THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM WALTER HILL
I was born in Pikeville, Bledsoe County, Tennessee, on October 24, 1861. I am the youngest of five children of William Jasper Hill and Mary Carnes Hill. I was first named Walter Shropshire; my paternal great grandmother was a Shropshire, hence the name. (My mother said my two year old sister (Dora) couldn't talk plain and called me "Hoggy-Hoppish.)
After my father died in February 1862, Mother changed my name to William Walter. I was four months old when my father passed away. My birth occurred in the first year of the Civil War. My father was captain of Co. C, 3rd Tennessee Infantry of the Confederate Army. Before he was in any engagement he contracted typhoid fever, came home, and died in a few weeks.
I have heard Mother tell how the physician who had charge of the case treated it. It was a theory of the medical profession at that time that all fevers were caused from impure blood, so when they came to a case of any kind of fever, the doctor would proceed to bleed and purge the patient. That treatment would be permissible in some conditions but is just the opposite to what it should be in typhoid fever, where a sustaining treatment is needed to conserve strength and vitality. Mother said they bled and purged Father. Fortunately, the medical profession has made remarkable advances in the past seventy-five years and made some wonderful discoveries.
When the federal army came into Pikeville and Sequatchie Valley, they established Marshall Law and confiscated everything they could find in the shape of food, so it became very difficult, especially for those known to be confederate sympathizers, to obtain enough food to sustain life. I have heard my mother tell about their having an Irish potato patch in their garden, and they would go out at night and dig sufficient potatoes for their meals next day, then carefully cover up the fresh turned soil. This potato patch was our principal source of food for quite a while.
Grandfather Carnes was making his home with us at the time (1865). At Spencer where Burritt College was located before the war, he and Mother knew that they had some friends and that the federal army had not invaded there. So they decided to go there where conditions would be more favorable. Wagons were loaded up with household furniture. The grade up the mountain was steep. When the teams got to the difficult grades, the passengers would have to get out and walk. I was four years old then. Mother got out of the wagon and took me out saying, "Son, you are a little man and can walk up the mountain." This is the first incident that I remember in my early childhood and shows what a deep impression flattery can make on the human mind.
Conditions were more pleasant and favorable in Spencer, as was anticipated. Their friends insisted that Grandfather Carnes and Mother begin teaching in Burritt College. They did, but it was of short duration for the Federal soldiers invaded this mountain community and camped in the college building.
In my life experiences I have twice been a lost boy and had the whole community out hunting me. The first time was at Spenser when I was four years old. My mother went to visit a neighbor and I undertook to follow her. I got along very well until I came to a sedge grass field where I got tangled up in the grass and weeds, laid down, and cried myself to sleep. When Mother came home and found me gone, the whole community was alarmed and began hunting for me. After quite a while they found me asleep in the sedge grass, my face almost blistered by the sun.
The other time I created as much a sensation as the first. When we lived at Manchester, our home was one-half mile out of town. We got water from a spring at the end of a lane leading to town. Mother had sent brother Ed to town to get the mail and do some shopping and sent me down to the spring with buckets to wait Ed's return so he could bring some water home. While I was waiting it began to rain so I got into a hollow tree nearby and went to sleep. When Eddie returned, Mother asked where I was. Telling her he saw nothing of me at the spring, the alarm was sounded and people of the neighborhood and some from Manchester joined in the search for the lost boy. By that time it was getting dark and when by calling me by name I was awakened, I opened my eyes and saw lanterns flashing like lightening bugs everywhere. I was about six years old at that time.
When the war was over in 1865 and peace was restored, a college under the auspices of the Christian Churches of Tennessee was built at Manchester called Manchester College. The trustees offered the presidency to W.D. Carnes, my grandfather, and elected Mary Carnes Hill, my mother, a member of the faculty.
Mother bought a small farm and home one-half mile east of Manchester. She had a tenant to cultivate the tillable land, but we boys, Ed, Lu, and I would work on evenings after school and on Saturdays. On Saturdays Mother would assign us a task and when finished, would allow us to go fishing or to the swimming hole in Duck River. When we would get back home late in the evening, Mother would have some fresh light bread, baked in an oven, which seemed to me to be the best food I ever ate. A growing youth most always has a good appetite.
The school at Manchester College prospered and had a large student body, as many as fifty or more coming from Nashville. This favorable condition continued for four or five years, when an epidemic of malaria struck Manchester and the area around. This broke up the school for the students and members of the faculty began to have chills and fever. This writer described the cause of this epidemic in Chapter 1 of his History of the Carnes-Hill family.
I remember sister Dora and I would chill and shake every other day and feel fairly good the day between. We would try every remedy suggested, even such foolish things as climbing the stairs backwards. Mother fixed a concoction of white ash tea which was about the nastiest dose I ever tasted.
Well, the consequence of all this was that Grandfather Carnes and Mother decided to go back to Spencer and Burritt College, their first love. Mother sold her farm at Manchester and bought a home in Spencer, about five hundred yards from the college hill. This home consisted of four rooms and a kitchen, built "L" shape, a front porch and back porch, with a hall between. Here I spent 10 years of the happiest period of my life and where I received the greater part of my literary education at Burritt College.
While the family was still living at Manchester, a widower, Col. Massey Hill, who lived at Hillsboro, a small village in Coffee County, Tennessee, made several visits to our house, calling on Mother, and they finally married (1866). Col. Hill was a civil engineer and was agent for the Barrell estate who had acquired a large body of land in Grundy County. He was selling it for them so he was away from home a great deal of the time. He was a very pious Methodist, in poor health and nervous. There were six of his children, single at home, and six in our family. After their marriage, they all came to our home. It required a long table that would seat six on each side and one at each end. When we came to a meal, Col. Hill always offered thanks at the table. I remember once when he was returning thanks, Dora and I got tickled at something and sniggered out, as we very frequently would do and he, after he got through his prayer, looking at us said, "Get, Get!" We were very much insulted and went out in a woodland nearby. It was quite a while before we would return to eat breakfast.
At another time, he had invited a Methodist preacher to spend the night with us. The next morning at the breakfast table, Col. Hill called on the preacher to return thanks. He prayed an extended prayer which went on and on. After several minutes, with no end in sight, our step-pa interrupted and said, "Amen, brother, I have to catch that train this morning.
Col. Hill did not live very long. The marriage was not very congenial.
When we began to move to Spencer, it was found out that it would require two trips for the teams to move everything. All the family went with the first load except Ed and me, who stayed behind to guard what was left. Mother prepared a jar of tea cookies with other food for us to eat until the teams came back for the balance of the household goods. I got into the jar of cookies and ate so many that my stomach rebelled and brought on an attack of acute indigestion. Ed, becoming alarmed, sent for Dr. Vincent in Manchester. He came out and gave some kind of an opiate which made me crazy. I could see all kinds of animals and everything was revolving; and to add to the gloom of the situation, Ed began to sing, "How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours" and "The Day is Past and Gone." We certainly were glad when they came back for us and we were reunited with the rest of the family in our new home in Spencer.
