The Gleason Gazelles is a civic organization composed of women in
Gleason who are interested in the welfare and growth of the
community. The group was organized by a small number of women in
That first year the organization started a Gleason annual event - the
"Tater Town Special". Some said the club was small and would be
unable to succeed in such a large undertaking. However, with the
help from some of the "special friends" in Gleason, that first
"Tater Town Special" was a success. In fact, 1987 marked the 14th
year for the Gazelles' "Tater Town Special".
Each year the Special has grown, and new ideas have been added
whenever possible. Mr. Dudley Sanders remarked during one of the
parades: "If it keeps on growing each year, we'll have to rent a
The organization's main goal and purpose is to respond to the needs of
the Gleason community. The organization has managed to purchase a
Civic Center for the town. The Gazelles believe that there is a
great need for such a building in Gleason. The Civic Center has been
used by various groups and families.
In 1986, the Homecoming '86 Committee of Gleason had built a beautiful
Gazebo on the north lot of the Civic Center property. This structure
has added to the beauty and the usefulness of the facilities. A
permanent cookbook was added to the Gazelles' facilities
a couple of years ago; this booth is available for use by other
The charities which the Gazelles support are the St. Jude Research
Hospital and the Lion's Club Telethon. They have fund raisers for
thee projects each year. In addition to these charities, the
organization makes yearly gifts to the Gleason School Library. They
have purchased magazines and magazine covers and helped toward the
purchase of a new computer printer for the library.
They became the Gleason Gazelles, Inc. in 1979. The organization's
colors are orange and white. The motto is "Together We Can"; and
even though they have often been told "you can't do it". they
believe that with the help and support of the people of Gleason, it
can be done! The club meets every third Thursday night of the month
at 7:00 P.M. at the Gleason Civic Center.
GLEASON ROTARY CLUB
In October of 1947, the Gleason Rotary Club, composed of eighteen
charter members was admitted to Rotary International. Willard
Huggins was selected to lead the new club as its first president.
Bob Owen is the only remaining active member of the original charter
The Gleason Rotary Club has undertaken and completed many major
projects form its time of organization until the present. Efforts of
different types of youth work have been its main devotion.
The club has earned a reputation of always welcoming the call to
sponsor or assist in any worthwhile community or civic project. It
has also attained the name of an organization that always
accomplishes the job it has undertaken. There have been many
difficulties and hardships, but in overcoming them, the club ahs
drawn together and become stronger.
Much of the success of the Rotary has been due to the good leadership.
Since the first year under the guidance of Willard Huggins, other
men who have been honored as president are:
Bob Owen and Lawrence Bennett have served as president twice. Leon
Smith is the capable leader at present. Mayo Gallimore served as
secretary for about fifteen years.
The new Rotary Club first held their dinner meetings in the cafe
under the old hotel. Other meeting places have been: Bluebird Cafe,
Hattie's Dairy Bar, Jr.'s Dairy Bar, Crestview Drive-In, Heath's
City Cafe and the Bank Community Room. At the Community Room, the
meals have been catered by various organizations including church
groups, school classes and groups, senior citizen groups, the
Eastern Star and various cafes. Presently the food is being catered
by the Korner Cafe in the new Bank Community Room. Prices for meals
have varied from $1.00 per person in 1964 to the present $5.00 per
Many interesting and unique programs with a wide variety of subject
matter have been presented by Rotary members through the years. Some
of these include: Delmar Klutts, who talked about a trip in a covered
wagon he made as a boy from Gleason to Oklahoma. Carmen Pritchett of
Dresden, a Merchant Marine, spoke of his many travels
throughout the world. An FBI agent spoke on his experiences.
Bob Owen told of his trip to England and Scotland. There have been
programs against abortion, home security by the police department,
wildlife in Weakley county, energy problems, causes of cancer, the
Kidney Foundation, inflation raising hogs, juvenile delinquency and
drug abuse, the history of Weakley County and antique gun making. In
1964, Miss. Weakley County spoke on the values of milk and what the
dairy industry means to Weakley County. In December of 1979, Miss. Alte Vandenberg of the University of Tennessee at Martin Music
Department, played the autoharp and sang folk songs. Another unique
program includes Leonard Bynum's quoting the first chapter of
Genesis from memory.
