Bridge to be named after beloved Mooresville man

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By Karen Hall


One of the first items on the County Commission's short agenda Monday night was the presentation of a resolution to name the bridge over Mooresville Creek, on State Route 373, after Bill "Mousie" Demastus.

The resolution, read by Commissioner E.W. Hill, detailed Demastus' life in Marshall County, and specifically in Mooresville, starting with marriage to the love of his life, Lucille Williams, in 1955, when he was 18.

Demastus started out running a service station, and in 1958, he bought 20 acres of land and established his junkyard, which remained in business until just a year ago.

"Mousie's love for the junkyard made his work not a job but a pleasure," states the resolution.

The couple bought a home in Mooresville in 1961, and, a few years later, purchased a 100-acre farm. Bill and Lucille even owned and ran the Mooresville Store for three years.

In addition to running the junkyard and the store, Bill farmed, raising tobacco and cows, and hauling hay for the public.

In 1992 they gave one acre of the junkyard land to the Mooresville Fire Department to build their own station, and spent many hours helping the volunteer fire department.

Sadly, Bill passed away on May 13, 1999, when he was just 62 years old, leaving behind his wife, daughter, and three grandchildren.

"Bill 'Mousie' was a pillar to the Mooresville Community and to his family. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and never met a stranger. Bill 'Mousie' you are still greatly missed by everyone," concluded the resolution.

County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett presented a framed copy of the resolution to Lucille Demastus, and commissioners and audience members alike jumped to their feet and gave her a standing ovation.

In other business, commissioners unanimously agreed to authorize Liggett to enter into an agreement with Orion Building Corporation for the third and final phase of work on the courthouse.

"This will make it look good for the next 50 years," said Architect James Kennon when he met with the building committee last week. The large courtroom will be completely redecorated, with plaster repaired, fresh paint, new ceiling tiles, reupholstered seats, and new flooring. Circuit Court Clerk Elinor Foster has set aside the month of December for the work, reported Kennon, but "it will all have to go like clockwork" to get finished within the allotted time.

There will be some work on the exterior, and other work on the corridors, ceilings, and stairs. A terrazzo version of the great seal of Marshall County is said to be under the current floor covering in the center of the main corridor, and Kennon is eager to get a look at this, and, hopefully, preserve it so that it can be seen by the public on a daily basis.

The county still has the remainder of the money it set aside for courthouse renovations in 2008, but this is $17,000 short of the amount needed, but committee members felt comfortable about taking the shortfall out of the capital projects fund.

The only dissenting vote heard at the meeting came from Commissioner Seth Warf, who voted against a resolution to award bids to work on county property adjacent to Cornersville High School. When asked why, Warf said he disagreed with paying to demolish two houses on Coleman Road. He said the last time he was included in a discussion of these houses, someone was proposing to demolish them for free in return for being allowed to keep all the usable building material.

Liggett announced the county is in need of 30 to 60 mentors for students attending college in the Tennessee Promise program. He and Mike Wiles have applications for mentors at their office in the Courthouse Annex, and Liggett urged commissioners and others to get involved in this very worthwhile program.

Commissioners Barry Spivey and Kevin Vanhooser, who are not seeking re-election, were absent from the meeting. This group of county commissioners have one more meeting together, on Aug. 25, and then at least some of them will be replaced by newly elected commissioners.