Gleason is a unique combination of tradition and history. Since 1871, Gleason has stayed true to agricultural roots, rich natural resources, and a safe place to live and raise a family. The City of Gleason invites you to stop by for a visit any time. 

Gleason’s City Hall is located at 101 College Street in our quaint downtown area. City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM. The helpful staff looks forward to assisting you. Have a question about utility service or Gleason? Call 731-648-5547 and they are happy to help. 

In addition to the City Mayor, the City of Gleason is governed by a Vice Mayor and three aldermen. The City of Gleason Governing Body meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 PM at the City Hall in Gleason. All interested members of the community are invited to attend public meetings. 

The City of Gleason has recently introduced a brand new online and credit card bill payment system in partnership with nexbillpay, an online complete payment and notification platform designed to allow users online payment options while offering security, flexibility, and value. The integrated platform offers a secure customer portal that is complete with account verification, usage/billing presentment, payment storage, notification options and built-in e-billing. Using the online billpay system, Gleason residents can pay property taxes, water bill payments, and City of Gleason Citations – all from their personal computer or mobile device. Learn more or make a payment by visiting our ONLINE BILL PAY web page. 

A quick and friendly reminder to our residents and visitors: we are here to serve you! Please don’t hesitate to contact any of our City Departments or administrative team with questions or concerns. 

A look into the HISTORY OF GLEASON

A Brief History of Gleason

[Note: The following interesting, though brief, history of Gleason was taken from the Journal of Dr. R. W. bandy, a former cashier at the Bank of Gleason. This excerpt was taken by James Johnson.]


Gleason is situated 135 miles northwest of Nashville – almost due west – on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis Railroad. This railroad was originally called the Northwestern, due to the fact that it extended in a northwesterly course from Nashville to Hickman, Kentucky.

Gleason is also located on the Reelfoot Lake branch of the Memphis-to-Bristol and Broadway of America Highway. The Broadway of America highway has its beginning in New York City, extending through Tennessee to California. Thus, just a few moments drive from the main trunk highway will bring tourists through Gleason to America’s fishing and hunting paradise at Reelfoot Lake.

The town was named for the late W.W. Gleason. The first storehouse was built in 1866 by John Hamilton, half-brother to our esteemed fellow townsman, Will Hamilton. This store was located on the site now occupied by the handsome modern home of George Trevathan. Later, it was moved to the corner at present occupied by the Farmers and Citizens Bank.

The first drug store in Gleason was owned and operated by E. D. and George Lasater, the latter still a citizen of Gleason. The town’s pioneer physicians were Drs. Russell and J. W. Bandy, the latter the father of Dr. R. W. Bandy, for many years a leading physician, but now cashier of the bank of Gleason. Both of these gentlemen came to Gleason at the same time and began the practice of medicine, Dr. Bandy coming from Gallatin. Dr. Burnett was the father of the late Mrs. Sue Alexander and the grandfather of Mr. Homer Alexander.

Gleason’s first church was organized in 1870. It was of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith, and ever since that date to the present time there has be a live active Cumberland Presbyterian Church here.

The first school was taught in this house of worship, a two-story frame structure, the upper story of which was a Masonic Hall. The Masons were responsible for the school, which was before the days of free schools. Masons of the vicinity secured a charter and established the Masonic Male and Female Institute, and employed Prof. Bass to teach the school. He was an old-time schoolmaster and made his appearance at the school building each morning with a bundle of long, keen, enduring hickory switches, which he kept by the side of his desk all day long, according to Dr. R. W. Bandy, who was initiated to their severity upon many occasions.

The Masonic Male and Female Institute continued at Gleason until just a few years ago when the name was changed to Gleason High School.


