Two bridges of Marshall County have been dedicated in the memory of two outstanding citizens for whom memories are preserved on the public highways.
One is for Alex Allen, a third-generation dairy farmer who's had the largest dairy in the county and one that's still in operation by his sons, Cannon and John Daniel.
The other is for Brenard Richardson whose family came to Tennessee in the 1800s and settled in the vicinity of Culleoka. The farm is still owned and operated by his descendants.
Both bridges were dedicated on July 10 with several dignitaries on hand including County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett, state Sen. Bill Ketron and state Rep. Eddie Bass.
During a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at the Brenard Richardson Bridge, Mckinley Richardson, the youngest great-grandchild of Brenard Richardson, climbed a ladder and unveiled the sign designating the bridge's name. She did so with the help of Mr. Brenard's son, Bud Richardson. The bridge goes over Bear Creek on State Route 373, Mooresville Highway, near the homeplace of Brenard Richardson.
It had been an emotional week for the Richardson family after losing their mother earlier that first full week of July. Mary Elizabeth Coffey Richardson, 91, a long-time resident of the Mooresville Community, died Sunday, July 4, at the home of her daughter in Gallatin.
During the unveiling, son Bud Richardson spoke for the family, expressing kind words for the recognition of the family's patriarch, and daughter Janice Thomason of Gallatin and other relatives and friends shared in the special moment with County Commissioner Don Ledford and County Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams.
Liggett, a former president of the Marshall County Farm Bureau, spoke of the rich heritage of farming handed down through the Richardson family and the impact it had on the community. Agriculture remains the bedrock of the county's economy.
Liggett also acknowledged the importance and impact that Alex Allen had on the farming community and the county as a whole - specifically mentioning the training and teaching that "Mr. Allen volunteered to the 4-H Club members regarding the dairy and dairy judging projects in this community."
As is frequent during such ceremonies, the county mayor turned to state lawmakers who sponsored the resolutions honoring a county's highly regarded citizen. Ketron read the resolution signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen. Bass spoke about how an individual person can leave a positive imprint on their community and said that such local leaders deserve a lasting tribute for their public service and outstanding life as a human being.
Debbie Allen, widow of the long-time dairy farmer, spoke with emotion about the tribute to the man she loves still. The unveiling prompted visible swells of pride among his relatives, including: Alex's father, Edwin Allen; Alex's sons, Cannon and John Daniel; daughter, Sara; grandsons, Lane, Alex and Luke; daughters-in-law, Lucretia and Lindsey Allen; three sisters, Nancy Brown, Margaret Campbell and Elizabeth Jewel; and other family and friends.
Also present were County Farm Bureau President Jimmy Ogilvie, and County Commissioners Tony White and Dean Delk.
Alex Allen brought joy to the community, Delk said, adding, "Cross this bridge, see that sign, and you are going to smile."