November, 2012 The Eagleville Times
The small community of Eagleville was very fortunate to have a “community center” several years before the Library and Community Center was built, next to the Eagleville United Methodist Church, on Highway 99.
The home of the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters Association, previously located on the corner of Greenwood Road and Eagleville-Chapel Hill Highway, was the site of many gatherings which included; birthday parties, family reunions, club meetings, gospel singings and fund-raising events, including chitterling and various suppers.
The late Mr. Oscar C. “O.C.” Floyd of Eagleville is credited with the organization of the oldest fox hunt club in the county, first named, The Rutherford County Fox Hunting Association. Mr. Floyd and several of his friends, with the common interest of fox hunting, came up with the Idea of a fox-hunting club.
In 1923, the first camps were on the Floyd property and the hunters bedded down in his granary. After a couple of years, the scene of the chase was moved from place to place. The association membership was opened to anyone who was in good standing in his community.
The popularity of this event grew rapidly and in 1928, the annual field trials, held in the Cheatham Springs area of Eagleville, attracted an extra large number of entries for the chase as well as owners and spectators.
The original idea, which continued throughout the years, was to make a club for Middle Tennessee fox hunters. Not one of those “red coat, white pants, shiny black boots, jumping horse, fox clubs, but a group where “high back overalls and checked lumberjacks, served as the uniform of the day. With the suggestion of only using one gallus of their overalls, Mr. Harold (Doc) Earthman, a fellow club member gave the members the nickname of “The One Gallus
Gang” and soon the Rutherford County Fox Hunters Association became known as the One Gallus Fox Hunters Association.
In addition of starting the Fox Club, Mr. Floyd strongly pursued the idea of establishing a permanent club, buying
property, building a clubhouse, and making the hunt the colorful annual event it became.
Due to the idea of joining with the National Association in the future, there was a re-organization of the One Gallus Fox Hunting Association in 1935 and with a name change, became the Middle Tennessee One-Gallus Fox Hunters Association, electing N.W. Powers of Murfreesboro, president.
In 1936, during one of their business sessions, the association voted to secure a charter and become affiliated with the
National Fox Hunters Association. Officers elected; N.W. Powers re-elected President; J.A. Pearcy of Old Hickory, Vice President; P.C. Goodwin of Shelbyville, Second Vice President; Fred Moon of Shelbyville, Secretary and Treasurer.
The Board of Directors named; Broadus Maples of Murfreesboro, chairman, O.C. Floyd of Eagleville, Tip McCord of Eagleville, Owen Gillespie of Eagleville, R.D. Snell of Triune, E.B. Gentry of Triune, Grover Hammond of Columbia,
W.B. Fulton of Franklin, Will D. Fox of Christiana, George Smith of Manchester, Hoke Ridley of Thompson Station, R.J.
Lowe of Huntsville, Ala. and Hugh Moore of Doyleville, Ala.
In December, 1936 the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters Association purchased ½ acre of land from James
and Cora Herrold. This being part of the Greenwood Methodist Episcopal Church property that the Herrold’s purchased in June, 1936 from the Trustees of the church; G.G. White, M.C. Killough and W.L. Comstock.
The church had disbanded in 1933. The first club house built by the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters
Association was a wood building, which included two large rooms with a fireplace, opened to both rooms, and a kitchen. A front porch ran across the front of the building, with two doors, one to each room.
In September, 1946, the Fox Hunters Association purchased the remaining Greenwood Church land
from James and Cora Herrold. This purchased made a total of 3.34 acres, owned by the association. At this time, membership of the association had representation from at least fifty-one counties in Tennessee, which included
individuals from all walks of life.
In addition to the field trials, other events were held during these annual gatherings including, bench show (dogs placed on a bench, by their handler and judged), fox horn blowing contest, turkey shoots, suppers, and one of the
favorite events; gospel singings, often lead by the Frost Brothers Quartet and other singing groups. The bench show and horn blowing contest often included classes for children as well as the adults.
In 1948, at the annual gathering of the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters Association, Jeff Walls of Cookeville directed a testimonial service for Mr. Oscar C. Floyd, known to his fox hunting friends as, “Uncle OS”, who had died in January, 1948. Around a roaring fire, high tribute was paid by his closest friends and charter members of the One Gallus club. It was agreed by all present, that “Uncle OS” was always the boss; whatever he said, went and he was one of the best members they had and he would be missed.
One of Oscar C. Floyd sons, Howard Douglas “Ted”, stepped into his father’s place and took an active role in making sure the annual event continued. He served as an officer for several years before his death in 1975.
On January 22, 1971, a passerby discovered the historic fox camp building on fire and the Eagleville Volunteer Fire
Department responded to the call but was unable to save the building. The late, Robert Shelton Jr., shift captain, reported they received the call to the fire about 8:30PM and the building was already total engulfed in flames. The fire appeared to have started near the front porch section of the one-story wooden structure and arson was suspected. Next week after the fire, President Aubron Shelton of Bell Buckle stated the club had a small amount of insurance on the building and some money on deposit in the bank.
A new concrete clubhouse was built and ready for the next annual fall field trials and other events. Even with the
unfortunate burning of their building, the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters Association held their 48th gathering and remained the state’s oldest continuous foxhunt.
During the next several years, the fall events and meeting of the Fox Hunters Association continued until the membership and permission to use land for the field trials began to dwindle.
In 1991, the last remaining eleven members of the Middle Tennessee One Gallus Fox Hunters Association; Clyde
Fanning, Harold Smith, T. M. Lee, Frank H. Waller, John Cowden, Jack Jernigan, Herman Church, Edward Cochran, John
Burke, Joe T. Polk and J. R. McCord, sold the building and 3.34 acres of land to Owen B. Jackson and wife, Dorothy Jackson.