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The book Oakwood - Gleason: A Look Back, compiled on the
occasion of "Homecoming '86", has for more than 20 years served as a
useful history of the Gleason, Tennessee community, helping many with a
fondness for Gleason remain in touch with the past.
As this book is no longer available in print, the
original 1,500 printed copies having been purchased long ago, I am very
pleased that it is now possible, to provide
visitors to Gleason Online with selections reprinted from this excellent
book, along with numerous Gleason pictures from the past. A listing of
these selections can be seen in the Table of Contents of the book,
As can be seen in the original foreword to the book (presented below),
the compilers of the book indicate that . . . "It is our hope that the
people of Gleason will be encouraged to research and record additional
community and family history [and]. . . add to and improve upon it for
future historians. Consistent with the wishes of the "Homecoming '86"
History Committee, we will
provide a separate "History Update" section on the webpage, below each selection
the book, for those wishing to add important historical information related to the
Gleason community during the intervening years, from 1987
to the present.
Again, I am very pleased that it is now possible to provide information
from this book online so that it can be available to all those
who have an interest in Gleason's history. I especially wish to thank
Joyce Wray who, along with other members of the "Homecoming '86" Committee,
was responsible for compiling this book, for her helpfulness and support
of this effort.
The history of Gleason, Tennessee began with the first
settlers and continues with each passing day. The Homecoming '86 Committee
of Gleason is pleased to offer this history, written for your reference
The information presented in this book is only a small
part of the story of Gleason's history. A sincere thank-you is extended to
all those who contributed to the information contained in this book.
We make no claim that the result in complete or without
error. It is our hope that the people of Gleason will be encouraged to
research and record additional community and family history. It is also
our hope that you will treasure your copy of this effort and will work to
add to and improve upon it for future historians.
The Gleason School Library would like to express their
thanks to the Homecoming '86 committee for allowing the staff and students
to become involved in this record of our town's history.
Homecoming '86 Committee
Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander proclaimed the year
1986 as "Homecoming '86". His purpose was to get Tennesseans back home and
to try and draw attention to Tennessee as the location for new industries.
Communities across the state formed committees to plan and implement
activities and projects in conjunction with the "Homecoming '86"
The "Homecoming '86" Committee for Gleason was as
follows: Steering Committee Chairperson - Julia Fowler' Alumni Committee
Chairperson - Linda Godwin: Celebration Committee Co-Chairpersons - Jayne
Fowler and Rocky Smyth; Community Worship Chairperson - Bro. Glenn Elliot:
Finance Chairpersons - Bob Owen and Martha Hagler; Gazebo Project
Co-Chairpersons - Glenn Arnold and Mayor Jack Dunning; History Chairperson
- Joyce Wray; Visions Chairperson - Pam McElhiney.
Other Committee Members were: Lena Bradberry, Nelcene
Dunning, Peggy Fanning, Richard Horn, Kenneth Lemonds, Patricia Parks, Joy
Rouse, Dudley Sanders, Jerry Simmons, Buddy Sublett, and Gene
Events of the "Homecoming '86" weekend included the
Tater Town Special parade and activities, an Alumni Class Reunion and
Banquet at the Gleason School on Saturday, August 30, 1986, with over 600
people attending, and the Mike Snider Concert following the Banquet. The
"Homecoming '86" quilt was displayed during the day's activities with a
drawing in the afternoon; the winner of this heirloom quilt was Mrs.
Louise Oliver. On Saturday morning following the parade, the Gleason
Gazebo was dedicated. The events of the weekend concluded on Sunday,
August 31 with a community worship service and Open House at the school.
This history of Gleason is also one of the
"Homecoming'86" projects. Mrs. Joyce Wray served as chairperson of the
committee which compiled the history. She and many others worked long and
hard, but pleasurable hours compiling and recording the history of our
town. They should be commended for all the work it took to put together a
book such as the one which has resulted from this labor. Also to be
commended is Mrs. Julia Fowler who served as Chairperson of the Steering
Committee. She was responsible for seeing that "Homecoming '86" was
implemented in the Gleason community. She was also very instrumental in
persisting until a book which recorded the History of Gleason, Tennessee
was a reality and not just a dream.
Table of Contents
(Items in the Table of Contents are Hyperlinked ~ Just
Click to View Specific Selections)
History of Gleason
. . .
Interesting Facts About Gleason . . .
History of Weakley County . . .
of the Past . . .
A Look Back . . .
the Bank of Gleason . . .
Gleason's Churches . . .
Gleason School . . .
Reflections on Gleason School History (Dudley Sanders). . .
Gleason Civic Organizations . . .
Eastern Star and Masonic Lodge . . .
Gleason's Celebrities . . .
From the Past . . .
End Note by Joyce
Wray . . .
"Life in Gleason From Newspapers of Yesterday"
Gleason Town Charter
Oakwood - Gleason: A Look Back (Compiled by Joyce Horn
Wray) was initially printed by Skullbone Printing Service, Bradford,
Other Material of Historical Interest
Gleason, Tennessee: Fancy Hotels and Sweet Potatoes
By Virginia Vaughan
Tennessee: Clay Mining and Music
By Virginia Vaughan
Sweet Potatoes Shipped by Railroad
Young boy in
white shirt (right) - Jimmie Glenn; Man standing on platform - Gale W.
Ray; Lady with suitcase - Rachael Kennon, Man on left side of Truck -
Harry Mac Edwards.
Picture made by
Marie and Calvin Wheat, developed by Harles Woodard (Gleason, TN),
received from Laurie Beach Pine, and provided to GleasonOnline.com by
Dairy Bar across from the Highway Cafe
Peace and Harmony School ~ Gleason, Tennessee, Early
Hurbert Materials Company
First Row: 1. Russsell Dilday, 2. Pete
Bailey, 3._______,4. Finas Hagler, 5. Charles Nipper, 6. Billy Tuck, 7.
Robert Sanders, 8. Rupert Bailey, 9. Joe Summers, 10. Haden Blackard,
11. Coy Segraves, 12. Raymond Barber.
Second Row: 1. Bobby Mansfield, 2. Elmo
Spann, 3. Russell Lovett, 4. L C Larry, 5. Johnny Wilson, 6. Lamon
Blassingame, 7. _________ Bradberry, 8. J. W. Stewart, 9. Louis
Brawner, 10 R. J. Lowry, 11. Bill Carmer - Plant Manager.
Gleason: The Early 1900's
1958 Junior High Basketball Championship Banquet
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.