Red Dean

Note: Copyrighted material. Please do not use any of this information without linking to this site.

If you ask anyone in Old Hickory Village today if they know Verner Dean, you'll most likely be greeted with a deer in headlights look.  Though his fiery red hair has long since faded, Verner is known by residents as Red Dean.  At the spry age of 93, his tales of growing up in Old Hickory will make you laugh and make you cry.  Red was 8 years old when his family moved to Old Hickory in 1927.  Their family moved when his father took a job as a paymaster at DuPont.  In his interview,  Red paints a vivid picture of what it was like to grow up in a company owned town. He takes us from his days as a boy sneaking into the movie theater to his days as an adult being held captive in a WWII prison camp for 6 months.  Throughout his vast array of experiences, his love for Old Hickory is evident and his words convey that this love has only increased with time.  It is easy to see why many refer to him as the honorary mayor of Old Hickory.

Meet Verner "Red" Dean 

Listen as Red talks about when he and his family first moved to Old Hickory, the houses his family lived in, baseball in the early years, and his neighbors. 

Michief in Old Hickory

It's difficult to imagine Red ever getting into trouble in Old Hickory Village, but at one time he did.  Listen to Red talk about the micheif he got into and the heart warming story of confessing to his mother. 


Coal sheds Red snuck in behind Old Hickory Village Houses 

Growing Up Under the Care of DuPont in Old Hickory

What was it like to be a child in a village where the company owns a lot of it and provides for its residents?  Red shares with us some of his favorite memories about DuPont from a child's perspective. 


Memories of DuPont High School

Red went to DuPont High School one year before his family moved to Madison and transferred to Isaac Litton.  Here he shares with us some of his thoughts about high school and playing sports.


Red in high school

Hanging Out in Old Hickory

There were many activities for children to choose from during the 1930s and 1940s in Old Hickory.  DuPont ensured the children had opportunities to stay active.  Everyone has their favorite.  Red tells us his.  


PLAY BALL:  Baseball in Old Hickory 

Baseball was a big deal in Old Hickory both for the youth and with the DuPont industrial team.  DuPont hired many men based on their ability to play baseball.  The team earned the Nashville city championship in 11 of the next 12 years, reaching its zenith of achievement in 1932 when it won the national industrial championship at Louisville Kentucky. In the following two clips Red talks about how Old Hickory baseball impacted his life.  

Growing Up 

High School 

Old Hickory Baseball Field - Hadley Ave. 

Red Goes to War

Red enlisted in the Army in March of 1941 for what he thought would be one year.  One year turned into 56 months.  Red takes us through his early military days through the days he was captured by the Germans and placed in a prison camp.  Red would survive and would be awarded the Prisoner of War Medal; the American Defense Service Medal; Amercian Campaign Medal, European-Africa; Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars; World War II Victory Medal; Sharpshooters Badge with Rifle Bar; Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII; and the Good Conduct Medal.  He has always said he felt bad about receiving the Purple Heart when the same was given to others with more severe wounds.  



Red Begins to Work for DuPont

After leaving the military, Red followed in his father's footsteps and began to work for DuPont.  In the following two clips he discusses the difficulties of working shift work, choosing  to go to Vanderbilt to get a degree, and his decision to leave DuPont.

DuPont Part I

DuPont Part II


Elinor Comes Into Red's Life 

Married for 43 years until she passed away, Red shares the touching story of how he met his wife Elinor. 

Red and Elinor on the cover of DuPont Magazine - 1948


What Red Wants to Be Remembered For

We end every interview with the question, "What do you want to be remembered for?"  Red's answer is uplifting.

Red visits the plaque at Old Hickory Veterans Memorial Park for those killed in WWII.












 Copyrighted - Old Hickory Record