SAR honors retired judges
Oct 21, 2012 | 2055 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Members of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution participated in the recent Tennessee Society Sons of the American Revolution event commemorating the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution and the 232nd anniversary of the gathering of the Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals. James Stone, far left, stands at attending during the gun salute by TNSAR and park personnel.
The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution held its monthly meeting Oct. 11 at the Elks Club at 235 2nd St., downtown Cleveland.

Judge Larry Puckett, who is a charter member, presided over a special program to honor two retired judges who are also members of the chapter.

Judges Carl Colloms and Van Deacon were each presented the prestigious Law Enforcement Commendation Medal and Certificate.

Puckett noted their accomplishments and occasions where he had interfaced with them in their judicial duties.

Colloms retired at the end of August. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee presided over his retirement ceremony at the courthouse..

A native of Bradley County, Colloms was born Aug. 11, 1942. His permanent residence has always been Charleston. He is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College, Athens, with a bachelor of arts degree, and holds the jurisprudence degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, granted March 1966.

He has been associated with the legal profession actively since September 1966. He served for over five years as Bradley County attorney and city judge for Charleston.

From September 1974 to February 1982, Colloms e served as county judge for Bradley County. From September 1982 until February 1988 he was engaged in private law practice.

Since Feb. 1, 1988, he served as child support master in the 10th Judicial District of Tennessee for Bradley, Polk, Monroe and McMinn counties.

Colloms has maintained an interest, since childhood, in operating a small cattle farm. In addition to his farming and professional interest, he has engaged in various real estate ventures consisting of sub-division development and single-family home construction.

Beginning in about 1982, Colloms began building multi-family housing and continues this today through management/ownership of several complexes. He has also been involved in building and developing five nursing homes in Tennessee. He also purchased the Walker Valley property in the 1970s where the Walker Valley High School now is, and the property where the Paul Huff Boulevard exchange is (Exit 27).

Back in the 1960s, Colloms earned a college scholarship from the local Cleveland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2598.

He stated, “I could not have attended school past high school without this assistance. Being a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, on Feb. 10, 2011, he gave the UT College of Law a donation of $1 million, and stated he wanted to help students who have demonstrated financial need.

“I don’t think any kid should be denied a good education because they can’t afford one,” Colloms said, “I know from my personal experience how valuable scholarships are,”

Again, on July 30, 2012, Colloms made another donation. This time he made a scholarship commitment to Tennessee Wesleyan College for $500,000, naming it as a beneficiary in his will. This scholarship will be awarded to students who major in business or a related field, maintain a 3.0 GPA and are good citizens. Preference will be given to students who have a financial need.

Judge Carrell Van Deacon Jr. was born April 19, 1946, in Middlesboro, Ky. He is married to Kathryn Bene Benson; they have a daughter, Jessica Blair Deacon.

Deacon graduated in 1968 as a distinguished military graduate from Auburn University, receiving a bachelor of arts in political science. He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He initially served in the Army at Fort Knox, K.Y., at their Armor School, 1968-69, and next attended Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, N.C.

He served in the Vietnam War, 1969-70, in combat operations with the 4th Psychological Warfare Group, 1st Cavalry Division, 5th Special Forces Group, and 1st Australian Task Force. From 1971-72 he served at Fort Hood, Texas, as post correctional/operations officer. In 1972 he resigned as captain, regular Army, to attend law school. He served in the Army Reserve 11 years.

Deacon graduated in 1974 from the University of Tennessee College of Law as a doctor of jurisprudence. He is also a graduate of the Career Prosecutor’s Course, National College of District Attorneys, University of Houston, attended Judicial College of Nevada, Reno, Nev., and did postgraduate work in forensic anthropology at UT. He has teaching experience at Lee University as adjunct professor and at Cleveland State Community College.

Deacon served in private legal practice in Cleveland from 1987-90. He was the assistant district attorney, 10th Judicial Circuit (4 counties), 1974-87, during which time he was the developer of Prosectors Office Management System, a drug offender/criminal offender system; initiated the Child Support Enforcement Program for the 10th Judicial District; developed the Victim/Witness Handbook; supervised the Bradley County Community Service Program; and developed and taught seminars for law enforcement agencies as well as specialized programs for public and private sectors.

He was elected to his first term as Bradley County General Sessions and Juvenile Court judge in 1990, and elected for his second in 1998. He retired in 2006.

His further accomplishments during this period included developing and being the executor of the TEEN Learning Center, Bradley County Campus Court, Juvenile Citation Program, Family Friends, Governor’s Prevention Initiative, JADE (Juvenile Alcohol and Drug Education) LEAF (Law Enforcement Academic Fitness), X-CEAL Academy, supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center, and Reclamation and renovation of BC Justice Center for Juvenile Court.

He was responsible for the initial grant of $750,000 for the Greenway Project, and over $4 million in grants for the Juvenile Court and its programs over 16 years.

