W I L S O N C O U N T Y
World War II
Published by THE LEBANON DEMOCRAT 2010-2011 EDITION
Providence Place has been setting the standards for 10 years
providing much more than the average assisted living facility.
• Licensed nurses
• Personal daily care
• Delicious meals
• Activities with bus
• Beauty shop
1020 Charlie Daniels Parkway Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
You have spent your whole life caring for
others—now let us care for you.
Stop by for a tour to see what sets us apart from the rest.
Gail Salaun, RN, Executive Director
100 Carrick Court • Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
615.622.0953 • www.carrickglenseniorliving.com
All on one floor • All appliances included ( even washer & dryer) • Club House & Bus • Activity Director
Beauty Shop • Meals & Housekeeping Plans Available • Ememgency Call System linked to the assisted living
Purchase or rent one during construction and
you may select your flooring colors, fixtures, etc.
Reserve now so you may customize your villa!
MOVE IN READY - FALL 2011
Experience Carrick Glen
Villas - Independent Living
5 different floor plans
1 bedroom - no garage to 3 bedroom - 2 car garage
Vacancies still available for the Assissted Living
New Schools Keep Pace with Future Growth.........................................4
Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter, A Model for Tennessee..................................9
County Still Feels Impact from World War II Maneuvers.....................14
Sports Anyone? Join the Sports Council ............................................21
Honor Roll ..........................................................................................25
Calendar of Events ............................................................................29
2011-2012 • 18th Edition
The Lebanon Democrat
402 N. Cumberland Street
Joseph H. Adams
Amelia Morrison Hipps
Assistant Ad Designers
Mary E. Hinds
Our Home Wilson County, published
annually by The Lebanon Democrat, is
distributed through the circulation of The
Lebanon Democrat, a newspaper with a
readership of more than 39,000 daily, the
Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of
Commerce, the Wilson County Joint
Economic and Community Development
Board, and Middle Tennessee Electric
Membership Cooperative. The magazine is
also provided to participating advertisers
and is placed in local businesses and
Steve Camp works on
installing seating in
the theatre of
Winfree Bryant Middle School
Photo this page
Jenna, one of the endearing
and genial residents of the
Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter.
Sunday Worship: 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Night Meal 5:00 p.m. & Prayer Service 6:30 p.m.
7919 Lebanon Road
Mt. Juliet, TN
Worship Times: 8:15 a.m.,
9:45 a.m. & 11 a.m.
Sunday School 9:45 a.m.
“Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”
Mt. Juliet Church of Christ
1940 N. Mt. Juliet Rd. • Mt. Juliet, TN
615-758-2274 • www.mtjuliet.org
Sunday: Early Worship 8am
Bible Classes 9:15am
Late Worship 10:15am
Evening Worship 6pm
Tuesday: Ladies Bible Class
10am - September-May
Wednesday: Bible Study 7pm
Hispanic Worship Service:
Sunday 8 a.m.
Bible Class 9:15 a.m.
Wednesday Bible Class 7 p.m.
Hillcrest Baptist Church
621 Hartsville Pike
Sunday School 9:15 a.m.
Worship Service 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.
AWANA Program: Wed. 6:45 p.m.
Senior Pastor: Glenn Denton
“Need God? He’s Here!!!”
For more information, visit our
Nursery and preschool children's classes available at all worship assemblies.
1401 Leeville Pike,
Lebanon, TN 37090 • 615-444-9502
Sunday: Worship 9 AM • Bible Study 10:30 AM
Evening Worship 6:00 PM or Life Groups
Wednesday: Bible Study 7 PM
Join us Sundays at 9:00 & 10:30
49 Business Park Dr. • Lebanon, TN
off Hwy 109 1/2 mile south of Lebanon Rd.
615-449-7807 or 615-708-7832
We’re building relationships
that are real and lasting.
Abundant Life Church
1000 Woodridge Pl • Mt. Juliet, TN
Seeing His Kingdom Come to Earth
Sunday gathering Starts at 9:30 a.m.
A United Pentecostal Church
101 Curd Road • Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
(just behind the Post Office)
(615) 773-5797 • www.churchaliveupc.org
9:00 & 10:30 am
G.A. Wallace, Pastor
402 E. Forest Avenue,
PO Box 731
Lebanon, TN 37088
8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Rev. Jon Snape, Youth Pastor
2905 N. Mt. Juliet Rd.
Mt. Juliet, TN
Worship at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
Bible Study - 9:45 a.m.
Follow us on Facebook
We exist for the glory of God: to strengthen those who follow
Jesus Christ, to persuade those who do not follow Him,
& to benefit the people of Wilson County and beyond.
214 Castle Heights Ave. • Lebanon, TN • 444-5563 • www.immanuelbaptist.com
1035 N. Mt Juliet Rd, Mt Juliet, TN 37122
Dr. Gerald Bontrager, Pastor
563 Shute Lane • Old Hickory, TN
615-883-1856 • www.tgbc.org
“To Know Christ and To Make Him Known”
Morning Worship - 9:15am, 10:30am
Sunday School - 9:15am, 10:30am
Evening Worship - 6pm
Wednesday 6pm, activities for all ages
110 Dawson Lane
Rev. Bill Mulroy, Senior Pastor
415 West Main - Lebanon 37087
Join us for Sunday
Worship 8:30 & 11
Sunday School 9:45
8770 Stewarts Ferry Pike
Sunday School 9:15 am
Morning Worship 10:15 am
Wednesday Evening Meal 6 pm,
Classes & Activities 6:30 pm
First United Methodist Church
Join us on Facebook “Lebanon First United
“You are invited to worship with us!
