James M. Therrell
1913 - 1992
Twenty-six years ago vocational agricultural teacher James M. Therrell of Clarksburg began to receive letters from citizens of Clarksburg, a community of energetic people on Highway 22 between Huntingdon and Interstate 40. At that time a teacher at Barbourville, Ky., the Carroll County education superintendent was also requesting Mr. Therrell's return to his home community to re-establish the agriculture department which had been dropped for several years at Clarksburg High School. Considering this move Mr. Therrell made the statement that if he had anything to add to the progress of the world, he wanted to start in his home community. So the decision was made for Mr. and Mrs. Therrell, two people who had good jobs, to come back to a building that had been condemned by the state and re-open the vocational agriculture department at Clarksburg High School. At the recent Tennessee Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association banquet in Cookeville, Mr. Therrell was presented a wrist watch as he retires. The occasion was a banquet honoring thirteen teachers who are retiring. During these 26 years Mr. Therrell has had a tremendous influence on the boys that have come under his supervision. His success has been great. No boy in his department has ever had a serious accident in his shop and he has boys scattered over the entire United States in the area of agriculture. He has taught 30 years n Carroll County, 26 of them in vocational agriculture, and five years in that field at Barbourville. Probably the greatest achievement he has had in his teaching has been in the field of FFA. This has been his love and on June 15, 1972, the Tennessee AG Teachers Association presented him with a plaque for his years of service citing him as Honorary State Farmer. Not only has he taught school but he has been a civic leader in the community. He was instrumental in getting Clarksburg incorporated and starting the utility system, being Clarksburg's first mayor and president of the utility system. He initiated the Ruritan Club and was its first president. He is one of the four owners of the Purina Mill in Clarksburg. "Mr. Jim," as he is affectionately called at school and in the community, has been honored by different groups recently. One of the first was the barbecued rabbit - coon supper given by the South Carroll Board of Education. The Clarksburg Education Association gave a banquet at Forestwood Restaurant honoring him and two other teachers, Miss Lorene Pritchard and Mrs. Floyd Thomason, who are also retiring. The school faculty and lunchroom personnel presented the retiring teachers with gifts at a special luncheon in their honor. Mr. Therrell is married to the former Euva Arnett who also taught many years at Clarksburg. They have a son, Jimmy, who with his wife and their tree children live in Memphis. Through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Therrell and many others a new building was erected and a school established of which Clarksburg can be proud. Mr. Therrell is a teacher who will be greatly missed in the school, but he will continue to play his part in the progress of the school and community. Mr. Therrell plans to work with his cattle on the farm and do a lot of fishing. Larry Paul Harris of Henderson County, one of the 25 new vo-ag teachers in the state, is to succeed the veteran Clarksburg High School agriculture teacher.