Anglea Community Leaves Little Written History, Much Legend
Submitted by Theda Pond Womack
Gallatin, TN 37066
Today several old vacant buildings are all that remain of the once-flourishing community of Anglea, located about midway between Bethpage and Oak Grove.
There is no written history of that community. Only the memory of former residents of the area, most of whom are now deceased, furnish us with a few facts.
Early land owners in the community included the Durham, Bradley, Anglea, Gray, Simpson, Hodges, Reddick, and Rippy families.
Prior to the Civil War, possibly as early as the 1840's, a man named Rippy made pottery here. Potsherds of a crude, red pottery can still be found in the field just west of the old store on land known as the Tom Perry farm.
During the war years, there was a post office in the home of J.W. Reddick. He lived in the house later owned by Eddie Key. Later the post office was moved to the home of Amos Anglea, who gave his name to both the post office and the community.
During the 90s, the postmaster was Fate Gray, who operated the post office in one room of his house. The mail was brought by a horseback rider twice weekly from he railroad station at Ft. Head. The post office was abandoned about the turn of the century.
The house was later owned by Tom Perry, and as a child I inquired of my Aunt Helen as to why the slot was in her door.
There was a log school building located at Anglea possibly as early as 1870. Henry Durham said the new frame building was erected in 1894 and that Henry Brackin was the first teacher in the frame school house.
Other teachers at Anglea School were Morgan Hodges, Henry Hodges, Miss Molly Hodges, "Ras" Bell, Maude Clendenning, Freddie Clendenning, Brode Cantrell, Elsie Braswell, Quint Rippy, Miss Belle Smithson, Miss Nola Martin, Arthur Martin, Edmond Johnson in 1909, Floyd Durham, Miss Alma Hanna, Herschel Thornton, Miss Ida Whitman, Mrs. Belle Walden. This school was closed when Mt. Vernon School was built in 1919.
The house in which Uncle Tom Perry lived was built about 1892 by a carpenter named Brown. Bob Thornton was possibly the first owner, known by Harris Reddick as being one of the earliest owners.
In the first decades of this century, Dr. Walden delivered the babies and prescribed for the ills of the local citizens. Acey Eckols ran a drug store. Bert Anglea ran a general merchandise store which sold everything from sugar and coffee to horse shoes and nails.
Later owners of this store were Bob Reddick, Malachi Rippy, Bob Thornton, Jim Gray, and the last owner, Cleveland Holmes, bought it about 1920.
About 1915, Tom Perry ran a grist mill, grinding his neighbor's corn into meal. But his lifelong occupation was that of blacksmith. He shod horses and repaired wagons, plows, and other farm machinery, sometimes for the price of 50 cents per day.
The job of burying the dead was performed by John Simpson and Fate Gray.
Gray is remembered as having a black hearse wih big lights, pulled by two white horses. Mrs. Bessie Johnson says the horses were named "Charlies" and "Bates". Oliver Bradley made the caskets for these undertakers.
The nearest church was Mt. Vernon Methodist, organized in 1870. Later the Baptist and Church of Christ congregations build at nearby Rock Bridge.
My fondest memories of Anglea are of picking strawberries for Uncle Tom Perry and spending my money for big nickel bags of candy at Cleveland Holmes store.
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