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Tennessee Valley Chapter History

By the
late Dr. John Rison Jones, Jr., Past Chapter Historian 
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 he 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 the Tennessee Valley Chapter evolved from the old Mooresville Chapter because eight of the original seventeen 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)

The Tennessee Valley Chapter has produced ten Alabama Society State Presidents:

 James G. Charles 
Alan G. Raffalovich
William C. Pittman, Jr.


Rev. Henry W. Tuttle
Hoyt O. Smith
James H. Maples
James G. Alexander
C. David Billings
Harold E. Thornton2017-2018
Robert A. Anderson2018-2019

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

James G. Charles
James H. Maples

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.