As I have stated previously, the next ten years of my life, while a student at Burritt College, were the happiest and most profitable of my boyhood days. For two terms of the school, I had as a roommate in the dormitory, Eugene Elton, a splendid young man from Irving College, Warren County. Other years I roomed with my brothers, Ed and Lu. During these years I almost completed the curriculum of the college but my school days at Burritt were ended when there was a change in the presidency of the college. Grandfather Carnes, who founded and brought Burritt College to where it was known as one of the foremost educational institutions in the South, was by trickery and betrayal of confidence, ruthlessly kicked out of its presidency and greatly humiliated. Grandfather, broken in spirit, lived only about a year after that. He was 87 years old. I attended his funeral at Spencer (1879). I was 17 years old.
Mary Carnes Hill's family moved to Sparta when the presidency of the college was changed. Mother and Mr. John McMillan, brother of Buford McMillan, taught at Nourse Seminary, an institution of learning which was situated on the hill where White County High School is now located. I attended school there while they were teaching. We lived in a large dwelling adjoining the Seminary. Once we got out of coal and the coal dealers could not deliver any for a few days. Lu, who was in the office with H.C. and David L. Snodgrass at that time said for us to send down and get coal from their coalpile to tide us over until some could be delivered. So I got a grass sack, waited until after dark, and went to the Snodgrass coalpile. There were some large lumps of coal, and around the coal, some limestone rocks were placed to retain the coal. The rocks had been so blackened by the coal that in the dim light they could not be distinguished from the coal. I put into the sack what I thought was a lump of coal and with great effort lugged it up the Seminary hill. Completely exhausted, I emptied the sack and lo! It was limestone rock!
When we moved from the Seminary hill, Mother bought a residence on the main street of Sparta at that time running out toward the Carding Machine spring where we made our home for many years.
MY EARLY CAREER
My school days being over, the next thing was to find me a job of work so I could be self sustaining.
There was a large quantity of walnut lumber up the valley of the Calf Killer River. Those who owned it did not know the value of it and were making fence rails out of walnut trees. Some eastern capitalists discovered it and sent sawmill men down to cut it into lumber to be shipped to furniture factories. I got a job at one of these sawmills selling heal blocks, called "giggers". My wage was $1.00 per day, but a dollar at that time was worth four times what it is today. I saved some money as my expenses were small.
Having a little money, I convinced Martin Nichols, a chum of mine belonging to the same church and Bible school, that we should go West and try our fortunes. We went to a county in Texas where they were building a new courthouse, a large building, and we took the contract to nail on the lathes for plastering over the whole building. It took us several weeks to complete the job. I would hit my fingernails about as often as the lathe nails. I sure had a sore hand when we got through. We took the contract at too low a price. We didn't lose, but came out about even. We decided we couldn't get rich quick in the West and had better get back home while we had enough money to pay our fare.
I had now reached the period in my life when I should decide on what my life work should be. I clerked in a grocery store of a Mr. McCloud for awhile and my first inclination was that I would be a merchant. So to better prepare myself for a commercial life, I went to Spencer where Mr. Howard Sutton, who afterwards became a noted preacher of the Church of Christ, was head of the Commercial Department at Burritt College. I took a course in bookkeeping under him (1884). That was when I was about 23 years old.
After returning to Sparta, I wrote to Uncle Campbell Carnes, who was principal of the school at Coleman City, Texas, to see if he could get me a job there. A Mr. Black, who was acquainted with our family, was president of the bank.
I started for Coleman City in the spring of 1885 with high hopes and aspirations of a successful career in the West. There was no railroad to Coleman City at that time. The nearest railroad station was Baird, on the Texas and Pacific, about 40 miles from Coleman City. From there one had to be carried by horse drawn stagecoach to reach our destination. There were three passengers the day I went over--myself and two middle aged men, going to Coleman City to put up a restaurant. It took about all day for the horse team to make the forty miles and I got pretty well acquainted with the two men on the trip. I told of my anticipated bank job. They showed a very kindly feeling toward me and my youthful aspirations.
Frank Snodgrass, a young practicing attorney who had gone to Coleman City to locate from Sparta a few years before, learning what bus I would arrive on, met me at the station. Being pretty full of intoxicants, he took me to a saloon and ordered drinks for both. I, not wanting to rebuff Frank's friendly intention, took my first and only dram over a saloon bar.
Poor Frank! He was a young man of fine intellect and promising attainment and could have achieved a brilliant career, had he let whiskey alone, but he be-came a victim of the passion of strong drink and his life was cut short in his young manhood.
After arriving at Coleman City, to my great disappointment, I learned that the position at the bank had been given to another. So I had to look for another job. I went to Uncle Campbell's home and stayed as long as I could afford to impose on his generosity. Then I got me a boarding place. I made some acquaintances in the town and among them was the County Surveyor. He invited me to go with him on a trip to a sheep ranch. It was then I had my first experience of a Texas Norther.
The next day after we arrived at the ranch, one of those terribly disagree-able northers struck us--a cold, driving, wind--accompanied by rain and sleet. Everything outside was covered with ice. We were housed up in the rancher's cabin two days before it moderated so that we could venture out.
After paying my railroad and bus fare to Coleman City, I didn't have very much surplus money left and, being on expenses, that little was fast being depleted. I had diligently sought in every avenue to get employment, but to no avail. I kept in touch with my two bus companions from Baird to Coleman City and they had in the meantime put up the restaurant--hastily boxed up in a cheap fashion. They sympathized with me in my predicament, so on the evening before they were to open up their restaurant, they offered me a job of waiter, but had to know that night whether or not I would take it. It was a far cry from bank clerk to restaurant waiter, but I had decided I would take the job if nothing else turned up. Things had reached a point of desperation. If there ever was a "blue" young man, I was it.
As I was leaving my restaurant friends that evening and walking past a hardware store, a man standing in the door motioned with his had for me to come in. On entering, he told me he had heard that I was a good bookkeeper and invited me back to his desk to get a sample of my penmanship. I wrote as best I could under the existing nervous strain. Anyway, he employed me as bookkeeper at $50.00 a month and increased it $10.00 a month as long as I worked for him. I always believed this was a providential intervention in my behalf. Obviously Uncle Campbell had told the manager of the hardware company of my qualifications.
The style of this firm was Gordon, Pittman, and Jackson. Pittman and Jackson were wealthy ranch men and put some money in the business. Gordon was the manager and the man who hired me. There were farmers coming in there from everywhere, entering land and fencing it off. This was a frontier county, just being opened up and settled. Those who were not able to pay cash for fencing wire and farming implements (which were the majority) would give to the firm a mortgage of the first crop. That year there was a terrible drought--didn't rain for six months. One could take the prairie grass between his fingers and crush it like ashes. Consequently there was no first crop. The farmers were packing up their belongings and moving out. It was hard on the ranchers also. The firm of Gordon, Pittman, and Jackson went into bankruptcy.
I was out of a job again but with a pocketbook considerably replenished.
When I left Coleman City, it was my intention to go back to my home in Sparta after visiting some kinfolk on my way back. I went to Moody, Texas, where Aunt Ellen Carnes, widow of Uncle Ray Carnes, lived. She and her family gave me a hearty welcome. The daughter, Florence, took me to a social party and showed me a good time. I stayed there a day and a night. Then I went to Irene, Texas, a small village in Hill County where Aunt Nettie Kelton and her husband, Uncle Jim Kelton, were teaching public school. Uncle Kelton, whose education was limited, not having any college training, had carried the classes as far as he could, especially in mathematics. Some of his pupils were embarrassing him with their questions. He resigned as principal and took an agency for a nursery. This happened just before I reached Irene.