GREEN HILL CHURCH
13251 Lebanon Rd. • (615) 758-7238
Sunday School 9:00 a.m.
Sunday Worship Service 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday Bible Classes 6:30 p.m.
4 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
wo new schools, one completed in
the city school system and one under
construction in the county system, will
inevitably lead to changes in both school
systems and in the community at large.
The new Winfree Bryant Middle
School in the Lebanon Special School Dis-
trict will welcome its first students this fall,
resulting in a shift in the population of other
city schools, particularly at Walter J. Baird
Middle School and Castle Heights Upper
The LSSD plan for reorganization was
well thought out and executed. Careful plan-
ning has gotten the system reading in plen-
ty of time for the 2011-2012 school year.
LSSD Director Dr. Sharon Roberts is
ultimately responsible for making sure the
changes go smoothly, and she and her
team have worked hard to keep everything
organized. So far, it looks like mission
accomplished. Gen. George C. Marshall
wasn’t this organized.
“We had to be organized to get every-
thing done,” she noted, adding that the new
WBMS is a state-of-the-art facility. “It is a
very nice building, and we think everyone
will enjoy it.”
The new LSSD school system line up
required a lot of changes. Walter J. Baird
and Winfree Bryant will serve grades 6-8
[virtually splitting the student body of WJB]
New Schools Keep Pace
Winfree Bryant Middle
School Principal Becky
Kegley uses a floor plan to
show teachers where their
classrooms will be during
a metting in the front office.
Those pictured from left
are Maegan Scherzinger,
Evie Haddock, Gina Wiser,
April Cring and
Story by MARY E. HINDS
Photos by DALLUS WHITFIELD
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 5
and picking up the sixth grade split between the two schools.
Castle Heights Upper Elementary will become Castle Heights
Elementary and be zoned as an elementary instead of being a
district wide school. All the system’s elementary schools [Sam
Houston, Coles Ferry, Byars Dowdy and Castle Heights) this
year will serve pre-kindergarten through grades five.
“The district was rezoned to ensure equity as much as
possible and to prepare for these changes. Parents were
informed in March of the proposed zone for their children via
a personal letter, and seven parent/community meetings were
held throughout April to share the rezoning plan and address
individual questions and concerns. The LSSD board
approved the rezoning in April,” she added.
A transfer request period was held during April, and
individual requests were responded to prior to school clos-
ing in May. Teachers were placed during May based upon
student assignment to schools. The moving process for all
current schools occurred during June. The district takes con-
trol of Winfree Bryant from contractors Steed Brothers in the
coming days and those moves for teachers assigned to Win-
free Bryant will occur then.
Existing schools get face-lifts as well
The advent of the new school has lead to physical
changes at existing schools as well. Castle Heights has been
adapted as needed to be well prepared for elementary stu-
dents. WJB has received a wonderful “facelift,” which
includes being completely repainted throughout, a remodeled
library, a refinished gym floor and the addition of outdoor
bleachers for athletic facilities.
“Winfree Bryant and Walter J. Baird will both offer the
same quality academic and extra-curricular programs,”
With the mulitude of changes taking place in the system,
it is important for parents to be kept informed about those
changes. To that end, all school principals in the district will
be scheduling events, such as back to school/meet the teach-
er meetings and open houses, to keep them up to speed. An
open house for the newWinfree Bryant will be held after total
completion of the project.
“We will start school on time,” Roberts said. The first
day of school is Monday, Aug. 1.
It is also time for students to be registered with the dis-
trict, particually since the reorganization has lead to some
zoning changes. Roberts hopes that all students have been reg-
istered for their zoned school. She added that parents may
check the LSSD website, www.lssd.org, for a listing of zones
by streets. If they prefer to speak to some one in person, prin-
cipals and secretaries are on contract beginning Monday, July
11, after which, parents may contact their school for more
Any students not already registered can come to regis-
tration day at each LSSD school, which is planned for
Monday, July 25. To register, all parents must provide proof
of residence when they register their child and/or update their
information to the schools. The LSSD will accept a utility or
Seated: David Brooks–Owner, Funeral Director, Embalmer
Standing L to R: Clark McKinney–Owner, Funeral Director, Embalmer
Joe Gravens–Funeral Director; Wayne Foster–Funeral Assistant
241 West Main St. • Lebanon • (615) 444-2142
Front (L-R): Joe Gravens, Licensed Funeral Director; David Brooks,
Co-owner, Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer; Clark McKinney, Co-Owner,
Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer. Back (L-R): Wayne Foster, Funeral
Assistant*; Claudean Bissinger, Funeral Assistant*. (*Non Licensed)
The new Winfree Bryant Middle School is state of the art.
