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By the end of 1910, the Scouting movement had already reached Chattanooga.  


The organization began with a struggle between the Boy Scouts of America ("BSA") and a different organization called the American Boy Scouts ("ABS").  The earliest discussions revolved around which organization would predominate in Chattanooga.  Discussions about the organization began in August and September 1910, with the first meetings occurring in October and November 1910.


On October 7, 1910, a troop was formed "among the boys of Park place" in "East Chattanooga" with Homer George as leader.  The troop adopted their uniform of "regulation khaki breeches, drab blue flannel shirt, and campaign hat."  By October 30, 1910, however, the troop had disbanded.


Twenty or more men met on November 16, 1910 to discuss beginning the Chattanooga Boy Scouts:  Mayor T.C. Thompson, John A. Patten, Judge S.D. McReynolds, S. Bartow Strang, Nathan Bachman, W.E. Brock, Harry Sims, Maj. Fred H. Phillips, W.C. Johnson, William King, and Judge M.A. Fleming, who presided.  The consulting committee consisted of Mayor T.C. Thompson, Major W.J. Bass, John A. Patten, A.J. Gahanna, Milly Weigel, C.C. Metzler, Frank T. Reynolds, Frank Spurlock, Col. Tomlinson Fort, C.L. Loop, and W.C. Johnson.  Together, these men represented the pinnacle of Chattanooga’s business and government leadership.


John A. Patten had observed the Scouting movement during his travels to England, and he supported helping to found the organization in Chattanooga.


The discussions in 1910 in Chattanooga reflected the fact that two competing organizations were forming in the United States, both claiming General Baden-Powell as their leader.  Attendees spoke about the Boy Scouts and their support of the organization. At this early stage, the national debate between the two factions of the Boy Scouts had not been resolved. Judge Fleming said that the "movement in Chattanooga should be a general one, and neither side of the two movements should be taken, but a ‘middle-of-the-road’ program followed until a permanent organization could be effected, an advisory committee named and the movement put upon a substantial basis."  In contrast, Maj. Fred H. Phillips suggested that the movement be militaristic.

Mayor T.C. Thompson moved for a committee of five to be charged with effecting a permanent organization. The motion carried.  Judge Fleming felt the five-man committee should have some connection with the military in order to give the patrols proper discipline. Maj. Phillips opposed this suggestion by saying he thought the committee should represent every interest. Maj. Phillips also believed military men would always be found willing to aid in the movement whenever called upon. It was a suggested to have a mass meeting of boys eligible to membership, but the motion did not carry.

Suggestions flowed freely through the meeting as the men zeroed in on what exactly "Boy Scouts" would mean in Chattanooga. W.C. Johnson had ordered a hundred copies of the Scout’s Manual and said that he would distribute them upon the request of those interested.

A visitor and schoolteacher from New York, William H. King, was present and gave an inspirational speech in favor of Scouting. He spoke about the scores of Scout organizations in New York, many of them drilled by retired military officers. King believed military drill for the Scouts was essential to teaching them discipline and kindred principles. It is clear that the "kindred spirits" aspect of the organization was important to Mr. King, for he said, "If the [N]orth and [S]outh had understood one another then as they do now, and there had not been so many durn fools, there would have never been a war."  This also reflected the views of the movement’s founder, Lord Baden Powell, who believed in Scouting’s potential to bring peace through brotherhood.

Prof. Zeigler, a principal at a North Chattanooga school, indicated that two patrols had been partially organized in Hill City, and vouched for people "on that side of the river" who would play an integral part in starting the movement. Sheriff Sam Connor offered his sympathy and aid to the movement because he believed the movement "was a good one, and should have the support of the substantial citizens of the city."  Secretary Crowgey, of the boys’ department of the YMCA, said that the YMCA stood ready to assist in forwarding the movement.

Through the muddy discussion and dissention, a light shone through and the meeting officially formed the first troop of Chattanooga, with Prof. W.J. Ziegler as Scoutmaster.

