Now that actual construction of the Everett Horn Library has begun, we who have envisioned the lovely building, feel that it is altogether fitting and proper that we remember how the monetary gifts of many people have made this possible. The substantial donations of Mr. and Mrs. Horn through the years to the present library at the Civic Center have enabled the staff to acquire not only books and magazines but many necessities which otherwise might have been at least neglected. These include a copy macine, micro film machines, apes and census records.
In appreciation of the thousands of dollars given by the Horns, their name was given to the Library by the Board of Aldermen and County Commissioners in 1983. At that time, Mr. and Mrs. Horn were visiting here from their home in Greenville, TX and upon learning that the library was in financial difficulty, they set up a trust fund in the amount of $400,000 with the interest from this trust fund to go directly to the library to be used as needed for its maintenance and operation. It can now support two full time and two part-time employes.
Mr. and Mrs. Horn say that they decided to make a donation to the library instead of leaving money to people who might not appreciate it after they are gone. Everett Horn Appreciation Week was held here in May 1988 with state dignitaries meeting Mr. and Mrs. Horn, Major David Jowers and County Evecutive Harold Hopper proclaimed the week of May 4 Everett Horn Appreciation Week. Major Jowers noted that "their community spirit is an inspiration" to Henderson Countians and expressed appreciation for the constributions and gifts made by Mr. and Mrs. Horn.
Early this year, plans were made for active solicitation of funds with chairman of the library board of trustees, C.M. "Buddy" Tedington in charger. Contributions have been made by businesses and individuals, over $80,000 pledgd for a good beginning. From their home in Texas, the Horns wrote that they wished to donate $100,000 to the building fund and at the Sept. 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the new structure, both Mr. and Mrs. Horn were present. Located on West Church Street (Hwy. 412) it will be near the entrance to Beech Lake.
TVA granted the library, at no cost, a lot valued at $150,00. Cost of the proposed construction is approximately $300,000. Of this amount, $200,000 must be raised locally with the sate and federal governments to provide $100,000. As of his date the building fund continues to grow with a graph in each week's issue of the Lexington Progress.
Mr. Horn was born Oct. 6, 1910 to Oscar and Lela Hamilton horn, the second of four boys. Their home was in the Antioch community, west of Lexington, what is now Hwy. 104 North. Even though the family lived only about 1/2 mile from the church which was also used as a one room school house, Everett was not entred into public school until he was 10 years old. He says he was handicapped by poor eyesight (myophia) and poverty, but he has certainly succeeded in overcoming them. He thinks he may have been overly protected by his parents and was taught at home by his mother. At the age of 10, he started to school at Antioch where his aunt, Mary Hamilton, wa the teacher. When he was 11, his mother died and a few years later Joe Webb, the teacher at Antioch told Everett that he was wasting his time in that school and urged him to enroll in Lexington High School, which he did. He became an honor student by studying hard and wanting to excel. Tragedy struck again, the Great Depression forced him out of school and after struggling for survival, he was helped to re-enter high school by his friend, Elmer Franklin. He was able to work with the LHS janitor for room and board and worked part time with the CCC camp in Jackson. Through the efforts of W.L. Bobbitt, long-time principal, Everett was ale to continue in school and graduated in 1936. He says, "I believe I have the distinction of being a school mate to more people in Lexington High than anyone else, before or since, because I went to school with some of the graduates from 1927 to 1939. He was 26 when he graduated.
In 1941 Everett started work for the Civil Service Commission at Milan at the Wolf Creek Ordinance Depot during WW II and it was here that he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Williams. She was born in Madison County May 8, 1915. Her parents were Ellis and Ida Gately Williams. Mary Elizabeth was the fifth in a family of nine children of whom only four now survive. The Williams children all went to Spring Creek School, a four year high school from which Mary Elizabeth graduated in 1935. The family lived at Spring Creek where they owned their farm and home.