Gleason, TN

Gleason , TN – Published in the Nashville Tennessean Nov 8th, 1902 – EXCITEMENT IN GLEASON – Somebody doesn’t want houses built on the Street – Special – A sensation has been created here over the burning of a pile of lumber last night. There is a street about 100 feet wide which runs through the business portion of the town, with hitching racks on either side. A portion of the street is owned by Logan White and he has decided to erect two houses on the property and yesterday with a force of hands began work.

He tore down a section of hitching racks, which were on the land and hauled in a lot of rafters, sills and other building materials and piled it up on the ground ready to begin work today. About mid-night last night the lumber was set on fire and this morning was a heap of ashes and burning logs. No one knows anything about the setting on fire of the lumber and nothing can be learned in regard to it. The building of the two houses on the spot selected would force all people coming to Gleason from the east and north to cross the railroad twice to get into the business portion of the town when they did not have to cross it at all heretofore, and generally supposed the fire was started to serve as a warning not to erect the buildings in the street.

The most prominent citizens of the town do not approve of the burning of the lumber and are indigent over the affair. Mr. White went ahead with the work on the houses today and says he will build them, for the land is his – ( photo shows business portion of town, looking east over railroad circa 1910) Home in photo background is believed to be one of the houses constructed in 1902.

Early History of Gleason, Tennessee

Gleason was first organized as a community in 1850. At that time Gleason was called Oakwood, named for a large oak tree that stood next to Mr. W.W. Gleason’s general store. The community, which was settled as a result of the railroad, developed near the railroad tracks. Although growth was slow at first, agricultural products, chiefly cotton, and tobacco kept the town alive.  

On August 6, 1857, a proposition to subscribe stock to the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad to the amount of 2 ¼% of the taxable property of the county was submitted to an election held on that date. The vote polled: For – 1,177; Against – 1,812. After considerable controversy and a final decision by the Supreme Court, the stock, in the amount of $100,000.00 was subscribed, and the taxes to go toward payment collected in three annual installments. By 1861, Gleason had its first completed railroad, the Nashville and Northwestern.  

There were also said to have been four saloons in town by that same year. Joseph Hamilton and Epharian Mobley were Gleason’s first merchants. They were followed by Hamilton, Moore, and others. By 1866, there were five stores, three churches (Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Methodist), two tobacco houses, mechanic shops, and the Oakwood Lodge #330 F & M. The Masonic Institute was established and a building was erected which could accommodate 300 pupils. 

The Oakwood community was incorporated as a town in 1871. The town’s name was changed to “Gleason” (or Gleason Station) in honor of Mr. W.W. Gleason who was a prominent businessman in both Gleason and Dresden. In addition to his businesses, Mr. Gleason held many acres of land in the area which he had obtained through a land grant. 


North Cedar Street Early 1900’s 

A Nashville Business Directory, published in 1881 – 1882, described Gleason in the listings as follows: 

Gleason Station, Weakley County, on N.C. & St. L. Railway, formerly known as Oakwood, is a prosperous village of about 250 inhabitants. It is 7 miles southwest of Dresden, the county seat, and 127 miles from Nashville. The land surrounding this place is productive, the citizens are sociable and generous, and many improvements in various ways are being made. It has Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Methodist churches, a chartered educational institution under the name of Gleason Masonic Male & Female Institute, and a steam sawmill. Cotton tobacco and wheat are shipped, express Southern, daily mail, with Dr. E. D. Lasater as Postmaster. 


The following businesses were listed in that same publication: 


Cotton Buyer    

James K. P. Alexander 


John F. Allman,  J. W. Bandy, Enoch Heath, S.C. Lankford, J. B. Lasater, T. H. Swain 

Professor & Teacher  

Robert W. Bandy 


John F. Brummitt 

Baptist Ministers  

Rev. Pleasant W. Cook, Rev. Robert B. Crews 

Methodist Ministers  

Rev. James C. Crews, Rev. Ruben R. Nelson 

Cumberland Presbyterian Ministers 

Rev. H. C. Johnson,  Rev. W. C. Newberry, Rev. Hiram J. Ray 


C. W. Doss,  Richard Dunlap 

Principal (Masonic Male & Female Institute) 

Mrs. Julia W. Huey 


James & James (Wm. D. & Ed. W), Tillman Johnson, A. J. Swaim 

General Store  

Jones & Casey (Thomas Jones &  Joshua Casey) 

General Store  

Whitworth & Son ((J. S. & Robert J.) 

