The Beginnings of Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, Part 3

Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Hello, readers.
December 16th is a beautiful but sad day. I lost my husband of 47 years, two years ago today. Though I'm sad, I have so much to be thankful for. Merry Christmas to all.

Establishing a Park Commission and Beginning Construction

The Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Park Commission was created by the Tennessee State Legislature in December 1929. This was signed by Henry L. Horton on December 14, 1929. It provided that there should be a Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Park Commission composed of the Governor, State Librarian, and State Historian.

Also on the board were the following citizens of Benton County; O.B. Lashlee, Lindsey Melton, G.M. Leslie, J.F. Odle, H. Blake Pafford, Captain Leon Caraway, Mrs. W.P. Redick and Mrs. Cecil Pafford Warrick.

The work began, and a road was made from Happy Hollow Road to Pilot knob with a pair of mules and a pair of horses owned by Willie Warrick. Mr. Albert Cherry furnished a pair of horses also.

They used a homemade plow consisting of a large rock attached to an old plow handle. It was pulled by a team to loosen the rocks and dirt. To grade the road they used a homemade triangle blade made of wood pulled by a team. They also used picks and axes.

Mr. Blake Pafford was in charge of getting the road built and the hill cleared. Those helping in the construction were: Willie Warrick, Frank Pafford, J.D. Warrick, Ali Warrick, Albert Cherry, Joe Goodman, David B. Pafford, Onas Sanderfur, Charlie Spence, Harold Pafford, and Addelia Hollingsworth. These men worked up to ten hours a day with little or no pay.

On October 24, 1930, the Work Progress Administration (WPA) arrived in Benton County. They hired some of the above mentioned men to continue clearing the hill and building the roads in the park.

Thought for the Week:

Doing what's right today means no regrets tomorrow.


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Brian Nichols

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