BIOGRAPHIES of HENDERSON COUNTY

CLAUDE A. FESMIRE

Cashier of the First National Bank is Claude A. Fesmire who is known throughout the county. Mrs. Fesmire was born near Lexington March 14, 1902 and came to Lexington in 1925. He is the son of Mrs. Maggie G. Fesmire and the late Albert S. Fesmire. On October 3, 1925 Mr Fesmire married teh former Miss Catherine Threadgill and they have a son Claude Allen Jr. who is six. Mr. Fesmire has been connected with the bank for the past 26 years. He is a member of the Methodist Church, a mason, a shriner and a member of the Rotary Club. He sattended schools at Juno and Lexington High and a Jackson business school. Mr. Fesmire served as mayor of Lexington from 1947 - 1949
Lexington Progress 5/2/1952 People You Know

RAYMOND FESMIRE

This is a belated "Happy Birthday" greeting to Raymond Fesmie who celebrated his special day on September 30, 1995. He was 94 and is still remarkably active. Born and reared in the Wildersville community, he has lived and worked there his entire life. He is the son of Irvin and Nora Fesmire. They were the parents of eight children. Only Raymond and his brother, Lester survive.

He and his wife, the late Mabel Douglas Fesmire, had been married almost 50 years when she died in 1974. He still lives in the house they bought in 1928 and shared with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lydle Douglas, until their deaths. Now, he lives alone, doing his own cooking, housework and laundry. He still makes a garden, cares for his chickens and mows his yard, goes to church and remains active in his community.

Mr. and Mrs. Fesmire had only one child, a daughter, Ivory Mae, who was very supportive after her mother's death. Before Ivory's health failed, she worked as a secretary with the Forestry Service. She died in 1983. Ivory Mae was married to James Blankenship of Lexington. Their children are Dwight, Robert, Douglas and Diana Lynn. It was my pleasure to teach some of these bright children and I found their parents to be supportive of their efforts.

Dwight, the oldest son, is Terminal Manager for a Memphis truck line. Robert is vice president of Fruit of the Loom in KY. Douglas of Denver CO has earned his doctorate. Diana lives in Jackson TN. James remains close to his family and is always available. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fesmire were active in the Wildersville Baptist Church, she as a Sunday school teacher and wherever else she could be of service. Ray has been a deacon for 36 years and has served as church treasurer. He still attends morning services and has now been the oldest member of his church for several years. Recently, he enjoyed a birthday supper in his home, prepared by and served by the Adult Sunday School Class 1.

The Fesmire home was always open to others and especially to the pastor; even to talking a whole family in for several days when an ice storm disrupted power served in the pastor's home. Mr. Fesmire has led a simple, quiet life, devoted to his family, his church and to hard work. He has earned the respect of his community; he had the love of family and friends and enjoys the love of his grandchildren who in their own way return his affection. In all his 94 years, Mr. Fesmire has never taken a vacation, has never traveled far from home and never sought a place of prominence in any field; yet he has become well-known in much of this area. For 54 years he worked in a cotton gin of which he was part owner; farmed; helped to build a church; Scott's General Store and also several homes. He worked at whatever jobs were available in his younger years, sometimes at a sawmill, blowing ditches to drain farm land and for many years handled finances for Jones Cemetery even maintaining the cemetery part time. He gave up this job in 1994.

At Halloween, it has become a tradition for children and their parents to drop by his home for an enormous apple. He has a Lexington grocery order three boxes of the largest apples available for this special occasion. Expensive as it has become, it is well worth it to him. There is no record of the many kind, helpful deeds he has contributed to his community, but a friend says, "You be the judge".

There is no record of the number of people who worked on his farm for whom he paid both the employer's and employee's part of their Social Security taxes so they might qualify for benefits; no record of the trips to carry people to their doctor or to a hospital; no record of how many country hams he has given away; no record of his planting and cultivating a small cotton patch for a widow to add to her meager income; no record of his many trips to a nursing home to cut residents hair; no record of how many graves he has dug, now how many times he has served as pallbearer for friends and neighbors. To quote a former Lexington Progress column "Hats off to a fine gentleman"..
Interesting Person - Lexington Progress October 25, 1995 by Doris Jarrett

W.L. FESMIRE

Every farmer in the county knows W.L. Fesmire, chairman of the PMA committee. A native countian, Mr. Fesmire attended county schools and Lexington High. He taught in county schools from 1913 to 1938. He is a son of E.L. and Flora Fesmire of the Center Ridge community. He was born Dec. 14, 1894. Mr. Fesmire has been a farmer and surveyor since 1917, and has served as PMA chairman for the past five years. On March 29, 1917 he was married to the former Naomi Lyon and they have two children; Mrs. H.A. Bristol of Chattanooga and Hugh Lyon. Another son Willard L. Jr., died in 1938 at the age of 9. Mr. Fesmire is a Methodist and a member of the Lexington Masonic lodge.
People you Know - The Lexington Progress 18 April 1952

Back Home