General Store & Drugs   

Lasater Bros (Elias E. & Geo. W.) 


S.C. Lankford 


Green Looney 


A.G. Medlock 


A.G. Medlock 


Drewery M. Pausley,  J. A. Russell 

Magistrate and Notary 

A.M. Smith, J, H, Stigler 

Matron at Masonic Male and Female Institute 

Mrs. S. J. Walton 

Livery Stable  

J. D. Whitworth 


Somewhere around 1900, Gleason boasted two hotels; the Jones Hotel, which was located in the old Horn’s Garage [later K. T. Distributors]; and the Whitworth Hotel, which was located across from the depot. It was said to be the finest hotel between Memphis and Nashville. The rates were $2.00 per day, for very elegantly furnished rooms. 



Horn’s Garage early 1900’s                                                Jones Hotel 

The Whitworth also had a grand ballroom, where name bands played for dances and entertainment. In the 1903 edition of The Gleason Headlight, this description was made: 

A special Christmas party was given by Miss. Fairra Whitworth. Progressive lunch and music were special entertainment. Those present were Misses Lillie Levy, Cary Mitchell, Edwina Lasater, Welborn Whitworth, Myrtle Bobbitt, Wynona Bandy, Mattie Bell Clendennin, Maggie Hunt, and Fairra Whitworth. Young gentlemen present were Will Phares, Robert Mathenny, Will Collins, Clyde Walters, Edward Atkins, Curtis Gardner, George Shankle, Walter Walters, Claud Montgomery, L.W. Lyles, and Jodie Adams. The Churchfield Band Played. 


Whitworth Hotel 

In 1903, the original charter for the City of Gleason was signed. T. N. Drury was the first Mayor on record and W. H. Williams the first City Recorder. Mr. Drury was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge, as well as Superintendent of the Cumberland Presbyterian Sunday School for twenty-six years. His opponent for Mayor was Ed Sions, a traveling man who sold fruit trees. 

Later, the Mayor was J. P. M. Deck, with D. F. Terrell as Recorder, and A. M. Dunlap, J.W. Bandy, W. V. Overall, and R. W. Curry as Aldermen.; Guy Hodges was Marshall. 

By 1913, R. J. Whitworth was Mayor; J. P. M. Deck was Recorder, and I. J. Tatum, E. A. White, J. C. Ammons, and J. B. Brummitt were Aldermen; Guy Hodges was Marshall. 

The following item was taken from a 1913 issue of the Gleason Herald 

“At a recent meeting of the board of Gleason, a reward of $25 was offered for the arrest and conviction of any person guilty of bootlegging within the corporation or within a radius of one mile. Mayor Whitworth said that if  a fine of $5.00 or $10.00 does not keep the peace, then a $25 fine will be levied. The town officials have been and still are going to do all they can to make our little town a good moral place, and it is the duty of every law-abiding citizen to stand behind their officers in this work, and help make Gleason a better town morally. We cannot let a lot of people who do not respect themselves, nor others, run over our officers and give our town a bad name to the outside world.” 

This article, also  from a 1913 newspaper, concerns city business: 

“Have you heard anyone kicking about the Proposition to issue more bonds for putting in electric lights, and for graveling the streets? No, of course not !! Nobody could object to these improvements. This is just a step in the right direction, and we must boost the projects.” 

Since 1913, some of the other Mayors of Gleason have been: W.W. Bandy, Doc Brummitt, Monroe Cochran, Lester McCaleb, Jesse Margrave, Frank Margrave, Jr., Bob Owen, Charlie Huggins (who held the office from 1963 to 1982), and L. Jack Dunning, the present Mayor. 

