The Heritage of Daniel Haston


History of White County, Tennessee
By Rev. Monroe Seals

Chapter VII - White County Today
(At Time Seals Wrote - 1930s)

In this chapter it is the purpose to give a brief survey of the principal institutions and industries of the County.


The total population of White County according to the census of 1930, was 15,543. Of this number only 49 were foreign born, while the total negro population was 785. The rest of the people in the County are mainly descended from the first settlers. White County was settled mainly from Virginia and the Carolinas. The racial stock is overwhelmingly Irish and Scotch with a small sprinkling of English, Welsh, and French. In 1810 the population of the County was 4,028. By 1850 it had reached 11,444. This slow growth in population is accounted for from the fact that since 1820, there has been a slow movement westward of White County people, so that White Countians and White County descendents are found in nearly every community westward to the Pacific Ocean. Sparta had a population in 1930 of 2,211.

The Masonic Lodges of Sparta

On the night of March 20, 1820, Nathan Haggard presided as Master of the first Masonic meeting held in White County and gave the Lodge a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Grand Master Oliver Bliss Hayes authorizing the Lodge of Sparta to organize and hold meetings in Sparta as Lodge No. 32, the dispensation was dated February 5, 1820, Nathan Haggard to act as Master, William H. Campbell, Senior Warden, John J. Farmer, Junior Warden, and these others, Jesse H. Vermillion, Adam Huntsman, William Mitchell, George Ailsworth, and George W. Eastman. Haggard was the pioneer lawyer of White County. He and his partner, Nelson, founded the Sparta Review, the first newspaper in the County, in 1822. The first Lodge when its charter list was complete consisted of Nathan Haggard, William Campbell, John K. Farmer, William Mitchell, Adam Huntsman, Jacob A. Lane, George Ailsworth, John C. McLemore, and Jesse H. Vermillion. The charter from the Grand Lodge was received on October 3, 1820. Officers were elected December 8, 1820. At an early meeting Jacob A. Lane was elected a member and a Committee on By-Laws reported. April 17, 1820, two petitions were received, Levi Oliver, a brick mason, and Dr. Madison Fisk. Some other early Masons were Richard Nelson, Archibald Overton, Jesse Lincoln, John Catron, Samuel Turney, and John H. Anderson.

The charter to this old lodge was surrendered and for a number of years there was no Masonic Lodge in the County. Under the leadership of Dr. W. S. Findley the Sparta Lodge was reorganized soon after the Civil War as Sparta Lodge No. 99. At the present time the Lodge is in flourishing condition. The following are the officers, John Snodgrass, Worshipful Master; Claude Austin, Senior Warden; Walter Fowler, Junior Warden; James Snodgrass, Senior Deacon; Quill Cope, Junior Deacon; C. G. Bostick, Treasurer, and J. T. R. Dillon, Secretary. There is also a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Sparta. The other Masonic Lodges in White County at the present time are Doyle Lodge No. 522 and Bon Air Lodge No. 611. There was for more than fifty years a Masonic Lodge at Cherry Creek, but in 1934 this Lodge surrendered its charter and was consolidated with the Lodge at Sparta.


In another chapter is given an historical statement of the churches of White County. In this chapter the purpose is to give a brief statement about some of the churches which have a definite program.

Churches of Sparta

Methodist Episcopal South. Numerically the Southern Methodist Church in Sparta is the largest church in town. The minister is Rev. B. F. Isom who is now serving his first year as pastor of this church. The church is very efficient in its organization, has a good Sunday School with C. T. Mayberry as Superintendent, an
Epworth League, Woman's Missionary Society, and the other societies usually found in connection with
a church of this type.

Church of Christ. This church has a large membership and a very active congregation. The Minister is Elder A. R. Hill, who is now serving his first year as minister in this church. Dr. E. F. Richards is Superintendent of the Sunday School. In addition to the ministry of its own congregation this church through its members does a considerable relief work and ministers to some of the other congregations in the County.

Presbyterian. This church is the oldest church counting from its first organization in Sparta and was for a generation the only church in Sparta. Rev. G. D. Robison is the minister. Professor J. Arliss Passons is Superintendent of the Sunday School. The church has a Young Peoples Society, a Westminster Guild, a Woman's Missionary Society, and a Men's Brotherhood. The minister is at the present time the Moderator of Cumberland Mountain Presbytery, and the Alternate Commissioner Elect to the General Assembly.