Deacon’s community activities include being chairman of Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission for eight years, chairman of Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals, many leadership roles in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church including being a member of the Standing Committee on Canons, Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, Law Enforcement advisor/instructor-Leadership Cleveland, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, founding member of Cleveland Food Bank, and board of directors of the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, 18+ Yrs. Eagle Scout Selection Board, and Museum Center at Five Points. His personal interests include being an amateur radio operator (KK4US), craft beer brewing, timber frame construction and woodworking, antique restoring and collecting, bibliophile and antiquarian book collector, and madrigal singing.

Five new members were inducted into the chapter by Stan Evans. They were John Clines Sr., Alfred Lawson, Scott Lawson, Jim Lyles and Dan Wilson. Evans presented them their membership certificates, and President Stone spoke about the society rosette, and each was given one. Each spoke and thanked those who helped them become members.

One inductee, Jim Lyles, grew up in Cleveland, the son of Mitchell and Betty Lyles, and is now a retired FBI agent, and current resident in Centreville, Va. His Revolutionary War Patriot is Robert Cleveland, the brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland, the namesake of this towm and the chapter.

TN Society SAR Vice President Claude Hardison presented a streamer to President James Stone for three chapter members, Stan Evans, Claude Hardison and James Stone, participating in the Color Guard during the celebration of “The Gathering at Sycamore Shoals” in Elizabethton on Sept. 15, which is a National Society event.

The 225th Anniversary of the Signing of the U.S. Constitution was celebrated that day as well.

Also, on Sept. 15, at the Cowpea Festival in Charleston, three chapter members, Dave Whaley, Sam Allen and Dwight Reagan manned a chapter booth selling an opportunity to win a beautiful quilt. A winner’s ticket will be drawn at the Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 12. The money collected is for the proposed Veterans Home.

Hardison also reported on several other events where chapter members were involved. Stan Evans and Claude Hardison attended the National Society Fall Leadership/Trustees meeting in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 28-29, participating in various committee meetings and attending the general National Society SAR Board assembly.

Evans and Hardison next served in the Color Guard and participated in a grave dedication program on Oct. 6 for the Hiwassee Chapter (SAR) in Englewood for patriot Barnabus Cochran.

n Vice President Hardison also reported on upcoming events. He stated at the National Leadership/Trustees meeting approval was granted for the National Congress in the year 2017 to be hosted by the Tennessee Society in Knoxville. He also reported on the upcoming TN Society SAR Board of Governors meeting in Franklin on Oct. 13, and that the next State Convention meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Chattanooga, March 15-17.

Second Vice President Dave Whaley introduced the program which was led by the chapter’s own Bob George, city historian, and Harriett Caldwell, in period dress, and Kristen Tippetts. The program was on “The Civil War Diary of Myra Inman.”

Caldwell, a retired schoolteacher, is a member of the Ocoee Chapter DAR and currently serves as the chapter chaplain and chairman of the American History and Good Citizenship Awards committees.

Tippens, a recent college graduate, is the daughter of Katy Tippens, a past regent of the Ocoee Chapter DAR.

This unique program had a continuous slide presentation of very old scenes from around Cleveland and Bradley County.

Harriett Caldwell and Kristin Tippett alternated in reading select areas from Inman’s dairy. The diary covers the period of roughly 1861-65. Inman was a teenager then — 19 years old in 1864 — living in Cleveland, and her mother ran a boarding house. Throughout the early part of the diary, Myra was anticipating the Union soldiers coming to Cleveland.

One reading had them already in Chattanooga, and a later reading had them in Cleveland. Myra really hated the “Yankees,” but since her mother ran a boarding house, she had to keep her thoughts to herself.

While in Cleveland, Myra said the soldiers took anything they wanted, so she sewed pockets in her undergarments to hide valuables. Throughout the diary she was concerned about a family member, Henry.

She finally found out he had been captured and was in a Union prison on Johnson Island in Lake Erie.

nPhil Newman reported the clay model (Phase l) of Col. Benjamin Cleveland had been taken to an Atlanta foundry for the next phases of its construction. He said tit should be back in Cleveland by Thanksgiving for the final steps to be completed. The statue will be 6-feet, 1-inch tall and stand on a 20-inch base.

n Dave Hicks reminded members and guests the Wreathes Across America annual celebration will be in early December. Wreaths ($15 each) should be bought now, to be part of the overall display in December. He presented a check from his family for $120 to kick it off.

n Evans presented Liberty Medals (a national medal) to Jim May and Brian Webb. A third medal will be taken to Harry Boyd. These were given at national at the National Congress in Phoenix in July. The Liberty Metal is presented to those members who have been top-line signers for 10 new SAR members, which entails much work in assisting the prospective member in the paperwork, and in developing his ancestral line back to a Revolutionary War patriot.

n President James Stone presided at the meeting. Joe Brock gave the invocation and benediction. Dave Whaley led the pledge to the U.S. flag, Stone led the pledge to the Tennessee flag, and Stan Evans led the SAR flag pledge.

n Among the guests were Marie F. Cody, Carol Spence, Mary Jernigan, Harriett Caldwell (Daughter of the American Revolution), Katie Tippens (DAR), Kristin Tippens, Ellen McReynolds (DAR), John Clines Jr. and wife, Tracy, Jessica Squire, Bill Creech and wife, Carol, Taylor Lawson and Tracy O’Connell.

There were close to 80 in attendance at the meeting.