Here again I believe there was providential intervention. I then and there made a decision which changed the whole course of my life. I made up my mind to study medicine: that I would teach school for a year or two, saving money to put me through medical school. Several things caused me to come to this conclusion. First, my life work would be more steadfast and not so uncertain as commerce. Second, it would afford me a greater opportunity to serve the church and humanity.
SCHOOL TEACHING, MEDICAL TRAINING,
AND THE MEETING OF MAY HILL
I accepted the position of principal of the school at Irene. The next thing, then, was to get a certificate to teach in Texas public schools. It was the law in Texas at that time that the County Judge would serve as superintendent of schools. It was his duty to have the teacher applicants examined as to their qualifications and issue certificates to those who would pass the test. The County Judge of Hill County had been criticized for being too lax in this regard; being a candidate for re-election, he went to the other extreme and made the examination unnecessarily rigid. He got a college professor to conduct the examination. He kept the applicants in Hillsboro, the county seat, almost a whole week. Some of the applicants failed to pass the test, but I was one of the lucky ones to get a certificate to teach in the Hill County schools. The professor conducting the examination complimented my paper on school discipline and said it ought to be published.
I served as principal of the Irene school for two years. I boarded with Aunt Nettie Kelton, who assisted in the school.
The long three month vacation was in the fall during the cotton picking time so that the children might help. I would go to Hillsboro during vacation to work in a printing office, setting type. There were two newspapers there--The Hillsboro Reflector and the Hillsboro Times. I set type on both papers at separate times. This is where my apprenticeship on the Sparta Expositor served me well.
After two years teaching and working in Texas, I concluded I was financially able to complete my medical education. At that time only two years were required to get an M.D. degree. I went back to Sparta and studied anatomy in Dr. Mack Snodgrass' office until the fall term of the Medical Department of Tennessee University opened. It was in Nashville then. I entered that school as a freshman in 1889. I boarded at a house near Peabody University.
At the close of the first year's term of the medical school, I found out I would not have enough money to carry me through the second year so I decided to get a school somewhere to replenish my finances. I thought my best chance would be in Sequatchie Valley where I had relatives, but everywhere I visited they had just employed their teachers. I went all the way up to the head of the Valley with the same result--just a little too late. I was told that they needed a teacher at Roddy, a station on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. I rode across the mountains to Roddy and got the same verdict--"too late".
Despairing of getting a school, I decided that while I was so near I would visit Cousin Till Owings who lived at Post Oak, a prosperous farming community in Roane County. Sister Ella had taught a music class there and told me of them. She was an Acuff from Sequatchie Valley and a first cousin of my mother. When I got to their home, I explained to them how I came to be over in that part of the state. I said I was looking for a school that was looking for a teacher but had failed to find one. They informed me that a teacher was wanted at New Hope school, near the Tennessee River.
Cora Owings, daughter of Cousin Till, rode with me over to Capt. I.A. Hill's. He was the school director of that school district. When we arrived, Mr. Hill was sitting on the porch and seeing me ride up, he called out, "Light, Bill, and hitch", thinking I was Billie Acuff. Introducing myself and telling my business, Capt. Hill at once expressed his willingness to give me the school at New Hope. Capt. Bowman, who lived near where the new Caniford Baptist Church is located today, was another director. So Capt. Hill, Capt. Bowman, and I rode into Kingston to see the County Court Clerk about getting a certificate to teach in Roane County. Mr. Dave Pope was clerk at that time and on their recommendation, he gave me a certificate. I didn't experience the difficulties I did in Hill County, Texas.
Here, I believe, was another providential intervention. My intention was to locate in Memphis when I got my M.D. degree, but the events that followed my teaching at New Hope changed all my preconceived plans.
After getting my certificate, I went back to Sparta to get ready for the opening of the school. I arranged for board with Mr. Darius Acuff.
Miss May Hill, daughter of I.A. Hill, the school director, was a pupil of the school. She and I became smitten and eventually fell in love with each other. We managed our courtship by meeting at places and taking walks on Sunday afternoons. I taught on six month's term and began another when Dr. W.B. Young, who was physician at Bon Air Mines, wrote for me to come and help him in his practice. This being in a line with my chosen life work, I resigned as teacher. John Acuff finished out the term. May Hill and I became engaged before I left.
On April 4, 1889, on the recommendation of L.D. Hill and A.E. Rhea, J.D. Goff, who was County Court Clerk to White County, issued a temporary certificate for me to practice medicine in White County. So I went to the Bon Air Coal Co. mines to assist Dr. Young in his practice as company physician. I worked there with him until the fall term of the University of Tennessee opened, then I entered my senior year. There is one incident that I remember. Dr. Duncan Eve, professor of surgery, had one day lectured on the nerves supplying the face and head. The next day, in a quiz, he asked the class if anyone could give the names of those nerves. It happened that morning I had refreshed my mind on this long string of nerves. I waited awhile but no one responded so I started in and named them all. There was hand-clapping and applause all over the room. After this occurrence, Dr. Eve put me down as a contestant for honor student of the class.
On the 5th day of April 1890, I received a certificate from the Board of Medical Examiners to practice medicine in Tennessee and I was awarded the M.D. degree. I went back to Bon Air to assist Dr. Young. At this time the mine opening was on the side of a mountain. The miners lived in homes widely scattered.
EARLY MEDICAL CAREER,
MARRIAGE, AND HONEYMOON
About this time there was a big boom on at Fort Payne, DeCalb, Alabama. Eastern capitalists had come down there, widely advertised its wonderful resources and advantages, and in order to show that there was an abundance of iron ore and coal there, they built a furnace and a railroad up Lookout Mountain to a very small vein of coal and opened up a mine on top of the mountain. Several miners from Bon Air came to work in these mines and wrote for me to come there as they had no doctor. Desiring to be independent and on my own resources, I decided to go to Alabama even though my association with Dr. Young had been pleasant and agreeable.
It was in the spring of 1891 that I went to Fort Payne. At that time there was no reciprocity between members of the medical profession in Tennessee and Alabama. A diploma from the University of Tennessee Medical School and a certificate from the State Examining Board will now be accepted in any state in the union. Not so then. The law governing the practice of medicine in Alabama at that time required an applicant from Tennessee for license to practice medicine in Alabama to be examined by other doctors. There were three on the Board but any one of them could issue the license. The doctor at Collinsville, Alabama, a town a few miles south of Fort Payne, was most convenient for me. He quizzed me pretty thoroughly but being fresh from medical school, I successfully passed and was granted a certificate to practice in Alabama.
I went immediately to the mining camp on Lookout Mountain. The name of the camp was Lookout. During the short time I was there I made quite a reputation from two cases, neither of which displayed any great skill. One was a case of obstetrics. A very intelligent and competent midwife had been for years serving that community in all baby cases. About two miles from the mining camp, she was attending a case of labor in a young wife, a primipara. She had been in hard labor for a night and a day and was completely exhausted. They sent for me and I found the following condition: the cervix and all the pelvic canal was thoroughly dilated; the sack of water was resting on the floor of the pelvis; and the membrane was rather tough and her pains, in her exhausted condition, were not strong enough to break the membrane. I saw that the only thing indicated was to puncture the membrane, which I did with an instrument. The water and the baby came out almost at the same time. The family and midwife marveled at my skill. The midwife privately offered to pay me if I would tell her what I did. I explained to her the trouble and how I relieved the condition, but refused to take any pay.
