HISTORY OF WHITE BLUFF
The town of White Bluff was incorporated in 1869; at that time it was called Whitebluffs. It was named for the white bluffs overlooking the “Turnbull Creek,” where the army had set up camp. The last day it was officially Whitebluffs was May 31, 1937. Mr. James K. StClair, Postmaster, had it officially changed to White Bluff, Tennessee, on June 1, 1937. With the railroad going through White Bluff and also Highway 70 (called Broadway of America), it was a growing town. In 1946, there was a fire that destroyed much of the town. The James Building (with a drug store, Doctors Moore and Spencer’s office, Walter and Thelma Jones’ Cafe, Crystal Bell’s Beauty Shop, Preacher Hunter’s Barber Shop, Agnes Jordan’s Notion Shop, Dr. Charlton’s dentist office, filling station with apartments upstairs). The fire went across both Highway 70 and Taylor Town Road, taking Reader’s Store and several other businesses on the south side, Myatt’s Oro west of Taylor Town Road and on the east side of the James Building, it took the Methodist Church.
A short time later another fire took an apartment building on Jackson St., killing two children. There was no fire department at that time and Zollie Bibb, Jr. along with others in the town worked to start a volunteer fire department. Many people have played a major part in the building of White Bluff; some were business owners, such as Zollie Bibb, Jr., Calvin Larkins, James G. Brown. Sam Whited (served two years as mayor of WB and retired from the State of Tennessee as Commissioner of Personnel), Mr. Basil Thompson and many others. The mayors of White Bluff were 1st mayor, Benjamin F. Myatt; then we have the following dates; 1937 — Sam T. Whited; 1946 — Marvin T. Harris; 1953 — C. Basil Thompson; 1969 — Alvin N. Jones; 1961 — C. B. Thompson; 1963 — James Nash; 1967 — J. K. StClair; 1968 — E.I. Jones; 1969 — Farris L. Brown; 1970 — E.I. Jones; 1974 — Omar Harvey; 1975 — Calvin Larkins; 1977 — Harold Cauthen; 1979 — Vance D. Smith; 1995 — Steven R. Blanks; and 1999 to present — Danny Williams.
When I was growing up in White Bluff, there were only four churches in the city limits that I can remember; they were the Elizabeth House, Church of Christ, Methodist Church and the Church of God. We had one school, William James School, that went from 1st grade through 12th. The post office was at one time where the funeral home is now located and then on the corner of Main and Jackson Streets.
There was a telephone office beside the post office; the main operators were Beulah Graham, Blanch Graham Baber, and Aline Buttrey with Dolly Allen as a sub. There were two rooms, the switch board was in the front and a bedroom in the back. At night you set the alarm and if anyone made a call, it woke the operator up and she would go and connect them to the party they wanted.
Today White Bluff is a bedroom community of Nashville and the lifestyle is a much faster pace. Although Nashville and Dickson are close and you can go there to shop, the former days were hard in some ways and much easier in others. We had anything we really needed and if you had a problem your neighbors were always there to help out.
Courtesy of the Heritage Book of Dickson County 1803-2006