Campbellsville, Tennessee

What Campbellsville Has Contributed To The World
by Robert Foster

[Donated to the Giles County Historical Society by Mr. James Thomas Zuccarello.

        Robert Foster was Senior Class President, Sevier Society President, Representative from Campbellsville School in Giles County Oratorical Contest January 30, 1931.

        Robert, who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Foster, is a senior in Campbellsville High School.  He is a boy of unusual intellectual ability, and is greatly admired by both teachers and students.]


        Nestled among the rock-ribbed hills of southern Middle Tennessee lies one of the most beautiful, healthful and prosperous little towns to be found anywhere.  Here you find a highly cultured, refined, carefree and contented citizenship. Throughout these years what has Campbellsville done to further civilization, to make life brighter, and better for those who constitute our world?

        First let us consider what Campbellsville has contributed to the world of beauty. Who shall dare to say that our town is not in itself, with its surroundings, a great contiribution of beauty to the world.  To my mind beauty consists of hills or clusters of hills, masses of rocks, big trees, tall and stately, with their giant  branches waving in the wind, and flowers of every shade and hue.  Go stand on the highest hill nearby and for a while gaze on the landscape that nature has given us.

        The spark from which the citizenship of our community has grown was planted in the hearts of the sturdy pioneers of long ago.

        Two adventurous young men, Mr. Crockett Campbell and Mr. Jim Hannah started out to find a home.  They followed the Bumpas trail which was at that time the only road coming south from Columbia.  Mr. Crockett Campbell for whom our town is named located a spring that became famous as the Campbellsville Spring.  In the heart of the town it stands a monument to his memory.  In a few years Mr. Campbell gave the site of the present town.  He surveyed the land for the Campbell home which has never been sold and is now in the third generation.

        The growth of Campbellsville has been fast. Before long the citizens realized the importance of education and Campbellsville had one of the first free schools in the county.  Out of this school developed the Campbellsville Academy in which the noted Mr. W. B. Davidson was a teacher for a number of years. Among the other outstanding educators at this time were Mr. Rufus P. Yancey, and Captain Jack Flautt, both of whom were noted mathematicians.  Where can be found a more outstanding and widely known educator than our own Mr. J. J. Zuccarello who gave to his country his untiring efforts as teacher, county superintendent and member of the board of education for the nineteenth district.  For fifty years he was directly connected with the promotion of education in some ways.  Mr. J. P. May is a well known teacher and served as truant officer for a number of years.  Other famous educators of that time were Mr. Abbie McKnight and Miss Lizzie D. Abernathy, who at present is working on a history of her family.  Our community also furnished Mr. J. T. Corssno who was county superintendent of public instruction for twenty years.  It would be ungrateful not to say words of praise in behalf of our retiring superintendent, B. H. Gaultney, who at the time of his first election to this office was a teacher at Campbellsville.  I know that his influence as a teacher has been a lasting value to our community.

        In other fields of education our community has contributed one of the outstanding intellects of the south, Donald Davidson, who was born on Rhea Branch near Campbellsville.  He is the author of two books of poetry "An Outland Piper," and "The Tall Man." This year he is one of the twelve Southerners who have recently published "I'll Take My Stand." At present he is Professor of English at Vanderbilt.

        Another famous writer which our community has produced was Miss Alma Rittenberry who has contributed articles to many of our leading magazines.  It was she who originated the idea of building and naming highways for our country's leaders.  She went to Washington and submitted her plan which was that rather than build marble shafts to be seen by only a few, our government should mark the county with highways which would be used and appreciated by all.  Thus we see that it was a native of Campbellsville who conceived an idea which has grown and become famous throughout the world.

        One of the outstanding pillars in the foundation of our community is the opportunity its citizens have had to develop morally.  Among the remarkable ministers that our community has furnished are: R. N. Campbell and I. N. Yokley, prominent Presbyterian ministers; J. T. Baker, Zack Parker and Will Nelson, Methodist ministers; George Campbell and Clarence Morrow, ministers of "The Church of Christ." Also, I. T. Cameron who is now a preacher to the Indians in Kansas City.  Besides these, our community has furnished two noted missionaries, Miss Lizzie Rogers and Miss Sallie Herbert.