The other case was that of a young man about 18 years of age, who had from young childhood trouble with his nose. The right nostril was stopped up, and had an offensive discharge. I, with a speculum, looked in the nose and saw something white far up in the right nostril. Under a local anesthetic, with forceps, I pulled out a well formed tooth. There was a callous crust around the tooth. Removing that, the tooth was plainly outlined. The only way I could explain this phenomenon was that in childhood, when shedding his teeth, he may have become strangled in the night and forced one of his teeth back through the posterior nasal passage.
I was at this mining camp only about one year when it shut down. It was a small vein of coal and of inferior quality. But it had served the purpose of the eastern capitalists endeavoring to exploit the resources of Fort Payne. They also built a blast furnace that was never used. The sale of lots had come off well as they sold at a high price. From this, they pocketed their profit and went back to their homes in the east. They had no further use for the mines.
After the closing of the mines, there was a general exodus of miners seeking work at other places. A large group of them went to a coal mine at Whiteside, Marion County, Tennessee. They asked me to come there as they needed a doctor. After winding up my affairs at Lookout, I came to Whiteside to take in the situation. I was getting tired of being forced from post to pillar. I wanted to settle down to some permanent work. The mining company here was an old established one; had been operating for a number of years and the prospect of continuing for many years more. The coal was of a superior quality and had a ready sale. The name of the company was the Aetna Coal Company. Some of the workers lived on the mountain where the mines were located and some lived in the valley around the railroad station. Whiteside was on the N.C.&St.L. Railroad, about 20 miles west of Chattanooga.
Believing that this work was of a permanent nature, at least for several years, I decided to locate there. This was in the spring of 1892. I went to the mine opening early in the morning before the miners had gone inside and made a little talk to them. I told them of my purpose and plan to locate there. Most every employee signed a contract to pay $1.00 per month for a single person, $2.00 for a family, to be collected through the company office. Most of the miners lived on the mountain near the mines. So I made my arrangements to have my residence there.
This coal--a drift mine--was taken from a ridge on top of the mountain, was carried about one mile on a narrow gaged railroad to the mountain edge, and was then inclined down the mountain to another railroad at the bottom. This incline was operated by a drum. The loaded cars going down would pull the empty cars up.
In the meantime, after our engagement May and I had carried on a regular correspondence and I had made a trip or two over to see her. I remember one trip I made in 1891 when Harriman was in its infancy. A bunch of neighbors drove to Harriman. We registered at the Southern Hotel, the leading hotel in the city at that time. Harriman had board walks and the buildings were scattered over a large area.
Also during this interval, May and her sister, Pearl, had attended one term at the Hamilton Female College, Lexington, Kentucky.
Until now my affairs had been in such unsettled condition, so we had not discussed the date of our marriage. But now believing that I would be employed as the physician of the Aetna Coal Company for several years, we began considering that question. May decided on June 2nd for that momentous event. I spent the night of June 1st in Rockwood. Next morning I hired a taxi and drove to the bride's home. I had previously made arrangements through John Acuff to secure the license. Mr. E.A. Spencer, minister of the Harriman Christian Church, performed the ceremony. The family and a few guests were present. (the year was 1892.)
About noon, there came up a thunder storm and heavy rain which raised the waters so that we could not drive to Rockwood the usual route. Instead we had to drive across a ridge. It was necessary for us to go immediately in order to meet the train for Chattanooga. We spent the night at the Wisdom Hotel, located on the corner of 9th and Market Streets in Chattanooga.
The next morning we took the train for Sparta where we spent a day or two in Mother's home. Nat Dibrell gave a party in our honor.
After two days, I felt that I should get back to my practice at Whiteside. So we took the morning train for Tullahoma where we boarded the N.C.&St.L for Whiteside. I had a horse and buggy waiting at the station, in which we drove up the mountain to our home. The coal company had assigned a neat cottage, located near the top of the incline. The cottage had two bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, and a front and back porch. The yard was fenced in and the company had an office built in the corner of the front yard. I had, in the few months that I was there before our wedding, bought and set up furniture in the bedrooms, kitchen, and dining room. All that we had to do was to go in and occupy.
Here we spent a happy and jolly honeymoon. There were two truck farmers near who owed me for medical services and wanted to pay me in potatoes. They called them "taters". I took some of their "taters", both sweet and Irish. One of these farmers was named Taylor, the other named Teelers. We had a lot of fun at the table talking about Teelers "taters" and Taylor's "taters". Often when I was called out at night, I would change my voice when I got home, pretending that I was someone wanting the doctor and would fool May. But I practiced this deception too often to my grief. I had been called to see a patient down in the valley and while there had bought a bucket of honey. While riding back up the mountain with the bucket of honey on my arm, my horse stepped on a plank covering a small culvert. It gave away and the horse jumped. I fell off backwards, breaking my left wrist--what is called a fracture of the lower edge of the libra bone of the forearm. My horse was very gentle and stopped a few yards away. I led him to a stump and got back into the saddle with my bucket of honey, rode up to the back gate, called to May to come and help me down for I broke my arm. She came to the door and said, "Yes, I guess you have!" and went back into the house. It was quite a while before I could convince her that I was telling the truth.
MY WORK WITH THE CHURCH--
AND A BUSINESS MISADVENTURE
We lived very happily at Aetna Coal camp for about six years. Two daughters were born: Ivy on March 19, 1893; Pauline on September 3, 1896. I had a friend who was school director in that district and at my request he elected my mother and sister Ella to teach the public school there--Mother, principal, and Ella, assistant. They taught the public school there for two years. Mother wanted to stay longer but Ella took a notion to go to Chattanooga and insisted on Mother's going with her. They lived in a house near us while they were teaching.
There was only one church at the camp and that was of the Methodist denomination. A circuit rider would come once a week to preach. The Sunday School disbanded during the winter. During the six months that I was there before our marriage, I went to the Sunday School. I was elected superintendent and teacher of the class. My mother was a very devout, active, member of the Church of Christ and she was made a teacher of a class of women. We gradually and unobtrusively instilled into their minds the first principals of the gospel, and when we thought the soil was ready, we called Gospel preachers into the field. The first one that came was a brilliant young preacher of the Church of Christ (I can't recall his name now) recommended by the Gospel Advocate. He laid the foundation. Then followed Brother Dearing-- a middle aged man, a splendid preacher. He spoke in plain, simple language that everyone could understand. By this time the Methodist conference began to take notice. The presiding Elder came out and said that the superintendent and all teachers in the Sunday School must be Methodists. The members of Mother's class had become attached to her and were indignant at the order. They went to the schoolhouse, together with others, to form a new class. I remained in the church until we were organized and had a Bible School of our own.
This action of the Methodists did them no good, but rather reacted against them. We organized a Church of Christ and asked permission to meet in the church in the afternoon for worship and communion. This was granted for a while but when Brother Howard Sutton, a sweet and spirited Gospel preacher came and won more converts, we were locked out. For a while we secured a private residence where we would meet each Lord's Day for worship. All kinds of preachers came there in an effort to counteract our influence that was breaking down denominationalism. They could all preach in the church house except those of the Christian Church. We would go to hear all of them. Some were educated and some were ignorant. I remember one from the Primitive Baptist came. They believed that education was not necessary--that the preacher was a mouthpiece through which God speaks. We went out to hear him. He undertook to read some Scripture. He would hem and haw and spell out the words, but finally gave it up, saying, "I can't read 'er, but I can 'splain 'er."