Baptist. The minister of this church is Rev. F. M. Dowell, Jr. The congregation is just now building a beautiful new stone church. Charles Nelson is the Superintendent of the Sunday School. The church also has a B. Y. P. U. Society, and a Woman's Missionary Society, and other organizations for young people.

First Christian Church. The minister of this church is Rev. John T. Meadows, who is serving his first year as minister of this church. This is the youngest congregation in the town. Has an organized Sunday School with M. C. Wallace superintendent. It does its mission work, home and foreign, through its Womans' Council. It also has a Christian Endeavor connected with the National Organization.

The Church of the Nazarene. The minister of this church is Rev. S. W. Turner. The church has a Sunday School, a Young People's Organization and carries on a Missionary Program. H. C. Greene is Superintendent of the Sunday School.

Outside of Sparta some of the outstanding churches with a regular program are the following: Mount Gilead, which is the oldest Southern Methodist Church in the County, has a live Sunday School and regular preaching service. Shady Grove, another Southern Methodist Church, has a similar program, as has also Mount Carmel, Dodson's Chapel, Mount Pisgah, and Doyle Methodist Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church has two churches in the County at each of which is carried on a good program of church work. These are Peeled Chestnut and the church in Wild Cat Cove. The Baptist Church in Doyle has a good church program with a good Sunday School and other organizations and a resident minister who also carries on an extension program. The Congregational Church has a larger parish organization with a splendid parish program and a staff of competent church workers. The center of this large parish is Pleasant Hill in Cumberland County, but the
following places in White County are included in this larger parish: Bon Air, DeRossett, Ravenscroft, Eastland, Clifty, and Mobray. The executive of this larger parish is Dr. Edwin E. White who has written some delightful books and who is widely known. He lives at Pleasant Hill. The Presbyterian Church in Hickory Valley has a resident minister, Rev. Ura A. Brogden, a Sunday School, Woman's Missionary Society, Young People's Organization, and has three out stations connected with it. In the territory north of Sparta is a Presbyterian larger parish, the first larger parish organized in the South, composed of the following churches: Blue Spring, Spring Hill, Johnson Church, Cherry Creek and Robinson Chapel. In this parish is a Parish Council composed of the following members: For Blue Spring, G. S. Pennington, for Cherry Creek, G. T. Morris, for Spring Hill, Reed Hale, for Johnson Church, Robert Henry, and for Robinson Chapel, J. J. Robinson. This Council directs the policy of the parish, though each church has its own officers. The chief minister of the parish since 1917 has been Paul E. Doran and his assistants are now Paul McCormick and Ura A Brogden. This is the largest parish in the point of membership in the County. The parish house and office is at Blue Spring. New churches have been built this year at Johnson and a beautiful stone building at Blue Spring.


Broadway of America. This road was designated to be a road running through Knoxville to Nashville by the state of North Carolina in 1785. Soldiers were furnished to escort people over the mountain because it was so full of travelers and as a result robbers and hostile Indians beset it. It was piked from Knoxville to Nashville about 1828, and became a link in a national highway. It was by far the most traveled road across from the East to the West and was called the gateway. Indian trails and this road was the way almost all of our settlers came. Robert Burke piked the road from Rockwood, then in White County, to Bon Air; Barlow Fisk, Charles Barker Lowery and Daniel Clark piked from Bon Air to Smithville and a Mr. Waters piked it on to Lebanon and to
Nashville. A road also ran by McMinnville to Nashville over which mail was carried as well as by Smithville. Sam Clenny, aged fifteen, carried the first mail over the mountain in 1826, coaches carrying the mail after they came. The old stable near the Rock House was built soon after the road was piked. This road was traveled so much that from fifty to a hundred wagons could be seen coming down the mountain at a time with trees tied behind for brakes.

A road with stage coaches on it carrying sixteen or seventeen inside and outside went by McMinnville and another ran the old Kentucky Road. William Price, a Revolutionary war veteran, kept a hotel on it at the old Linn place. Barlow Fisk ran the Fisk Inn at the top of the mountain. The old road through Sparta was the most traveled road crossing the mountain. It was a pike with stage coaches. It was the only road crossing the mountains that was passable in fall, winter and spring. This was the road over which Jackson traveled to Washington.