City officials listed in 1928, were: Mayor, J.C. Ammons; Aldermen, A.D. Bobbitt, R. A. Nantes, W. F. Newberry, W. L. McCaleb; Recorder, J. D. Bradberry and Marshall, S. J. Carlton. 

After McCaleb’s stock barn was torn down and his livestock business moved to McKenzie the new City Hall was built in 1963 on its present site. The previous City Hall was a small space on Cedar St. (Highway 22) in the J. C. Dellinger Building. 

In 1980, the population of Gleason was 1,350. It had a volunteer fire department which included two fire trucks and a rescue van. The Police Department had four full-time officers and one part-time officer. 

In 1983, the following city officials were elected: Mayor – L. Jack Dunning; Recorder- Pam Belew; Assistant Recorder – Sherry Stephens; Aldermen – Leon Smith, Richard Horn, T. Ray Campbell, and Randy Poole. Also serving the City of Gleason is Chief of Police – Ken Eason and Director of City Water Works – Alex Edwards. These same officials are still in office in 1987, and the population figure is 1, 356. 

Interesting Facts about Gleason

Firsts for Gleason

Hotel – Andrew Swaim

Steam Engine – Jake Parks

Dry Goods Store – Polk Alexander

Garage – Max Levy & E. A. White

Brick Building – George Lasater

Frame House – Joe McGlothin

Horse Drawn Hearse/Motor Ambulance – John Shipley

Motorcycle (1912) – Obe Parks

Car (1913) – Max Levy & E. A. White

Case Tractor (1914) – Jake Parks

Telephone (local p-vine) – Jones Hotel

Graphaphone (1915) – Frank Trevathan

Radio – Aubrey Phelps

Television – Harry Edwards

Cotton Gin – (Behind old Corner Store) Bill Brag

Tobacco Factory (Where Bell Clay Sheds Located) – Leonard Freeman


Other Notable Facts

*The first Masons were organized in 1861 on the ground floor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

* The year 1905 saw the advent of running water in Gleason which came from the town well in the middle of the street (behind the Lasater Building)

* The first electricity was turned on in 1916, with Clarence Horn operating the first light plant which was located o the old hitching lot across from where the Post Office is now.

* Electricity was only turned on one day a week and on certain hours at night.

* In 1913, W. R. Hawks introduced the first potato hampers used for shipping sweet potatoes

* R. A. Nants operated the town’s first veneering mill from 1916 to 1954 where these sweet potato hampers were produced.

* Progress continued in Gleason with the town getting its first fire engine in 1927

Weakley County History

Early Settlers and Civil War Times


Weakley county was ceded to the white settlers from the Chickasaw Indians (Jackson Purchase of 1819), who was the prominent tribe in Western Tennessee. The Indians used this land, which was very fertile, for their hunting grounds.

The first settlers in the county were Ruben Edmonston, who settled near Mud Creek at the Edmonston settlement, and his brother-in-law, John Bradshaw, and family, who settled near the present site of Dresden. Mr. Bradshaw built the first log cabin in the county, and he also raised the first patch of corn. These families were firmly established by the fall of 1819.

Settlers southeast on upper Spring Creek were Thomas Osborne, A. Denning, Isaac Crew, Robert Gilbert, Jonathan Gilbert, James and Alfred Smith, William Hamilton, Francis Liddle, John O’Neal, James Kennedy, and Tilghman Johnson.

At the approach of the Civil War, a majority of the people were opposed to secession, but after the “dogs of war had been let loose” the majority sympathized with the southern cause, although a minority remained steadfast with the Union.

A Federal Army under Gen. Smith encamped a few days at Dresden and foraged heavily on the citizens of the area. Guerilla bands and bushwhackers infested the County during the war and did much more damage than either of the armies. The guerillas frequently made their headquarters in the Courthouse. Some 10 or 20 people lost their lives in Dresden and vicinity at the hands of outlaws.

