Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


June 18, 2012

PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Memorial service held at old PH cemetery

CROSSVILLE — Pleasant Hill Mayor Al Dwenger, who is also a United Church of Christ minister, conducted a Service of Memorial in the old Pleasant Hill Cemetery May 27. There are no records of when the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery was first used as a burial ground, but the oldest section was given to the First Congregational Church of Pleasant Hill by the Wightman family and later deeded to the town.

The earliest history of the Pleasant Hill area swirls around the Calvin Brown family, who came to Pleasant Hill in 1830 and populated the area with 14 children hence the nearby community named Browntown. Uncle Pink, immortalized by the doll maker Polly Page, was one of his sons.

Other early pioneers and their families, instrumental in the growth of the Pleasant Hill Academy interred here are Mary and John Frey, W. Dallas and Mary Stanley, Lucinda Simms, and, of course, Father Dodge, Phebe, Emma and their loyal friend Fred Williams who accompanied them from Maine in 1884.

Another chapter of Pleasant Hill history was forged in the hospital founded by Dr. May Cravath Wharton, nurse Alice Adshead and Elizabeth Fletcher. Although they left no heirs, their graves are lovingly tended by townsfolk and a new pavilion has been constructed around their resting places. The observers gathered in the shade around John Frey’s tombstone in the Frey family plot. The Frey family donated land from their farm for Dr. Wharton to start the first hospital, Uplands Sanitorium, later selling most of their farm to her as the hospital grew.


At the June monthly meeting of the Pleasant Hill Town Council, the amended budget ending June 30 and the new budget for fiscal year July 1 through June 30, 2013 were adopted. A first reading of an ordinance to appropriate funds for a needed new lawn mower took place. Refinements are still being made to the Garbage and Trash Disposal Ordinance.

Mayor Al Dwenger reported citizen concerns about security in the wake of the daylight robbery attempt and shooting just outside of the city limits. He urged anyone observing suspicious persons should call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Pleasant Hill substation at 277-5911 during the day or 911 after 4 p.m. immediately.

The mayor constructed a ramp with a railing to be used by wheelchairs and had it installed at the new Pleasant Hill Cemetery, adding to the two walking ramps in use. These will greatly aid mourners to navigate over ditches to the gravesites.

Inquiries have been made at town hall or of the mayor regarding the need to refurbish the Pleasant Hill Post Office parking lot. He explained that is the responsibility of the owner of the land leased by the Post Office or the U.S. Postal Service, not the town’s. Pleasant Hill will provide a “Do Not Enter” sign to prevent cars entering against the one way direction.

Councilman Ox McDermet reported that the paper recycling continues to be a “win-win” situation. It is a way of reducing paper dumped in the landfill, a good way of connecting with the area people during conversations during collection times, and the town is now receiving money for the paper as well. He reminded everyone of the weekly collection times: Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Councilwoman Diane Savage reported that the summer program for children fifth grade and up, supported by the town of Pleasant Hill and directed by Roger Dixon, was running well. She expressed bitter sweet feelings that two of the Pleasant Hill Elementary School teachers were leaving for higher positions — regret at their leaving the school, but congratulations at their achievement. Dr. Ina Maxwell will be in charge of reading programs in Cumberland County Schools’ Central Office, and this year’s Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Magnusson, will be vice principal at North Cumberland Elementary School.

Building inspector Roger Willier noted good progress with the PH School addition, as bricks were being applied to the exterior and work on the interior is proceeding as scheduled. He will be attending a course to gain mechanical certification.

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