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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Request to explore Bell Buckle's past.

Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 11:02 AM
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  • I lived in his home/office. A photo of young Claude in The Yearling was left in the house and I did the same when I moved. Occasionally relatives would stop by to see the house, including Claude, who told me Dr. Freeman had been "laid out" on a porch that later became a sun room. I found many old medicine bottles in the back yard during some landscaping. I guess he just tossed empties outside.

    -- Posted by suealli on Thu, May 2, 2013, at 12:07 PM
  • Anyone know when he stopped practicing medicine? I am sure I was not in town yet.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, May 2, 2013, at 3:21 PM
  • I saw the movie "The Yearling" when I was a small boy and was told that Claude Jarman, Jr. was from Bell Buckle. It is amazing the things you can discover on the internet because as a small boy I also saw the movie "The Sun Comes Up" starring Claude Jarman, Jr. and Lassie. I did not remember that was the title of the movie. I would have bet the ranch that the title was "Lassie Come Home", and I would have lost the ranch and all the livestock.

    -- Posted by leeiii on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 9:32 AM
  • Steve, I just took the liberty of posting this blog's link on Facebook's "If you grew up in Bell Buckle..." page. Also sent you a FB Friend request, so I can add you to the Bell Buckle page, if you choose...since folks are posting their Dr Freeman comments to that page rather than this blog.

    Thanks for your interest in BB's past, and Dr Freeman. He brought me into the world 73 years ago, and our family knew him well. He passed in Oct 54, at age 82, a highly respected member of the community, and a long-time elder at the BB Church of Christ. Seem to recall him having a small office in town, in addition to seeing folks at his Liberty Pike home, as suealli notes. Also remember Claude Jarman Jr's visits to his grandparents home, and that 'shock' of blond hair he had as a kid!

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 11:04 AM
  • I remember Dr. Freemans visits to our home when I would have tonsillitis. which was usually at least once yearly. He would go out in the front yard and cut a small twig from one of the large maple trees, wrap a wad of cotton around it and mop my throat with nitrate of silver. He would give me a dose of callimill (sp.) whatever that was. The pills always came in a little round black box with white top which was used to write the contents on. His office was just around the corner and adjoining Mr. Graves, later Gordon Johnson's grocery store. Been there many times also. My Dad did a considerable amount of work on Dr. Freeman's house and I would occasionally go with him in the summertime and play with Claude Jarman Jr. That was well before he became a star.

    -- Posted by Oldbbguy on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 3:37 PM
  • How did Claude get into acting from Bell Buckle, TN?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 3:58 PM
  • Steve, he and his family lived in Nashville and I think the movie scouts went to his school and he was the lucky pick. As I recall he only came to Bell Buckle to visit during the summers.

    -- Posted by Oldbbguy on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 8:04 PM
  • Yes b'guy, that is my memory of Claude also. Does anyone remember his dad owning the bank in B B ?

    On one of my last visits the vault was still in what was @ that time a gift shop.

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Sat, May 4, 2013, at 8:54 AM
  • The question was asked as to when Dr. Freeman stopped practicing...I'm aware that he was called to our neighborhood in the last year of his life to extract a pea from an inquisitive 2-yr old's nostril!! He still had a steady hand, tall, slender, gray-hair, and drove a black early-50's-vintage Chevy coupe, if memory serves me correctly.

    He also had a farm up near the Beechwood area. Dr. and Mrs. Freeman had two kids, Mildred and James. Mildred married Claude Jarman (Sr)--as Oldbbguy noted, they lived in Nashville. James lived on Hwy 82 about halfway to Beech Grove.

    I was one of the many Bell Buckle kids who was 'home-delivered' by Dr. Freeman.

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Sat, May 4, 2013, at 8:56 AM
  • Oops! I peeked at ancestry.com, and saw there were six kids! After I saw the names, I recalled hearing of some of them. Mrs. Freeman's name was Ethel...she passed in '49.

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Sat, May 4, 2013, at 11:25 AM
  • The vault is still in a gift shop. I have not been in there for a while so I do not know what is actually in there.