6 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
telephone bill identifying the name and
address of the parent/guardian as pre-
sented on the enrollment form, a
noterized letter from the manag-
er/landlord if utilities are included in the
rent payment or a property tax bill sup-
ported by other acceptable documents
that contain proof of residence (i.e. driv-
er’s license, etc.) as proof of residency
during the registration process.
“That day we’ll identify any other
issues and we’ll have that week to
resolve those and work with parents at
the school level,” she said.
Roberts added that communica-
tion was the key to keeping everyone –
parents, students, teachers and admin-
istrators on the same page. It appears
to have worked.
“We’ve communicated that well
with everyone,” she said.
The new Lebanon High School
The long awaited new Lebanon
High School is coming right along, and
county school officials anticipate it will
be open to students in time for the
beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.
Deputy Director of Wilson County
Schools Mickey Hall says that construc-
tion of the new LHS facility is moving
slightly ahead of schedule and, barring
the unforeseen, should be completed in
advance of the August 2012 target date.
He noted that the county school
system won’t be changed as a result of
the new school since the entire LHS
operation will be moved. No other
schools will be affected.
“We will just take the faculty from
the existing LHS and the existing
Career Technical Center, and they will
go into one and that staff will just go in
the new LHS,” he said, adding he did-
n’t think a lot more staff will have to be
hired right away. “Eventually, as the
enrollment increases, we will expand
Staff will grow when student
enrollment grows. The new facility is
needed to make room for current stu-
dents and accommodate growth and to
bring LHS up to speed with the latest
“As people move into the commu-
nity and growth occurs, we will hire
more teachers,” he said. “The newLHS
is being built because we’ve got porta-
bles there [at the current LHS building]
so we’re out of space. We need to
upgrade the facility and also meet the
needs of the community for the next 10
or 15 years. The computer labs and sci-
ence department areas will be updated,
and the cafeteria will be larger to han-
dle student enrollment.
One of the biggest improvements
Hall foresees will be in on-campus
“The thing that’s really going to be
good is increased security. Now the
kids walk the length of two football
fields to go to the career tech center. At
the new school that will be all under
one roof,” Hall said, adding that secu-
rity will also be increased by the
limited number of doors leading in to
and out of the new school.
“You won’t have all the ways into
The Aviators’ gymnasium
Winfree Bryant Science Lab
Winfree Bryant Principal Becky Kegley
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 7
the facility as you have today,”
Some were a bit perturbed
that a new high school in Mt. Juli-
et and the new Wilson Central
High School were built before a
new school in Lebanon. Hall said
the order of building had nothing
to do with politics and everything
to do with the needs and number
“We’re excited for all our
kids and staff at LHS and for the
public that has been waiting sever-
al years for this building to come
on line. We feel like we’ve been a
growing community for several
years and all county services, not
just schools, will have to be
increased to meet the needs of
Wilson County,” he said. “Every-
thing depends on growth, you have
to deal with it. Everything we do
depends on growth and where the
Improved athletic facilities as well
LHS has always enjoyed
widespread support for the Aerial view of the new Lebanon High School, which should be ready for students in 2012.
8 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
school’s athletic teams, and Hall
believes that will continue unabated
and perhaps even increase because the
new campus will have space and
fields for all the school’s teams.
“The big thing on the new cam-
pus is they will have the ability to
have the football field, the baseball
field, the softball field, the soccer
fields and the tennis courts on cam-
pus. That’s another safety feature built
in – to have them all on the campus.
Plus you’ve got adequate parking for
the public,” he said.
“Before if a parent had kids with
baseball, softball or tennis you had to go
off campus to watch them, so that will
be a nice feature. Lebanon has a tradi-
tion of good support for athletics so that
will continue to be there.”
He sees the configuration of the
school as another added safety feature.
“It has bigger hallways and not as
many additions, so you can stand at one
end of the hallway and see to the other.
That is a safety feature as the kids
change classes,” he said. “It’s going to
be nice to have them all under one roof.
That’s will be great for the campus.”
Hall thinks the location of the new
facility on Hartman Drive will also
jump start a growth in businesses that
want to be located near the school to
take advantage of the visibility of being
so near the campus when people visit
the school to drop off students or attend
“Hopefully, it will spur growth
on Hartman Drive. Some of the busi-
nesses currently there feel the same
say,” Hall said. “I know Chip Smith
called us from Rose Tire and he want-
ed a picture of the new school for his
lobby. He’s been telling people about
it. We’re hoping it will drive some
new businesses to the area.
“Because of building the high
school, the infrastructure of utilities will
be more accessible along Hartman
Drive as well. Because we had to get
sewer lines, water lines, gas lines and
electric lines to the facility, those things
have expanded as well. That infrastruc-
ture will make it easier for businesses to
locate along Hartman.”
Hall sees a new high school as just
one way to keep Lebanon growing and
competing with other communities for
new citizens and industries. He said
keeping up with the pace by building
new roads and having better police and
fire protection also keeps a community
“It’s the challenge of a growing
community to keep up not only
schools, but all the services you pro-
vide for your citizens. We all have an
obligation to meet the needs of the cit-
izens. If we were not growing, we’d
be struggling even more,” he said.
