March 10, 2002


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From the Tennessee  State Library and Archives ~ Nashville Tennessee
Author Unknown

Dancyville, a Post-village 13 miles nearly due South from Brownsville, was settled by John Sutherland and Fennel T. Carpenter, the first merchants of the place, in 1834. It is located in broken, moderately fertile, and healthy section of the County, and before the era of railroads was a place of considerable trade. It was named for Isaac Dancy, an old settler of the county, and has always been noted for morality, intelligence, good schools, and pleasant society.

The village has now (1877) 2 dry goods stores, 1 drug store, 3 physicians, 1 wagon maker and carpenter, 2 black smith shops, 1 saddler shop, 1 hotel, 3 churches---Baptist, Methodist, and Old South Presbyterian, 2 school houses with 4 teachers and about 100 pupils, 1 Masonic lodge, 1 Odd Fellows lodge, 1 Temperance hall- all in a flourishing condition; and a population of about 150, of which about 25 are colored.

Dancyville is on the line of the Holly Springs, Brownsville & Ohio Railroad, now partially constructed. Should this road be completed as contemplated, the village will doubtless have seen life infused into it and thus become an important shipping point for that part of the county South of the Hatchie River.

It was incorporated Dec. 16, 1837

Incorporaters ~ William Wells, Soloman Payne, John Moore, George Cooper, David Dancy and Hawkins ~ Commissioners.

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Dancyville Male and Female Academy

Rev. R. C. Douglass, Prin.. F. M. Sanger, Associate

Miss Sallie Douglass, Assistant ~ Miss Puss D. Tanner, Elocution ~ Mrs. Sallie Boyd, Music

Healthful location; decidedly Christian community; full Faculty; thorough instruction; pupils from other States and several counties. The moral tone of our school is exceptionally high. A bad character is held in disrepute and receives no sympathy from the school or community. We mean business. If you do, address the Principal, Dancyville, Tenn.

Board from $6 to $9 per month.

School Opens on August 21st, 1894.

The States-Democrat, Friday, August 10, 1894.

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The Dancyville Methodist Church

-The shutters on the windows are the original shutters.

-Some of the window panes are orignal, distinguishable by the imperfections and bevel in the glass.

-The molding in the foyer was made and installed by Mr. Dan Phillips.

-The roll book dates back to 1896. There was only one person that has ever been dropped from this book. The entry beside their name reads: "Dropped from roll at own request to save trouble."

-There is a Sunday school book dating 1837 - 1857 in archives.

-The basement was built in 1953. A Negro man named Jim Shaw helped dig it starting with a shovel and working down until they could get under the church and construct it better.

-In 1969 the present church congregation started having Homecoming every other year. The collection taken at this time is used for the preservation and upkeep of the cemetery.

-Rev. Herman A. Butts was a minister in the Memphis Conference for many year. He was also a very important part of the Joyner's Campground meetings in the 1930's and 40's. One Sunday he was preaching the sermon at the Dancyville Methodist Church. Now we all remember how long winded ministers were in the early days. It seems the ladies of the church had put all of their wonderful food out on the table when it started to rain. By the time he was supposed to finish his sermon it was storming and so were the ladies of the church. When he finished he asked the congregation to sing " Shall We Gather at the River". The women wanted to sing "Shall We THROW Brother Butts INTO the River."

-Dr. Rawlins was a good person but he cursed. The men of the church didn’t like that so they had a meeting in the church regarding his cursing. They all sat in a group on one side of the church and Dr. Rawlins sat on the other side in the back. Sometime during the meeting Dr. Rawlins got up, walked to the front of the church, put a $100.00 bill into the collection plate and left. The men didn’t complain about his cursing from that point.

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The Dancyville Methodist Church Cemetery

-The fence around the cemetery was built in 1908 costing $900.00.

-There have been replacements to sections of the fence but the part around the front edge is original.

-The oldest grave in the cemetery is dated 1830. It is a child’s grave. (do not know name.)

The next oldest dated 1837.

-The slave buried in the Dancyville Methodist Cemetery was with T.F. Ragland at the Battle of Chickamauga. When T.F. Ragland was killed during the battle, the slave buried him there. He then came back to Dancyville, secured a wagon, returned and picked up the body. Returning to Dancyville the body of T.F. Ragland was reburied in the Dancyville Methodist Cemetery.

Gypsies were traveling through this area and decided to camp for the winter near Dancyville. The next spring one of the women died before they left and they asked permission to bury her in the Dancyville Methodist Cemetery. After the lady was buried in the cemetery, tradition has it, the women of the town gathered their own flowers from their yards so the Gypsy would have flowers on her grave. This burial was after World War I.

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The Bob Tripp Store Burns

Mr. Bob Tripp had a store, in a two story building, on the S W corner across Highway 76. Their home was across from the present community center. The grass in the school yard caught fire and caused the store to burn. Mr. Tripp moved his store, into another smaller building near the Rawlins’ office. (Editor's note: We wonder if this store fire has a connection with the burning of Isaac Bradley Dancy's grist mill and undertaker shop. Tradition has it that the shop was burned as a result of a nearby store fire)

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Post Office

The last Dancyville Post Office was in the Rawlins' building and closed in 1925. The first postage stamp reported to be sold in Dancyville was the 5 cent Ben Franklin in 1847. (Editor's note: Go  HERE   to see a photo of the Ben Franklin Stamp and history of the Dancyville Post Office.)

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Mr. Rogers Visits

The most famous person to visit the town and church in later years was Mr. Fred Rogers of the "Mr. Rogers" childrens' show on PBS-TV. There is a picture of him, dated May 9, 1997, on the wall, in one of the classrooms. He went to college with Jack Phillips and he wanted to visit the gravesite. The community wanted to get the newspaper people to come from Brownsville to take his picture and do a story about his being there but he asked that they not do it.


GO HERE  for Jack Smith's Profile of   Ray Smith, "Hall of Fame" Field Trail Dog Handler.


Dancyville  Presenters:
Miss Dorothy Moore,  Mr. Jack Smith,  Rev.  Charles Tripp,  Mrs. Dianne Crawford

From the notes of  MARY  KAY  DANCY  SMITH
March 10, 2002