A fair estimate would show that Weakley County furnished 1,100 men to the Confederate Army and 400 for the Federal Army.

Gleason Businesses of the Past


In 1920, Carl Parks, Jake Parks, and Alton Richee bought the building on the end of Front Street, facing the railroad. In it was a cafe, operated by Doc and Ernest Call. Jake Parks and Alton Richee operated the cafe for about three months but decided that cooking was not for them. They redid the interior and started Parks, Richee, and Parks business and sold hardware, groceries, and dry goods. They were partners until 1923 when Jodie Richee bought out Jake Parks, and the name changed to Richee Bros. & Parks.

The store was operated like this until 1939, when Alton Richee died. His son, Vernon Richee, went in as Manager and partner until 1954, when Jodie Richee retired. Vernon continued to operate the store after buying Jodie’s share, until Carl Parks died in 1967. Vernon, then, bought his share and became full owner until his son, Jimmy, joined him. Jimmy died in 1971. Gordon Parks was a clerk in the store for thirteen years until 1967, when he retired. Coy Seagraves began working as a clerk in the store in 1971; in 1972, he bought the store when Vernon retired. In 1975, Coy went out of the grocery business and sold the building to Eveready Auto Parts.

The name of the store was Richee’s from 1921 to 1972.




In 1922, Cletus Trevathan bought the grocery store on Main Street between the Fitz Maddox Funeral Home and Brummitt Bros. Department Store. Trevathan’s remained here until August, 1941, when it moved to the Jess Margrave building on Front Street. [Previously John Kennon had had a grocery and meat market here, but had sustained considerable damage due to a fire.] Trevathan’s remained at this location until 1957 when Mr. Cletus went out of business.

The Meat Market was moved to the small building two doors down, which had been Dunning’s watch and clock repair shop. The building also served as the place of business for Finch’s Insurance office, operated by Murrell Finch.

Mr. Cletus closed the Meat Market in 1958, and took the position of City Recorder in the old City Hall on what is now South Cedar Street. He continued to serve in that capacity until he died as the result of a stroke on March 13, 1960.

Mr. Cletus and Mrs. Zela raised seven children, and three grandchildren, who all helped operate his place of business.



Mr. Pete Brundige started working in 1922 for W.R. Fowler’s Grocery, running a “doodle wagon” through the countryside. (A doodle wagon carried a supply of staples that could not be raised on the farms.)

In 1923, he started working for Adams and Herron Produce out of McKenzie and Hazel, Kentucky. He drove a covered wagon through the country as far as Jewel, and bought eggs, chickens, etc. He also bought butter that had turned rancid, which he shipped to northern markets who used to product to make soap. Also, during rabbit season, rabbits were bought for ten cents or fifteen cent, iced down and shipped on the 6:30 P.M. train for Chicago. In 1929, Mr. Pete wholesaled stalks of bananas to grocery stores.

Mr. Pete and son, Paul, established Brundige Produce in 1939, in the building where Gleason Appliance and Hardware is now located. They remained there until they built the mill in the fall of 1954. Mr. Pete retired in 1954 but continued to keep the books and assist Paul until 1973, when they sold the operation to Spain Bros.

Paul Brundige died in 1980. Mr. Pete celebrated his 99th birthday before his death in August, 1987.




The first U-Tote-Em store was opened in Gleason in 1925 and was located on Cedar Street. It was managed by Claud Wilson, with J. D. Dellinger and Roy Hodges working for him.

In 1935, it was moved to the corner of Main and Front Streets (where the Bank of Gleason is now located). Mr. John Kennon, Mr. Willie Delaney, and Mr. Hughlon Morris were managers at this location.

