Friday, June 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Districts in 1940

In the Fall of 1940, our nation was under the threat of war. Yet the work went on. Tennessee was split between two districts, which at the time were portions of the East Central States Mission. Below are two exceprts from the Liahona, The Elders Journal. The names of these missionaries are recent enough that some of you may know them.

TENNESSEE WEST DISTRICT - September 24, 1940
We now have twelve missionaries laboring in the district. They are as follows: Elders Dean C. Smith and Evan C. Bair, laboring in Memphis [several wards and branches there now],- and taking care of the Craig Branch [now part of the Millington Ward] on week-ends,- Sisters Sarah Howard and Alia Gardner, Memphis. Elders Elmer S. Riding and Charles F. Little, Gallatin,- Elders Reed E. Saurey and Andrew B. Shumway, Turkey Creek [now part of the Dickson Ward]; Elders Shirley V. Rogers and Dean R. Grover, working at Short Creek [now part of the Linden Ward]; and Elders Earl H. Oyler and Lorin W. Hogan in the Hampshire area [now mostly in the Columbia Ward, but some in the Linden Ward].

Our district personnel includes Elders Ralph J. Lauper and O. Dee Terry working in Crossville, Tenn. [now the Crossville Ward]. Elders Glenn B. Greenwood and Don C. Schmulz in the Powell Valley section, Elders Jay W. McEnlire and Earl T. Pearson in Altamont, Tenn. [now the Altamont Ward], Sisters Lenore Powers and Veda Mecham in Chattanooga [there are a few wards there now], Elder Merrill Maxfield and Thad O. Yost traveling the outlying sections of the district.

I know there were other branches in the area at the time. Knoxville is oddly missing from this list and several others, but maybe then, as now, there were not enough missionaries to go around.

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