“It’s going to be good for Wilson
County. It will be a draw for all the
He noted that students at LHS have
been looking forward to the big move.
“They’ve been counting down
since we broke ground. The excitement
has been growing within the student
body,” he said, adding there will be an
open house once the contractor is fin-
ished to let everyone see what their tax
dollars have been spent on.
“Lebanon will be very happy and
pleased, we feel, with the facility. It will
meet the needs of the community for a
long time. From the Tuckers Cross-
roads area to Carol Oakland area, all
those communities will be impressed
and proud of this facility when it opens
up next year,” Hall concluded.
Aerial view of the
new high school’s
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 9
early 1,500 dogs and cats have
found “forever” homes from the Mt.
Juliet Animal Shelter.
Conceived three years ago, the Mt.
Juliet Animal Shelter has emerged a
“model” in Tennessee for a successful “low
Three years ago, the City of Mt. Juliet
conquered its quest to start their own ani-
mal shelter and hired Fortune Enterprises to
provide the city with a turn key shelter at a
cost of $930,650.
The shelter has since been a bench-
mark facility in Tennessee.
Director Eddie Blackwood said the
shelter was needed and is highly successful.
Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter
A Model for Tennessee
Tigger is one of dozens of cats
up for adoption at the Mt. Juliet
Animal Shelter. In July the shelter
was at capacity and holding
adoption fairs nearly every
weekend. In the three years of
its operation, the shelter has
emerged a “model” shelter in
Tennessee and has one of the
nation’s highest adoption rates.
Story by LAURIE EVERETT
Photos by DALLUS WHITFIELD
1 0 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
“This shelter is state-of-the-art,”
Its 4,500 square feet can house
100 animals. In June, it was at full
They are the benchmark because
they have a 90-plus percent adoption
rate. Just recently, Animal Control Offi-
cer Marty Potts successfully helped
prosecute an animal neglect case.
Blackwood said they have an
operating budget this fiscal year of
$100,00 from the city.
They have recently received their
Animal Control Certification and have
also applied for their wildlife trapping
permit. There have been a lot of calls
from people reporting coyotes in the
area. Now they will be able to trap the
coyotes humanely and then release
them into an adequate environment.
However, day-to-day, the shelter is
hopping with routine procedures.
There is a contingent of over 200 vol-
unteers who make it work.
Not only does the shelter work
with dogs at-large, neglect and cruelty
cases, inoculations and violations, they
also deal day-to-day with trying to part-
ner animals with would-be owners.
Blackwood said since the doors opened
they’ve never had to buy food for the
animals because of the generous dona-
tions from the community.
But, it’s the unique bond the vol-
unteers have with the animals that
make this shelter so unique.
Volunteer force is the key to shelter’s
Just recently, the volunteer core
formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
Jon Gray heads up the volunteer
“From year one, we went from
zero volunteers to over 200,” he said.
“Everything we do is for the animals.
My primary responsibility is to con-
stantly remind our volunteers that in
everything we do, it’s about the ani-
He said their high adoption rate
has brought them to national attention.
Now, officials from other cities call to
ask howthe shelter was built and howit
is run. The 90-plus percent adoption
rate is on the high side of the national
average in comparable cities.
“Our facility attracts people to us
and helps destroy the old concept of a
He said they care for all the med-
ical needs of the animals. The money
has been raised by the “kind and gen-
erous people of Mt. Juliet.” Volunteers
walk and feed the dogs and clean out
cages. Most importantly, they “love on
The group heads many initiatives.
Gray said they average 10 to 12 adop-
tion fairs a year. They recently started
their Humane Education Program with
the Wilson County schools. They have
an on going Pet Therapy Programat the
Mt. Juliet Nursing Care Center and at
Rutland Place senior community.
And they always need volunteers.
Lisa Wall was at the shelter clean-
ing cat cages. Before this, she walked
all the dogs.
She’s been volunteering with her
daughter, Ashley, who attends the local
middle school. The shelter welcomes
volunteers under the age of 18, if they
are accompanied by an adult.
Once a week, Lisa and Ashley
devote about three hours.
Eddie Blackwood, director of the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter checks cages as he does some cleaning.
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 1 1
“We are doing it for the animals,”
She believes her daughter is learn-
ing a work ethic and knows they are
both bettering the community.
Ardell Morrow retired three
months ago and now finds herself an
integral part of the shelter. She not only
takes care of the animals but has fos-
tered a dog.
“I do it to make a difference,” she
said. “It is about the satisfaction from
the love of the animals.”
Tonya Beadles started as a volun-
teer the day the shelter opened. She’s a
liaison with animal rescue groups and
works closely to find homes for the ani-
mals that don’t adopt quickly. She’s
fostering a puppy now and has provid-
ed a temporary home to at least 20
animals the past three years.
“It’s all about knowing the ani-
mals are going to a good home,” she
said. “Saving animals and educating
She’s also the shelter’s mascot,
Jetta is one of hundreds of success
stories at the shelter. She’s a white pit
bull that was dropped off. Gentle with
people but aggressive with the other
Suri doesn’t seem to mind a belly rub from shelter volunteer Tanya Beadles.