In 1955, the store was again relocated to the T.A. Lovlace building on Front and Center Streets. Hughlon Morris managed the store, and in 1958 bought the business. In 1965, he sold the business to his son, Thomas Morris but continued to work part-time. Mike Morris went into the business with his parents in 1977 with the family still in business at the present time, and the doors of the store are still open for business six days a week. Although the name of the store has been changed to Gleason Superette, it will always be the U-TOTE-EM to Gleason’s “old timers”.




In 1938 Noah Jackson (Big Jack) Dunning moved to town and bought a grocery owned by Mr. Fowler. It was located in one of the old buildings that Gleason Hardware now owns. Jack operated the store under the name “Dunning Grocery” at that location for a while and then moved it to one of the buildings in front of where the Bank now stands. While operating the store he was assisted by his wife Maggie Bell, his father Henry Herbert, and two children Estelle and Little Jack; this is where Little Jack got his first experience in the retail business. Jack continued to operate the store until 1945 and then sold it to Doyle Capps and his brother Paul. In 1959 Little Jack and his wife Nelcene bought the same store from Mr. Capps, thus returning the name “Dunning Grocery” to the lineup of businesses in the Gleason area.

In February 1960, there was a fire that destroyed the building and all the stock as well as the buildings on either side. In a few months, when the building was rebuilt, Jack and Nelcene reopened the store in a more modern setting with added fresh produce, frozen foods, and a complete meat market where Jack was also the butcher. Jack and Nelcene had two children when they bought the store, Ricky and Rayma; a third child Rachel was born in 1962. They continued to operate the store until 1975 when they sold it to Ralph Turner. While operating the store they delivered groceries in and around Gleason as well as made sandwiches for many of the school children, factory workers, and other people. They employed many people including Big Jack and Maggie Bell Dunning, Ricky, Rayma, Rachel, Jerry Belew, Jimmy Belew, Willie Delaney, Shorty Heath, Bob James,

Michael Hamilton, Frankie Trevathan, Buddy Finch, Billy Snider, Steve Ross, Rupert (Pert) Pritchett, Dan Brummitt, and Dale Brummitt.

After selling the store, Jack worked at the Gleason Lumber Company, as a carpenter and at the lumber shed, until becoming a rural mail carrier in 1980, serving both routes 1 and 2 before retiring in 1998. He was elected Mayor in 1983. Nelcene worked at Irene’s Bridal Shop, Gleason School as a sub-teacher, and as the school secretary until retiring in 1998.




In October of 1945, Doyle Capps rode into town in a 1929 Chevrolet with his wife Wylodean, and his two daughters, Cherie and Annette, to start a grocery business that would endure for nearly forty years. Doyle was not inexperienced in this field for he had operated a country store in Skullbone, and his father and grandfather before him had run a store in the Flytown community. His father had sold from a “doodle wagon” to over 100 customers.

Doyle and his brother, Paul, bought the grocery store on Main Street from Jack Dunning, Sr. Paul stayed until 1947. Of course, these were the days before shopping carts and self-service. Everyone came to town on Saturday to do their shopping. Doyle’s main assistants at that time were his wife and daughters. In 1959, he sold the business to Jack Dunning, Jr.

For two years Doyle had a milk delivery route, but this was not his type of business, so in December 1962 he bought five acres of land on Pillowville Road and built Capps Market.

He retired in September of 1981, leaving many good friends and faithful customers to the new owner, Don Whitworth.




Trevathan’s Lumber Company is another of our Industrial Plants. Gleason points with pride to the fact that Mr. Frank Trevathan contracted and erected a nice home for a customer in Clinton, Kentucky, trucking the material to Clinton from his mill in Gleason.

This plant gives employment to a crew of fifteen hands, and in addition to the finished product turned out at the mill, Trevathan Lumber handles all kinds of building materials. In fact, Frank says he can furnish materials and build the house completely from the ground up, and cheap, too. He is an experienced contractor.




