Doctor Albert C. Broyles

Dr. Albert C. Broyles delivers 4,643 Babies

In the age we are living in, we find Doctor's Offices, Clinics, Urgent Care Facilities, and off campus satellite emergency rooms from larger hospitals on nearly every corner. However, it was not always like this. Looking back, we dig into Dayton's past and find one extraordinary doctor who dedicated his life to caring for the town's citizens. That man was Dr. Albert C. Broyles. Just two years prior to his death in 1963, he was recognized for some 50 years of medical service to the community.

It was on a Friday night June 9, 1961, that some 300 Rhea Countians paid tribute here to a beloved Doctor who brought most of them into the world as infants.

Dr. Albert C. Broyles was the guest of honor at an appreciation night banquet at Bryan College in observance of his 50 years of medicine. During these years, Dr. Broyles delivered 4,643 babies, more than 4000 of them in Rhea County. He had operated Broyles Hospital here for more than a quarter of a century and had nursed most of the county’s population back to health on more than one occasion.

The 72-year-old white haired physician had just gone into semi-retirement and the town’s citizens led by the Chamber of Commerce seized upon the occasion to express their gratitude.

Semi-retirement for Dr. Broyles meant the elimination of all major surgery, except in an emergency, and all obstetrics practice. He, however continued to maintain an office and treat common illnesses for a while.

Dr. Albert Broyles

Dr. Broyles was born in Chattanooga on July 22, 1888, prior to receiving his M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee in 1911, he was educated in the public schools in Hamilton County.

On April 17, 1912, Dr. Broyles married Katherine Rose Schulgen of Daisy, Tennessee. They had one daughter together, Kathryn Elizabeth Broyles born April 13, 1913.

He moved to Rhea County in 1914 as a physician for the coal miners at Graysville, where he also served as Mayor for a short period of time.  He traveled in a horse and buggy then and remembers one fee for delivering a baby was 12 bundles of fodder.

In 1923, Dr. Broyles moved to Dayton where he was quickly recognized as an able physician and surgeon. Before long he established a private hospital of 18 rooms that was equipped for the most modern forms of medical and surgical practice in the early 1930's. His new hospital was located over the new Robinson Drug Store on Market Street in a building jointly owned by Dr. Broyles, John Godsey, and Earle Robinson.

Telegrams congratulating Dr. Broyles on his long service were read at Friday night’s program from former President Eisenhower, Governor Ellington, Senator Kefauver and Rep. J.B. Frazier Jr.

Dr. William J. Sheridan of Chattanooga, president-elect of the Tennessee Medical Association, was principal speaker at the banquet and presented Dr. Broyles with a 50-year pin for the state medical association.

The druggists of the county gave him an electric watch, the Dayton Lions Club presented him with a pen and pencil set, and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce gave him an engraved plaque.

Bob Norris was President of the Chamber of Commerce and presided over the banquet. Kyle Green made the presentation for the Lions Club and Richard Rogers represented the druggists in making the presentation.

Honoring Dr. Broyles at the 50-year celebration of practice in Rhea County were the first and last of the 4,643 babies delivered by him. The last was Karen Renee Smith the daughter of Mr & Mrs. Clayton Smith of Mountain View community in Dayton born October 6, 1960 and Mrs. Nell Barger Hicks of Graysville, TN was the first baby delivered by Dr. Broyles in approx. 1913.

After the death of W.C.Godsey, Dr. Broyles bought his home on North Market Street where he lived until his death in 1963. His wife Kate as she was referred to continue to live there until her death in 1977. Both are buried in Buttram Cemetery.


Dr. Broyles Died December 2, 1963 and is buried in Buttram Cemetery.







Rhea Circuit Court Judge says Rhea Courthouse must be cleaned up.

November 1967

Circuit Court Judge Sam Polk Raulston of Jasper said Saturday he would refuse to hold the November term of court here unless the historic old Dayton courthouse was cleaned up.

Judge Raulston, here to set the docket for the term that is scheduled to open November 27, 1967 said: ‘There will be no court unless the court room is cleaned up. I have the right to refuse to hold court in a pig pen, and that’s what I’m doing.”

The jurist complained of poor janitor service in the 77-year-old building, specifically dust dirty Windows and Windows with missing panes of glass.

“There’s dust on these windows that have been here during the scopes trial,” Judge Raulston said.  He referred to the famed “monkey trial” of Dayton schoolteacher John scopes, in 1925. The judge added that “you can write your name in the dust on the furniture in this room”.