The economic value of this road to White County cannot be over-estimated. In the early days the immense travel from the East moving over this road left a golden thread on the way. Merchants and inn and hotel keepers along the road reaped a fortune. What is now the Broadway of America was begun as a modern project in 1918 as a County Unit to help complete a road from Memphis to Bristol. The road was completed in 1923. This is now a national highway beginning at Battery Park, New York, and going to San Diego, California.

Sparta-Cookeville Road. The road from Sparta to Cookeville was surveyed in 1823 by Moses Fisk and was named by him the Meridian Road, but the people generally called it the Fisk Road. It is now a State Highway.

In 1897 the County built hard roads, appropriating sixty thousand dollars, then later finishing them with another appropriation of fifty thousand dollars. J. D. Goff was then the County Judge. J. R. Lee, Franklin Wilhite, and Perry Officer were the Committee to build the roads. Officer did the engineering. The road beds were laid off twelve feet wide which was soon found to be too narrow. This program of road building had some opposition at first, but it seemed largely to disappear when it was seen how small the increase in taxes was for road purposes. A few years ago with the advent of the automobile a new interest in road building was created and the County bonded itself for road purposes, then came the gasoline tax to supplement the road funds, then road building on a large scale was begun. Sparta now has seven hard roads passing through it. In all there are more than three hundred miles of good roads in White County, which is more than half the total road mileage in the County. The dirt roads in the County are for the most part neighborhood roads.


Sparta has two excellent hotels and some inns and private boarding houses. The Rhea House was originally built for a branch of the State Bank. During the many years the Rhea House has run as a hotel it has enjoyed a fine patronage of the traveling public and has been through all the years a kind of family hotel as well, many of the business and professional men and women of Sparta making their homes there. A number of famous men and women from the outside have spent a while at the Rhea House. James Whitcomb Riley once spent a part of the summer there, and while there wrote some of his best known poems, among them being, so it is said,
"The Old Swimming Hole" and "An Old Sweetheart of Mine." Opie Reed spent a summer at the Rhea House once and while here wrote probably his most famous novel, "The Jucklins." It is said also that he gathered the material for '' The Waters of Caney Fork" while here. At present it is owned by Mrs. Stanton Dibrell, and the managers are her son and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Dibrell, Jr.

The Lee Hotel is probably the costliest hotel building in this section of the State. It was built by Lee Brothers a few years ago. The manager is Mr. and Mrs. Will F. Lee. Being located on the Broadway of America it enjoys a good patronage.

In addition to these good hotels Sparta has a number of tourist homes and private inns. Among these are, Fancher Tourist Home, Wilhite Tourist, Willbanks Corner, Maple Shade, Mountain View Tourist Home, and the Marchbanks Tourist Home. There are also hotels and inns in Walling, Quebec, Doyle, Clarktown, and Bon Air.

Towns and Villages

There are three former White County villages that have now disappeared. These are River Hill, which once had two stores, a cotton gin, a school, a negro church and a doctor's office and a blacksmith shop. This is now an open country community. Mitchell's Mill once had a grist mill, flour mill, cotton gin, furniture factory, sawmill, planing mill, shingle mill, store and pulp mill. All these are now gone. Old Bon Air had a post office and a great tourist hotel and what else we do not know.

