My Hope Dossett Memory

As I look back on so many memories from our home town (LaFollette), there were so many characters that help shape my life, I dare to mention them all. One character was my Dad (Walter Powell). He was a hard working man, a family loving man, and a man that loved life and still had a serious side. That side being his Christain Faith. When he said "yes" that meant "yes!" and when he said "no" he didn't ask what part of "no" I didn't understand.

There was another character that influenced my path thru high school. That being Professor L. Hope Dossett. Oh my, how he used to run the hallways looking for laters, and using that phrase "HEY YOU DEMOCRAT, WHERE YOU 'POSE TO BE?" meaning we were late or not in class.

There was a time when the above characters were involved in a situation of my own doing. The bell had rung, I was late for class and came walking out of the restroom. It was him, Mr Dossett, running toward me. Up he came in my face, grabbed me by the arm and yelled "WHERE YOU 'POSE TO BE"? I roughly removed his hand from my arm and said "GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!" Surprised!!!! he stepped forward and raised his finger to my face and gently uttered the worst phrase he could have uttered. "I'LL CALL YOUR DAD".

Well I went on to class and maybe a class later as I was passing the office. "WOW, A VISITOR, MY DAD". I knew there was going to be a meeting now. I can't remember what went on in that meeting except what my Dad said to Mr. Dossett. "Mr. Dossett, my boy don't act like that at home and I don't think he'll ever act like that here."

Well thanks Dad for your serious side and Mr Dossett, I hope you're "WHERE YOU"RE POSE TO BE".

Later, Allan Powell '55



Char's Addendum: I found this post in re to Hope Dossett by Bill Claiborne on the Active Archives page.

Hope Dossett, s/o Wm. Alfred Dossett and Effie Chapman, served 45 years in CC as a teacher and principal. When he started (1924) at River View in Union County, he made $75 a month as principal. He rode a horse called "Old Bill" to school where he sat on a nail keg for a chair. He also was the janitor. The great Edison Brown was one of his first pupils.

Per the occasional custom for the time, Hope traveled to Edison's home one evening to spend the night. He and Edison both rode Old Bill. Later Edison Brown would spank "ol' Bill" at West La Follette Elementary School with his 'Lectric Paddle! Hope and his family later took Edison to see his first Picture Show.

Hope took a position at the Ivy Dell school where he supervised 56 pupils. By now, his mode of transportation was improving-- he went to work via his Dad's Model T Ford. (I guess Old Bill had been put out to pasture!)

He later taught at Walnut Grove where he also was principal. Walnut Grove was another great community lost to TVA. The only thing there now is the Stout- DOSSETT Cemetery.

In 1930, Hope took a job at the La Follette High School where he taught Math and Science, and coached basketball. He married Virginia Smith and had son Billy Hope. Later in 1937, he was principal at East La Follette Elementary for four years.

In 1941, he went to Cherokee, NC for a year to teach at the Indian Reservation. Upon his retur, he took a position at Jacksboro (in 1943) where, again, he taught Math, Science and coached basketball. Then, if I have the chronology correct, he came back to LHS (in 1945) where he was principal for 10 years! Then in 1955, Hope returned to teaching at the high school where he retired in 1970. All in all, he worked for six different superintendents in the county!

Mr. Hope Dossett born January 2, 1905; died July 25, 1994; Virginia (Smith) Dossett born 1909; died February 4, 1996.

Hope and Lucille's sister (Mary Nina) married Frank Agee and also taught for several years.

Sources used for this posting came mostly from the "Family Reunion" book, submissions by Herbert Ayers, Julia Dossett Webb and Lucille Claiborne.