    If I am seeing the timeline correctly, the other four children may not have been children by the time you folks were old enough to know them so they were probably out of town by then or not living at Dr. Freeman's.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 4, 2013, at 12:44 PM
  • Re the question about Mr Jarman owning the bank...to my knowledge, he never had any Bell Buckle properties. He was an accountant with the railroad (whether L&N or NC&StL I don't know). There is a different Jarman family who's lived in BB forever...perhaps they may have had the bank connection at one time.

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Sat, May 4, 2013, at 10:09 PM
  • It is interesting that a small town such as Bell Buckle could have same name families with no relations, but if we go back far enough, BB was not all that small in comparison to other towns.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but it is only after the railroad stopped passenger and freight stops (especially livestock) that Bell Buckle started shrinking.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, May 5, 2013, at 10:44 AM
  • The memories shared here of Doctor Freeman has touched my heart. It is my understanding that he was the first person to see my face.

    I feel it is time to move on, Dr.Freeman is only a part of BB.

    I remember Bill and Ester Parker and the grocery store. 'Miss Tipon' and her notions. The Lemon service station. The Clary drug store. Most of all, that fine old school where Miss Vance taught me, first grade 'aint' all that bad.

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Mon, May 6, 2013, at 4:30 PM
  • Moonwalker, if you remember Miss Tipton's notions store and when Cecil Lemmons owned the service station, you've been around a while. Now, if you remember when BB had two banks, you're older'n me!!

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Mon, May 6, 2013, at 8:30 PM
  • I believe from what you both have told me you are within a few years. I won't say which way, of course. :-) I was hoping you two would eventually compare and realize that you may know each other.

    When did Miss Jeanne take over her store?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, May 7, 2013, at 7:37 AM
  • Don't remember the banks, but that does not mean they weren't there. Banks deal in money and that we didn't have;)

    -- Posted by moonwalker on Tue, May 7, 2013, at 9:00 AM
  • I have an original map of BB dated 1899 and it shows five groceries, several restaurants, a saloon, several hardware, several general stores, several drug stores, but only one labelled bank.

    There were also some that only had initials like D.G (2) and a D.G. B&S which could have been a Bank & Savings but....?

    Where the old service station was appears to have been a carpenter, or the station may have been built right next to it.

    Of course 1899 was a touch before all of us, I would bet.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, May 7, 2013, at 5:15 PM
  • The hand-me-down info I recall said the second bank was in the now-vacant area between the Strobel's house and the town's stop sign. There was a picture in the City Hall showing what appeared to be a tank having run into that building during the WWII maneuvers in the BB area. I can recall when there were at least 4-5 groceries...Graves/Johnson, Parker/Haynes, Harley Mullins (where the foundry is now), Fred Harrell, and Brown & Epperson for a short while. And a sawmill alongside the RR tracks opposite Farmers' Supply. Mr. Paty's dry goods store, where we got our 1-2 pair of Levis for the school year. Ms. Robinson's store beside L.D. Stephens Dry Cleaners...

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Wed, May 8, 2013, at 12:18 AM
  • It is hard for me to believe but the map shoes two stores between the Strobel's and the corner. In 1899 it was a grocery and a drug store.

    The Strobel's was the Lynch Hotel. Was it still a hotel when you were there dkd57?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, May 8, 2013, at 1:23 PM
  • It was Hoover Funeral Home when I was a kid. Mr. A.M. Hoover lived there also. I attended many funerals there. Perhaps the most memorable was Mr. Billy Alexander's...beautiful cedar casket. I'm thinking it was made by Mr. Billy, himself.

    -- Posted by dkd57 on Wed, May 8, 2013, at 7:24 PM
  • The top of our store in Wartrace was supposed to be a funeral home. The bottom was a furniture store I believe. We used to get a lot of stories about from the locals.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 8:05 AM
  • A tank did indeed run into the building on the corner next to Hoover Funeral Home. I remember seeing the hole but the tank was already gone. That picture as I recall made it into "Life" magazine. I don't recall what else was in the building but I am fairly certain Dr. Moon had an office there. His name is on my birth certificate, of course I don't remember him. Thanks for jogging my memory dkd57.

    -- Posted by Oldbbguy on Mon, May 13, 2013, at 9:30 PM
  • So...that is why no buildings between the Strobel home and the corner?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, May 13, 2013, at 9:51 PM
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