The next morning, I met up with him, when the following conversation ensued:
"Are you an ordained minister?", I asked.
"No, I am what is called a licentious preacher."
"What is a licentious preacher?"
"That means I'm licensed and sent."
Everybody wanted to be immersed, including the Methodists. Those of that persuasion who were not baptized into the Church of Christ demanded that their preacher immerse them, which he did in order to hold them.
There was a complete reformation of that community. While formerly on each monthly pay day all the miners would get drunk, have a regular breakdown dance, which would result in several fisty-cuff fights, now they were engaged in reading and discussing the Bible or attending worship services somewhere. The coal company was so pleased with the change in the morals of their employees that they donated lumber to build a church house. We hired a carpenter and with the aid of some of the church members, a neat and commodious house of worship was erected. Two preachers went out from this church. They only had a high school education but they could do effective preaching among the miners.
I never enjoyed my Christian service in any period of my life as here, and Mother was so happy and enthusiastic in the work. The transforming power of the Gospel of Christ was so plainly demonstrated in the lives of those miners. After we left and the mines closed down, the converts of the Aetna Church went to other places, most of them to Chattanooga, and helped establish Churches of Christ there and elsewhere. One example is the Manning family. They went to Sale Creek, bought a farm there, and went to work and established a church there.
During my six years of practice at Aetna mines I had saved several thousand dollars. My income was supplemented by my being on the Chattanooga Pension Board. This paid me about $300 a year. H.C. Snodgrass was elected to Congress from the 3rd Congressional District and he had me appointed to the Board. The Board consisted of three doctors. Dr. Tripp, Dr. Wilson, and I composed the Board. The first two named lived in Chattanooga. We would meet once a month. I would ride in on the early train. We would always have a dozen or more ex-federal soldiers applying for pensions or an increase. Each examiner was paid $2.00 for each examination. Dr. Wilson, the Secretary of the Board, would get one dollar extra for making the report of our work. With what savings as I had, though, I felt I had back-log enough to tide me through the squeeze that every doctor is subjected to when going to a new city until they build up a sustained practice. So I decided to move into Chattanooga with my family--consisting of wife and two daughters. We lived on Walnut Street for one year as we had not decided in what part of the city was a desirable location. After looking around, we decided on Highland Park. I traded for a neat little cottage on the corner of Bailey Avenue and Hickory Street. I built an addition to it, making another bedroom and an office fronting Hickory Street.
There was a furniture firm on Market between 8th and 9th styled Wilcox and Wright Furniture Company. We visited it in making the rounds while buying furniture for our home. Mr. Wilcox waited on us. In the course of our conversation with him, he made it known that he was a deacon in the First Christian Church in the city. He got my confidence. I told him I had two thousand dollars I would like to invest in something that would give me some return and asked his advice. He said they had a good thing in the way of a patent medicine. He showed me the formula--quinine dissolved in aromatic supuric acid. It was put up in ten ounce bottles which sold for $1.00 each, making a profit of 75 cents as the cost was 25 cents. The man who originated the formula was out on the road introducing the product. They showed me the orders he was sending in--six or ten bottles from every drug store he would visit. They represented to me that he was selling them, but I found out afterward that he was only placing them on consignment. I didn't like the idea of a doctor going into the patent medicine business, but this seemed such a good thing that I would be a silent partner--my identity not being known. So I turned over my $2000 to them.
Two thousand dollars doesn't seem much at this day and time when dollars are counted in millions and billions, but then the purchasing value of a dollar was double what it is today. So two thousand dollars then would go as far as four thousand now in meeting the expenses of a family. The upshot of the whole business was that Wilcox and Wright went into bankruptcy in a few weeks and when I approached them concerning the $2000, they handed me over the formula for the much lauded chill and fever cure. They had used the money in their business. Of course, I could do nothing with it. I sold it to a druggist on Main Street for $25.00. So my $2000 had dwindled to $25.
I had kept a balance in the bank to meet immediate expenses, so I decided I would try to battle it through on what resources I had. I maintained an office at my residence on Hickory Street and opened another office on Main Street, having office hours at both places. This continued for about a year. My practice was building up some, but the outgo was still greater than the income. I perhaps would have continued the fight had not other misfortunes arisen. My wife, who had been my faithful helpmate through all these years, began to fail in health. The worry of moving, the care of the two daughters, together with the household duties, were too much for her. Just at this time, Dr. Pea, a physician at Whitwell, offered me a partnership which, under the circumstances, I decided to accept. So I placed my property in the hands of Ferger Brothers, real estate agents, and we left for Whitwell.
WHITWELL AND DUNLAP
The coal mines at Whitwell belonged to the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company. It was a large vein of coal and employed several hundred men. It is situated in Sequatchie Valley several miles above South Pittsburg.
Like the Aetna coal mines, some of the miners lived in the valley where the town is located and a great many lived on the mountain where the mines are. Dr. Pea wanted me to practice on the mountain and he would remain in the valley. The same system prevailed here as at the Aetna mines at Whiteside--that is, the miners would pay so much each month to be collected through the company office. I preferred being on the mountain where the air was pure and away from the smoke of the valley. All those on the mountain signed my list. There were several hundred as it was quite a village. Besides, the level area on top of the mountain, reaching back from the mines, was settled quite thickly by farmers with whom I did some outside practice, making my remuneration quite satisfactory.
When we first moved to Whitwell, we secured board with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, a married couple without any children. I wanted May to have complete rest until she regained her health. After a few weeks of our boarding life, Mrs. Jones began to manifest a dislike for Ivy. As the weeks passed, this grudge became more and more manifest. We decided it was best for us to leave for we didn't know what Mrs. Jones might do as she was of a mean disposition.
There was a building near with two apartments. We secured one of them and set up housekeeping again. We got along very nicely there until May had an attack of flu and was confined to bed for two or three weeks. That was a "blue" time for us. I had to prepare the meals under May's instruction and with the assistance of neighbors. To add tragedy to misfortune, one Sunday while I was away making some calls, the apartment building caught fire and burned. The young couple living in the other apartment had built a fire of paper and other light inflammable material which got the flue so hot the building caught afire. When I returned shortly after noon, I found the building burned. Our furniture was scattered around but the neighbors had saved it from the fire. May had been taken to a neighbor's home.
A family by the name of Fresell kindly offered two rooms of their residence to occupy until we could get something better. We put our furniture there and lived there for a while. But soon a house was secured near the church of the community and near English Cove, quite a large settlement of miners.
We lived very pleasantly at this location until the miner's union instructed the company to quit holding back in the office the fee for the doctor. When this happened we moved off the mountain into Whitwell. I had several reasons for doing this: the miners could not be depended upon to pay for medical services, voluntarily; going down into the valley, I would be in contact with more substantial citizens; and there was in Whitwell a small Church of Christ where they needed and invited my assistance.
Dr. Pea, knowing my mother's reputation and qualifications as a teacher, (and he being school director there) elected her principal and Sister Ella teacher of the Whitwell school. This was in 1898.
