Campbellsville, Tennessee

Maury artist captures Campbellsville High School

By Claudia Johnson (
Staff Writer, Pulaski Citizen/Giles Free Press (

     Campbellsville High School closed officially in 1978 and the building was demolished, but the hundreds of students who attended school in the red brick building's 56 years fondly remember its squeaky, oily wood floors and gasping, popping radiators.

     That nostalgia prompted a Campbellsville native now living in Maury County to immortalize the building in a special way. Angelia Francis Thompson, who started first grade at Campbellsville High in 1965, commissioned renowned Maury County artist Mildred Hartsfield to produce a detailed pen and ink drawing of the school.

     Thompson's original idea was to commission the drawing as a gift for her brothers and sisters, all of whom attended Campbellsville school. She's a friend of Hartsfield, the artist well known throughout Southern Middle Tennessee for her historic house paintings and official Mule Day emblems.

     Hartsfield, a Loretto native, worked as a commercial artist in Shelbyville for Josten's designing, she remembers, everything from parking meters to Santa Clauses painted on trucks, to detailed Christmas card art. In 1974 she and her husband, Wayne, moved to Columbia and established the Lemon Tree Gallery in Northway Shopping Center.

     She painted the official logo for Maury County Homecoming '86 and has captured on the canvas the images of more historic homes and buildings than she can recll. Many of her works are on permanent display in Maury County's public buildings.

     In 1993 the Columbia area-wide phonebook featured her painting called "Downtown Columbia, circa 1916," which was offered as a limited edition print in commemoration of the city's 175th anniversary.

     Hartsfield said that her proudest moment as an artist came when she was commissioned in 1986 for an oil painting of Haynes Haven that was presented to then-Saturn Corp. president Bill Hoglund and now hangs in Saturn's Troy, Mich., headquarters.

     Thompson said the Campbellsville School project was more involved than she had imagined. There are few pictures available that depict the entire length of the school. Although for many years in the 1960s Campbellsville's annual, The Bear, showed the school on the inside cover, the ends of the building were not visible.

     Then, no one Thompson knew could remember the color of the roof. An informal poll confirmed it had been white or light colored but was discolored by the coal dust and smoke produced for decades from the basement furnance.

     After months of research and work, the 11 by 14 inch drawing is finished, and a limited number of prints are available on heavy, textured paper ready for framing.

     Thompson said she feels lucky that Hartsfield was willing to do the piece for her since the artist's customers are rarely nostalgic individuals wanting a unique gift for relatives. The idea of producing it as a limited edition to sell came after Thomspon mentioned it to friends and acquaintances who said they, too, would enjoy having a copy of the print. Hartsfield produced additional copies, and the woman who is usually paid by hefty retainers by organiztions and corporations agreed to sell them for $10 each through:

The Lemon Tree Gallary
127 Northway Shopping Center
Columbia, TN 38401

You may also contact Angelia Thompson at:
(931) 379-4896
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The above article was published in The Giles Free Press, Pulaski, TN, Thursday, May 10, 2001. We acknowledge with thanks permission to use this on the Campbellsville, TN web site.

Mrs. Mildred Hartsfield - Artist
Pulaski Citizen/Giles Free Press -
Claudia Johnson - Staff Writer, Pulaski Citizen/Giles Free Press -


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