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By John Oliver, President, Historical Society

Over the years that the Historical Society has been active, we have asked for and received many old papers, photos and newspaper clippings that have to do with Trousdale County history. We copy these and return the originals to the owner.

We also have people clean out their attics or old trunks and bring us a box of stuff and say, “It’s all yours!”

Actually, we enjoy going through boxes of letters, cancelled checks, and faded pictures. We often find a “jewel” in the mix!

This month, we are going to go through some of the many newspaper articles that have been given to us and share them with the reader. Hopefully, you too will enjoy these as much as we have.

Submitted photo
This is the picture that ran with the 1930 Nashville Banner article mentioned in this week’s column. What a stately looking old couple Mr. and Mrs. Robertson were!

In 1930, the Nashville Banner featured an article about a Hartsville couple, notable for their many years together.

They were Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Robertson and they told the interviewer some delightful facts about their lives.

“Twentieth century proof that the ancient magic surrounding the number ‘seven’ yet exists is well substantiated in the long and happy lives of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Robertson, Hartsville couple who are visiting their daughter, Mrs. H. E. Davy, on Westwood Avenue.

Mr. Robertson, 84, is the seventh son and only surviving member of eleven children. Mrs. Robertson, 83, is the seventh child and also the only surviving child out of eleven. They are the parents of seven children.

Ten years ago, this fortunate couple celebrated their golden wedding. For forty years they have lived in the same house and during that time there have been no deaths in the family and only $40 paid out for doctor bills. In fact, the personal sickness account of Mr. Robertson has averaged about twenty-four cents a year throughout his entire life.

Mr. Robertson has never had a lawsuit and never sued a man. Should a dispute arise between himself and his neighbors, he would insist on arbitration, he said.”

The reader can see why the Nashville paper found the couple so interesting.

The article continues, “Although Mr. Robertson has kept pace with the trend of the times, he recalls with pleasure his early farming days when threshing, barbecuing and borrowing without notes were all common happenings.

Mrs. Robertson is proud of the fact that she has cooked fifty-nine Christmas breakfasts for her husband and regrets that one Christmas she was up with a sick child and slept until breakfast was all ready… She maintains that she married Mr. Robertson mainly because of his good looks.

One would have to look far to find such a venerable couple as well preserved, as wide awake and as interesting as Mr. and Mrs. Robertson.

There is every indication that their years have been happily and profitably spent and that there are happy days ahead. The father of Mr. Robertson lived to be 95.

They do not care so much about leaving their farm, where Mr. Robertson tends 125 sheep and is general supervisor, and where Mrs. Robertson has her chickens and her flowers, but they like to make frequent visits to the homes of their children. The children are: W.N. Robertson of Gallatin; Banks Robertson, of Hartsville; Mrs. G.O. Tinnon, of Goodlettsville; Mrs. H.H. Lipscomb of Hartsville; F.L. Robertson, of Dallas, Texas; and Mrs. H.E. Davy and Mrs. A.L. Carr, of this city.”

The original article is much longer than what I have included here and noted that Mr. Robertson had subscribed to the Nashville Banner since its beginning in 1876.

Mrs. Robertson commented that her husband, “… used to worry me, refusing to eat his dinner until he had read every word in it.”

His reading had kept him abreast of what was happening in the world, something that we today try to do by glancing at short bits of info on our smartphones!

And, to what did Mr. Robertson attribute his long levity?

“To an honest and a moderate amount of work he attributes longer years and more happiness. He thinks the youth of today (who would be in their 90’s today!) should keep up to date in every respect… Good associations he recommends for moral, social and intellectual reasons.”

Benjamin Franklin Robertson is buried in the old Hartsville Cemetery; his tombstone reads, “1846-1936.” The tombstone of his lovely wife, Alice Payne Robertson, reads, “1847-1941.”