Called to the courthouse Saturday by Judge Raulston was Lee Taylor, Sec. of the Rhea County purchasing and Finance Commission. Raulston voiced his complaints about poor housekeeping in the courthouse to Taylor and asked that the commission take steps to see the building was cleaned up.

Taylor asked the judge to submit a letter outlining his request to the commission, headed by Jim Able, chairman. Other members of the commission are Dwight Swafford, whose term has expired but his successor has not yet been named by the quarterly court, and Grover Aikman.

Judge Raulston also ordered that all funds coming from the general sessions and circuit courts be withheld until the necessary repairs and cleanup were made at the courthouse.He directed bathroom facilities be installed in the present witness room and ordered the county welfare office to vacate premises they now occupy to the left of courtrooms. He said he wanted the welfare office space for a witness room and complained that the room being used allowed witnesses to “hear everything that was being said in the courtroom”.

Raulston concluded his denunciation of the Rhea courthouse by noting that “this courtroom is not conductive or proper to the administration of justice and I will not stand for it.”


Plane Crash Claims Two Lives in Rhea County

Big Orange Trailer Park-Evensville Tennessee

October 28, 1978

Richard Gornik and Jane Powell

Around 4:19 pm on the afternoon of Saturday, October 23, 1978, a single engine Cessna 150 plane clipped a power line and crashed killing both the pilot and the lone passenger on board.

Killed in the crash was the pilot 28-year-old Richard Gornik of Dayton and a passenger 24-year-old Jane Powell of Graysville. Gornik was an employee of Sawyers Funeral Service and attended the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. Miss Powell was an employee of Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The plane clipped a static line of T.V.A. transmission line and crashed just south of the Rhea County High School in the Big Orange Mobile Home Park. The wreckage landed just inches from an occupied trailer home. The trailer belonged to Donnie McMillian and his family.

The Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad responded to the scene.

Both victims were pronounced DOA upon arrival at the hospital.

William S. Whitmore, a flight standards inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the accident occurred as a result of “Failure to clear an obstacle”.



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In Memory of Jim Rankin Rhea County Educator

Jim Rankin of Rhea County High School

Anyone who attended the Rhea County High School during Mr. Jim Rankin’s days are sure to hold some special memories in their hearts of him. Mr.Rankin, who was long-time Rhea County educator, died Saturday, August 27, 2000, after a lengthy battle with liver disease.

The rare, genetic form of cirrhosis affected Rankin his whole life, but apparently had just recently flared up to hospitalize him. Jim passed away at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville at the age of 56.

The Spring City native began his 29-year teaching career in Rhea County after graduating from Spring City High School and Tennessee Technological University.

After teaching at Spring City High School for three years in the early ’70s, Rankin took the associate principal position at Rhea County High School where he stayed for 25 years-three of those years were spent teaching.

Pat Conner, principal at RCHS, worked with Rankin for 10 years. At the time of Rankin’s death Conner stated that  “He was a dear and loyal friend, He will surely be missed.”  In 1975, Rankin was named coach of RCHS’s first varsity baseball team. The baseball field at the school was named after him during a dedication ceremony in 1998.

The beloved educator had returned to his home town to become principal of Spring City Elementary School in the fall of 1999 and was looking to begin his second year there when he became ill. The children loved and respected him as well as the parents.





Rankin also served in the United States Air Force. The funeral procession traveled slowly from Spring City United Methodist Church to Oak Grove Cemetery in Rockwood, Tennessee. It stretched out for about a mile and a half, according to officers who escorted the column, a testimony to the esteem in which Jim was held. Fittingly, two yellow school buses full of his fellow educators and students were a part of the procession.

Ask any former Rhea County High School student who graduated within the last 25 years, and they will have a Jim Rankin story for you.  Probably the predominant response we received from former students was that he was a quiet man who let his actions speak louder than words.

Although he had a gruff exterior, his heart was made of gold. Others remember him as a strict disciplinarian whose word was law in the halls of Rhea County High School. When Jim Rankin gave an order, they complied immediately or awaited their punishment with fear and trembling.

To a select group he was fun-loving and familiar, talking and joking with the students. Rhea County lost an able administrator who could run a school efficiently and in good order. He may be gone, but Jim will not be forgotten.

Jim’s wife Marquetia Fisher Rankin passed away on Saturday, April 21, 2018 and is buried next to him in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Rockwood, Tennessee.


Jim Rankin Tomb Stone

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