For a short time in the early 1990s, Gleason had a tomato canning factory. It was located on Union Street, West. Later, this building was used as a tobacco warehouse by Leonard Freeman.




In the early days before electricity came into use, the power used to separate the seed from the lint was generated by a mule or oxen hitched to a post, walking a treadmill all day, but getting nowhere. Later, steam engines were used for some years.

In November 1913, Gleason gins were paying $4.50 to $4.75 per hundred for cotton. People were paying $1.00 to $1.25 for picking cotton in good weather. On September 13, 1918, the paper asked, “What will it be when it turns bad weather?”.

When the bulk of the cotton picking and selling in this immediate section was over, the receipts ran larger than first estimated. The total ran almost 2,000 bales for the two gins here. The price from $4.85 to $3.50 per hundred in the seed, the larger portion bringing a good price, made the season average about $4.35 per hundred pounds. About $15,000.00 was paid out from cotton through the Bank of Gleason with the Gleason Gin Company and Parks-Watson Gin Company both paying for their cotton through the bank.

Clarence Horn operated the gin, repairing the machinery, etc. from 1913 to 1917 for a monthly salary of $100.00. Mr. J. B. White was Manager for the City of Gleason. Horn left to operate the water and light plant until the fall of 1918 when he returned to the Gin.

Mr. J. D. Bradberry succeeded A. E. White as Manager of the Gleason Cotton Gin. Clarence Horn remained and continued to operate the Gin until his retirement in the 1950s at which time Hulon Cooper became the Gin operator. Both J. D. Bradberry and Hulon Cooper remained until they closed in 1975. It was necessary for the Cotton Gin to go out of business because cotton production in the area could not maintain the Gin.



Early in Gleason’s history, there was a Dr. Wilson who was a druggist. His life, however, ended in tragedy when he shot Mr. Alexander and, then, shot himself.

Ed and George Lasater were also druggists in the early years along with J. C. Ammons and D. F. Terrell.

In 1912, Dr. J. C. Ammons, who was the druggist, built a new modern drug store on Front Street (in the building where Eveready Auto Parts is now located). Roy Brasfield, Bob Smyth, and Dennis Smyth were the druggists who worked for him.



In the early 1930s, Bob Smyth and Henry Scott bought the store and changed the name to City Drug Store. In 1936, Henry Scott bought the land and built the building on its present site. Bob Smyth bought and moved to the location on Main Street in 1938. Some of the people who have worked for Bob Smyth include Joe Hamilton, Murrell Finch, Dudley Sanders, Alex Edwards, Kenneth Lemonds, John David Phelps, Robert Jeter Clement, L. Jack Dunning, and Thomas Morris.

In 1960, Bob’s son-in-law, Buddy Robison, joined him. Buddy is still the pharmacist and owner of City Drug Store.

[An interesting note: In the early 1900s, oranges could not be bought fresh, but drug stores kept some in coolers to be used in medicinal formulas.]



Many of the prescriptions in those days were mixtures of herbs and such. Cough syrup was so many drops of vanilla, lemon, peppermint, and orange extract. In 1911, this was the formula for the complexion: glycerine, rose water, and lemon juice – to be applied to the face and hands night and morning. The 1910 prescription for scabs and itching was sulfur, lead acetate, ichthyol, and vaseline. It was to be applied on three consecutive nights and then washed off. The user was also instructed to change all wearing and sleeping apparel

In 1912, this formula was noted: Indian arrowroot, prickly ash, sasparilla, wild cherry, black root, poke root, alcohol, and aguae. You were to shake the bottle before using it. However, there is no notion as to what it was used for. Dr. McBride had this formula: oil of sassafras, oil of hemlock, oil of cedar, oil of spike, tincture of capsicum, po. gum camphor, chloroform, and alcohol, to be applied three or four times per day (for what ??).

Finally, this was Tatum’s Scratch Remedy, by Dr. I. J, Tatum, from the year 1915: acetate of lead, sul. of zinc, carbolic acid, aquae os. ad., to be applied twice a day.