The towns and villages of today are Sparta, Doyle, Onward, Quebec, Walling, Fall City, Bon Air, DeRossett, Ravenscroft, Eastland, Clifty, and Clarktown. Sparta of course is the chief town of the County, being the County site and the business and professional center of the County. The County High School is located here and the town is incorporated and has its own police force and fire company and maintains its own school system. In addition to the excellent grammar school for white children there is Rosenwald school for colored children with a college man at its head. In recent years Sparta has become a small manufacturing center. The town has a band, Music Club, a Young Business Girls' Club, which has as its objective the establishment of a public library in the Community Building which is now under construction, a Woman's Club, which has several different departments, Civitan Club, besides fraternal lodges, and other social clubs. Doyle is the home of the Burrough-Taylor Factory, has a good school, three churches, and a number of business enterprises. Onward was once the site of a famous school, Onward Seminary. This school has long ago disappeared and Onward now has only a public school. It is now little more than open country. Quebec was once the site of a normal college. It still has a large lumber interest and other good business enterprises and a good public school. Walling has a good public school, some tourist homes, stores and other business enterprises and near there are some summer camps. Fall City has a great dam, one of the greatest in America when it was built, and generates electricity for the Tennessee Electric Power Company. It is also a pleasure resort with a number of good boarding houses and inns and cottages. The modern Bon Air was made by the coal interests and is still a large mining camp. The most of the workers work at Ravenscroft. It is the property of the Tennessee Products Corporation. It has a goods school, a baseball park, a commissary and one of the company doctors lives there. DeRossett is a thriving little village with two churches, a school, a tourist camp, and a number of stores and other business enterprises. Ravenscroft is now the largest mining camp on the mountain. It has a commissary, the offices of the Tennessee Products Corporation, a school, and one of the company doctors lives there. Eastland is a mining camp where once were located a great number of coke ovens. These are no longer in operation. The coal and lumber interest here have declined in recent years, but there are several hundred people who still live at Eastland. Many of these still find employment with the Tennessee Products Corporation. Still others find employment in other places. Clifty was at one time called the model mining camp of the South, in those days the mines were running full force, the town had an excellent club house, school, and public library. For the last few years there has been little mining here, and the lumber interests have not been large and the town has declined, but there is still a fine population there and farming operations are
increasing. Clarktown has for many years been a health resort. It is famous for its water and its healthful location. Many people from a distance come here to spend the summer.


Insurance. The White County Mutual Fire Insurance Company was organized July 14, 1923, with T. H.
Fancher, President, Henry Verble, Vice-President, S. B. Johnson, Secretary, and John Brock, Treasurer, and with a Board of Directors of twelve. They began business with fifty-five thousand dollars of insurance, but reached one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars by the end of the first year. This company is a local assessment company. A small payment in premium is made at the time one insures and when a loss occurs, an assessment on all the members is made with which to care for the loss. The other companies operating in White County are Bostick & Potter who are agents for old line life insurance and a number of standard fire insurance companies. They also carry automobile liability insurance. They also are agents for two large bonding companies. The managers of this firm are Charles G. Bostick and Thomas K. Potter. S. R. Ware Agency handle bonds, fire and life insurance, and are real estate agents. Commander A. G. Dibrell is the manager. Gleason Officer specializes in fire insurance. Miller and Davis also specialize in fire insurance. Tom Miller is the manager. Sims and Smartt specialize in farm insurance and life insurance. The managers of this firm are Mark Sims and Richard Smartt.

Burroughs and Taylor Factory. In 1876 a factory for making cloth was organized by J. W. Taylor and J. Taylor. It was incorporated in 1890 as Burroughs and Taylor Company. At that time it added the garment making industry, having previously made cloth only. The annual output is now from one hundred and twenty-five thousand to two hundred thousand, consisting of men's pants and work suits. The company employs eighty-five persons annually. It is now located at Doyle, the cave plant being abandoned because of the dam at
Fall City. J. M. Taylor operates the plant.

Sparta Spoke Factory. The Sparta Spoke Factory is due almost entirely to the energy and business ability of J. R. Tubb. At various times since its organization the company has had mills located at various places where spokes were club turned partly turned and then brought to Sparta to be finished. The mill at Sparta buys great quantities of timber to be delivered at its plants here and which are made as a finished product. It is the largest spoke factory in the world. It ships spokes to Europe. In some years they finish as many as two million spokes a year. The company has brought into the County more than a million dollars. This has been of great advantage to small farmers having a little timber and who in cutting their firewood could sell the saleable part of the trees to the spoke factory.

Sparta-Welwood Silk Mills, Inc. In 1920, largely due to the activity of the Civitan Club, one of the units of the Welwood Silk Mill was located at Sparta. Sparta and White County furnished the capital for the erection of the plant. Since that time the mill has been running almost continuously, even during the worst depression years it was kept running. Its pay roll was during those years of inestimable value in the stabilizing of life in Sparta. The mill operates on a twenty-four hour schedule. It employs several hundred hands and weaves several hundred yards of broad silk a week. The raw silk is imported principally from Japan.

Sparta Manufacturing Company. In 1902 W. H. Hudgens organized the Sparta Manufacturing Company. It was at first a cabinet shop. Business was enlarged in 1915, and at its best it has employed as high as thirty-five men, and has produced as high as one hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of goods in a year. At its best its payroll has been as high as six hundred dollars a month. Most of their products have been sold in this County. They have made various types of furniture, truck bodies, and have done truck repairing and refinishing work. They also do repair work on radios and phonographs, and carry a full line of household furnishing goods.

