Campbellsville, Tennessee

Campbellsville, TN  -  My Home Town!
by George Russell
January 2001

        I was born and raised in Campbellsville and lived there until I was about 27 years old. My wife (Ann Hindman Russell) and I moved to Pulaski, TN with my mother in 1965. After my mother passed away in 1970, we moved on to Columbia, TN where we now live.

        My mother and father were Lacy Elizabeth Tatum Russell and Frank George Russell. They moved to Campbellsville in the early 1920's and lived in the home now owned by Mrs. Mary Childress. They had six children, four boys and two girls. I was the youngest. My dad passed away in 1962 at the age of 70 and my mother in 1970 at the age of 72. They are buried in the Maplewood Cemetery at Pulaski. 

        During the early years at Campbellsville, my dad and Mr. Milton Petty ran a garage servicing T-Model Fords. Dad took on a Crosley radio dealership and it is my understanding that he sold the first radio that came to Campbellsville. It was reported that many residents came out to hear the WSM Grand-Ole-Opry on that first radio by passing the headphones from one to the other. That must have been a very exciting event for that day and time. Look at the Crosley Radio Site.

        My dad purchased the Joe Compton farm located about a mile north of Campbellsville around 1929 and started farming and doing carpentry work for the public whenever time permitted. We raised cotton, corn, tobacco, and hay and had a nice herd of white-face cattle. We also had chickens and hogs. I can remember that hog killing time was an exciting event every year and we were never out of sausage, ham, and bacon to eat. My mother always kept a nice Jersey cow that supplied all of our milk and butter.  Dad always had a good team of mules and these were used until he was able to buy a tractor (model M John Deere) sometime in the mid 40's.

        Since it was around 1948 before we got electricity, we used Aladin kerosene lamps for our light and listened to a battery operated radio. We used a Warm Morning heater fueled with coal for our heat and got our water supply from a spring on the North side of the farm. The water was pumped up to the house from the spring using a contraption called a RAM. The one that we had required an air supply to operate, so every few days, we would have to go back there to pump the ram. Take a look at the Hydraulic Ram Collector. We also had another contraption to make ice. I believe it was called an Icy Ball. It had two balls connected together with a place for ice trays in the middle or something. It seems like you built a fire under one ball and placed the other ball in water or perhaps in an ice box. Check out this site about Crosley IcyBalls.

        I have many fond memories of living on the farm at Campbellsville. I especially enjoyed fishing and swimming in Big Creek and it was always fun watching the doodle bugs come up and the tumble bugs roll their ball. (You true farm boys know what I'm talking about.) 

        Our close neighbors were Mr. & Mrs. Caldwell Hannah on the West and Mr. & Mrs. Waters Smith on the East. Their son, Bobby Smith and I spent many hours together experimenting with telephones, phonographs, radios, and other gadgets of that age.

        My dad decided to quit farming and sold the farm at auction in the Fall of 1949. Mr. & Mrs. Frank Johnston bought the farm and lived there for many years. They made many nice improvements to the house and farm.

        My dad purchased the old Colon Campbell home located on Low Street across from the Methodist Church in 1950. He tore down the house and used much of the excellent yellow poplar lumber to build a new home at the same location. He still did some carpentry work for others and drove a school bus for awhile, but much of his time was spent playing checkers with Mr. Flournoy Rosson at his garage. Mr. Rosson, sold seed, fertilizer, and coal and was in the trucking business for many years in Campbellsville. Along about this same time, Ben Johnson was running a garage and Raymond Childress had the blacksmith shop. We also had the Beeler & Allen grocery and hardware store and the C. B. Yokley "Cats" grocery store where I spent many hours loafing and snacking as a boy. I can remember so well when a nickel slice of baloney, a nickel pack of crackers, a nickel coke, and a nickel moon pie made a fine meal.

        TV came to Campbellsville in 1950 with one channel, WSM TV, Channel 4 out of Nashville. The reception was poor at first but many people started buying TV sets anyway. Electronics had been my hobby for several years, so around 1954 I opened a radio and TV shop and had many customers from all around Campbellsville. My first shop was in the garage at home. I later added TV and Appliance sales to my business and moved into the Pitman White building located beside Raymond Childresses blacksmith shop. I then built a new building on our property for the business. That same building is now being used for the Campbellsville Library. In 1965 I purchased the Pulaski Radio & TV Service from the estate of Noble Morgan and moved to Pulaski. In 1966 I quit the electronics business and opened a mail order nameplate business that I operated for about 20 years.

        Our home at Campbellsville was sold in 1965. A few years later the new Methodist Church was built on the property and the old church building across the street was torn down. Our house was then sold and moved somewhere out on Liberty Hill. 

        I graduated from Campbellsville High School in 1957. There were 19 seniors in our class; Dorothy Allen, Johnny Anderson, Sue Angus, Gerald Barr, Don Foster, Hazeline Gowan, Charlotte Grant, Frankie Jean Hargrove, Marvin Hayes, Smith Hayes, Archie Ann Johnston, Edwin Lovell, Jo Ann Owens, Imogene Ridiner, Jewell Rose, George Russell, Elaine Wells, Lyles Wells, and Retha Yokley. I am sorry to report that death has claimed four of our classmates; Don Foster, Marvin Hayes, Smith Hayes, and Dorothy Allen. It was a sad day for us all when CHS had to be closed.

        For several years our class (1957) and about six other classes have been getting together for a reunion each year held on the first Saturday evening after the 4th of July. We meet in the cafeteria at Richland High School. A few years ago, we put out an invitation for everyone that had ever attended CHS to come and be with us. We are having a very nice crowd each year with good food, fellowship, and everyone is having a ball.

        The NEXT CHS reunion will be held on the first Saturday following the 4th of July from 5 to 10 PM. It will be held at Richland School and our meal will be catered by the Hickory House Restaurant in Pulaski at a cost of $10.00 per person. Please get the word out to everyone who might like to attend. Have them contact Maurice E. Woodard, 300 Gunter Smith Road, Pulaski, TN 38478, Phone: 931-363-8774 or you can email him at mwoodard@igiles.net.

        I have enjoyed putting the Campbellsville web site together, but it will never be finished. There will always be more that we can add to it as we go along. I especially need pictures of CHS, old homes, and stores that have been torn down or destroyed. I would like to have your input. Send me your suggestions, corrections, and comments and be sure and sign the Guest Book.

Thank you for looking,
George Russell

PS:
Be sure and check out the LOCAL HAPPENINGS!
 

This page updated February 15, 2010
 


Webmaster Jennifer H. Stout Campbellsville, TN