At this time some eastern capitalists, Huffaker Brothers, bought some coal property and were opening up some mines near Dunlap several miles above Whitwell. I met Mr. Huffaker on the train and introduced myself. He offered me the position of physician at his mines which were getting pretty well advanced in development. I accepted and we moved into a house built for the doctor. While we were living there, Nan Hill, May's younger sister, came to visit us.
After we had been here perhaps about a year, I got a telephone message from sister Ella saying that Mother was ill. I went to her at once and found that she had double pneumonia. I notified all the family of her serious condition. Dora and Quill Rhea, Lu and Ed all came over. Lu called Dr. Johnson of South Pittsburg in consultation. Mother gradually grew weaker; her heart began to fail in its effort to keep the circulation through the consolidated lung. The last day she spent on earth was Sunday. She told us she wanted to take communion. We sent for one of the Elders of the church there. She partook of the bread and wine in memory of her savior's death and as the shadows of the evening gathered, her spirit was set free from her weary body after living on earth for 75 years. Her body was taken to Smyrna Cemetary and buried beside her husband. A monument was erected to their memory by their children. (Dora and I, the only living children, made a pilgrimage to that sacred shrine three years ago.)
CARDIFF AND HARRIMAN
Soon after Mother's death, I got a letter from the Brown Mining Company offering me the position of physician and surgeon at their mines. This company was mining iron ore for the iron furnace at Rockwood. I accepted their offer. I knew the coal mine at Dunlap would fail as its vein of coal was small and a poor quality and did not get a sale in the eastern market as they had hoped for. (It did shut down a short time after I left.)
The Brown Mining Company was operated by J.F. Tarwater and Sewell Howard. J.N. Baker had been a member of the company but becoming dissatisfied with the management, withdrew.
So, having decided that we would leave Dunlap and move to our permanent new position in Roane County, Tennessee, May and the two girls, Ivy and Pauline, boarded the train at Dunlap for Harriman where May's folks lived at that time. I had a good horse which I wanted to use in my new field of practice. So I saddled my horse and rode up the valley passing through Pikeville. I spent the night at Melville, a community situated right at the head of Sequatchie Valley. The next day I crossed the mountain and reached Cardiff in the afternoon where I had a conference with Mr. Tarwater and other officials of the Brown Mining Company. Then I went on to Harriman.
The mining company assigned a beautiful residence at Cardiff which was about the center of their mining operations. It was located on a hill overlooking the railroad station, company commissary, and a group of buildings for the miners. It had a kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms, a side hall, and a broad porch extending on two sides of the house.
Here we had a happy home for several years. Our closest neighbors were Mr. and Mr. Allen Montgomery with whom we formed a close and enduring friendship which has lasted through the years. Mr. Montgomery was manager of the company commissary at Cardiff.
We moved to Cardiff in the spring of 1901 and lived there until 1910. There our only son, William Walter, Jr. was born on December 10, 1902.
School facilities were not very good at Cardiff so we sent the two girls, Ivy and Pauline, to the American Temperance University at Harriman as soon as they were old enough to enter the primary grades. They would stay with their grandparents, Capt. and Mrs. I.A. Hill, during the week and come home to spend the weekend.
There was a rich iron ore deposit cropping out from under Walden's Ridge and the mining operators made openings at different points from near Emory Gap all the way to Rockwood. The largest camp they had along the line was called Browntown, about half mile above Cardiff.
Many amusing things would occur in my association with these ignorant miners. I remember one day as I was riding through Browntown, a woman came to the door and hailed me saying, "Doctor, come in and give me some medicine, my tonsillitis is sore." Then again, as I was going through a Negro camp near Howard's Slope, a Negro woman out on the porch at her home, all bent over and leaning on a broomstick, said, "Oh Doctor, do something for me, I've got a spine in my back!" There was a certain Negro man who, every time I would meet him, would make some complaint and want some medicine. I was satisfied he would not take it but would throw it away. I decided I would cure him of this malingering. So the next time he came making his complaints, I fixed up a dose I knew would make him sick. I told him this was an emergency case and that he must take this medicine immediately and made him take it in my presence. This was the last time I was bothered by this Negro man.
I had made up my mind that one day I would quit the general practice of medicine and specialize in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. So to prepare myself for this work I went to New Orleans, taking my family but leaving Ivy and Pauline in school, where a six week course in the eye, ear, nose, and throat was offered at Tulane University. This was in the spring of 1906. The Mardi Gras celebration came off while we were there. Bill, Jr. was four years old. He had a great time.
The Jr. Order of American Mechanics was the only lodge in Cardiff and it had a large membership. I joined this lodge so as to make friends and meet the miners on a common level. I found that it paid a large dividend.
While at Cardiff we organized a Christian Church. With the help of the Rockwood church, we erected a nice church building. While at Cardiff, with a view of locating in Harriman when we left there, we had a residence built under the supervision of my father-in-law, Capt. I.A. Hill, on the corner of Carter and Cumberland Street. We moved from Cardiff into this house in December 1910. It was here that our fourth child, Nancy Pearl, was born on March 26, 1912. We lived there until after the death of Capt. Hill, when wanting to keep the old home place on Morgan Street in the family, it was suggested that I buy it. I did and it has been our home ever since.
After moving the family to Harriman, but before opening an office, I went to Philadelphia to take another course in my special field of practice. After returning from Philadelphia, I opened up an office in the Roberts Building, which was newly built. I found it impossible to pull away immediately from the families I had served when in general practice, but had to do so gradually before I could confine my work to my specialty. When that terrible dark period in our nation's history, when that virulent type of influenza swept over the country during World War I, which caused the death of so many people it was difficult to get caskets to bury them in, many of the doctors were in the army and those that were here were inadequate to meet the situation. I closed my office and got out to assist in the emergency. I worked day and night until my physical endurance failed. I took the telephone receiver down and went to bed. I couldn't begin to respond to all the calls. At Coalfield, a mining town nearby, they couldn't get medical service and a whole family of four were found dead.
When the war was over and peace was restored, the League of Nations was formed and people believed that it was the war to end wars. But since we have found out, to our sorrow, that it was a false delusion. Anyway, there was a period of rest from war. The soldiers returned home and business settled down as usual. My practice in my specialty continued uninterruptedly for over twenty years. When Dr. Yeargan, after the downtown fire in 1939, rebuilt his drug store and the offices above, I moved into one of his rooms upstairs.
Then I found that my hearing was failing. I could have, with the use of a hearing aid, gotten along with my practice all right, but later on I discovered that my vision was growing dim and no lens would help it. I consulted specialists in Knoxville and Nashville but they gave me no satisfaction in regard to my trouble. Finally I went to Memphis to see Dr. Elliott, a national authority on the eye. He kept me at his office a whole day and after his thorough examination told me I had degeneration of the macula of the retina in both eyes and nothing could be done for it. He fit me with a strong convex lens for my right eye, which is my best eye, and put an opaque glass over the left. I am able to read slowly.
Of course this put an end to my career in my chosen life work. I was preparing to retire and dispose of my equipment when while walking across the street in front of my home, I was struck by a car, which broke my right leg. This was on the 10th day of March 1949. I was in the hospital off and on for a year and recovered with a fairly good limb. No limp of any kind. Since then I have been at home reading and trying to keep up with world current events. Being in good physical condition, I am enjoying home life with my family. Also my church work.
