Towns & Communities


Beacon, a town of about 150 citizens, four miles west of Parsons, was first known as "Moray".  When the Tennessee Midland Railroad Company line came through Decatur County, the name of the town was changed to Beacon.

Mercantile operators in Beacon have been Jess Long, Will Dodd, Ike Smith, Chess Myracle, C. C. Thomas, Aussie Duke, and Glen Tolley.  Charley Thomas and Jess Long operated two cotton gins and blacksmith shops.  Grist mills were run by Jim Bartholomew and Riley Hobbs.  Beacon also had a saw mill which was operated by Jess Long.  Bill O'Guinn owned the home telephone company and telephone operators at one time were Ethel Hayes and her sister, Carrie Hayes.  Pink Lewis operated a barber shop and John Douglas was proprietor of a cafe at one time.  Aaron Bartholomew also barbered there in the 1930s.  When Highway 20 (now Highway 412) was constructed bypassing Beacon, business moved to the highway, and Beacon Junction was born.

A tragic event occurred on March 16, 1942, when Beacon was partially destroyed by a tornado.  On that afternoon at about 4:20 darkness covered the area and as far as Parsons the sky turned a lemon yellow.  When the tornado hit, the homes were twisted like a rope and bits of tin roofing were found miles away.  Although Beacon was left in shambles, there was only one casualty, Bill O'Guinn.

The old town of Perryville folded when Gilbertsville Dam was built.  The business places and some houses were flooded.  Merchants sold out, some quit, and the Ready's moved the business to Parsons.

Early settlers of Beacon include the Chumneys, Wallaces, Longs, Hayes, McCormicks, Douglases, O'Guinns, Keens, and Myracles.  One very important person, Henry Myracle, founder of Parsons, is buried in an old cemetery in Beacon.


From "Tennessee County History Series: Decatur County" by Lillye Younger 1979. ISBN 0-87870-077-3