Happy Thoughts, Happy Life

Thoughts affect everything. Each day what goes through your mind will affect your mood, health, activity, stress levels, and the list goes on. So why do we not make a more conscious effort to keep happy thoughts on a regular basis?

A negative mindset can create what is called, “chronic stress.” This will create a hormone imbalance in the body. The chemicals in your brain that are required for happiness can be depleted, which can also hurt your immune system. In the end, this can also decrease your lifespan. Not only does stress affect your body, but a vast amount of hostility can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, and stomach issues. Needless to say, a healthy mind equals a healthy body. 

Often our minds need a “renovation,” meaning scrub the stressers. Does social media stress you out? Take a break from it. Does T.V. drive you crazy with today’s antics? Take a break from it. Sometimes we need a recharge and a breather. Step outside, breathe in the fresh air, go for a walk, or sit in the sun. 

smiling woman looking upright standing against yellow wall
Photo by juan mendez on Pexels.com

Life can get to us sometimes but that does not mean we have to let it. Here are some encouraging quotes to help with keeping a healthy mindset:

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Teddy Roosevelt

“Our thoughts make us what we are.” Dale Carnegie

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12: 1-2 (ESV)


  1. https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-do-thoughts-and-emotions-affect-health#:~:text=Poorly%2Dmanaged%20negative%20emotions%20are,and%20damages%20the%20immune%20system.
  2. “Reset Your Mind,” YouVersion

Dr. May Wharton’s Introduction to Cumberland County

In 1918 through 1919 as many as 50 million people died of the influenza pandemic (also known as Spanish Influenza Pandemic or Spanish Flu). It is said that the influenza emerged in three waves. First “the three-day fever” came in the spring and was relatively mild. The second came that summer and was the most severe. It hit so fast and severely that nothing could be done in terms of treatment because pneumonia would develop. The third wave came that winter and a few months later the virus had lightened up. But when the influenza outbreak hit Cumberland County, Dr. May Wharton did her best to combat it in a very rural community that she was brand new to.

temporary hospital during the pandemic

Dr. Wharton had not been in Cumberland County long and the news of a Doctor Woman was slowly spreading. She had come to the county because her husband had taken on the position of Principal at Pleasant Hill Academy. It did not take the Wharton’s long to realize that this rural community was in dire need of their help. Their impact left a mark on Cumberland County that will never be forgotten. 

Her accounts of the mountain people are extremely fascinating and there is no better way to get a feel for it than to read her words. The following is an excerpt from her autobiography, Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands:

“The buggy had a seat, a few boards for a floor, but neither dashboard nor tailgate. Between the shafts was no horse, but a little jenny hardly larger than a good-size dog. I took my seat, gathering all my paraphernalia in my lap for safety, and off we went. My driver proudly informed me that he had just bought his jenny, and kept calling my attention to how well she was doing. I thought so myself, considering the harness and the rig, the load and the road. I was ashamed of my own weight behind the little creature.

We came to the hill going down. The jenny couldn’t hold us back. So she just sat down in the breaching and slid all the way down the hill, to the delight of her owner, who kept repeating, ‘Ain’t she a dandy, though?’

Yes, she was a dandy.

We and my bags and the jenny all arrived at the foot of the hill no worse for wear. She pulled us sturdily across the shallow ford some distance upstream from the footlog, and then up the long, steep hill.

In the little cabin in Browntown the flu had all the family in bed except a girl and a two-year-old baby who was running about mother-naked while the girl was trying frantically to find her a dress.

The man lying there beside his very sick-looking wife said in a hoarse voice, ‘Could be we-uns waited too long, Doctor, but hit don’t seem natural fer-’ he couldn’t finish, and I did it for him.

‘-for a woman to be a doctor? That’s all right. I know how you feel. There aren’t very many of us women doctors yet, but we can take care of you just like the men.’

I checked the wife quickly, but thoroughly enough to confirm my sight diagnosis that it was too late for medicine to save her.

I told him.