This is the story of my life to the present time--January 17, 1955. I know not what the future of my earthly existence has in store for me, but I am resigned to whatever my lot may be and am anxiously waiting to be freed from this afflicted body of mine that I may pass through the gate of life eternal and be with my loved ones gone before where I can greet and converse with them with normal eyes and ears.
OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN
Ivy Hill was born March 19, 1893, at Whiteside, Marion County, Tennessee, while her father was physician and surgeon for the Aetna Coal Co.
When she was three years old, her parents went to Atlanta to attend the Cotton States Exposition in 1896 and took her with them. That was before the days of automobiles; we had to go on the railroad. The morning we went down to Atlanta, Ivy was the center of attraction on that crowded coach. She went up and down the isle, between the seats, singing "Bicycle Built for Two". When they got to the Exposition grounds, her parents put her in the nursery, but she wouldn't stay. She would stay with her parents and they had a hard time trying to keep up with her. While they were looking at the exhibits, she would get out of sight and sometimes it took them quite a while to find her.
She got her first schooling under her paternal grandmother, Mary Hill, while she was teaching at Whitwell.
By the time the family moved to Cardiff, Roane County, Tennessee, where their father was physician and surgeon for the Brown Mining Company, both Ivy and her younger sister, Pauline, were of school age. But the public school at Cardiff was inadequate and so they were placed in the American Temperence University at Harriman under the supervision of Prof. Roberts. They would stay with their maternal grandparents, Capt. and Mrs. I.A. Hill during school days and come home to spend the weekend at Cardiff.
Ivy completed the public school in the Harriman school system, went to Lexington, Kentucky and entered Hamilton College for Girls. Besides taking the regular course of study there, she also had lessons in voice culture. She attended one term there. When she returned to Harriman, Miss Dorothy Tarwater was teaching a class in voice training, which she attended. Altogether she acquired a splendid soprano voice.
It was purely by accident that she got started in her remarkably successful career as a kindergarten teacher. It was this way. She was teaching a class of 4 and 5 year old youngsters in Sunday School, and their parents noticing how much attached they became to her and how she got them interested, they suggested she set up a kindergarten class, saying that they wanted to send their children to her. She finally decided to follow their suggestion and make the venture. Her class was small at first--requiring only one session in the forenoon but it gradually grew through the years, until now she has two classes--one forenoon and one in the afternoon--22 in a class; besides she always has quite a number of applicants on the waiting list--waiting for a vacancy.
She has a natural talent for the management of children and earning their affections, and loving each of them fully.
Pauline Hill was born September 3, 1896, at Aetna, Marion County, Tennessee. She attended several private schools in Harriman, Tennessee. She enrolled in Harriman High School as a senior and graduated in 1914. Her interests were then directed to music. She studied piano and voice but majored in violin, studying under Mrs. S.W. Gentry of Harriman and J.O. Cadek, president and head of Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga. She taught violin and directed an orchestra at Harriman High School for several years, continuing until her marriage to William R. Massey of Chattanooga on October 5, 1922. She continued her study of violin at Cadek Conservatory after her marriage and was a member of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra in 1923.
Pauline and Bill lived in Chattanooga for five years where Bill was employed by Southern Railway as Chief Clerk to Engineer of Maintenance of Way, Secretary to Executive General Agent and Chief Clerk to Superintendent of Transportation. They moved to Harriman in 1927 to become associated with W.W. Hill, Jr. and wife Marguerite in the publishing of the Harriman Record, a weekly newspaper. In February 1934 Bill was appointed postmaster at Harriman under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He is holding the position at the present time (1955).
Pauline was elected to the position of visiting teacher of the Harriman City Schools in 1946 and is still serving in this position now (1955).
To this union were born two children: Margaret Kendrick (Kay) on May 6, 1926, and Charles Litton on July 23, 1929.
Margaret Kendrick Massey, our first grandchild, was born on May 6, 1926 in Chattanooga. In 1927, when she was one year old, the family moved to Harriman and it was in Harriman that she attended her Aunt Ivy's kindergarten and received her grammar and high school education. She was an outstanding student throughout her schooling in Harriman, always on the Honor Roll and a member of the Beta Club.
She was named for her maternal grandmother, Margaret Kendrick Hill, and was referred to by her family in her early years as Margaret K. But this name was more than her younger brother could handle so she became known simply by her middle initial, K.
After Kay graduated from Harriman High School, she went to Stephens College, a popular school for girls in Columbia, Missouri. She attended there one year and then, desiring to enter religious work, entered the next year the Cincinnati Bible Seminary.
About the same time, William H. Mayfield was discharged from the Army where he served for five years during World War II. He also enrolled that same year in the Cincinnati Bible Seminary. He was born in 1922 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he spent his boyhood days, graduating from Will Rogers High School in 1940.
These two students at the Seminary met and immediately became deeply attached to each other. They were married in May 1946 at the First Christian Church in Harriman, the pastor, H.E. Weaver performing the ceremony.
After their marriage they rented an apartment in Cincinnati and resumed their studies at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. They continued there until they got their A.B. degrees in 1948. After graduation, Mr. Mayfield accepted a call to the ministry at the Ellettsville, Indiana Christian Church. While serving this church, both he and Kay entered Butler University School of Religion in Indianapolis. They would go to Indianapolis to school through the week and return to Ellettsville on the weekends. They continued this schedule until they both obtained their Masters degrees. In the meantime, Bill finished his B.D. thesis and received this degree from the Cincinnati Bible Seminary. In 1951 he enrolled in the University of Indiana for further graduate work and in 1953 he received his Ph.D. degree.
They served the church at Ellettsville from September 1949 to March 1954, when they accepted the call to the Highland Park Christian Church in Chattanooga where they are presently situated.
Kay and Bill have brought my first great-grandchildren into the world--all girls: Billie Ann, born February 10, 1950; Jerrie Kay and Jackie Lynn (twins), born December 9, 1952.
Charles Litton Massey was born July 23, 1929, at Harriman, Tennessee. His father, Bill Massey, had recently become a partner with his uncle, Bill Hill, in publishing the Harriman Record. When he and his mother came home from the hospital, the family moved into their new home at 520 Trenton Street.
Charles, who was named for his father's brother, acquired the nickname "Chuicy" during his boyhood. He was educated in his Aunt Ivy's kindergarten and in the Harriman public schools. Unlike his sister, he had little interest in either academic or musical endeavors and was more interested in sports. He participated in both high school football and basketball, the only athletics the school offered, and engaged in swimming, tennis, and golf at every opportunity. He also loved the outdoors and became involved in Scouting.
After his graduation from Harriman High School in 1947, Charles entered Tennessee Tech in Cookeville where he majored first in Physical Education, then Accounting. In his third year he transferred to the University of Tennessee where he majored in Retailing. During this period, he began dating Bobbie Crass of Harriman who he had known in high school. They fell in love and on April 13, 1951, they were married at First Christian Church in Harriman by his brother-in-law, Bill Mayfield.
In June 1951, Charles graduated from the University and immediately went to work for TVA at the Kingston Steam Plant, which was under construction. At that time our nation was engaged in the Korean War. In July Charles received notice that he had been drafted into the Army but chose instead to enlist in the Air Force. He was inducted in August and after basic training in Texas was sent in November for additional training in Denver where Bobbie joined him. They then moved to Albuquerque, N.Mex. where he was assigned to Kirkland Air Force Base to work in Cost and Budgeting.
