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White Bluff, Tennessee History Summary
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Taken from the June, 2000 issue of "The Historical News"

We find among the early settlers: farmers, merchants, doctors, railroaders, iron workers, dentists, preachers and teachers. Among the old doctors were Dr. George Dobson practicing in 1892. He died in a house near the railway track. Dr. George Morgan's drug store was still operating in 1906 and later by his widow, Mary Morgan, in 1927. Dr. J.A. Venable also operated a drug store. On 14 July 1919, three visits and medicine for the Eleazer children amounted to $9.50. 'Compare that with the prices of today.' Dr. J.B. chapman, Dr. H.P. Spencer and Dr. J.W. Moore were later doctors in White Bluff. One of the first undertakers was Harry Wolfe. The hearse was drawn by Clydesdale horses. The iron forge on Turnbull Creek was operated by Epps Jackson from 1825 to 1835.

Charles Augustus Robertson, formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio, was printing a month paper in White Bluff as of 10 November 1898.l The name of the paper was White Bluff Star. The advertising rates were 15 cents per inch. The paper was $1.00 per year as of 1901. The paper gave as mayor, B.F. Myatt, recorder, O.D. Charlton, city marshal, Tom Dickson, deputy, B.F. Rodgers, aldermen were Roe Howell, Jarrett Howell, John Donnely, M.C. Crumpler and Dr. J.A. Venable. The printing press was run in the back of Brown's store where Mrs. Dugan also ran a hat shop and trimmed hats.

One of the earlier blacksmith shops was run by Mr. Charlie Thompson and Earnest Jones. Kerr and Willey were early merchandise men. Mr. John Heath's store was where we bought just about everything we had to have in the way of groceries, utilities and wearing apparel. Phenis Thompson was in partners with Mr. Heath for several years. "Pap" beck ran the store in later years. The building was later used for an auction house. The Union Store was owned by stock holders. Among those to operate the store at different times were Hardy Pack, Fate Taylor and J.W. Delores. B.Y. Brown ran a store later bought by W.D. Buttrey, and J.W. Brown ran a store by the railroad tracks. Clarence Williams dry goods store, at that time was such an addition to White Bluff.

Mr. Ben Myatt was telegraph operator for many years in the 1800's. He taught other men the trade at the price of $50.00 to complete the course. Van J. Eleazer studied under Mr. Myatt. He was sent to Texas where in 1888 his certificate of membership in the Order of Railway Telegraphers of North America was signed out of Colorado. He was stationed at Big Springs, Beaumont and Waco. This was at the time when the "west" was really a new country. I remember of his telling of being robbed one night. The robbers took his watch and what money they could find and then carried him away from the station. He thought they meant to kill him. He had a $20.00 bill in his veswt pocket which they failed to find. He stuffed it down beside the path in grass and afterward went back and found it. For some reason they decided to turn him loose without harm. He came back to Dickson County, Tennessee in 1890 to live the rest of his life.

Mr. E. S. Woodworth was operator after Mr. Myatt. Mr. Shell Jordan was another o0perator who studied under Mr. Myatt. He was sent to Arkansas where he was stationed at Preston and Hope, with the Missouri Railway. In later years he worked in bus depots, after the change over.

Mr. Weldon McDonald of White Bluff worked for 19 years as telegraph operator at the White Bluff depot. He began work in 1911 and was operator for 50 years in all. K In the early years, pay was $40.00 per month, working 13 hours a day. It is broken down to five days per week with shorter hours.

Mr. McDonald told a story that Mr. Myatt had a lamb he kept at the depot. He fed him sugar. If you didn't give him all he wanted he would back off and butt you. One day, Mac attempted to feed him. He failed to give the lamb his usual supply of sugar and the lamb backed off and came at him, lifted him up and sent him flying through the air."

Note: The Historical News is published by:

Southern Historical News, Inc.
P.O. Box 1068
Hiram, Georgia 30141
Toll-free: 800-422-4478
Fax: 770-943-0729

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