Visit lebanondemocrat.com and click on “Spotted” at the top of our website
1 2 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
dogs, she was a “hard case.”
They hired a trainer to teach them
how to deal with her, and they finally
adopted her out. One owner had to lock
her in the bathroom 12 hours a day
while at work, and they re-rescued her.
Now, her current owner faces surgery.
“But, we have a core group and
they will volunteer a fence to keep Jetta
in,” said Beadles. “This is just one of so
many stories I could tell you.”
Animal Control Officer Jill Hart
has a hard time keeping her compo-
sure when she relives some of the
“special saves” that have happened at
the shelter. Just last week Jack and Jill
were finally reunited after being found
Hart said they are 8-month-old pit
bull mixes and brother and sister. When
Jill was dropped off, she had a limp.
They found out her femur was broken
“Monies from our benevolent
fund completely paid for surgery to repair the damage,”
The pair was separated when Jack was adopted out, but
they were reunited after Jill healed and she was adopted into
the same family.
And, Jill said Fenley is a miracle story. This little Beagle
community banking since 1987.
Minimum $25 opening deposit. Valid
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customer’s 23rd birthday. Customers under
18 require parent or guardian signature.
Accounts without e-statements $5 per month
service charge. Account converts to basic
checking six months after 23rd birthday. One
MyPixCard per account. Cannot be combined with
any other offer. *Refunds apply to transaction fees
assessed at ATMs not owned by Wilson Bank &Trust.
•Six free non-WBT ATMtransactions
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•Free online banking
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•One free MyPixCard
was picked up as a
stray and when she
arrived she was “in just terrible condition.”
“She was covered with ticks, too,” said Hart. “But every-
one just loved this little dog. She was the coolest Beagle.”
While testing her for Lyme disease, they found she had
heart worms. She was treated for six weeks and nursed back
“People were fighting over who would get to adopt her,”
said Hart with a smile.
The little dog ended up going to one of the volunteers.
Leland and Lillian both found great homes out of the
shelter. City of Mt. Juliet employee Sharon Bachelier is a sin-
gle mother of twins. She attended the open house at the
shelter in 2008.
“I did not go with the intent to adopt a dog, I went to
support the city,” she said. “But I saw a girl holding Leland,
and he was shivering. He stopped shaking when I held him.”
He is a chihuahua terrier mix. Bachelier was advised
Leland had a sister but was too traumatized at the time to be
“The conditions she had been in were deplorable,” said
In three month’s Lillian was also adopted by Bachelier.
“I like the fact that the shelter screens who the babies
go home with,” she noted.
She said these “babies” are always there when she gets
home and so excited to see her.
“They sleep with me and walk with me,” she said. “I sit
and look at them and wonder how anyone can do anything
to an animal.”
To volunteer at the shelter, you have to be 18 years or
older. Those under 18 must be with an adult. There is a 90-
minute seminar as well. Volunteers are required to put in five
hours a month minimum or five sign-ins per month.
Go to www.cityofmtjuliet.org and navigate to Animal
Shelter for full details.
Meet Chili (above) and Savannah and Pepper (right)
Mile Long Yard Sale ............................................................................................1
Chili Cook-Off Benefit ........................................................................................9
Train Robbery Excursion to Watertown ............................................................15
Trick or Treat on the Square ............................................................................31
Murder Mystery Train........................................................................................13
North Pole Express with Santa Excursion Train ..............................................26
Santa on the Square 4-6 pm ..............................................................................3
Santa on the Square 4-6 pm ............................................................................10
Christmas Open House and Tour of Homes ................................................10-11
HUNTER FUNERAL HOME
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1 4 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
County Still Feels Impact from
World War II Maneuvers
Wilson County Historian Jack
Howard recalls when he
witnessed history in the making
when the maneuvers took place
in Wilson County.
Photo by Dallus Whitfield
or about one in four soldiers en route
to the fronts of World War II, Wilson
County could well have been “the
place to be” from 1941 through 1945.
Although few residents can remember
when the soldiers were bivouacked on the
grounds of Cumberland University, Wilson
native Woody McMillin has made it his
mission to tell the story of this extraordi-
nary period in local history when
Cumberland was the Field Headquarters,
In a press conference held in the Cum-
berland University Gym in 1942, Lt. Gen.
Ben Lear explained, “We are here to tough-
en men for dirty work.”
After the particularly demanding and
arduous Duck River Maneuver in 1941,
Gen. George S. Patton had put it more
bluntly: “It makes ‘em mad enough to fight
McMillin’s 488-page book is a metic-
ulously researched account of the 2nd
Army Maneuvers in a nine-county area of
Middle Tennessee titled “In the Presence
There were some 800,000 soldiers who
roamed the streets, backyards and open
Story by SANDY CAMPBELL
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 1 5
fields of this area, ranging from Camp Campbell near
Clarksville to Camp Forrest in Tullahoma. (To imagine how
that volume of humanity impacted the culture and economy
of the Midstate, think of a crowd at a University of Tennessee
home football game and multiply by eight.)
