|This article is from the Old Hickory News July 20, 1933. It features P.T. Sullivan, the founder of one of the more popular stores in Old Hickory Village during the early years, discussing life in the village in 1922. The years between 1918 and 1922 were years of desolation for Old Hickory. The population fell from 33,000 to 750 seemingly overnight. To give you an idea, the Old Hickory Chamber of Commerce reports the population today in Old Hickory as 9,762.|
|To you who are residents
of Old Hickory it is impossible for you to visualize the Old Hickory
(then Jacksonville) of twelve years ago.
It brings me back to 1922. The Nashville Industrial Corporation was employing all out 1,500 workers, the Southland Body worked about 60, and the construction of a pulp mill took about 150.
We had hopes of a manufacturing city, but then the Southland moved its works to Nashville, the pump mill, owning tons, was unable to continue. Their construction material had been sold rapidly by the N.I.C. until our population of 3,000 dwindled to about 750, and believe me our spirits were falling faster.
Dr. Daniels and myself began to look for other parts. The Doctor had himself picked out a location where a good doctor was needed (I donít know who he was taking with him) and was making preparation to depart.
I was going to load up my T model Ford touring and move my stock up and join forces with Wanamaker or Marshall Fields, I had not decided which when strangers entered this here village.
Their business due to our Conan Doyle tactics, was soon known.
They were looking the place over guided by that pioneer grocery man, Boss Robinson. And was the Boss plied with questions. He was asked everything, but we were like a child first seeing Santa Claus. We just gaped and couldnít believe it.
Then the old village chorus knew just one tune: " the du Ponts are coming." Then disappointing news reached us: "the du Ponts wonít be here."
The price could not be agreed upon. Then our song changed to: "Lord, have mercy on us!" And did He? Look at us today!
Then Marvin Ball and Bob Megee arrived. They were here several days before we learned they were not the du Pont brothers.
Things began to hum pretty soon. The houses were in a rundown condition. The painters began their job of cleaning up. The carpenters and plumbers did their part too, and in a short while the village had its face, neck and feet all washed up.
Then began the making of the modern town that you call Old Hickory and which has come from obscurity to the seventh largest city in the state.
Other stores came. A remodeled drug store was one. Sylar and his partner, McDougal opened up the Sylar-McDougal Dry Good Company. They had a nice opening stock. Sylar and McDougal entered on the bus with both arms almost full of merchandise. But today it is Sylar Dry Goods Co. Ė "Old Hickoryís busiest goods store." That fellow Sylar always was funny.
Then Hillís store had many managers until this Fred Richardson arrived on the scene, full of pep and vim. He made this store one of the leading units in the Hillís organization.
Our bank at that time was like the country store with its big stove surrounded by tobacco chewers and checker players, but today with Andy at the helm, we are part of one of the largest and soundest Trust Companies in the South fully able to care for the financial needs and advancement of this community.
You know, it is a grand and glorious feeling to ride over this village and see the difference in the expression on faces. How happy and satisfied they look today! Ė and twelve years ago, those sad and droopy looks we carried with us.
Old Hickory of today is a complete renovation of this town of twelve years ago. You hear this old saying: "give me the good old days." But for me, "let me have now."
|Sullivans as it appeared in the 1950s.|