John I. Shafer Hardwood Co. The John I. Shafer Hardwood Company, one of the largest Lumber Companies in the United States, has yards and offices in Sparta, under the management of Mr. H. N. Clouse, a native White Countian. The John I. Shafer Hardwood Co. has yards in Louisville, Kentucky, Logansport, Indiana, Ozark, Alabama and Sparta, Tennessee. For many years the Shafer Company has specialized in Appalachian Furniture and Automobile stock and has furnished millions and millions of feet of White County lumber to the largest Automobile manufacturers in the United States. Many of the cars of today are built with materials from our County, and much of the fine furniture is built from Tennessee Appalachian Maple and Walnut. Mr. H. N. Clouse 's son, E. C. Clouse, has charge of their Ozark, Alabama, yards.

Sparta Laundry. In 1928 Joe Mitchell established the Sparta Laundry. It is equipped with the best modern equipment and is sufficiently large to handle all the laundry that may come to it. It gives employment to a number of people and is an asset to the business interest of Sparta. It is now owned by Gordon Wallace.

Modern Dry Cleaners. A. D. Brown equipped a modern dry cleaning establishment in Sparta in 1920. It
is one of the best equipped plants of its kind in the State. It enjoys a good patronage.

Handle Factory. The Turner, Day and Welworth Factory at Sparta makes all kinds of handles. The cost of raw material runs from, about three hundred to six hundred dollars a year, and the output has run as high as fifteen hundred dozen bundles a year.

Timber and Wood. The great forests of White County have for the most part been cut, but there is still considerable lumber and timber products manufactured in the County. The chief manufacturers aside from those mentioned above are the John I. Shafer Hardwood Company, Lee Lumber Company, E. E. Carter Lumber Company, and the Tennessee Saw & Planing Mill at Quebec. The Lee Lumber Company manufacture all kinds of lumber and have a cabinet shop and are retail dealers in all kinds of building supplies. John I. Shafer Hardwood Company has a unit at Sparta managed by H. N. Clouse and are manufacturers of hardwood lumber, particularly walnut, maple, oak, poplar and beech. E. E. Carter conducts a general lumber business and manufactures and sells all kinds of lumber. The mill at Quebec is owned and operated by Karl Cooper and makes a specialty of floors, though the company handles also other types of lumber and operates a cabinet shop. Besides these there are a number of small sawmills scattered over the County. Some of these are steam mills and some are operated with gasoline power. At various places in the County there are small cabinet shops where old furniture is remade and new furniture is built on a piece work basis. These are too numerous to list separately here.

Sparta Water Company. The Sparta Water Company has a reservoir one hundred by one hundred feet
supplied by a large spring. It has a capacity of a million gallons. It has a standpipe ninety feet tall and fifteen feet in diameter. It has at the present time four hundred and twenty customers. The manager is Mrs. Mary Kate England, there are two other persons employed by the company. It is owned by a St. Louis company.

Coal Mining. The chief coal mining interest in the County is operated by the Tennessee Products Corporation. This corporation was formed in 1917 by W. J. Cummings who bought the old Bon Air Coal & Iron Company and consolidated with the other large coal companies operating in the County. At its organization the corporation had for its officers James R. Oldfield, President, W. J. Cummins, Vice-President and General Manager, John McE. Bowman, Treasurer, Frederic Leake, Secretary, and William Wrigley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. In 1920 Dr. W. B. Young was made General Superintendent. He is now vice-president of the company. The different companies which entered into the formation of the corporation when its organization was completed in 1926 were the Bon Air Coal & Iron Corporation, the Chattanooga Coke and Gas Company, the J. J. Gray Iron Works, the Clifty Coal Company, and some smaller companies. Coal has been mined in White County since 1836, when Brice Little opened his mine five miles from Sparta. In 1902 the first shaft was sunk at Bon Air. The Tennessee Products Corporation owns a total of about one hundred and eighteen thousand acres and does a business of more than a million dollars a year. In addition to the Tennessee Products Corporation there are a number of small mines operated by individuals, among these are Fate Weaver, and Sam Breeding.