Mary and Everett were married in 1944. Soon after the war was over, they went to Alaska where they both worked for the Civil Service Commission and in their own words, "built houses in our spare time, bouth and sold real estate, cars and anything else we could make a dollar on." She recalls that when they arrived in Alaska, everyone wanted to sell their houses and it was almost impossible to find a dcent rental house, so they bought lots an din the suburbs (Anchorage) and instead of going to bars and parties or spending money on booze like so many of the other young people were doing, they started building their own home in their spare time. Though it seems hard to believe, they moved into their two bedroom and one bath home before the snow fell that fall even though there was inside work to be done after they moved in. After their house was finished, the did nto know what to do in their spare time, so since there were a lot of unfinished houses for sale, they came up with the idea of buying these houses, finishing them and then sell them for a profit. She says they were soon "busy as a couple of honey bees" and at times had as many as 6 or 8 houses in the process of finishing and selling at the same time.
Soon after they had completed 20 years with the Civil Service, they decidd to retire and move some place where the winters were not quite so severe. But first they decided to take a long leisurely trip around the world. They applied for and received; reservations on Freighter Ships which at that time were carrying from 10 to 30 passengers along with all kinds of cargo. The first leg of the trip was from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, a three week trip which took them by way of American Saman and the Fiji Islands. With a layover of three weeks in Sydney, they rented a small foreigh car and took off for the "outback". First they went to Canberra, the capital of Australia and which is built on the same plan as Washington, D.C. except it is much smaller. Then they went over the snowy range to the desert and headed north, eventually coming back to the east coast of brishave in the stateof Queensland. This was he town in which Gen. MacArthur had his headquarters during the war. They did some sightseeing for two or three days, then headed back south along the Gold Coast to Sydney. In Sydney they visited the zoo and saw the Koala bears, duck-billed platypuss, anteater, wallaby and kangaroo. They boarded a Dutch ship headed for Singapore where they had a two week layover before their next ship arrived. While ther, they took a train trip to Kualalumpur and then went to Bankok and back to Signapore to catch their next ship, this time going to Port Said, Sgypt on the Suez Canal. There, they disembarked and took a trip to Cairo. After staying there several days, going to all the pyramids and riding the camels, they decided to make a trip by train to where they Aswan Dam was being constructed. After one day on this ride through the desert they decided to leave th train and stop in a small town before going back to Cairo. A few days later they took another train to Alexandra, Egypt on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. There they booked passage for Latakia, Syria. While on the ship, they met a couple from Damacus Syria. The man had come to the U.S. as a young man and worked in Detroit until he retired, whent back to Syria and married a Syrian girl. He could speak perfect English and volunteered to show the Horns around Damascus. After several days they went to Jerusalem by taxi and spent seeral days. They went to Bethlehem where Christ was born, to Jericho and on to the Dead Sea, taking a dip in the briny water and proving to themselves that you actually can not sink in it. They took a taxi back to Damascus and then a bus to Istanbul Turkey. After spending several days there they took a train to Munich Germany. Upon arrival there they purchased a brand new Volkswagen Beetle and began their tour of Europe. They drove into most every country on the mainland except Eastern Germany. They even went clear across the North Pole in Finland into Norway and then came down the Norwegian Coast with all the beautiful fjords and scenery to Oslo and to Copenhagen Denwark. They went through the home of Hans Christian Anderson there and to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and to Gothenburg Sweden where they caught another freighter bound for Philadelphia PA. The Volkswagen was put on the same ship they were on and when they arrived at Philadelphia the car was set off the ship and they drove away.
They have lived in several different states since they retired and have bought and sold property in all of them. We are glad they still think of Tennesseee as home and are deeply indebted to them fro their continued interest and generosity to the library. We are pleased to call it "The Everett Horn Library". Their philosophy in life has always been the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".
Everett Horn died 17 December 1993 - Mary Elizabeth (Williams) Horn died 8 May
Everett Horn died 17 December 1993 - Mary Elizabeth (Williams) Horn died 8 May