‘Hit’s God’s will,’ he said. ‘Hain’t no use to fret.’” 

(Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands, Wharton, p. 49-50)

This is just one account of many from the Influenza Pandemic throughout Cumberland County. Thankfully, very few were fatal. Needless to say, her students at the academy went unscathed. She credits her study of homeopathy. To this day it is still uncertain where the virus originated. 

Pleasant Hill Academy Boy’s Wing


  1. Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands, May Cravath Wharton, M.D.
  2. https://www.britannica.com/event/influenza-pandemic-of-1918-1919
  3. https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/
  4. https://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/search/searchterm/pleasant%20hill%20academy

WWII & Cumberland County

World War II took the United States by storm on December 7, 1941. It was a true national effort. Everyone had to put forth their best, even if it was as simple as buying bonds. Crossville, as always, did its part. Cumberland County always met its quota in war loan drives, eight total were given. 

Crossville sent a great many of its people to war. At least seventy-three were killed in action. But what is probably best known about Cumberland County’s involvement in World War II is the “Jap Camp”. Although it never actually held Japanese Soldiers. In 1942, the Chronicle reported that the government was giving the county 3 million dollars to build a prisoner of war camp. Congressman Albert Gore sent the news by telegram. 

The camp went on to hold German and Italian prisoners of war, who of course did not get along. There were about 200 similar camps around the United States, eleven of those in Tennessee.

Camp Crossville is located about two miles south of U.S. 70. During the war it was surrounded by two barbed wire fences, 14 feet apart and 12 feet high.  There were nine guard towers. Each tower held machine guns and searchlights. The camp was guarded by the Military Police. In November of 1942 a train from New York arrived in Crossville carrying 68 prisoners, the first to be held at Camp Crossville. 

One man, Gerhard Hennes, was a prisoner there; he tells his story in his book, The Barbed Wire. He goes on to tell how well treated they were, until the Americans learned about what was really going on overseas. From that day on their treatment was very different, southern hospitality had left the camp. 

Escapes were not unusual at Camp Crossville. As one story is told, three German escapees encountered Granny in the woods. She told them to “git” and when they didn’t, she began to fire. She shot one dead. When the police arrived, Granny cried, learning that she did not shoot “Yankees” but instead Germans. 

Today we all know Camp Crossville as The Clyde M. York 4-H Center. It is one of the only remaining POW camps in Tennessee.


  1. Cumberland County, W. Calvin Dickenson
  2. The First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak
  3. https://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/customizations/global/pages/index.html?srchTerm=cumberland+county+4-h
  4. https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/united-states-history-primary-source-timeline/great-depression-and-world-war-ii-1929-1945/world-war-ii/
  5. https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/pow-camps-in-world-war-ii/
  6. https://clydeyork4hcenter.tennessee.edu/camp-history/
  7. https://www.tnmagazine.org/former-german-soldier-recalls-life-at-crossville-pow-camp/
  8. https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/world-war-ii/

Football, A Volunteer Tradition

In the south football is tradition, its excitement, its rivalry, and its history. The man we all have to thank for the college sport of football was Walter Camp. He is known as the “Father of American Football.” As a Yale graduate, who sat at halfback in his playing days, he helped form the rules of the Intercollegiate Football Association. 

But what’s most important in Tennessee is the Volunteers. On November 21, 1891 the University of Tennessee Knoxville played their first game against Sewanee in Chattanooga. They lost 24 to 0. Then following that loss was another on Thanksgiving Day in Knoxville. For a while the team played their games at Baldwin and Chilhowee Park. Nearby newspapers stressed the importance of football and the growth the sport will take throughout the nation. How right they were. The Vols played their first game on the iconic Shields-Watkins field (the field now in Neyland Stadium) in 1921.

