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FANCY TOWN

 
 
Plesant Hill Baseball Team - Fancy, Tennessee - photo

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OLD DAYS IN FANCY TOWN

by Regena Stafford, Dresden High School, American History, Mrs. Moubray

The following was a school paper given to Ann Westbrook Radcliff by Sue 
McGehee, a cousin.  I believe it was writtin in the 60's.....Ann

Dresden Enterprise, date unkown

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Ione Smith Kennedy,  Sharon 
Vita Fowler Carney,  Gleason 
Herman Westbrook, Dresden 
Mrs. Pete Killebrew, Latham 
Sue Grubb McGehee,  Dresden 
Thelma Smith Lovelace, Dresden

Fancy is a community north of Dresden on the Boydsville Road.  It was not a very large community but contained qualities that are only memories of today.  Fancy was named when the post office was established.  The mail was carried to Fancy by Tom CAMPBELL  He delivered the mail in a mail hack drawn by a gray horse.  The mail was left at the Fancy store and as he left it, he called out 'Fancy Town.'  People came to the store to pick up their mail.  The mail was placed in boxes made of wood with letters of the alphabet on them to receive the mail.  These boxes were in the two story on the east side of the road. 

The first store of Fancy was a two story building that was built before 1910.  It was first owned by Bob FOWLER  This store contained a line of groceries, such as:  coffee and sugar sold by the pound, crackers in a barrel and vinegar in a barrel, and kerosene sold by jugs.  It also contained a line of hardware such as: nails and steeples sold by the pound, horse collars, trace chains, plow points, well buckets, well ropes, wash tubs, wash boards, oil lamps, wicks and chimneys.  The store was built by Irby FOWLER, Bob Fowler’s brother.  Irby sold it to Bob in 1889.  On the second floor of the building was a Woodmen of the World.  'Odd Fellow' was the men’s association, and the 'Rebecca Lodge'  was the women’s.  The store was handed down through many owners.  Later, in 1914-1915, Bob FOWLER sold the store to Eurah KING and he went bankrupt.  Then the store was bought by Ellen FOWLER in 1916.  She contained hats and dry goods from her store on the west side.  She died in 1935.  Silas GRUBB then bought the stock from her store.  Walter LOVELACE then turned the store into a stock barn after Ellen FOWLER’s death. 

Although the two store building was considered the first store, the first store was really on the west side of the road built by Sam PERRY.  This was a one story building that had been used for a subscription schoolhouse taught by Ellen FOWLER.  Later, this was converted into a store.  The first merchandise was hats for ladies.  Each hat was individually designed for each lady with the trim selected.  Ladies came from far and near to buy these hats.  They would even travel from Dresden just to buy hats at Fancy.  These hats were stored in enclosed glass show cases that had a drop door with a mirror for convenience to see how the hat looked.  Later, Ellen added dry goods such as: percale, domestic, flannel material, pillow ticking, lace, buttons, snaps, elastic, underwear, hose and shoes.  The had rolls or ribbon in glass showcases on display.  This one story building also had many owners.  The owners after Ellen FOWLER were:  Chester EAVES from 1918-1919, Bennie WESTBROOK, Will MORROW, LASATER, GRUBB from 1956-1969, IONE from 1969-1970, James WILSON in 1970, and STACKS.  The stock that had been in Ellen FOWLER’s store had been transferred into the two story building and groceries replaced the one story building.

The two stores were not the only buildings in Fancy.  There was also a blacksmith shop by Reese GATEWOOD about 1908 or 1909.  This was the first blacksmith shop.  It was later taken over by Walter LOVELACE after Reese GATEWOOD died in 1912.  Walter LOVELACE then had a blacksmith shop and a grist mill near the store.  The blacksmith shop was important at this time for the only transportation was on horseback.  The grist mill was used to turn wheat into flour. 

The children of the community attended Morgan School until 1921, when land was given by Walter SMITH to build a school in Fancy in 1921.  The school considted on one side for the girls and the other for boys.  It was heated with a wood stove and a tile well was used for water.  The teachers at the Fancy school were: Lois ATKINS GREEN, Opal WHITE WILSON, Kathleen JACKSON SHUFF, Ruby JETT JOLLEY, Thelma Rae RIGGINS JACKSON, Lola Arnn SIMMONS, Mary WARD BRANN and Mary STUBBEFIELD THEDFORD.

The family life of fancy was almost self-supporting.  They had a garden which was relied on for food and goods were stored during the winter when the people were banned to their homes.  They had cows for milk and churned the milk into butter.  The eggs and meat came from chickens and meat also came from the hogs and the meat was salt cured for ham.  The people relied on these sources of food all year round.  Ice boxes were used to store ice.  An ice truck ran from Martin and delivered ice twice a week.  When electricity was brought to Fancy, this made life easier.  The first telephone was brought to Fancy by the Cumberland telephone company from Dresden.  These inventions helped to expand Fancy.

The agricultural status of Fancy was centered around everyone working together.  When people built barns, all the men worked together.  Crops grown, such as: tobacco, corn, wheat and others kept everyone busy working in the fields.  The women worked together making quilts and they usually finished two or three quilts in one day.  The women also made soap using ashes and grease and lye.  Everyone seemed to stay together until all work was done.  The roads of Fancy were made by horse-drawn graders or drags pulled by about six horses.

There were other important people of Fancy.  The doctor of Fancy was Dr. FIELDS.  He made house calls on horseback and in a buggy when it rained or when the weather was bad.  He was a very friendly person who had a smile and blinked his eves often.  Another important person was little Johnny MATHENY who made pictures and developed them in the Fancy store.  These people helped Fancy to stay a moving little community. 

The memories of Fancy still exists in the minds of many people who still remember it.  Today, Fancy is no more than a place where people live between Dresden and Palmersville on the Boydsville Road.  The two-story building that was the store, now stands in the ownership of someone using it as a garage.  One old house still stands on the west side but is being town down.  What used to be a booming community is now a memory at heart.

 


 
 
 
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