Some of the doctors who practiced in around Gleason from 1859 to the present include Dr. J. W. Bandy, Dr. Cutter, Dr. Arbuckle, Dr. Basford, Dr. Waterfield, Dr. Summers, Dr. Burnett, Dr. Wood, Dr. Tatum, Dr. Bledsoe, Dr. J. E. Jeter, Dr. Goldsby, Dr. L. T. Smith, Dr. Hudgins, Dr. O. B. Wilson, Dr. McBride, Dr. Curry, Dr. John F. Allman, Dr. Enoch Heath, Dr. S.C. Lankford, Dr. J. B. Lasater, Dr. T. H. Swaim, Dr. R. M. Jeter, Dr. Patrick O’Keefe, Dr. Bill McDaniel, Dr. Dixon, and the present Dr. John D. Howard. Some of the doctors were also veterinarians, druggists, dentists, or optometrists.



Dr. D. F. Terrell, pharmacist and owner of the drug store on Front Street was in business in the early 1900s. Elmer Terrell, his nephew, became a partner. In 1939, when Dave Terrell died, his daughter, Valda, and her husband, Overton Duke, became partners with Elmer Terrell. Later, in 1946, B. F. Terrell moved to town and operated the drug store as a druggist until 1953. His son Louis opened a Sundry Store and Ice Cream Parlor operating it from 1954 until 1960.



In 1934, Vernie Drewry started selling auto parts from his car for Buford Bros. He used the building where the Bank Community Room is now located for storage.

In 1937, Charlie Huggins started selling parts on the road and continued until 1938 or 1939 when Drewry, Raymond Cochran, and Charlie started Eveready Auto Parts in Gleason, Camden, Dickson, and Selmer. In 1941, Dick Sparks started working full-time for them.

In 1949 – 1950, this group of men started the Kentucky – Tennessee Warehouse, which they incorporated in 1955. In 1956, they bought the Park building (formerly Horn’s Garage) at the 4 – Way Stop on Main and Cedar Streets to enlarge the warehouse. Joe Wright of Dresden came in with them. In 1959 – 1960, they added to the back by enclosing the former White’s Garage building.

Eveready was owned by Charlie Huggins, G. W. Gibbs, and Ellie Steele, until G. W. Gibbs moved to Arkansas in 1980, selling his interest to Jessie Mayo. In 1983, when Charlie Huggins retired, Ellie Steele and Jessie Mayo became sole owners.



In 1936, Tharpe and T. G. Byrns came to Gleason from Camden and opened the Gleason Variety Store in one of the buildings under the old hotel. Their sister, Novella, opened a Beauty Shop in the back of the store. The operators, along with Novella, were May Blanche Gaylord, Mildred Chandler, and Novella’s thirteen-year-old sister, Jozelle, who attended high school in addition to helping in the beauty shop.

The next location for both businesses was the corner building facing the railroad in the Levy Building (where the bank of Gleason is now located). The Gleason Variety Store was sold to Melvin Swindle, and Novella’s Beauty Shop moved behind City Drug Store for a short time.

The shop moved to its present location in 1941 when the Bank of Gleason moved to its present location. This shop, first known as Novella’s was changed to Jozelle’s, when Novella and her daughter, Derotha Verdell moved to Perry, Florida in 1953. The shop is still located in the same place, where Jozelle Hamilton Smith has been on the job for fifty years, Mary Brawner Jorge for forty-four years, Margaret Martin Beasley for twenty-eight years, and Joyce Horn Wray for almost 50 years.

The Gleason Variety Story was bought from Melvin Swindel, who had moved the store next to the beauty shop (in the former bank building) on Front Street by Joe and Jozelle Hamilton in 1945. They operated it until 1953, when they sold the business to Lucille Bunch, who kept it open until about 1975.

Mike SNider Park