“When I started working on this book, I went to see a
military book publisher in Nashville named Dick Gardner,
who runs Battery Press, one of the best military publishers
in the U.S.,” McMillin said.
“When I went to him to talk about the book, he said you
need to go see Jerry McFarland. I had known Jerry a little bit
but I came up here and he was kind enough to share some
information, but beyond that, he named other people that
‘you need to talk to’
Concise history needed
“Jerry opened a lot of doors for me,” he said. “It proba-
bly would have taken three times as long and probably
wouldn’t have been half as good.”
“We’re at a time when we had to do this because we
aren’t going to be here much longer and the concise history
needed to be put together,” said McFarland, a retired U.S.
Army colonel and current county commissioner. He had
compiled his information while on duty at state headquarters
in Nashville when Adjutant Gen. Carl Wallace assigned him
the project of doing the 50-year memoirs of World War II in
“Congress issued a directive that 50 years after a war,
they ask veterans to record their memoirs. I don’t understand
it – half of them can’t remember and some are dead. Why
they do 50 years, I don’t know,” McFarland said.
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Heavily armed soldiers guard the payroll on the square at Commerce Union Bank. The building is now the office of Attorney Hugh Green. Photo courtesy of Hugh Green
1 6 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
A Pentagon official “went to every state and said, ‘We
want to commemorate what took place in your state.’ He said,
‘Col. McFarland, you’ve got the biggest thing going. You’ve
got the Tennessee maneuvers.’”
Patton’s Duck River Maneuvers in 1941 were the starting
point for what McMillin said involved “hundreds of units,
from platoons to corps” in 25 divisions between 1941 and
McFarland explained that momentous event this way:
“The 30th Division, which was the Tennessee Guard,
went through the maneuvers twice because Patton bush-
whacked them in the rear over here out of Murfreesboro ...
They put the 2nd Armored Division out of Ft. Benning, Ga,
(under Patton) against two divisions up here in Murfreesboro,
one of which was the Tennessee National Guard. Patton and
his tanks rolled into Cookeville, came down through
Carthage, came into Lebanon and went out the old Murfrees-
boro Highway (Maple Street) and hit them in the rear.
“TheArmy command said, ‘You just failed. You’re going
to have to go through these maneuvers again.’”
(above) The encampment on the
Cumberland University football
field. Photo Wilson County Archives
(left) Soldiers on the Lebanon Square
with an artillery piece. Photo Wilson
(bottom) Military vehicles on the
Lebanon Square in front of the Old
Courthouse seen at the left. Photo
Wilson County Archives
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 1 7
McMillin said the maneuvers had three objectives:
First, “to train officers howto use what’s in their ‘toolbox’
most effectively. That’s one, two or three divisions. They are
graded so those generals and admirals who are in charge of
very large forces are conscious of the fact that they are going to
get a report like that and their performance is evaluated.”
Second, “to teach an ordinary soldier how to be part of a
large team. When they go into service and go through basic
training, they are first part of a squad and then the squad is part
of a platoon, and so on.
“In the maneuvers here they were learning to function as
part of a division. That’s why they were large-scale maneuvers.
You would have at a minimum80,000 and sometimes as many
as 150,000 soldiers involved in these seven maneuvers con-
ducted here. They learned how to work for and against other
Third, “the hardening of soldiers. It is very rigorous and
very demanding. One of the stories I heard that I appreciated
was about a ranger in the Pacific. He was wounded and being
brought out of the jungle and someone asked him, ‘You must
have had it pretty tough in there.’
“He told the person, ‘Hell, that was nothing. I was in the
McMillin found he had to travel to various cities and mil-
itary installations and read stacks of diverse information to
compile his book.
“It was like a jigsaw puzzle. There was no place where
you could get everything. You had to get a piece here and a
piece there,” he said.
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Damaged roads, ruined crops, torn-down fences and traf-
fic problems were inevitable consequences of the massive
maneuvers that pitted RedArmy forces, usually the attackers,
against the Blue Army defending the citizens of Watertown,
Statesville or perhaps Gladeville
Wilson County reminders
Today, there are still a few
reminders left of the soldiers’
presence in Wilson County. For
example, if you drive on Castle
Heights Avenue from Leeville
Pike in the direction of West
Main Street you will encounter
an abrupt S-curve.
McFarland explains that the
avenue had to be built around a
fenced-in area that housed two
companies that were part of the
U.S. Army’s 1800th Engineer
Battalion, which performed road
and fence repair work.
McMillin writes that the
press was forbidden to write
about these two companies and
their compound during wartime
because these were soldiers who
had been segregated because of
their heritage. Company B was
composed of Japanese-Ameri-
cans, Company C was made up
of German- and Italian-Ameri-
cans and there were a few Ku
Klux Klansmen who were under
the watchful eyes of the FBI and
military. McFarland said the
main gate of the facility was on
Wilson County Historian
Jack Howard remembers these
fenced-in soldiers well, for as a high school-aged cadet at
Castle Heights Military Academy, he and his day school
classmates used to buy cigarettes and tobacco for them.