Farming has always been the chief industry of the County und the following statement of the agricultural interest in the County was furnished by H. W. Andrews, County Agent: White County has a general diversified farming system. The field crops are corn, hay, wheat, rye, oats and barley. (Value of grain crops, $604,548, in 1929.) The cash crops are burley tobacco (very fine quality); Nancy Hall sweet potatoes (12,000 bushels capacity curing house); Irish potatoes (mostly Irish cobblers); cotton, about 100 acres, fruits, vegetables and melons, locally sold; seed corn, fine quality; Korean lespedeza seed (mostly dodder free).

Live stock--hogs valued in 1929 at $91,000; beef cattle, both pastured and fed; dairy cattle (cream marketed at local creamery and cream stations and valued at $150,658 in 1929); sheep for wool, spring lambs and stockers. All cattle valued at $383,692 in 1929. Good mules and horses grown locally; also a large number of high class
Western mules brought here for farm use. Mules in County valued at $238,943 in 1929; horses and colts valued at $79,334.

Poultry--pure bred for hatching eggs, and marketing in cooperative shipments in car lots for live poultry, and to local produce people. Poultry valued at $132,674 in 1929, and eggs at $146,594.

Our hay crops are lespedeza, clover and grass, red top, timothy, alfalfa, soy beans, peas and wild hays, sorghum and corn stover for feed. Most of our hay and grain crops are marketed through livestock feeding. Practically no feed is shipped from this County. We grow almost anything in White County except tropical plants.

Timber and wood--about $159,000 worth sold in 1929.

Fairs--White County has one of the beat county agricultural fairs in the South. It has been termed by the Commissioner of Agriculture as the best balanced fair in Tennessee. This fair is run as a free fair, financed by County tax levy. The fair exhibits go from here to State Fairs and International Fairs, and have won thousands of premiums. Our farmers hold a number of championships on field seeds from the International Stock Show at Chicago.

County Agents--White County has had a County Home Demonstration Agent for about seventeen years and a County Agricultural Agent for about twenty years.

Tennessee Electric Power Company. On April 24, 1912, the Tennessee Electric Power Company was
organized. In that year the corporation got control of the property belonging to the Great Falls Power Company which had been organized fn 1901. This property was located on the White County side of the Great Falls of Caney Fork River. Soon after the incorporation of the Tennessee Power Company it began buying land and preparing plans for power development. Complete plans were drawn up for the construction of a dam and power house at Falls City. A force of men were put to work and the building of coffer dams, making excavations for the dams was begun, but a great food swept away the coffer dams be­ fore they were completed. In 1915 the Tennessee Power Company began work again and a forty foot dam was built. The demands for electrical energy increased and in 1923 the Tennessee Electric Power Company began the work of raising the dam. A new 20,107 horse power generator was installed and the old one was increased to 15,416 horse power, a new brick power house was erected and the reservoir was cleared. The work was completed in 1925.

Transmission lines have been built out of the Great Falls Power Station from time to time to serve communities in Middle and East Tennessee. The Smithville 11,000 volt line was constructed in 1919, the Sparta 11,000 volt line was constructed in 1923, the McMinnville 11,00 volt line in 1925, the Estell
Springs 44,000 volt line in 1927, and the 44,000 volt line to Sparta with 11,000 volt extension
to Mayland in 1929.

N. C. & St. L. Ry. The N. C. & St. L. Ry. was built in 1884. For a long time it was the largest tax payer in White County. Since the building of highways and the trucking interests were developed and bus lines were established the railroad has declined, but it is still a great industry in White County. It furnishes employment to a number of our citizens and is still used both for hauling passengers and freight. The express office in connection with the railroad office still does a large business. S. M. Arnold is the agent at Sparta.

Potter Freight Lines, Kelly Potter, Manager, was established in Sparta in 1930. They operate a fleet of freight trucks in all directions from Sparta.

Garages. Barr Chevrolet Company handle General Motors cars, have an excellent repair shop and a storage department. The manager is Clay Barr. Ford Motor Company, Manager, E. C. Trawick, sells Ford and Lincoln cars, has a repair shop and does a general storage business. Wall Motor Company, Jim Wall, Manager, handles Dodge and Plymouth cars, has an excellent repair shop and stores cars. Hudgens Motor Company, W. H. Hudgens, Manager, handles Plymouth cars and used cars of various types and operates a repair shop. S. O. Townsend operates a general motor repair shop. In addition to those listed in Sparta there are a number of car
repair shops in the County.