As most Tennesseans know, the name “Volunteers” goes all the way back to the war of 1812 and every war draft since. Any time there is a need to serve our country the Tennessee Volunteers step up. (For more on Tennessee’s involvement in past wars check out previous blog posts.) One fighting man in particular became the University of Tennessee’s logo in 1983, Davy Crockett. The Volunteer name did not entirely come along in the beginning though. It was not until Tennessee beat Georgia Tech in 1902 that a writer from the Atlanta Journal Constitution called them the Volunteers. In 1905 the name became official and has been iconic ever since. 

With their 38 All-Americans, six national championships, and 16 conference titles the name Tennessee Volunteers is known throughout the nation. Despite the last few disappointing seasons the list of legends who wore Tennessee orange is hard to miss: General Robert Neyland, Peyton Manning, Travis Henry, Will Bartholomew, Joey Kent, Marcus Nash, Jason Witten, Antone Davis, Bob Suffridge, Bob Johnson, Cosey Coleman, Chad Clifton, Reggie White, Albert Haynesworth, John Henderson, Doug Atkins, Leonard Little, Al Wilson, Andy Spiva, Bobby Majors, Eric Berry, Deon Grant, Dale Carter, Jimmy Colquitt, Fuad Reveiz, and Wille Gault.

A school with history, pride, and true southern volunteerism. 

“Rocky Top Tennessee, Home Sweet Home to Me.”

Happy Game Week!

Stop by SmallBiz for a Tennessee Volunteer Football Schedule!


  1. https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-football#:~:text=The%20game%20has%20ancient%20origins,the%20sport%20we%20know%20today.&text=Vintage%20%2F%20Getty%20Images-,The%20game%20has%20ancient%20origins%2C%20but%20in%20the%20late%2019th,the%20sport%20we%20know%20today.
  2. https://www.utk.edu/history/first-football-game
  3. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1298130-tennessee-volunteers-football-the-all-time-dream-team
  4. https://www.rockytoptalk.com/2017/8/17/16164366/davy-crockett-and-the-tennessee-volunteers-a-history-behind-the-name-college-football
  5. https://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/2650/Tennessee_Volunteers/1987/Secondary_Logo

Myth: Staffing companies cannot help with your job search.

Need help “getting your foot in the door?” That’s exactly what staffing companies do. Often people graduate from college or technical school and just need a start. Staffing companies are the job source that is not always thought of. They are the hidden gem in the job board world. These agencies are full of resources for finding that perfect first fit. Fresh graduates usually do not have much experience with job shopping or much to put on their resume, and that is where the human resource professionals in staffing can help.

Sometimes there are situations where someone has all the experience in the world but no degree or schooling to back it. Again, this is where a staffing company can help.  Recruiters understand the situation and can help find the job to fit your experience. 

Another area of expertise in staffing agencies is resumes. Those intimidating pieces of paper are vital when applying for jobs. Seek out your local staffing agency, they know just what to do.

Often the myth is staffing companies only staff for the jobs they have listed. This is not true. Staffing agencies can use their resources to find the job you are looking for and give your career the boost it needs. 

Use your local resources to your advantage. 

SmallBiz Staffing contact info

Geology & Industry on the Plateau

The Cumberland Plateau is a geological wonder known to geologists as the Appalachian Plateau. It rises over 1000 feet above every other region around it. The layers of limestone, shale, coal, and sandstone make up the mountain at 1,800 feet above sea level. From the earliest settlements of Cumberland County it was clear that these natural resources were the key to survival and building an industrious town. 

In 1828 lime was used at the Crab Orchard Inn. “The quality is said to have been so good that it attracted the attention of visitors to the stand. A very early kiln, operated by the Rose family, is reported to have been built of sandstone; wood was used as fuel and the kiln was filled from the top with hand-broken limestone.” (Cumberland County’s First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak, p. 241)

Back in the early 1900s the limestone was used all over the southeast. Southern White Lime Corporation out of Spring City used the Tennessee Central to ship out the product to be used for industrial purposes. 

