A lecture on Dr. D.D. Howser was presented Thursday night as part of the O.L. & Lillian Garrison Hire Memorial Lecture Series entitled “The World They Knew”. The talk was short and sweet, and attended by locals, members of the Historical society, and family members of Howser himself.
Janice Crane, graduate of WKU university, has given corresponding talks about rural medicine in Scottsville, KY, Tompkinsville, KY and Lafayette, TN, each featuring a doctor that spent the majority of his time in that area. D.D. Howser lived and practiced in Macon County in the first half of the 20th century. Many of the more mature members of the audience remembered having been attended by Howser in their very early years, as the speaker opened the floor for fond memories of the doctor.
Mickey Meador of the Historical society also gave a brief talk about the founding of Macon County. He traced the known development of today’s Macon county from its origin as part of a larger county called Smith, which included what is now 11 different counties. Several petitions were sent to the TN assembly over the years, requesting the formation of a new county, but this was not granted until January 18, 1842, when a new county was formed and named Macon, in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a soldier in the American Revolution and politician on N. Carolina.
The city of Lafayette was pieced together after a 20 acre parcel of land was sold to a man named John B. Johnston in that same year, and the name Johnstonville was turned down. Instead, the town was called Mt. Vernon. “Somewhere along the line,” said Meador, “this name was dropped an the name LaFayette appeared… over time this changed from La Fayette to Lafayette. You begin to see the change in documents sometime in the 1930s.”
The lecture series is a memorial to Osby Lee and Lillian Garrison who lived through a majority of the 20th century and were essential members of rural communities in Allen, Monroe, and Macon Counties.