Banks. The First National Bank was first organized as a State Bank in 1807, became a national bank in 1886. It was one of the few banks in the State which was able to keep open in the Panic of 1907. It has a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars and more than a million dollars on deposit. Robert L. Hill is the president and R. L. Snodgrass is cashier. The bank employs six persons. The Commerce Union Bank was first organized in 1900 as the People Bank. In 1905 it became the American National Bank. In 1932 it became a branch bank of the Commerce Union Bank of Nashville, a link in a chain of banks with a capital stock of eight hundred thousand dollars. This bank has deposits of more than half a million dollars. T. K. Potter is manager of the Sparta branch, Hubbard Ray is cashier. The bank employs four people. The Peoples Bank & Trust
Company was organized in 1921. It has a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars. The President at the present time is Leslie Tubb, O. L. Davis, cashier.

Sparta enjoys the distinction of never having a bank failure.

Some of the Principal Stores in White County

There are five drug stores in White County. Gooch Brothers own and operate a drug store at Doyle and one in Sparta. Charles Nelson operates a drug store in Sparta; he also has a drug store in Spencer. The oldest druggist in Sparta in point of service is Casto Gist. The other drug store is the Royal, formerly Marchbanks Drug Company, but now operated by Dr. T. H. Alexander.

Funeral Directors. The undertaking business of Beecher Hunter is the oldest in this section of Tennessee. Mr. Hunter having begun business with his uncle, J. L. Quarles when he was a young man. The Goff Funeral Home has only recently been established. It has capable men in charge and is doing a growing business. Another undertaking establishment at Sparta recently organized is Thurman and Thurman.

Grocery Stores. Sparta has one large wholesale grocery company, Ragland Potter Company, of which W. O. Brown is the General Manager, and the following retail grocery stores: H. G. Hill, Gates Grocery Company, Knowles Grocery Company, and McDole Grocery. A number of other merchants carry staple and fancy groceries in connection with general merchandise. Sparta has one up-to-date fruit store, Grizzard's, which also carries staple and fancy groceries.

Some of the other important stores in Sparta arc the following: J. M. Smith & Company, Herbert West, and the Hutchings Brothers are among the largest produce dealers in this section of the State. The Nashville Pure Milk Company operate cream trucks all over the County. General merchants are, T. M. Bonner, S. C. Robinson, A. D. Waggoner, Floris Tompkins, Tubb's Variety Store, The Economy Store, Five to Five Store, Elkin's Hardware Company, Jenkins-Darwin, W. M. Mitchell, Little Hat Shop, White County Mercantile, W. M. Young Feed Store, Stacy Dry Goods Company, Marie Fashion Shop, Geer Brothers, Ernst Cooper, J. B. Dick & Company, B. K. Mitchell, M & H Hardware Company, Ellis Furniture Store, and Hershel Mitchell. Some of these merchants have been in Sparta long enough to become household words. C. G. Stacy has been selling goods in Sparta since 1881. Martin Young is a name long familiar to our people. There are a number of stores out in the County who do an annual business equal to some of the best of those in Sparta. Among these might be mentioned the Terry Company at Doyle, Hollaway at DeRossett, Slagle Brothers, Fred Huddleston, and Sam Cooper.

Sparta is well supplied with barber shops and beauty shops, the best known of these are the City Barber Shop, and Rush Miller Barber Shop. The beauty shops are, Ruby Ann Beauty Shop and Lee Beauty Shop.

Sparta is well supplied with restaurants and eating houses. The most popular of these being the Lee Hotel Coffee Shop, B. & B. Restaurant, and the Rhea House.

Sparta has two excellent weekly newspapers and printing shops. The Expositor has been running under the present management about twenty-one years. It occupies its own building, and has a good job print shop. It is owned by R. L. Sutton and wife. The Sparta News is owned and run by Brown Brothers who also do excellent job printing and binding.

Sparta has one excellent photographic studio, owned and operated by D. L. Johnson.

The Oldham Theatre is a motion picture house which is trying hard to give Sparta and White County clean pictures. Mr. James Cardwell is the manager.

