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Tennessee Valley Chapter History

                                      History of the Tennessee Valley Chapter
                              Alabama Society, Sons of the American Revolution

By the late Dr. John Rison Jones, Jr., Past Chapter Historian
and James H. Maples, Chapter President, 2002-2003
       President, Alabama Society, 2005-2006
      Vice-President General, Southern District, 2011-2012
The Tennessee Valley Chapter was chartered on 16 March 1958 according to a letter from State President Dr. David Mason (State President from 1980-1982).  This letter was given to Bill Pittman when Bill was president of our Chapter. Bill was doing research at the time on the history of our Chapter.  This is consistent with other information that Dr. John Rison Jones, Jr. and Jim Maples have uncovered in their research.  Based on the names provided as charter members, it appears almost certain that our Chapter evolved from the old Mooresville Chapter , because 8 of the original 17 members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter were former members of the Mooresville Chapter.  The Mooresville Chapter must have become inactive around 1956-57 and several members decided to form a new Chapter and began collecting dues in 1957. The earliest records that we have found on the Tennessee Valley Chapter date to 1957.  In a treasurer’s ledger that was begun in 1957 are listed 14 paid members (dues were $2.50).  They are: 

            Henry Vogel Bragg                     (Pvt. John Milam)             
            James William Bragg                  (Pvt. John Milam)                   
            James William Bragg, Jr.            (Pvt. John Milam)
            Richard Hyde Dewey                 (Capt. Daniel Dewey)
            Ernest Thompson Hewes         (Lt. Valentine Echert)
            Henry Willis Hill                          (Capt. John Wright, Jr.)         
            Dr. Ambrose Tilden Grayson   (Pvt. Robert Wright)              
            Thomas Pickens Gates              (Capt. Joseph Pickens)
            Ward Fern Sparkman                (Ens. Isaac Webb; John Moore)
            Edward Francis Dennis             (Pvt. James Swords)
            Harry Glen Strange                   (Pvt. Amos Strange)
            Dr. James Oscar Horton, Jr.     (Pvt. William Hubbard Hobbs)
            James Edward Loyd, II              (Pvt. Joseph Crownover)
            Keith Graham Reeve                (Alexander Keith)

In addition to the above 14 names, there are 3 additional members listed as charter members in the 1958 list.  They are:

            Philip Wind Bentley                 (Sgt. Efford Bentley)
            George Francis Browning, Jr.  (Lt. John Browning)
            Charlie Greer Morris               (Maj. Thomas Hubbard)

Later in 1958 five additional applications were approved:

            Dudley Sale Powell, Sr.            (Lt. Peyton Powell)
            Dudley Sale Powell, Jr.             (Lt. Peyton Powell)
            Edwin Williamson Powell       (Lt. Peyton Powell)
            Gilbert Greeway White           (Isaac Shelby)
            Hill Ferguson, Jr.                     (Maj. Green Hill, II)

 In its fifty year history, the Tennessee Valley Chapter has produced eight Alabama Society State Presidents:

            James G. Charles                     1978-1980
            Alan G. Raffalovich                 1986-1987
            William C. Pittman, Jr.            1990-1991
            Rev. Henry W. Tuttle              1994-1995
            Hoyt O. Smith                         1999-2000
            James H. Maples                     2005-2006
            James G. Alexander                2007-2008
            C. David Billings                     2011-2012

In addition, the Tennessee Valley Chapter has produced two Vice-Presidents General of the Southern District:

            James G. Charles                     1987-1988
            James H. Maples                      2011-2012

In 2008 the Tennessee Valley Chapter held a 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Huntsville/Madison County Library.  Richard Smallwood was Chapter President at the time. Also in 2008 the Archivist for the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, the late Ranee Green Pruitt, collected all the historical records of the Tennessee Valley Chapter that could be found, arranged them by year and they are currently stored in the Archives at the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library. Records from the early years of the Chapter are very sketchy. Any additional information or records on our Chapter, especially the early years, is always welcome.