Should Historic Woodbury Be Renamed Hysteric ‘Danville’?

DAN WHITTLE, Courier Columnist

Should Historic Woodbury Be Renamed Hysteric ‘Danville’?
Did founding fathers make a mistake when they changed the name from Danville to Woodbury? You be the judge.

Modestly speaking, I wouldn’t mind having a nice friendly town named after me.

It’s just one Dan’s opinion, but Danville has a nice ring … as in a nice peaceful Southern town with a spectacular historic Cannon County Courthouse Square with Stone’s River meandering through the heart of the county seat town.

Plus, Danville could be fitting for a town that has a landmark eatery named Joe’s Place after the late great hard-working Joe Parker.

“Diner’s Delight in Danville at Joe’s Place,” could be the legendary restaurant’s new promotional logo. This coupled with Ovie Hollis’ already-famous homemade biscuits could help put Danville on your better roadmaps and satellite-in-the-sky GPS destinations.

Whittle on this for a moment. Although wood and whittle sometimes go together, I don’t think “Whittlebury” would be appropriate.

Whittlebury sounds too much like Hucklebury, as in a redneck Southern whistle stop town with no railroad?

Some outsiders from over at Liberty might resent having to buy gas in Gassaway to get to a place called Whittlebury, especially since there’s no longer any gas in Gassaway, if you catch my drift.

Citizen/chamber of commerce promoters of a town named Danville could call themselves something modest, like “Dano-mites Promoting Dynamic Danville.” It reeks with promotional potential, don’t you agree? OK, I jest, but it’s no worse than the “Woodies Of Woodbury.”

“Visit Dynamic Danville” on modest billboards along John Bragg Highway could potentially attract new industry, or at least trigger increased tourism to the Upper Cumberland region.

You may think the following has some “stretch marks,” but ponder this as a new potential tourist attraction: “Come Join The Spit And Whittle Club On Danville Public Square.” Just imagine, sitting a spell in downtown Danville to gain inspiration, not to mention the wisdom, without charge, from spiffy-dressed spitten’ whittlers loafing around the Square.

We might even talk forward thinking Cannon County Executive Mike Gannon and Danville Mayor Harold Patrick into scattering some cushy “Danville Chairs for Deep Thinkers” on our always beautiful and well-manicured Courthouse lawn and Public Square. And city fathers would need to plant more trees to give the whittlers a consistent source of whittlin’ timber, plus provide comforting shade in the heat of the day. Sweaty whittlers and accompanying flies would not be a pretty sight for tourists to see.

Everyone who is anyone has always called the Courthouse “historic.” This would make some new history for the Danville Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Department to promote. Plus, Mona at the neighboring Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce could broaden Danville’s appeal.

And diagnose this: Regionally-famous physician Leon Ruehland could come out of retirement, and market his new office: “Doc’s Place: Be Healed in Danville.”

That might even draw some out-of-town high-connected spiritual charismystics to hold tent revivals at the tiny spring that eventually explodes into Stone’s River?!! This could be under the supervision of retired Church of Christ Preacher Herb Alsup.

Plus, Danville church leaders could advertise and bottle the town’s “healing waters.”

There’s unlimited promotional potential, especially if TV preachers with big hair feel led to come here. Danville city leaders would have to take a cut of the proceeds, however, when the preachers started marketing the “healing waters” out of Stone’s River.

Speaking of spiritual matters, since we now have legalized bonded liquor, formerly called “’shine” up on majestic Short Mountain, the Danville Chamber of Commerce might promote special Saturday nights: “Let Your Spirit ‘Shine’ In Danville.”

Where is best pal C.L. Vickers’ when I need him. May the good Lord rest his generous good ol’ soul and heart, if C.L. was still here, I think I could count on him to lead the “Danville Petition Campaign,” since like myself, ol’ C.L. was also a forward thinker, especially when it came to weather forecasting.

C.L. and his mule could lead the annual Danville Heritage Day parade.

And I can envision a historical marker headed by Danville Historical Society President Joe D. Davenport reading modestly: “Danville, birth place of famed weather prognosticator C.L. Vickers.”

Don’t you know that’d make ol’ C.L.’s Liberty brand overall galluses swell with heavenly joy.

This brings us to law enforcement: Chief of Police Tony Burnett and Sheriff Darrell Young could have officers and deputies boldly pronounce a bold “Book ‘em, Dano” proclamation when they make arrests within Danville city limits.

Or how about this: “Danville, seat of mercy as opposed to hard time.”

Nix that last one, since that might draw some lawless elements to our law-abiding town that would over-burden the courts of Her Honor Judge Melton and assistant DA Puckett.

And our world-renowned Arts Center could stage a musical, featuring banjo picker “Leroy Troy and the high-stepping Dancing Danettes of Danville” choreographed by Mary Wilson for future cultural and social enrichment entertainment.

OK, here’s some grist for those inevitable Doubting Thomas’ folks who may not “catch the vision” of our brave new/old “Danville” world.

There’s historical precedence for “Danville,” I discovered while having a hamburger slathered with mayo at Joe’s Place, over the old livery stable below the first floor.

“Cannon County’s first settlers moved to present-day western Cannon County, around the Readyville and Bradyville areas, during the late 1790s. The first village of any size, however, was Danville, which became the initial county seat.”

You can’t get any more official historical documentation than on the back of a Joe’s Place menu.

That ought to seal this Danville deal.

And I ask, honestly, can anyone name the man, without looking it up, for whom Woodbury was named?

I rest my case. Humble Dan Whittle.

(Writer’s Note: Didja know that Auburntown was once called Poplar Bluff? And Woodbury namesake, Levi Woodbury, served in Tennessee native son, President Andrew Jackson’s Cabinet in Washington. In case we do re-adopt Danville as the town name, out of respect, we might hang a brand new store-bought pair of “Levi” jeans each Saturday night on one of the trees giving shade to the loafing whittlers of Danville.)