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80 Years Ago

Archives 10-18-2000



A.H. Roberts Marker Dedicated
Commission Votes To Purchase Property For Industrial Park Bill To Aid Tobacco Farms


A.H. Roberts Marker Dedicated

On hand for the dedication of the A.H. Roberts marker are, from left, Mayor Hosea Winningham, David Parsons, Rita Looper, State Senator Lincoln Davis, Hershel Wilson, Anna Ruth Qualls, Lynda Simmons, Julia Bishop, Mayme Swallows, John Officer, Loretta Qualls, Sue Reagan, John Roberts, and Jo Little.


Dedication ceremonies for a historic marker in honor of A.H. Roberts were held Saturday, Oct. 14 at the law office building on the grounds of A.H. Roberts Elementary School.

The Tennessee Historical Commission approved the marker in February. The text reads as follows:

Albert H. Roberts lived on this site from 1910 to 1920. This building, previously located on Main Street, was his law office. During Governor Roberts' administration, the General Assembly cast the decisive vote that made the women's suffrage amendment part of the United States Constitution. The Nineteenth Amendment passed the Tennessee General Assembly by one vote with Roberts' support. Governor Roberts died on June 25, 1946, and is buried in Good Hope Cemetery.

According to information supplied by Richard Thomas, the law office once stood on the courthouse square in Living-ston. When A.H. Roberts was elected governor in 1919, he sold his law office to Dr. A.B. Qualls Sr., who moved it to the front corner of his home lot at East Main Street and Goodpasture Street.

Dr. Qualls practiced medicine from the office for many years when he was not making house calls day and night countywide, on horseback in the beginning then by automobile later. Sometimes he had to change horses when the calls were farther apart.

Dr. Qualls used the office until 1960. The building was unused from 1960 to 1970. When Mrs. Qualls died, the Qualls children donated the office to the Overton County Historical Society. The office was moved in 1976 from East Main and Goodpasture to Roberts Street where the Roberts family home once stood. The K-4 school, which was erected on the grounds adjoining the law office, is named in honor of Governor A.H. Roberts.


Commission Votes To Purchase Property For Industrial Park

By Dewain E. Peek

A new industrial park will be created between Livingston and Rickman on Highway 111 now that an option on the Ragland Farm has been exercised.

The Overton County Legislative Body voted to purchase the property during the regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 10. Commissioner Wayne Sells was unable to attend.

County Executive Richard M. "Ossie" Mitchell said, "This would be an Overton County industrial park, some 165 acres."

The option calls for the county to pay $10,000 per acre. Approximately $2 million will be borrowed for the project. According to Executive Mitchell, grants are available to pay for most of the expense of infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water lines.

"We'll have to bear the expense of the land," he said. "Of course, plans are on this land if its sold on this site for industry it goes back to pay the debt off. We're not going to give it away."

When asked about paying for the land, Mitchell said, "We can borrow all the money we want from the Rural Development people at 5 percent."

He also said the initial money needed to seal the deal could be borrowed locally.

Commissioners Alan Atnip, Randall Boswell, Stanley Carter Jr., David Dorminey, Wayne Ferrell, Frank Martin, Tom Montooth, Grant Pennington, Billy Sullivan, and Johnny Webb voted yes, and Commissioners Billy Phipps, Gregg Nivens, Donnie Bull, and Gail Arney voted no.

The Commission granted approval to the Highway Department to borrow a maximum of $175,000 on a capital outlay note not to exceed four years. The money is to be used to purchase a used front-end loader and a used dozer. The money will come out of the highway department budget, according to Executive Mitchell.

The nursing home budget was approved.

Willie D. "BillÓ Bilbrey and Ralph Robbins were appointed to the E-911 Board of Directors.

Edith Key's request to buy back one year of her retirement time was approved.

Overton County standing committees were placed as follows:

Budget & Purchasing Committee - Alan Atnip, David Dorminey, Wayne Sells, Wayne Ferrell, Tom Montooth, and Gregg Nivens.

Education Committee - Wayne Sells, Grant Pennington, Billy Sullivan, Tom Montooth, and Johnny Webb.

Solid Waste Committee - Alan Atnip, David Dorminey, Billy Sullivan, Gail Arney, and Donnie Bull.

Public Safety Committee and Beer Board - Frank Martin, Stanley Carter, Randall Boswell, Billy Phipps, and Donnie Bull.

Highway and County Property Committee - Frank Martin, Stanley Carter, Billy Sullivan, Gail Arney, and Johnny Webb.

Insurance, Delinquent Tax and Tax Base Committee - Wayne Sells, Grant Pennington, Randall Boswell, Billy Phipps, and Donnie Bull.

Industrial Development and Planning Committee - Frank Martin, David Dorminey, Wayne Ferrell, Gail Arney, and Gregg Nivens.

Fair Committee - Wayne Sells, Stanley Carter, Randall Boswell, Tom Montooth, and Donnie Bull.

County Salary and Employee Policy Committee - Frank Martin, David Dorminey, Wayne Ferrell, Gail Arney, and Gregg Nivens.

Veterans Committee - Johnny Webb and Billy Phipps.

Nominated and approved for the Nursing Home Committee were Frank Martin - 1st District, Grant Pennington - 2nd District, Billy Sullivan - 3rd District, Billy Phipps - 4th District, and Johnny Webb - 5th District.

Road names approved for emergency purposes only are Sherwood Forest Road, which was formerly Sherwood Forest Lane, Eureka Lane, Music Barn, and Sawdust Lane.

The west end of Spring Creek Road was renamed to West Spring Creek Road.

Executive Mitchell said, "The reason this needs to be changed is because Putnam County has also got a road called Spring Creek Road."

Executive Mitchell indicated the roads being the same named had cause complications. Approved as notaries at large were Dennie Chilton, Tina Williams, Kathleen Bilbrey, and Darwin Clark.

Executive Mitchell was reappointed as chairman, and Tom Montooth was appointed chairman pro tem.

The Commission voted to suspend the rules and vote on a resolution saying the County Commission will stand by its right to display the Ten Commandments. County Attorney Daryl Colson was asked if a problem could result from voting on it. Colson said that a resolution supporting the right would probably not cause any legal trouble. The Commission then adopted the resolution.

The meeting adjourned.


Bill To Aid Tobacco Farms

Overton County tobacco farmers expect to see as much as a 30 percent increase in next year's budget quotas after the U.S. House of Representatives passed an agricultural spending bill Wednesday, Oct. 11 that includes $510 million in disaster relief.

The bill, which now heads to the Senate before being sent to the President, declares the 1999 drought-stricken burley crop a disaster and writes off the federal loans used to buy the tobacco. Overton County has 1,578 certified quota owners.

U.S. Representative Bart Gordon said, "Burley growers have experienced huge losses over the past few years because of drought, disease, and a shrinking market. Quotas have been dramatically cut, and this bill will likely stop deeper cuts that had been predicted for next year's crop."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reduced the national marketing quota during the last three growing seasons to help keep the price of tobacco stable. The state's burley quota has been reduced 62 percent in the last three years, from 110.8 million pounds in 1998 to 42.4 million pounds during the past growing season.

Quotas are based on the amount of surplus tobacco being held, the amount U.S. manufacturers declare they intend to buy and the amount expected to be sold as exports.





Overton County News
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