“There were about 50 men in the stockade and we felt
comfortable going by,” Howard recalled, but he remembered
that “we never saw them out on the streets.”
Howard said a group of boys, including “Bill Blades,
whose father taught at the Heights, and the Morris brothers,”
would pass the tobacco products through the fence.
Asked if the boys were
making a profit on the enterprise,
Howard said, “Sometimes they
did, sometimes they didn’t.”
McMillin was able to track
down one of those Japanese-
American GIs, Californian
Cedrick Shimo, who thought at
the time he was being treated
more as an enemy than a soldier.
Over time, he said he had come
to see the 1800th Battalion expe-
rience in a positive light.
It “has forged us into
becoming better Americans,
truly appreciative of the words
‘freedom, liberty and justice for
all,’” he said.
McMillin said members of
the 1800th later went into com-
bat, the Japanese-Americans in
Europe and the German and Ital-
ian-Americans in the Pacific.
Shimo later became a vice
president of Honda Internation-
al Trading and worked to help
build better relations between the
U.S. and Japan.
Teenager Howard was in the
right place at the right time to
share in the excitement of having
his hometown “occupied” by all
the GIs. His family home on
Tarver Avenue (now part of the
property of the St. Francis Cabri-
ni Catholic Church) was right across from the Cumberland
baseball field where the air cadets would drill.
Howard would climb up to his roof to take pictures of the
barracks, the tents and the activity at Cumberland.
His mother was director of the Red Cross during the
Lebanon businessman Jack Cato. Photo by Dallus Whitfield
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 1 9
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maneuvers and her office is where the Cumberland presi-
dent’s office is now, he said.
“Many people rented out rooms to wives who would
come on weekends,” Howard said, noting that boarding
houses were few and far between. His parents rented out
space in their home to three women, one of whom had a
child. Their husbands were Red Cross workers who lived
with the troops in the field.
“Most people were helpful, despite the damage the
tanks did to their fences,” Howard said. “When the soldiers
would try to hitchhike to Nashville on weekends, they would
have little difficulty catching a ride.”
McMillin said people should know about another
reminder of the maneuvers. When he speaks to groups and
classes about the maneuvers he brings along a rusty, pie-
shaped land mine that was recently found in an area field. It
did contain live explosives.
McFarland said the old mines are still out there although
a great number have been recovered. He said the explosive
charge in most of them was minimal and could only be set
off by tanks or some other heavy weight. Nevertheless, any
explosive can be dangerous – even those 70 years old.
Buying candy bars
Lebanon’s Jack Cato, whose business acumen is well
established – he was an original investor in Cracker Barrel
Old Country Stores – may have launched his business career
during the maneuvers. McMillin includes the story of the
young Cato, who’s family lived near Rome Ferry in Smith
County where Army engineers had placed a pontoon bridge
over the Cumberland River.
Constructing river pontoon bridges, sometimes kept in
place for weeks and sometimes taken down within hours,
was a skill that proved very useful in Europe.
“I used to buy candy bars and soft drinks for a nickel,
and the soldiers would pay me a dime for them, sometimes
a quarter ... I suspect they felt good about helping a kid make
a little money,” Cato said.
He has a picture of the pontoon bridge at Rome Ferry
hanging on his office wall on Maple Street today.
Cato also has a memory that reveals a great deal about
how area residents were affected by the maneuvers.
“We came home from church one night and there were
so many tanks on the road we couldn’t get home. They had
gone across that pontoon bridge and were headed north.”
One of the Third Army’s pontoon bridges across the Cumberland River located at Rome Ferry. Photo courtesy of Jack Cato
2011 University of Tennessee
Tennessee Press Association
State Press Contest
The Lebanon Democrat
Best Feature Photograph
Best Special Issue or Section
Best Single Editorial
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Mt. Juliet News
Best Single Feature
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Best Web Site
The Hartsville Vidette
2011 Tennessee Press Association
The Lebanon Democrat
Self-Promotion of a Newspaper
Best Use of Multi-Color Ad
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Best Feature Page or Pages
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Best N.I.E. Promotion
Best Reader Contest
Mt. Juliet News
Best Overall Website
The Hartsville Vidette
Best Overall Website
2011 Tennessee Associated
Press Managing Editor Contest
Malcolm Law Memorial
Investigative Reporting Award
Daily Deadline Reporting
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 2 1
Join the Sports Council
Participants in the Jingle Jog
get pelted with snow last
December as they start
the 5K run on West Main Street
re you passionate about sports? Do
you like to be involved in the com-
munity? If so, the Sports Council at
the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of
Commerce may be just for you.
The group’s mission statement reads,
in part, “The Wilson County Sports Council
Division shall work with the recruitment
and promotion of all sporting events in Wil-
son County. The division will encourage
volunteer participation to assist with sport-
ing events and sport related activities.”
“We’re a pretty active group,” said
Council Vice Chair Rick Smith, who has
been a member for the last five years. “We
are here to promote sports inWilson County,
that’s our basic goal in life.”
Smith said the Council currently has 32
members, and is always looking for more.
Anyone who “is passionate about sports in
general” is always welcome to join in the
“We have both male and female partic-
ipants,” Smith said. “We require members to
participate in at least three events each year.”