Recreation Centers

In recent years White County has been forging ahead as a playground and recreational center. Some of the centers which have been established are educational as well as recreational. Perhaps the largest of these is Camp Bon Air under the supervision of Mr. E. L. Spain of Nashville. Various groups come to this camp every summer and some of them spend the summer there. The camp accommodates about two hundred. Vanderbilt University also maintains a camp chiefly for its surveying students at the Overton property at Bon Air. Near Walling is a camp of the Future Farmers of Tennessee. This camp combines recreation with real teaching in agriculture. Webb School also has a camp and summer school on the Caney Fork under the supervision of Mr. Will Webb and Mr. G. Webb Follin. A number of private individuals have cottages on: the Caney Fork in White County where they spend a part of each summer. Among these are Dr. James E. Clarke, on the editorial staff of the Presbyterian Tribune published in New York City, and George H. Mack, President of Missouri Valley College. Plans are under way now for the erection of the Sparta Recreational Camp. This will be one of the largest and finest camps in the County when completed.


There are at present no private schools in White County, but the County has a good system of public schools. Heading the system of public schools is the White County High School which was established in 1910 under the administration of Miss Ella Snodgrass as County Superintendent. C. G. Sipple was the first principal. The present faculty consists of the following: Walter Fowler, Principal; W. A. Walker, History; Claude Austin, Science; C. O. Jett, English; J. C. Fooshee, Mathematics; T. L. Leonard, Agriculture; Quill Cope, History and Science ; Kermit Keisling, Commercial; Mrs. Lena Walton, Music and French; Miss Bessie Mitchell, Latin; Miss Nan Grissom, Domestic Science.

Since 1914 the school has operated as a Class A High School under the State Department of Education. It is recognized as one of the best high schools in this section of the State and is the pride of the County. Through its department of agriculture it carries on an extension program in the County and conducts night classes for farmers at a number of places in the County. It also works through the Future Farmer organization.

The Superintendent of public instruction is Charles B. Johnson. Outside of Sparta there are something more than fifty schools. The schools on the mountain, Bon Air, Ravenscroft, Eastland and Clifty are run by the County in cooperation with the Tennessee Products Corporation which supplements the public funds in support of these schools. The consolidated school movement has made considerable progress in White County in recent years and the County has consolidated schools employing from two to five teachers at the following places, Quebec, Doyle, Hickory Valley, Old Zion, Shugart, Yankeetown, and Big Spring. There are still, however, a number of one teacher schools in the County. The following statement about the City Schools is furnished by Professor T. A. Passons:

Control: The Sparta City Schools are controlled by a local Board of Education composed of six members elected by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Two are elected at the first regular meeting in July and serve for a term of two years. The City Superintendent of Education is elected by this Board annually and becomes the executive officers of the school.

Organization and Administration: The organization of the school during the year 1934-35 is a Modified Platoon school. Departmentalization is carried on from the third grade through the eighth. The work in the first and second grades is based on the Activity Methods. Each child is given an opportunity to develop according to his ability. The present tendency in the administration is toward activity or unit work in all grades of the school.

Home work is being eliminated and directed teaching is practiced. Health, Physical Education, Science, Nature Study, Art, and Music are being emphasized in the Curriculum as essential to the best interest of the child.

The total enrollment for 1934-5 is 536. The City School carries no High School work at all.

Building and Grounds: The present City School building was erected during 1924 at a cost of $75,000.00 and on the site of the old Dibrell Normal School. It contains 16 class rooms, a gymnasium, a large auditorium and offices. During the summer of 1934 an excavation was made under the East wing with T. E. R. A. labor and a modern school cafeteria was installed. T. E. R. A. labor was also used in terracing and beautifying the campus.

The Faculty: T. A. Passons, Superintendent; William Little, Mathematics, Science, and Physical Education for boys; Willie Officer, English, Reading and Penmanship; Mrs. Toy Taylor, History, Geography, and Music; Mrs. A. L. Cooper, Geography, Arithmetic, and Art; Margaret Boyd, English, Reading, and Physical Education for girls; Frances Camp, English, Reading, and Penmanship; Mrs. S. A. Davis, Geography, Arithmetic, and Art; Myrtle Gist, English, Reading and Music; Elnora Davis, Geography, Arithmetic, and Health; Ruth Hamilton, Second Grade; Jane Mitchell, Second Grade; Cora Townsend, First Grade; Willie Gist, First Grade.