A Profile of Isaac Bradley Dancy
...and the Dancy Homeplaceš
Isaac Bradley Dancy was the grandson of Isaac Dancy for whom Dancyville, Tennessee was named. He was born February 14, 1866, the fifth child of John Henry and Louisa Kerr Dancy. Isaac Bradley married Maggie Ethlene 'Lena' Hughes February 12, 1891. Lena Hughes was the first child of Thomas Newton Hughes and Mary Priscilla Gilliam. Isaac Bradley and Lena Hughes Dancy had 10 children, named later in this profile.
Isaac Bradley Dancy was a farmer and grist mill operator. He also was an undertaker in the days of the horse drawn hearse. It is very possible he continued the funeral business started by his father. In his mother's 1869 Journal, she described, in detail, the father's funeral business.
Isaac Bradley was an active member of the Dancyville Methodist Church and taught Men's Bible Classes for many years. He also was in charge of the cemetery, located on the Church property. In Eldon Roark's 1941 newspaper article, in the column 'Strolling With Roark', featuring Isaac Bradley, it was easy to feel his pride in the church and his involvement with the congregation.
Roark described Isaac Bradley as, "The most read man in town." This is no surprise since his father was an avid reader, especially technical publications of the day, and his mother taught the children at home in addition to their formal schooling.
My memories of Isaac Bradley and Dancyville are from my in-frequent, mainly summertime trips, with my sister, to Dancyville and Brownsville.
To me the Dancyville town limits began just south of Brownsville in the low bottom country. My sister and I played a game of counting the wooden bridges, 30 or more as I recall, between Brownsville and Dancyville. The little wooden structures seemed adventurous and very noticeable but their concrete replacements seem to blend into the surroundings.
All my life I have made the statement, " I had the nicest men for grandfathers, any person could ever imagine". Bradley Dancy and my Grandpa Bill Blackwood, were very near 'doubles' in temperament; gentle, soft spoken and kind. Of the memories I have of Granddaddy Dancy, his gentleness is the most lasting.
I do remember the farm. We would be allowed to go with granddaddy to the watermelon patch that I recall as being in a sandy bottom north of the home place. The watermelons were, without doubt, the best I have ever eaten. In 1995, I was talking with the owner of the Dancyville Store and mentioned the watermelon patch. He said, "Mr. Dancy grew the best watermelons in the county". The peanuts he grew were just as delicious. For several years he sent a big box of peanuts to our home in Paris. The aroma of roasting peanuts, in our kitchen oven, is one of my fond memories of childhood.
In Papa's barnyard there always seemed to be a sow with pigs, intent on keeping anybody my size, from crossing the lot. If she didn't get it done then there was a big rooster to finish the job.
The homeplace seemed much larger than the surviving pictures. I can still see Grandma Lena coming down the stairway with her cane, intended or not, she was an imposing figure and very intimidating to me.
I also recall the well was sandy and the water always cloudy when it was first drawn. If the well was 'stirred up', by dropping the bucket, the water would be sandy when drawn and would be left to 'settle'. Of course I loved to play with the well bucket, especially the terkel that released the water. Although I couldn't draw the water, I was good at dropping the bucket down the well and 'stirring up' the sand. The well, as I recall, was at the northwest corner of the house. Visiting late one year I recall a hog killing in the general vicinity of the well. It was the first time I had seen that farm chore and recall I was not too thrilled.
I guess the most fun thing for me, other than the two little stores where the goodies were, was watching Granddaddy operate the grist mill for cornmeal grinding. One wheel was removed from an old tractor and a long belt was run from a pulley on the tractor and run to the gearing, and then to a very large stone wheel. Granddaddy would grind peoples corn into meal. The deal was they would give him some corn for grinding their meal. I never saw any money change hands and most of the customers were Black folks, who appeared very poor. I suspect the gristmill was more of a free service than a money making operation. I was told two coffins remained, in the loft of the gristmill, from the days when Granddaddy operated the funeral business. My sister also reminded me of the horse drawn hearse stored in the room beside the gristmill.
ISAAC BRADLEY & MAGGIE 'LENA' HUGHES DANCY'S CHILDRENLouise Allen Dancy - Louise Allen Dancy was born October 17, 1891 and died April 21, 1969. Louise married Charles Lipscomb Cogbill, born April 3, 1889 and died October 11, 1964.
Allen Hughes Cogbill, Sr. (private), married Alice Crapser (private). Allen and Alice's children are: Martha Ellen Cogbill Mulhern (private); Allen Hughes Cogbill Jr. (private) Mary Elizabeth Cogbill Drebushenko (private) and Lucy Anne Cogbill Henson (private).Francis "Frank" Lynn Dancy - Frank was born December 11, 1892 and died April 19, 1962. Frank married Alice Speed, born November 19, 18896 and died September 12, 1987.
William Bradley DancyEugene Wightman Dancy - Eugene was born January 15, 1897 and died July 21, 1984. He married Gladys Parr. Children from this Marriage:
Barbara DancyKerr Malone "Huck" Dancy - Huck was born August 6, 1899 and died July 21, 1964. Huck married Daisy Lois Cain, born February 4, 1890, died November 17, 1984.
Betty Carolyn Duck Byrd (private). Betty married Marion Byrd (private). Betty and Marion's son is Charles David Byrd (private).James Hughes Dancy - James Hughes was born September 8, 1910 and died November 23, 1968. James' first marriage was to Beulah Beatrice 'Bibe' Blackwood. 'Bibe' was born June 14, 1912 and died June 28, 1971.
James Karl 'Buddy' Dancy (private). James married Roselee Kathryn Haugh, born December 27, 1932 and died July 1, 1992. James and Rosie's daughter is Janice Kimberly Dancy (private).James' second marriage was to Mary Frances Rhea on November 4, 1945. Mary Frances was born June 17, 1914 and died December 19, 1992.
šThis profile is based on the writing of others and the personal recollections of the editor.
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