Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN

James Neely

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).

This People of Action, issued circa 1969, reproduced newspaper clippings about people in Decatur County. Most items probably were written in the mid 1960s. Most, but not all, of the items were written by Lillye Younger herself and most, but not all, appeared in the Jackson Sun. The photographs, which in the book were poorly reproduced from clippings, have not been scanned.

Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make these web pages.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

By Lillye Younger

Surveyor Is Still On Job At Age 80

PARSONS, Tenn. — "There is no need to quit work when the years add up," says James Clifford Neely, civil engineer for the past 50 years.

He was 80 years old his last birthday. He is on the job every day surveying here, there and yonder.

"I'm always busy," he said. "I'm working on a map now and have two more jobs waiting for me."

His health was perfect until he reached the age of 70, when he had an attack of colic and underwent surgery, his first time to be in a hospital. Since then he has had excellent health.

"I attribute my many years of being able to work to exercise," he said.

In his work as a surveyor he walks an average eight miles a day and does his map drawing when he gets home. He resurveyed Natchez State Park, drew the maps and painted the lines which took two years. He surveyed a large park in Middleburg, Ky. and has surveyed throughout Decatur and Henderson Counties.

He worked in Lexington at the Power and Light Plant before TVA days. Other jobs were at Milan, Camp Campbell and Marietta, Ga. He helped build the first mile of gravel road in Henderson County in 1926.

He was road commissioner at that time. When the highway was surveyed from Parsons to Lexington, it did not go through Darden. He made several trips to Nashville and was successful in getting it to run through Darden.

Twenty years ago he surveyed a plot for the cemetery at Darden. Since that time a new addition has been added. He has a keen interest in the betterment of his community and does much towards its upkeep. He attends the Darden Baptist Church.

"I was born Aug. 10, 1885 at McLemoresville, son of Dr. and Mrs. W. H. Neely, and next to the oldest of two brothers and one sister, of which only one survives, Kenny Neely of Gulfport, Miss.," he says.

"I attended my first school in Darden where my parents moved when I was six years of age in 1891.

"After I completed high school in Lexington, I attended University of Tennessee at Knoxville and received my degree in Electrical Engineering. I was the first person in Henderson County to receive a degree from U.T. There were only 300 enrolled in the college then," he said.

"I like science and do quite a bit of reading about it but I don't want to make a trip to the moon. I am satisfied surveying these parts and will have to let someone else survey the plots on the moon," he chuckled.

He was married to Miss Willie Crowder in 1915. They have three daughters and a son, Miss Willene Neely of Tuscan, Ari., Mrs. Dorothy Warren of Kenton, Mrs. Anne Mae Duke of Thomasville, Ga., and James A. Neely of Jackson. He and Mrs. Neely celebrated their golden wedding anniversary June 27 at their home in Darden.

Return to Table of Contents