In May 1954, Charles was reassigned to Chateauroux Air Force Base in Chateauroux, France. Bobbie joined him there in June and they will be living there until his tour of duty ends in May of this year (1955). He has attained the rank of S/Sgt. and intends to reenter the University of Tennessee to do graduate work in Economics after his discharge.
Charles and Bobbie have one child, Susan Crass, who was born in Albuquerque on November 2, 1953.
WILLIAM WALTER, JR.
William Walter Hill, Jr., our third child, was born on December 10, 1902 at Cardiff, Roane County, Tennessee. He was known as Bill Hill all through his life. He attended the public school at Cardiff taught by Mark Morrison, brother of Garnett Morrison.
When he was four years old, he went with his parents to New Orleans where his father took some post graduate work at the Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital of Tulane University. We were there six weeks and Bill had the time of his life on the street cars; he would imitate the railroad train; he would be the engine; he would be the wheel; he would blow the whistle; and imitate the steam exhaust.
On Sunday afternoon he would go with his parents to visit places of picturesque beauty and historic interest along the Gulf Coast, where such places abound. One Sunday we spent at Biloxi, Mississippi, formerly the home of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Southern Confederacy. Each Sunday we would visit one of these places of interest.
During our stay in New Orleans, the famous Mardi Gras celebration came off when the streets are crowded and one would have to elbow his way through the jam. We had a hard time holding on to Bill. We finally got to a good position where we watched the procession go by. All these things Bill enjoyed immensely.
When the family moved to Harriman the latter part of December, 1910, Bill was eight years old and immediately entered the city school. After graduating from Harriman High School he enrolled as a student at Milligan College near Johnson City, Tennessee, where he continued for four years, receiving his A.B. degree in 1925.
At the graduation exercises there was a representative from the Consolidated Coal Company in Jenkins, Kentucky, present seeking a teacher to take the principalship of the public schools there. Bill was recommended for the place which he filled for two years, one year as assistant principal, the other as principal.
While Bill was at Jenkins he met Marguerite Clark, who was also a teacher in the school. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Clark, of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. Marguerite graduated from Transylvania College in Lexington in the class of 1924 and was on the faculty of the Jenkins school for three years. She and Bill were married on December 31, 1927.
In June 1927, Bill Hill and his brother-in-law, Bill Massey, purchased the weekly newspaper in Harriman known as The Harriman Record. It had been published in the early days of Harriman by W.M. Featherly and at his retirement because of advanced years, several public spirited Harriman, not wanting Harriman to be without a newspaper, organized a stock company and bought the plant from Mr. Featherly. The company was not too successful in running the paper not being able to secure the right one to take charge and had considerable debt. Believing that if properly managed the publication could be made a paying investment, I induced my son, Bill, and son-in-law, Bill Massey, to assume the indebtedness and take over the paper, which the stockholders gladly turned over to them.
The two Bills continued as partners until Bill Massey was appointed postmaster in Harriman soon after the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president in 1932. At that time Bill Hill bought Bill Massey's interest in the paper and he and his wife published the paper successfully until 1949.
During his ownership, Bill replaced the old equipment with modern machinery until he had one of the best equipped newspapers and commercial plants in the state.
In the summer of 1949 Bill was approached by Walter Pulliam, who had been connected with the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Washington Post, with a view of buying the Harriman Record. Bill was in the process of making the sale of his newspaper to Mr. Pulliam when he was seized with a heart attack on September 29, 1949, which proved fatal. Marguerite finished the trade with Mr. Pulliam and has continued to work with the paper since that time.
Bill and Marguerite were always active in the Christian Church, both having taught Sunday School classes. Bill, at the time of his death, had been an elder for a number of years, being the youngest elder at the time of his ordination.
Bill and Marguerite had one daughter, Betsy Ann, born in Harriman on December 23, 1928.
Betsy Ann Hill, our second grandchild, was born in Harriman on December 23, 1928. She was educated in her Aunt Ivy's kindergarten and in Harriman's public schools where she was an excellent student. Her avid interest in music was manifested in her skill as timpanist and drummer with the Harriman High School band and in her study of piano and viola.
After graduating from Harriman High School in 1946, Betsy entered the University of Tennessee and after four years there received her A.B. degree in 1950. She was employed by Carbide and Carbon Chemical Corporation in Oak Ridge for almost a year.
On September 1, 1951, she married Thomas Van Horn Wheeler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Wheeler of Peekskill, NY, now living in Los Angeles, California. Tom graduated from Maryville College, received his M.A. degree from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1955. In September of that year he accepted a position as instructor in the English Department of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he and Betsy are now residing.
While Tom was working on his Ph.D. at Chapel Hill, Betsy was secretary to Mr. Sam Seldon, head of the Dramatics Department of the University.
Nancy Pearl Hill, our fourth child, was born in Harriman on March 26, 1912. She was educated in the public schools there and upon her graduation from Harriman High School in 1928 decided upon teaching as a career. She entered the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she majored in History.
After attaining her B.A. degree at UT in 1932, Nancy began a successful career in the elementary and middle schools in Harriman. After a number of years there, she accepted a position as teacher of mathematics at South Harriman High School where she also coached the girls' basketball team.
Nancy remained at South Harriman until 1950, when she was offered the position of Director of Social and Welfare Services for Roane County. She accepted the offer and thus, at the age of 38, began her second career. Nancy has excelled in this position for she has a natural feeling of compassion for those less fortunate in our society.
Dr. W.W. Hill, my grandfather, was almost 70 years old when I was born. For many people, reaching the age of 70 means the end of useful work, retirement, and perhaps even a life of senility and loneliness. Not so with Dr. Hill. He still had 20 working years ahead of him, not only in his profession as a specialist in the eye, ear, nose, and throat, but also in his work with the church. I remember my surprise when I got older to learn that some people quit work at 60 or 65 years of age.
"Doctor" was an inspiration to me throughout my boyhood and young manhood. He stood as a tower of strength at the head of his family, a leader in the church, and a highly respected citizen in the community. I am grateful to him for providing that image of stability and strength.
How well I remember the evenings we spent during my boyhood at the home of our grandparents on Morgan Street. Kay, Betsy, and I would be free to engage ourselves as we pleased while Dad and Aunt Ivy teamed up against Mother and "Doctor" in a cutthroat game of Pollyanna. "Champions!", Doctor would shout as the last red or yellow piece found its way home, leaving the blues and greens with moves still to go. I remember, too, those annual Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day dinners, prepared with such skill by my grandmother. But it was "Doctor", at the head of the table, that seemed to pull the family together.
I remember him at a familiar place, serving as elder at the communion table at church. He served the church well for 60 years--as elder, Chairman of the Board, Sunday School Superintendent, and teacher. On October 9, 1955, he was honored with the office of "Lifetime Elder" in a special service at the church. During this service, he was presented scores of letters and telegrams from all over the country citing his work with the church and as a physician.
On Sunday, November 27, 1955, "Doctor" attended services at church that morning but complained of a cold. Through the week, his condition worsened. On Thursday, December 1, he complained of lung congestion and was taken to the hospital shortly after noon. Through the afternoon, he remained alert and chatted with the family but at 8:45 he suffered a heart attack and died.
Dr. Hill is buried at Oak Grove Cemetary in Rockwood, Tennessee.
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