Sometimes the proposed weekly program does not materialize, and the
Rotarian responsible "Lets George Speak For Them", as they pay their
fine. Some well-known guest speakers the club has heard
include Ray Mears, Athletic Director at UTM; Ned Ray McWherter,
as Speaker of the Tennessee House; Judge Charles Butts; Judge Robert
Neal Glasgow; Lawyer Roy Herron; Former Dresden Mayor, Allen
Strawbrige; and Roy Baker and Bill Odom, presidents of Bethel
In addition to programs that inform and inspire, there have been
program presented of an unusual nature. At one time the club
sponsored and paid the expenses of five convicts so that they could
present a program about their lives of crime.
In 1964, the club presented the Life-Saving Award to Glen Margrave of
the local Boy Scouts of America. In 1967, the club voted to
let colored people into the Crippled Adult Hospital, sponsored by
the Rotary Club, in response to a letter from the hospital.
In the late 1940's, an attendance contest was held by and between the
Erin and Gleason clubs with the loser hosting a banquet at the
Greystone Hotel in Paris for Rotarians and their wives. For thirteen
straight weeks both clubs had 100% attendance, but on the fourteenth
week, Erin had an absentee, leaving Gleason as the winner.
Attendance continues to be good.
On January 25, 1982, the members passed the resolution stating: "A
candidate for county government shall not be invited to speak to the
Rotary Club." In June of 1982, the club sponsored Bob Owen
The Rotary Club has always been in the forefront in civic
participation. Some of these projects are: building floats for the
Tater Town Special, sponsoring a womanless beauty review, monetary
support for the City library, Blood Mobile, Crippled Adult Hospital
donations, Easter Seal, Red Cross, Heart Fund, and March of Dimes.
They have also sponsored the Big Brothers paper drive for Christmas
baskets for the needy as one of their major projects.
Since 1960, Hopewell Cemetery has been a project for the club. Each
Memorial Sunday, Rotarians are present during the entire day to take
contribution from interested citizens for the upkeep of the
The Club's interest in young people led to the development of the
supervised park program which was begun in 1950 and which is still
in operation today. Officials from other towns have come to observe
and copy the organization of this project which provides
participation and entertainment for people of all ages.
The club's summer program includes supervise play, ballgames for all
age groups and swimming lessons. The success of the project is due
to the enthusiasm of the sponsoring Rotary. Each spring a kick-off
supper hosted by the club is held at the school cafeteria for the
As further proof of their interest in youth, the club made a
$2,000 gift to the city park in 1964. In the 1950's the Rotary
assisted in the reworking of the football field; and in 1963, they
voted to pay a supplement for the high school athletic coach. In
1984, the club voted to give $1,000 to the Booster Club for the
renovation of the school field house.
The club has sponsored representatives to Girls' State and Boys' State
each year. It has sponsored the Boy Scouts, with some members
serving as leaders and helping with their benefit pancake
The Club is interested in facilities and activities for the elderly.
They decided in 1981 to donate "fine" money for the upkeep of the
Senior Citizens Center. In July 1984, the club bought the building
that house the center for $5,000.
Encouragement in education is evidenced by the Rotary sponsoring and
winning the Rotary International Scholarship for Linda Cooper in
1966 and by assisting in securing a communication machine for Amy
Wynne. In may of 1979, the Rotary Club nominated Debbie Jones for
the Jaycettes Outstanding Young Woman of the Year Award.
Showing their interest in the needs of education, a recommendation
for a new school to be built in Gleason was unanimously endorsed in
In 1976, the Mayo Gallimore Rotarian of the Year Award was
established. Those to receive this prestigious award include:
77 Mayo Gallimore
- 79 Bob Owen
- 80 Jackie Esch
- 82 Ellis Featherstone
- 84 Charlie Huggins
78 Bob Owen
79 Athel Pearson
81 Fred Morris
83 Les McElhiney
85 Vernon Dunn
For his many years of loyal service, the Gleason Club bestowed the
Rotary's highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellow Award, on Lawrence
Bennett; and in 1982, Charlie Huggins was given this honor. In 1985,
Murrell Finch, Mayo Gallimore, and R. H. Owen were recipients of the
award. In 1986, Dudley Sanders was given the honor.
Many, many more accomplishment and interesting events of the Gleason
Rotary Club could be given, but suffice it to say, the entire
citizenry recognizes and appreciates the important asset the club is
to the community by the great services they render. The club has
grown from eighteen charter members to the present thirty-three.