        To the professional world Campbellsville has given Dr. R. N. Herbert who was the first outspoken prohibitionist of our town.  His life was one long contribution to civilization.  He and Dr. J. H. Campbell were pioneer doctors who went far and near to relieve patients, rich and poor alike.  This is a worthy calling, a true contribution to civilization.  Dr. Rogers Herbert who was first Lieutenant during the World War is now a successful surgeon in Nashville.  We would not forget our own Dr. W. F. Copeland who was our skillful physician for a number of years.

        In every one's life there comes a time when he must call for help to see that his rights are executed, and Campbellsville has not been lacking in the legal profession.  Those who have won fame for themselves and for their community are Mr. Eugene Campbell, Mr. Joe Woodward, Mr. Jerry Parker and Mr. Arch Wright.

        Even in the world of invention Campbellsville has not been left out.  Mr. A. E. Wright invented a corn planter which has become famous as Wright Brothers corn planter.  Mr. Grady Collins has invented a machine to measure cloth.  This instrument has been so successful that it is now used in all the department stores.

        Just as politics has been important in the development of our country so has it been important in the development of our community.  As Early as 1809 we find Jacob Baylor and John Dickey appointed magistrates by the Legislature.  In 1817 John Dickey was elected as a representative to the Legislature.  Other representatives that our community has furnished are: Sam Yokley, J. C. Hannah and Clarence Campbell.  Can you find another community in Giles County that has in it a family that has furnished a representative in the County Court for seventy years?  About seventy years ago Mr. Caldwell Hannah was elected member of the County Court.  At his death his son J. C. Hannah became a member of the County Court and later was Judge until his death.  Then his son Mr. Campbell Hannah our efficient County Judge succeeded his father.  Among the other county officers that our community has fumished are: Mr. Polk English, Sheriff; Mr. J. C. Abernathy, Trustee;  Mr. R. J. Hannah, Tax Assessor and Mr. Herbert Evans, Register.  Today our commmuity is represented by Mr. Will Due, Circuit Court Clerk, Mr. W. F. English, County Court Clerk and Mr. Campbell Hannah, County Judge.

        Our little town has always furnished more than its quota of soldiers in every war.  In the Civil War Campbellsville contributed Jim, John and David Rittenberry, P. H. Yokley, R. N. Campbell and George Gipson.  In both the Mexican and Florida wars Henry Meece and Davy Hannah were soldiers. 
During the World War, Willie C. Hays and Kirby Cheatham gave their lives to help make the world safe for democracy.  Who could do more?

        We are proud of the contributions that our community has made in the past, and with this foundation it is still a progressive community making contributions every day.

        The Cumberland Presbyterian Missionary Society which is at present a wide awake organization is one of the oldest missionary societies in the County.  Our community also has an active Woman's Club.  There is in our town a widely known high school, of which every citizen in the community is proud.  Much of the success of the school is due to the harmony and co-operation of parents, teachers and students working together in a Parent Teachers Association.  This organization was the second parent teachers association to be organized in Giles County.  Our school is proud to be one of few schools in Giles County that has a Home Economics Club.

        For effective study, efficient work and joyous play one must have good health.  This phase of life has been so emphasized in our school that Campbellsville was presented a loving cup for having the largest number of blue ribbon students in Giles County.  To Robert Hays belongs the honor of being the first blue ribbon student in the county.

        Numbers of young people have gone out from our school and town to take their places in the world, giving themselves, their time, and talent to make better the world in which they live.  At the present time we have ten graduates teaching in the county.  They drank from the fountain of inspiration here in our school, they learned the lessons of self-control, self-sacrifice and all that it takes to live a full life.

        We are proud of our community, our town, our school, our homes and of the efforts they have thrown into life's balance.

        If you want men, high-minded men, who value honor and truth about life itself, we have them.  If you want women who are loyal and true, pure hearted, and kind, we have them.  If you want boys who are eager for life's battle of right against wrong, ready to join in the fray, we have them.  If you want girls with white souls kept free from stain, who will some day be queens in future homes, we have them.

        We are ready at all times to give ourselves whole-heartedly to any noble enterprise, and the slogan of our community is to  "One Hundred Per Cent In All Activities. "

Webmaster Jennifer H. Stout Campbellsville, TN