Coal mining was attempted at numerous locations throughout the county from the late 1800s till the 1950s. On April 24, 1890 the Tennessee Times reported “The Great Cumberland Coal Field.” Multiple companies formed to mine: Cumberland Coal and Coke Company, Fall Creek Collieries, The Crab Orchard Coal and Coke Company, Clear Creek Coal Company, and others. Each tried their best to make a solid profit. Some were successful but most went under. These small businesses eventually went out when larger industry jobs came to light. 

Sandstone, the resource we all know and see everyday throughout Crossville. “Crab Orchard Stone”, “Crossville Sandstone”, “Tennessee Quartzite”, “Tennessee Verigate Stone”, “Cumberland Mountain Stone”, “Tennessee Orchard Stone”, and many others are the various names we have heard our precious rock called. The name “Crab Orchard Stone” stuck when architect Henry Hibbs said it first around 1927. 

The stone is a million dollar industry and is shipped all over the United States and even out of the county from time to time. The multicolored stone is only found in Cumberland County. Its distinctness is unlike any other sandstone. 

Places like Rockefeller Plaza, University of Tulsa, Scarritt College, President Roosevelt’s swimming pool in Washington, and many others throughout the country are home to some Crab Orchard Stone. There is no denying that this stone is one of the first businesses to put Cumberland County on the map, and of course, built many of our town’s treasures. 


  1. Cumberland County’s First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak
  2. Cumberland County Tennessee, Dickenson
  3. https://www.netstate.com/states/geography/tn_geography.htm#:~:text=Also%20called%20the%20Cumberland%20Plateau,1%2C800%20feet%20above%20sea%20level.
  4. https://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/upload/webgeo.pdf
  5. Tennessee Virtual Archive (*all photos from here)

Myth: Staffing agencies only offer temporary positions.

What types of employment do staffing agencies offer?

Before that question can be answered, let’s look at the different types of staffing agencies out there. 

An Employment Agency is defined as an agency whose business is to find jobs for people or to fill jobs for businesses seeking employees.

Contingency Employment Agency: This type of agency is paid once their candidate is hired on by the employer. Candidates often compete with multiple other people who applied for the same position. 

Retained Search Firms: Simply put these firms are “headhunters.” They are paid expenses and a percentage of the employee’s salary. Typically, this type of firm is hired for senior level positions. 

Temporary Agencies: The definition is in the name. These agencies fill temporary positions or “temp to perm” jobs. Despite their bad reputation they do offer benefits, such as health insurance and resume perks. 

Traditional Employment Agency: These agencies help job seekers find positions that best fit them while helping companies hire qualified staff. The job seeker is not charged for their services. Typically, the company looking for staffing pays a fee. 

The myth most people associate with staffing agencies is they only hire for temporary positions. This is not true. 

Let’s look at each type of work offered:

Temporary to hire: Candidates are first hired as a temporary worker, but if that company wants to keep the candidate they can offer them a full-time contract. Temporary simply means the candidate is trying out for the company and showing they are a solid employee.

Direct placement: Often companies need a specific position filled. These are usually people with a certain skill set and experience. A finders fee is usually charged for these hires. Staffing companies will send out recruiters to find this candidate for the seeking company to hire them for permanent placement.

Temporary staffing: These positions are only meant to be worked for a short period of time. Temporary work can be seasonal or filling in for an employee on leave. It can also be short-term construction projects. 

Don’t let the temporary or the temporary to hire positions scare you, they have numerous benefits. These jobs allow your resume to build, learn new skills, insights on new career opportunities and contacts for future employment.

If a staffing agency does not have the job or type of work you are looking for do not hesitate to reach out. Recruiters have the skills and contacts to find the opportunity you may be looking for. People are the best resource. 

Beginning the Cumberland County Fair

Fair time in Crossville is always exciting. People come out of the woodwork for a night on the town. Frito banditos, funnel cakes, music, rides, pageant dresses, stinky cattle stalls and so much more come to mind when we think of the county fair. But what most do not know is our beloved fair had a rocky start. It took several goes, people, and years to get it right.