“Everybody has a part,” Chamber
Story by KIMBERLY JORDAN
Photos by DALLUS WHITFIELD
2 2 O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1
President Sue Vanatta noted.
“Whether you are into football, golf,
fishing or whatever.”
She noted that the Council has
maintained a steady membership of 28-
32 people since it was formed in 2001.
“The Council was formed when the
[Nashville] Superspeedway came to
town to help them with PR and things
like that,” Smith said.
“We felt there was a need to pro-
mote the Speedway and their events,
and to start some new events,” Vanat-
ta said, adding that they sent a group
up to Dover Downs, the parent of the
Superspeedway, to get some ideas
about how they ran their track and did
promotions that could be used here in
Smith said the Council helped print
programs for events at the track and
helped promote it in other ways for a
number of years after in opened inApril
2001. Aside from helping at the race
track, the Council has started many
other community sporting events.
The most recent of these are the Go
Johnny Go Memorial 5K run and
Lebanon Youth Football and Cheer,
which is entering its second season.
The Go Johnny Go Memorial 5Kis
named in honor of the late Johnny Keel,
who lost his battle with cancer in
November of 2010. The Sports Council
sponsored the run and has also formed
a committee known as the Johnny Keel
“We’re trying to promote fitness in
Wilson County,” said Smith.
He said the inaugural 5K drew 450
runners, and the hope is the success will
“We started the Lebanon Youth
Football travel team last year. It has
been a good event and very successful.
We have about 250 kids participating in
football and cheer. It’s really taken off,”
He anticipates even more interest
as the league begins its second year
The Council is involved in numer-
ous events throughout the year, and
there is something for every sports
enthusiast to get behind.
Some of the Council’s endeavors
include the Dr. Cary Harbrecht Memo-
rial Golf Scramble, which is a
fundraiser for the Chamber of Com-
merce; the Jingle Jog 5K, a bass fishing
tournament and the annual Sports Ban-
quet for area high school athletes.
“We give two scholarships each
year at the banquet, one male and one
female recipient. We take nominations
from any of the high schools in the
county,” Smith said. From the nomi-
nees, two finalists per school are chosen
and invited to attend the banquet.
Smith said there are a few future
projects in the hopper. Planning is
underway for a football-oriented event
for high school and college age partici-
pants, as well as a holiday basketball
tournament for middle school children
“Wilson County is an ideal loca-
tion for a triathlon. There is one that is
put on at Cedars of Lebanon, but its
possible the Council could host one in
the future,” Smith noted.
(above) Rick Smith, Vice Chairman of the Wilson
County Sports Council.
(left) Taylor Travis is fitted with shoulder pads for the
inaugural season in 2010.
O U R H O M E W I L S O N C O U N T Y 2 0 1 1 2 3
Mikhal Lewis gets
fitted for a helmet
for the inaugural
season in 2010
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August 12-20 - Wilson County Fair
August 13 - Ms Tennessee Senior Wilson County
August 20 - MTEMC 75th Annual Meeting
August 29 - Wilson County Democratic Party Blue Plate Monday
September 10 - Sherry's Run
September 19 - Habitat For Humanity of Wilson County Golf Challenge
September 24 - Lebanon Jr. Women's Club Fall Fashion Show
September 27 - Cumberland Mental Health host "Never Alone"
October 1 - Cumberland University 2nd Annual Dawg Dash 5k Walk/Run
October 1 - Low Country Boil
October 1 - Watertown Mile Long Yard Sale
October 8 - Lace Up 4 Pink! 5k Walk/Run for Breast Cancer
October 10 - Wilson County Democratic Party Monthly Meeting
October 13 - Taste of Wilson County
October 13 - Cumberland University Live On The Lawn Concert
October 15 - Cumberland University Homecoming
October 15 - Cemetery Walk
October 15 & 16 - Oktoberfest
October 22 - Fiddlers Grove Fall Festival & Punkin Chunkin
October 31 - Halloween on the Leb. Square & Neddy Jacobs Coffin Race
November 5 - 2nd Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon
November 12 - Leadership Wilson Dare To Dine
November 14 - Wilson County Democratic Party Monthly Meeting
November 24 - Thanksgiving Day
November 24 - Turkey Trot 5k & Family Fun Run
December 3- Historic Lebanon Tomorrow Tour of Homes
December 1-4 - Festival of Lights
December 4 - Lebanon Christmas Parade
December 4 - Jingle Jog
December 8-11 - Festival of Lights
December 10 & 11 - Watertown Open House & Tour of Homes
December 12 - WC Democratic Party Holiday Season Pot Luck Dinner
December 15-18 - Festival of Lights
December 22-26 - Festival of Lights
January - Leb. WC Chamber Annual Memb. Meeting & Annual Banquet
March 16 – Lebanon WC Chamber Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open House
April 20-21 - Whip Crackin’ Rodeo
April 12 - Wilson Books from Birth Imagination Dinner
April - Ms Tennessee Senior America
May 5 – Cumberland University Graduation
June 15 - Dr. Cary Harbrecht Memorial Chamber Summer Scramble
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