Good old days remembered in the Massey community

The Massey School and Community Reunion was held on Sat., Oct. 5, at the Massey Fire Station Center.

The reunion was well attended and everyone enjoyed the photos and memorabilia collected by many helpers. Old Massey businesses long forgotten were featured at the reunion.

The William Minter Anders Grist Mill was open on Saturdays for grinding meal. Coleman Blackwood’s Barber Shop was also open on Saturdays. It was an add-on room to Anders Garage.

That building is still there and is Lorene Bryant’s storage house. The telephone switchboard was operated by Sallie Bett Hardwick, and later operated by Pernie Morris and then by Harold Holmes. Harold extended the lines and services to Mt. Vernon, West Corinth and Piney Grove communities.

The cotton gin, which ran day and night in October, was owned and operated by Phil Morris, J.Q. Trimm, Sam Gordon and Vadey Laney. It was later demolished.

Leon Hill had a dairy barn there for years. Wagons and big trucks loaded cotton and lined up during the night, west toward Danville and east toward Falkville.

Massey Grocery Company was owned first by Price Bryant and then with his brother, John Bryant. They also ran a peddler truck on three routes. John drove the truck, then Gilbert Blevins and later Ralph Gibson.

Before the peddler truck, Price delivered groceries to families on Wednesdays in the Evergreen, Mt Nebo and Pleasant View communities. Charlie Parker built the original store. John Legg bought it then and the Bryant’s later.

When McKendree’s new church was completed in 1947, the Bryant’s remodeled the old church on the Evergreen and West Pike (55) corner and it became a large general store. After it burned in December 1952, they returned the store business to their old building that closed in the 1960s and the building moved to Speake.

The other store was built by Thomas and Edith Teague in the late 1940s. Later, Mrs. Laney and her son, Vadey Laney bought it. Her daughter, Audie Thomason and husband Oscar operated it.

After the Thomasons ran it, Jerrell and Laverne Thomas managed it. Then Gerald and Ann Blair bought it, followed by Ronnie and Jenny Asherbranner (R & J Grocery) and then Arriton’s before Charles Smith closed it.

Ann Blair Sullins owns the building now. Hersley Chandler, Gene Durand and Hoyt Penn had a tractor dealership beside the Massey Grocery.

Teachers were featured on Saturday. Several are still in the area, Mary Ruth Townsend, Lorene Bryant and Hazel Holladay.

Others mentioned by students most were Ada Staples, Price Bryant, Lera Teague, Fay and Ollie Camp, Clarence and Bernice Light, Malcolm and Fay Stephenson, Mary Woodruff, Elizabeth Caperton, Sue Holland, Gladys Howse, Evelyn Morris Speake, John Ellenburg and Milton Alldredge.

Windes School Teachers were Ruby Morris Summerford, Mattie Dobbs and Professor W. H. “Billy” Windes.

Many shared school and community memories of people and events.

The Pleasant View School was also mentioned. Gracie Mae Yates Penn is the only surviving student of that school.

Gracie Penn lived in the Round Top community and is now in Summerford Nursing Home. She will be 89 years old on Dec. 20.

People from the Upper Mt. Nebo community and the ones on the mountain near Pleasant View also attended. Gracie’s father, Frank Yates was active in the community and supporter of the school. J. D. Light was the teacher and that was his first job.

He was from the Ruth community in Marshall County. Later, he taught at Falkville, Cotaco and Brewer High Schools. He told many stories about his Pleasant View experiences. There were several 17-year-old students in his third grade class.

One family in the Mt. Nebo area had a newspaper each week. People met in different homes to share the paper on Monday nights.

At those meetings, J. D. said people discussed church and school issues as well. He boarded with a family in the Mt. Nebo area and enjoyed his experiences.

I hope that all of our Hartselle Enquirer readers will enjoy the Massey Good Old Days story as much as I did. Due to the length of this story, some of my news items will be printed in next week’s news. I appreciate your understanding and wish all of you a wonderful week.


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