The first fair held in Cumberland County was at the Courthouse in 1910. It showcased farm crops, livestock, and garden treasures. The crops and flowers were placed around the courthouse along with free ranging cattle, sheep, and hogs. Problems arose when the animals began eating the displays. 

In 1912 the Boy’s Potato Club became so popular that they went on to win the State Fair prize of $50 for their exhibit. From there the fair went on to fade out. It required a lot of time that most did not have to spare until Mr. Bob Lyons came along. 

Lyons began to organize the fair and made it a regular occurrence in the county. He used the  City School (now Phoenix School) and Garrison Park for the exhibits. Crops were in the gym. Floriculture, domestic art, science, and educational exhibits were in the classrooms. Cattle were shown in the park. 

Post #163 of the American Legion began helping with the fair in 1930. Those from the Legion along with locals tried to continue the fair but the burden built and eventually it came to an end. WW2 then took precedence.  

Finally, in 1947 a board of directors were formed and the fair we know today was in its beginnings. Like its predecessor the fair was held at Garrison Park and tents were set up around the outside. The first Cumberland County Fair Board president was Lewis Bohannon, he served for 7 years.

In 1950 Cumberland County contributed $5,000 so that a livestock barn could be built to house exhibits. It was built near the National Guard Armory.

The first fair to take place in The Cumberland County Community Complex was in 1972. Many still remember those days and the famous himalaya ride.

Today the fair association is an incorporated non-profit organization that exists to serve Cumberland County. Board members work tirelessly without pay to put on each event every year at the Community Complex.

President Garry Hood and the fair board members won the 2021 AAA Division Fair for the Tennessee Association of Fairs. 

The Cumberland County Fair has come a long way and continues to grow each year, just like the town that hosts it. Happy 75 years! 


  1. Cumberland County’s First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak, p. 231 – 232
  2. The Way it Was, Stanley, p. 180
  3. http://cumberlandcountyfair.com/index.html

Beginning the Cumberland Homesteads

Part 1

“…In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,

Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,

With every leaf a miracle– and from this bush in the dooryard,

With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,

A sprig with its flower I break…” 

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, Walt Whitman

The narrative of the Cumberland Homesteads is one full of many enriching, heart-filling stories that will take several posts to cover, but the history cannot be skipped over. The community today is beautifully sought after land full of the friendliest people around. Personally, I can tell you, it is not everyday that a community like the Homesteads is found. I have been to many places and I always miss it no matter where I am. The Cumberland Homesteads is home and its people are family. (Morgan, Digital Media Manager at SmallBiz)

The stock market crashed in October of 1929 and by 1933 Cumberland County was literally starving. During the Great Depression one in four workers were unemployed, farmer’s could not afford their land anymore, sharecroppers were evicted, and wages were slashed. There was a walkout at the Harriman Hosiery Mill, a strike at the mines in Wilder, and “impending civil war.” Residents were tired, hungry, fed-up, and feeling overlooked. 

Franklin Roosevelt ran for the office of President selling the idea of a “New Deal”’ to end the suffering of the American people, and in 1932 he was elected on that premise. President Roosevelt and his wife did not disappoint, he followed through with his promises by beginning the Division of Subsistence Homesteads. His nation wide plan was modeled after an experiment he did as New York state Governor.

FDR’s first hundred days are historic for many reasons. In Tennessee two stand out the most: The Cumberland Homesteads and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The changes and the prosperity he brought to the state will never be forgotten or taken for granted. 

On January 4th, 1933 the Chronicle read, “Large Tract of Land will be Developed Under TVA,” and went on to say, “The most important and far reaching development ever started in this county is soon to be lauded by the Federal Government through the Tennessee Valley Authority… it is an agricultural project that aims to establish farm homes…” (Cumberland County’s First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak, p. 177)

Homer Morris of Fisk University signed with the Division of Subsistence Homesteads along with County Agent Bob Lyons to begin the project. Newton D. Walker, M.E. Dorton, Rev. A. Nightingale, Dr. W.O. Dines, and Dr. H.L. Norris served as directors of the Cumberland Homesteads. They also gathered a group of local leaders to create a board. 