This first troop consisted of the following Scouts:

Clyde Schlesinger, patrol leader

Hampton Wilson

Fred Colby

Henry Crawford

Harry Hays

Julius Hargreaves

Marion Mudge

Ralph Carpenter

Paul Leamon

Ellis Seiter

Warren Hale

Page Schleisnger

Frederick Thompson

The local committee which sponsored the organization consisted of Frank Spurlock, W.S. Beck, E.L. Mudge, and H.W. Longley. Judge Martin Fleming was chairman of the temporary organization.  Prof. Zeigler served as Scoutmaster for two or three years, after which time the troop stopped meeting.  In all of Tennessee, there were not more than six patrols at this time.


Very little is known about what happened in Chattanooga Scouting from late 1910 until late 1914. Outside of Prof. Ziegler’s troop, documentation beyond the first meeting of November 16,1910 is minimal. By the end of 1910, two or three meetings had been called. There was talk of having another meeting after Christmas to make a concerted effort to reengage the movement. Nothing indicates whether meeting occurred. Speculation arose in late 1910 that Boy Scouts in Chattanooga—and perhaps the entire state—would disappear. 

Part of this mystery revolves around confusion regarding how Tennessee Scouting was organized. Tennessee was not included in what was known as the Department of the Gulf, which included Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Tennessee was caught in the middle between the Department of the Gulf and what Chattanoogans speculated was called the Department of the East and received no money from the national directors in New York. 

The debate between the two ideologically different national organizations also put Chattanooga in a difficult position. Chattanooga tried to remain neutral in this turf war, although many promoters thought that the organization should incorporate strong military discipline.


March 26 - King Edward to Review Boy Scouts

June 19 - American Boy Scouts are Being Organized

August 11 - Boy Scouts for Chattanooga Soon

August 21 - Boy Scouts in YMCA

October 2 - Harmony is Restored in Boy Scout Movement

October 7 - Boy Scouts in this City

October 8 - One Troop of Boy Scouts Formed Here

October 12 - Boy Scouts in Uniform

October 13  - Boy Scout Uniforms Arrive

October 29 - Boy Scout Movement

October 30 - Affairs of Boy Scouts Progress Slowly Here

October 31 - Boy Scout Movement Jumps Into Much Favor

November 1 - Boy Scout Manual

November 2 - Scout Movement to be Launched

November 3 - Interest Centered in Scout Meeting

November 4 - Scout Movement Being Launched

November 5 - Boy Scouts in Formation

November 8 - Mass Meeting for Boy Scouts

November 15 - Meeting for Actual Organization

November 17 - Boy Scout Movement Thoroughly Established

November 17 - Favor Boy Scouts Here

December 10 - First Boy Scout Troop

December 14 - What "Boy Scout" Means
December 17 - Do Local Boy Scouts Know "Where They Are At?"


The Scouts in Chattanooga in 1911 worked closely with the YMCA, even camping at Moon Lake, Alabama near Mentone, that summer.  During the year, the Scouts engaged in camping trips and patriotic exhibitions with other organizations.  Dalton and Ducktown also had Scouts. 


Feb. 27 - Boy Scouts Hike with Prof. Ziegler
Mar. 19 - Prof. WJ Ziegler of Hill City
Apr. 7 - Scouts on Hike
Apr. 15 - Boy Scouts of St. Elmo
May 5 - Boy Scouts Will Camp on Maddox Hill
June 2 - Boy Scouts to Enjoy Camp at Moon Lake

Aug. 10 - Boy Scouts Start on Cross-Country Tramp (Ducktown)

Oct. 16 - Boy Scouts Have Hike and Chestnut Hunt
Nov. 3, 1911 The University Echo (mentioning the Boy Scouts; re-print from Baldwin, Kansas paper)

Dec. 24, 1911 Chicago Tribune article about W.J. Ziegler


Chattanooga experienced "misfortune a plenty in trying to keep the boy scout movement going."  A lack of follow-up from organizational meetings and short-lived troops meant that the organization had a rough beginning.  Nevertheless, 1912 brought Scouts of the city opportunities to go fishing and camping.  Some Scouts from Dalton, while on a hike, discovered the grave of George Disney who died in combat during the Civil War on February 25, 1864.  The scouts replaced the pine board with a marble marker.


