Wilbur Methvin "Nails" Down Bear Creek
Bear Creek, in northeast Marion County, is a small rural community where the old Southern railroad that passes through. There was also a railroad supply station where necessities such as dynamite were kept. Family legend has it that the sleepy little town of Bear Creek experienced quite a blast one Halloween.
It happened in the early 1900's. The teenage kids in Bear Creek oftentimes suffered from boredom, and looked for various ways to entertain themselves. Sometimes they hopped the trains and hung on the rails of the trains that passed through town, which caused great concern to the railroad and city officials. Other times they would pilfer some of the railroad's dynamite, take it to the fishing hole and blow up a large number of fish. Wilbur Elam Methvin, my great-grandfather, as a child, was quite mischievous. He and his brother, Frank, according to my grandmother Hattie Methvin Pierce (Wilbur's daughter), along with two or three other teenagers, came up with a marvelous plan for that Halloween. They "borrowed" some dynamite, set it under the downtown outhouse and were in the process of lighting it, when a man emerged from within, spoiling their plan.
Stymied, they came to a store that had recently burned. There was an old pot-bellied stove remaining, which they proceeded to fill with nails. Lighting a stick of dynamite they placed it within the stove and ran off. Needless to say, Bear Creek had a nail storm. Luckily, there were no casualties, and Wilbur thought he would not get in trouble because his father, Richard R. Methvin, was mayor of Bear Creek at the time. However, poor Wilbur and friends were "nailed" and the next day they were busy cleaning up the whole downtown area of Bear Creek.
Wilbur Methvin grew up to be a successful chiropractor and inventor. He would start a chiropractic practice, make a large sum of money quickly and quit until he spent his money and start all over again. He was responsible for influencing many people to become chiropractors, including nearly 30 relatives. He invented and patented a special safety wing slot for small airplanes that prevents them from stalling or spinning. He attempted in 1936 to find investors to finance the building of a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee to mass produce the Methvin Flivver Plane. However, this plan to establish the Methvin Safety Plane Company and produce 50,000 planes a year fell through.
Yes, this man, who was perhaps a genius, but definitely different, and who influenced his only child and her spouse, his only grandchild, and all three of his great-grandchildren to persue chiropractic as their live's work, (which will continue to influence this family for generations to come), this man was responsible for the "Day it Rained Nails on Bear Creek".
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