On January 16, 1934 offices were opened in Crossville. The officials in Washington had approved an initial loan of $431,000 and by February 10,000 acres just south of Crossville had been bought and clearing had begun. 

Shortly after, the federal Division of Subsistence Homesteads began screening families to be a part of the project and applications were pouring in. D.F. Folger was assigned to this job. He was an engineering student at Clemson University. Folger did not intend on letting just any family to settle in the Homesteads, they had to meet a standard. His flyer read: “Only families who have a reputation of being hard-working, honest, sober and good citizens will be chosen. Those selected must be willing to farm under the supervision of and in cooperation with the Agriculture Advisors. Only families willing to try new ways and who want to learn can succeed. It is absolutely necessary that each family is building a new community and a new way of living. Anyone not willing to work cooperatively for the good of the entire community should not apply.” (Rural Life and Culture in the Upper Cumberland, Birdwell & Dickinson, p.199)

TVA took hold of the design and project management. Francis O. Clark designed the homes. In total he created 15 different designs. Four were one of a kind, the rest were simply variations of those four. William Macy Stanton oversaw barn construction. These were no ordinary barns, they housed the homesteaders while they built their own homes onsight. The idea was to build entirely out of local materials: pine for shingling, oak for flooring, sand for mortar, and field stone for the main structure. 

Homesteaders ranged from miners to school teachers to doctors, a total of 228 heads of family had been selected. Building the Homesteads gave each person a chance to learn a new trade while they build their community. Miners became masons, farmers became blacksmiths, carpenters became plumbers, and possibly, most importantly, everyone learned about electricity. Wiring was installed into each house with anticipation of electricity from TVA.

Stay tuned to our website for more.


  1. Cumberland County’s First Hundred Years, Bullard & Krechniak
  2. Cumberland County Tennessee, Dickinson
  3. Rural Life and Culture in the Upper Cumberland, Birdwell & Dickinson
  4. https://cumberlandhomesteads.org/homesteads-history/
  5. https://www.fdrlibrary.org/documents/356632/390886/actionguide.pdf/07370301-a5c1-4a08-aa63-e611f9d12c34
  6. https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/tennessee-valley-authority-act#:~:text=President%20Roosevelt%20signed%20the%20Tennessee,and%20businesses%2C%20and%20replanting%20forests.
  7. https://www.loc.gov/photos/?q=cumberland+homesteads+tennessee&sp=3

Myth: Traditional staffing companies charge the employee to find them work.

Fact of the matter is staffing companies can save your business time and money. Staffing is a streamlined way of hiring qualified employees.

Staffing companies are the go-to middle man for screened and qualified candidates. Recruiters conduct resume reviews, take care of application hassles, interviews, drug tests, background checks, qualification checks, skills assessment, reference checks, and the list goes on. 

By hiring staffing recruiters the headache is taken out of hiring. The recruiters will find your company the right candidate for the job. Many businesses conduct walk-throughs to make sure the candidate can do the job required of them. 

It is a simple process, but staffing companies often scare people because of the myths floating around. 

So, let’s bust a myth. How do staffing companies make their money?

Most people believe that job seekers or employees pay them out of their pocket. This is a misunderstanding, staffing companies are paid by the business looking to hire qualified candidates. 

Typically, staffing companies charge 25% or more of the hired employee’s wage. That is, if the new employee is a temporary candidate or a temporary-to-hire.

For example: If an employee makes $10 per hour, the agency charges 25% of that employee’s hourly wage. The employee still receives their full pay, nothing comes out of their paycheck. 

If a business is looking for a direct hire then a flat rate cost is charged or a finder’s fee.

The benefits simply outweigh the costs. The process is headache free, streamlined, fast, flexible and the staffing company takes the risks. Most importantly these types of payments are fair for everyone involved, and the new employee is not charged for acquiring a new job. 

Like this post? Stay tuned for more staffing myths. 

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