1912-01-27 - Chief Scout is Coming
1912-01-31 - Boy Scouts Go Scouting

1912-02-01 - Runaways Not Scouts but Adventure Hunters

1912-03-02 - Boy Scouts Will Erect Monument

1912-03-12 - To Mark Grave of Frank Disney Near Dalton

1912-03-16 - To Honor George Disney

1912-07-07 - Boy Scouts From Camp


The Cleveland Journal and Banner reported on January 31, 1913 that Mr. Jacob Smith was the local Scoutmaster in Cleveland, Tennessee.  By mid February, 51 boys were listed as members of the Cleveland unit.

Although Cleveland boasted a troop in early 1913, by late 1914, there were no troops in Chattanooga registered with the Boy Scouts of America, although it is possible that unregistered groups existed but remained unaffiliated with the Council during its development in 1914.


The Scouting movement experienced a burst of activity in 1914.  The Interchurch Federation, under the direction of W.H. Sears, invited W.C. Fowler of Chicago of the National Organization of Boy Scouts of America to come to Chattanooga to supervise the organization of Scout troops.  According to one source, Chattanooga was the only city of its size and importance not to have a Boy Scout organization. The committee to serve with Mr. Sears was composed of W.L. Frierson, Lavens Thomas, C.E. Houston, E.H. Rolston, and H.D. Huffaker

On December 8 of that year, T.R. Preston, C.C. Nottingham, E.H. Rolston, C.H. Houston, W.H. Sears, L.M. Thomas, Edward Finlay, Dr. J.W. Johnson, Dr. Raymond Wallace, and John A. Patten formed the Chattanooga Council under the auspices of the dominant Boy Scout of America organization.  W.C. Fowler, an out-of-towner with Scouting experience, was employed as Scout Executive.

National headquarters in New York subsequently commissioned W.H. Sears to assume leadership of the Chattanooga Boy Scouts. Mr. Sears, a leading figure in starting the Chattanooga Scouting movement, reported that the work of the organization had progressed well under the leadership of W.C. Fowler. By December 19, 1914, more than 200 boys had enrolled in the Boy Scouts.

W.C. Fowler had the idea to have each church sponsor a troop to establish a sound base for the organization. The first churches to participate were St. Paul’s, Christ Church, First Presbyterian, Second Presbyterian, First Baptist, Central Baptist, and Centenary.

In those early years, boys and troops were likely associated with the local Council but were not associated with the National Council—a requirement to be a regularly recognized troop. The first regularly recognized troop in Chattanooga registered with the National Council on January 2, 1915. That troop was associated with First Baptist Church and was under the leadership of E.H. Williams. The troop committee was composed of the Rev. W.F. Powell, Dr. E.B. Wise, and H.D. Huffaker.

In 1914 Chattanooga Scouters made a special effort to enroll local newsboys.

W.C. Fowler, with Probation Officer Pennebaker’s permission, recruited boys in the juvenile court system. On December 19, 1914, a number of Pennebaker’s paroled boys were summoned to the courthouse, where they were told of plans for forming troops.  One such young offender was John Cox. For the few months before the meeting, he had been in and out of trouble with local law enforcement. Although Cox lived in South Pittsburg, he claimed the only home he had was the county jail. Determined, Fowler pleaded with the court to release Cox under Fowler’s supervision. Fowler believed that Cox would turn out just fine if given the chance and that the Boy Scout program could solve his problems. While the court paroled most juvenile delinquents upon promise of good behavior, the court turned the anxious Cox over to Fowler, and no charges were brought against him.

On rare occasions, the Chattanooga Scouts may have allowed members younger than normal.  The Chattanooga Sunday Times reported that W.C. Fowler visited the Vine Street Orphanage, adopted nine-year-old James Jones as a foster child, and made him a Scout.  Full adoption remained conditional on whether James, after six months, could prove trustworthy to the other Scouts and his Scoutmaster.  The next day, however, the paper quoted Burelbach, who clarified that Chattanooga followed the national policy of not allowing boys under twelve to be Scouts. Fowler also went to the Bonny Oaks School to look into establishing Scout troops there.


