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‘Tis sweet and natural that our mindsRevert to scenes we used to know,The heart so much enjoyment findsRemembering friends of long ago.
Our infancy’s time seems to blessMore than the …
‘Tis sweet and natural that our minds
Revert to scenes we used to know,
The heart so much enjoyment finds
Remembering friends of long ago.
Our infancy’s time seems to bless
More than the lives we live at least,
More than half our happiness
Is found in memories of the past.
Just how about it ever came
It now may see a little wondrous
But true, the first euphonious name
Of this progressive town was Dundas.
McKenzie tho’ it soon was called
After the man owned the land,
Monroe McKenzie who installed
A hotel on the present “stand”.
Some grand old men were living here
And noble women blest the town,
Their names are held in memory dear
After each deserves fair honor’s crown.
McKenzie, Gilberts, Sneads, and Coles
And Hawkins, Gardners, Fletchers, Pates,
And Irby, Cannons, Gwin, and Nulls
And Ridleys, Mebanes, Moores, and Scates.
And Stephens, Harris, Bowdens, Crow
And Jones, Love, Smith, and Muse,
And Covingtons, Quinns, and Elbow
Our fondest memory now reviews.
And Brannocks, Hendrix, Plummer, Broaches,
Bohannon, Gibs and McAdoo,
McClintock, Thomas, Glovers, Roaches,
And Wrights and Watts and Hunters too.
Dinwiddies, Bakers and Caldwells
And Thurman, Colemans, Manns, LeRoy,
Swearingen, Ethridge and Ezzells
And Charley Chapman, “Son of Joy”.
And Green, McLean and Witt and Gaines
And Pope and Lankfords, Fosters, Browns,
McDonalds, Chandlers, Todds and Haynes
And Priest and Keaton helped the town.
And Travis, Surbers, Scotts and Bells
And Austin, Johnson, Millers, Kyles,
Clay, Prosser, Osborns and Estelle,
Anchutz and Fowlers fill the files.
Here many of their offsprings still
Above the olden haunts reside,
They’ve built a city on the hill
Of the town where their fathers died.
These names were each a family head
So vividly we here recall,
They now are numbered with the dead
Yes all, or very nearly all.
We’ve not listed everyone
Perhaps, the time has been so long,
And unto these who have not gone
We dedicate this humble song.
Some fifty years ago, was burned
The first hotel built here,
And from its flames, ‘Twas said to know
Three souls unto their God returned.
This town then had but seven stores
Including Dr. Gwin’s drug store,
The old school hall was used by all
And scarcely was there a need for more.
It answered then for church and school
And for the Masonic Hall as well,
Therein were taught the Gold Rule
And how to shun the fires of hell.
There Ruben Borrow often came
And preached The Word with zeal and power,
And Abner Cooper of like fame
Enriched and blest full many an hour.
The Irbys and Ed Randall there
With skill and grace and patient truth,
The ways of science and life made clear
To many a a happy hopeful youth.
From the “Old Hall” down the grove
Have sprung all three of her big schools.
McKenzie hearts will always love
The “Old Hall” and its righteous rules.
This old town once was split in twain
And both sides had their faults and greeds.
One faction sought McKenzie’s gain
The other strove for Garland Snead.
And this the town divided grew
But not its beset for several years,
‘Til education brought to view
Union is best, as now appears.
New Town, trade, churches, schools they pride
How can’st thou fail to grateful be?
Thou’st prospered much on every side
Thou bonny gem of Tennessee
Long may thy institution live
And all thy people learn to love,
May they each know how to forgive
And all be blest by Heaven above.
Ne’re may thy wealth thy heart make vain
Nor hoarded dollars swell they head,
Be proud only of honest gain
And worthy of thy noble dead.