Each dedicated man can truly say he is glad to be a part of the
Gleason Rotary Club.
[Prepared by Roy Travillian]
The Gleason Lions Club was chartered on Saturday, June 5, 1982. The
Gleason Club, sponsored by the McKenzie Lions Club, became the 67th
Club in District 12L.
The Charter Officers for the Club were:
The Directors were: Bob Fanning, Roy L. Hodges, Don Rich, Derrell
Lampkins, Doug Jones, Steve Horn, Henry Jackson and Buddy Sublett
The guest speaker for the Charter Night program was Austin Jennings of
Woodbury, a past international Lions Director. During his remarks
Jennings challenged the Gleason Club to have a dream. He quoted from
former President John F. Kennedy saying "Some men see things as they
are and ask why. Others dream of things as they might be and ask,
The newly formed Gleason Club's dream was a baseball field. It took
more than four years of hard work to make that "dream" become a
reality, but today there is a baseball field which is completely
fenced, has lights for night games, and has a $30,000 two story
press box and concession stand. This field is used for high school
baseball games and for the Lions summer softball program as well as
those who just get up a friendly game on Sunday afternoons.
Presidents who have led the Lions Club include:
- Ronnie Dilday
- Randy Morris
AMERICAN LEGION POST #166
The American Legion Post #166 in Gleason, Tennessee was chartered June
2, 1946 with seventy-eight charter members. Over the years, the
American Legion has contributed to the Gleason School for both
academic and athletic programs, the summer ball program, Huggins
Park and Legion Field. This organization also organized the Big
Brothers Fund Drive to raise money for the needy.
The American Legion has continued to grow since 1946 with expansion in
facilities and activities. Our memorial, the Eternal Flame, is
located in front of the American Legion building. The flame was
dedicated in 1976 as a memorial to all deceased veterans.
Commanders for the Gleason American Legion Post #166 are as follows:
1946 - Thomas E. Poyner
- Harold Grissom
- Murrell Finch
- Harold Parks
- George E. Barrix
- Harry M. Edwards
- Jess Margrave
- Ellis E. Featherstone
- Jesse M. Reed
- Bob S. Wray
- Bob Owen
- James B. Johnson
- Ellis E. Featherstone
- Johnnie L. Johnson
- Johnnie L. Johnson
- Ellis E. Featherstone
- Roy Parks
- Roy Parks
- Richard D. Black
- Richard D. Black
- Austin Suddath
- Austin Suddath
Jim Tom Webb
Jim Tom Web
Bob S. Wray
1972 - Athel
1973 - Athal
1974 - Athel
Hugh R. Reed
SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB
Since the Rotary Club received its charter in 1947, they have worked
hard trying to fulfill their motto - "Service Above Self" - keeping
in mind the progress and interest of all the citizens in this
They have always sponsored a youth program second to none in the area.
In about 1978, they began to realize that the Senior Citizens of
this community were being neglected and needed a place to meet and
have fellowship with one another. With this purpose in mind, they
rented the old J. C. Dellinger Store building, and with the
donations from citizens of Gleason and the surrounding area, they
made the building comfortable and suitable for occupancy. Thus, the
door opened for the enjoyment and entertainment of the Senior
citizens. They continued this operation until 1984, when a final
decision was made to purchase the building. Since then, the Senior
citizens have met continuously from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. with an
average daily attendance ranging from 20 to 40 persons. At the
center those who come play games, such as dominoes, checkers, Uno,
bingo, and Rook. They also have a fellowship meal the first Thursday
of each month at 12:00 o'clock noon.
Each Thursday night is set aside for visiting entertainment such as
quartets, other singing groups, string music and other entertainment
Everyone is free to do his own thing. If someone comes up with an
idea: "Lets have a hamburger supper, " then, a hamburger supper
Many activities are in progress day after day. We have had "cake
walks", bingo, flea markets, etc.
Some of our older citizens have also made large donations to make this
home away from home more comfortable.
The history of the Gleason community provided in
Oakwood-Gleason: A Look Back provides an account of Gleason's history up
through the time the book was originally published. As some 20 years have now passed since its publication, Gleason Online is providing a "History Update"
feature, for each section of the book, for those wishing to add
important historical information relevant to the Gleason community. Contributions can be submitted via E-mail attachment by
clicking on the "Website Visitor Comments" graphic, provided above.
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