They were wearing their best clothes on that day in 1902. This was a special day the 68 pupils at Bigbyville School went outside to have their pictures taken by a traveling photographer. The weather was warm and many of the little boys appear to be barefooted. The older boys wore ties and of course looked uncomfortable. But what is Everett Hutchison holding up? Some of the girls were old enough to wear their hair up in the best Gibson girl fashion of their time. 
This picture was owned by Mrs. Ted Brown and many of the pupils were identified:

Top row, left to right: Will Gidcomb, Guy Smith, Desmond Davis , Max Woody, Sam Stone, Everett Hutchinson, Bingham Sowell, Ernest Thomas, Beaden Wantland, Walter Gidcomb, unknown, Henry Wantland (Mrs. Brown’s father), Herbert Thomas, John Howell, Ernest Hanna, Earl Hutchinson, Ben Woody, Silas Cross, Lex Hutchinson. 

The next row (second row from top): Annie Lou Wantland, Lillian Perry, Annie Sowell, Mattie Smith, Mary Thomas, Bernice Smith (assistant teacher), Jo Stone, Pellie Erwin, Mary Parks, Etta Gidcomb, Ethel Wantland, Laura Beckenbach, Bessie Beckenback, Mary Sanders, Bettie Cross, Lula Matthews, Inez Moore. 

Third row from the top: Louise Woody, unknown, Ila Hutchinson, Maggie Howell, Bess Matthews, Maybelle Pipkin, Lena Gidcomb, Nettie Parks, Lula Gray, Lula Gidcomb, Viola Howell, unknown, Laura Mae Pender, a Hutchinson girl, Bessie Gray, Gertrude Henderson, Edna Wantland, Kate Gray. 

Fourth row (or bottom row):Howell Columbus Wantland, Fred Fitzgerald, Earl Smith, Frank Gray, Jimmie Sowell, Ulna Woody, George Thomas, unknown, unknown, unknown, Elbert Gidcomb, Wallace Pender, and the two last ones are unknown. 

The man with the hat standing on the right was B.E. Regen, the teacher. Names written on the back of the picture and who some of the  others might be were John Pipkin, Henry Wantland, and a person with the surname Cross. 

Bigbybille School occupied the lower floor of the Masonic Hall which was built around 1894. At the time people referred to the school as Bigbyville Academy. The building was sold at auction in 1923 and the equipment moved to Mynders School. Mynders School a half mile to the east no longer stands today.

Bigbyville is one of the oldest settled places in the Maury County. Its most famous son was Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer, who was born near the town. Bigybyville was once a post office and was chartered as a town in 1854. At that time the main southerly route out from Columbia went through Bigbyville. Later the route was changed to Pulaski Pike a mile or so to the east (passing through McCains instead). Bigbyville soon became a picturesque but sleepy little community with a big historical heritage as it remains today. There are prominent reminders of that in some of the beautiful buildings and historic architecture of old.

Revised from the Columbia Herald article written by correspondent Jill Garrett. Date of the printing was Aug 7, 1988. Jill Garrett is known today for her many excellent historical books and writings. Key among these is the two volume set "Hither & Yon", a documentation of the old history of the county. If you don't find something in these volumes about your ancestors your blood may not flow Maury County red or blue. Even if you don't find your ancestor these volumes will rivet your attention and capitivate your imagination with Jill's keen insight of the who, what, where & how of old Maury County Tennessee.

The above was complied & adapted for this site by Wayne Austin. Original article sent in by Bill Fitzgerald. [WA January 27, 2005] 

Bigbyville Tennessee United Methodist Church. photo by Wayne Austin December 13, 2004


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