Where It All Started

Where It All Started

Robinson’s Drug Store Table Where the 1925 Scopes Trial Started

This little round table is where it all started in 1925. George Rappleyea sat down at this table with an idea to put Dayton on the map. His idea was for one of Rhea County’s High School teachers to accept the ACLU’s offer looking for a test case to challenge Tennessee’s Butler Act. The Butler Act  was a law introduced in 1925 by Tennessee House of Representatives member John Washington Butler prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of mankind’s origin. Rappleyea and the town got their wish and the trial began in Dayton, on July 10, 1925. Shortly after the trial began, this photograph featured above was taken around the table where it all started in Robinson’s Drug Store on Main Street. Robinson’s Drug Store has long been gone, but the courthouse still stands today in downtown Dayton where the famous trial was held during that hot summer in 1925.

(Pictured Above L-R)    J.C. Dunlap, unknown, Ed (Buckshot) Morgan, George Rappleyea, Miller Clark (Mrs. F.E. Robinson’s nephew), unknown Girl. Seated L-R Arthur Garfield Hayes and Clarence Darrow.

(Photo Courtesy of the Norris Family Collection)

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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

1 Comment

  • Kathy McManus

    June 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    I remember when I was a little girl you could go into Robinson’s and sit at that table. I have an ash tray from Robinson’s.

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