index is available in Adobe PDF Format.

Loading Images
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Dr. Robert M. Brown House
Across the road from Dr. Brown House
Across the road from Dr. Brown House
Across the road from Dr. Brown House
Across the road from Dr. Brown House
Russ Long Barn
Russ Long Barn
Russ Long Barn
Russ Long Barn
Northeast Corner of Bible Hill Crossroad
Northeast corner of Bible Hill crossroad.South of #17
East side of Bible Hill Road (Cub Creek Hall Road)
North Side of Russ Long Road
Bible Hill Baptist Church
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Sattie Baker-Tolley House
Sattie Baker-Tolley House
Bible Hill Crossroad
Bible Hill Crossroad
Laura BROWN-Dodson House
West of Bible Hill Crossroad
Truck on Russ Long Road
Sattie Baker-Tolley House
Miscellaneous Damage
Bible Hill Cemetery
Bible Hill Cemetery
Bible Hill Cemetery
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Bible Hill Crossroad, East of Bible Hill Road
Destroyed House
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Miscellaneous Damage
Across the Road from Dr. Brown House

A Story About a House and its Family

by Lewis Long Brown Jr.rmbrownhouse

Sometimes, when my computer monitor and I are sitting alone staring at each other, I try to visualize what life was like for my great-grandfather back in nineteenth century West Tennessee. I imagine the roads weren’t much more than dirt trails meandering here and there through the woods, and a visit to one’s neighbor was a purposeful event involving some amount of prior planning. Most people farmed, which meant  a day of work was hard physical labor from dawn to dusk. A trip to town was a slow, all-day affair bumping along in a hard, wooden wagon behind a team of mules; yet for most people of the time, it was a special treat coming on rare occasions.

Back then, a thriving town might have a population of five hundred people. Governmental buildings might be made of the most plentiful material readily at hand, logs; and it was not uncommon for floors to be of compacted dirt until elevated, off-grade wooden ones could be constructed. Town jobs included blacksmith, wagon maker, tailor, merchant, saddle maker, lawyer, shoe maker, and physician. Like today, small Tennessee towns had their elected officials: sheriff, magistrate, councilman, and tax assessor.

It was a time when a rural farm family’s survival depended on its ability to project its thinking into the future and make decisions in the present with conservatively anticipated results later. Few people in my great-grandfather’s time had the luxury of misjudging the future. A miscalculation today about seasonal conditions later-on could mean starvation. The people of that time always had their eye on the horizon. Their survival depended on it.

Occasionally, the unexpected happened; and someone might be stricken ill or felled by
serious injury. Out of necessity, people were self-sufficient; but sometimes a situation occurred which required more attention and medical knowledge than a family possessed.
Country doctors in the nineteenth century practiced a kind of medicine which required a great deal of generalized knowledge. They had to know how to deliver a baby, set a broken bone, clean and sew-up a festering wound, remove a bullet, pull a rotted tooth, amputate a gangrenous limb, or treat a raging fever, all with equal amounts of human care and skillful diligence. There were no corner drugstores in rural Tennessee back then, so what medicines existed were either age-old remedies with well-known ingredients or experimental concoctions. Most were meticulously hand.made by the physicians themselves.

A rural doctor rode his circuit on horseback. When his patients beckoned, it made little difference whether it was hot weather or cold, rain or shine, early in the morning or late at night, he had to go. The level of dedication of most country doctors to their patients was extraordinary.
My great-grandfather Dr. Robert M. Brown practiced medicine in Decatur County, Tennessee (a long, narrow county, along the western bank of the Tennessee River, about one hundred twenty miles east of Memphis) from the early1870’s until he died in 1916. He married the former Mary Carroline Hendrix of nearby Henderson County about 1873. By 1876, in addition to his medical practice, Dr. Brown was the postmaster of Bible Hill, a small community a few miles west of where he lived. According to the 1880 U. S. Census, the Brown family lived in the 5th District of Decatur County. This is the district north of Cub Creek and east of Highway 69 to the Tennessee River. It contains the communities of Jeannette and Cozette. Since Dr. Brown’s practice was prospering in Bible Hill (in the contiguous 12th District), he and Mary probably decided to relocate sometime after 1880. It is likely they built a new house there before they moved.

The site of the Dr. Brown House is on the north side of the Bible Hill Road (Decatur County
Highway 882) and about one hundred fifty yards west of the crossroad of the community, where Highway 882 turns north. The house sat about thirty feet back from the edge of the road. Today, a modern home is built on the site.

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