February 14 - Youngest Scout Dons Uniform and Gets Busy

December 15 - Scouting Magazine
December 19 - Sears Chief Boy Scout
December 20 - Boy Scout Master Tries to Reform Bad Boy


Scouting was off to a great start in 1915. By April 2, all of the troops were registered, and eight more were in the making.  P.E Gunn, Scoutmaster of the First Methodist Episcopal troop, and P.D. Banning, Scoutmaster of the Highland Park Baptist troop, continued organizing troops during the summer of 1915.

Support for and Disapproval of the Organization


Nevertheless, as early as 1915, society scrutinized the Boy Scouts. World War I, still within its first year, sparked fears that the new Scouting movement was formed for military purposes.  Even in Chattanooga, the question was asked: "Are they training our boys for the war?"  This should not have come as a surprise.  As early as the November 1910 meeting, supporters of the movement were proponents of military-type drills within the organization and 1914 newspaper reports called the organization "the Boy Scout army." 

At a time when the front pages of local newspapers carried the most recent news about the war then taking place in Europe, concern about the Boy Scouts occupied the daily attention of Chattanooga citizens. Some were concerned that school principals would begin training the boys for military drill. The sight of uniformed Boy Scouts—what one Chattanoogan called "little toy soldiers"—parading in the streets struck
fear into the hearts of many.

There was plenty of support for the organization, however. An anonymous citizen wrote to the newspaper and quoted a speech by President Woodrow Wilson, who had recently received a group of Boy Scouts in the White House. As honorary president of the organization, Wilson said in part, "I like the idea of the Boy Scouts—because of their secure notion of being responsible to society. They are responsible to the people who live around them—to help maintain the standard of order and fidelity upon which the community depends."

It was clear the movement was being attacked, and Chattanooga leaders reacted creatively. The Scouts carried flowers to the sick in the hospitals during "anniversary week" in February of 1915.  They also went to church dressed in their regulation khaki uniforms.  At Central Baptist Church, Dr. E.L. Grace used the biblical David as a topic for his anniversary week sermon.  In closing he described the ideal boy: "A boy who has developed a good, strong, healthy bo[d]y: a boy faithful to his daily duties: a boy who uses his spare time to advantage, such as the boy David, who learned to sling stones, to play on the harp and to know nature, and a boy who opens his heart to God."

Boy Scout Film

To alleviate concerns of local citizens, as well as for general public relations, the Council decided to make a 1,000-foot film showing the work and activities of the boys involved.  The Chattanooga Motion Picture Company contracted to make the film.  The plan was to include many prominent Chattanoogans in the film and dedicate it to Charles Boyd Coleman, mascot of the organization.  It was to be filmed throughout Chattanooga, not only publicizing deeds of Scoutcraft, but also promoting Chattanooga as the story unfolded.  The film was called "The Boy Scouts of America."

The Scouts held a contest for writing the film, with a cash prize for the winner. Judges were W.H. Sears, commissioner in charge of the Chattanooga Council; Edward Whiteside, from Chattanooga Motion Pictures; and Frank H. Dowler, Jr., Alcazar theater manager.

There were eight rules for submission of the film manuscript:

  1. All scenarios submitted must be typewritten, double-spaced, and one side of the paper, on legal size paper, with a broad margin.

  2. Each scenario submitted shall be limited to from fifteen to twenty-five scenes, suited to the purpose locally.

  3. All exposures for screen "entre-acts" shall be carefully and briefly worded.

  4. The presentation of the scenario shall not require more than 1,000 feet of film.

  5. No scenario shall be considered which is not accompanied by the correct name and address of the writer.

  6. The privilege is reserved to make any use thought best of any part of any scenario submitted, whether said scenario should prove the winner of the prize or not.

  7. All scenarios shall be submitted and in the hands of the council at the chamber of commerce on or before midnight Feb. 28, 1915.

  8. The decision shall be announced during the last show at the Alcazar Theater Saturday night, March 6, and in the Chattanooga Times March 7, and the payment of the award, $25, will be made at the Boy Scout headquarters the following day.

Sears suggested different scenes for the movie, including a juvenile court scene to demonstrate how the movement had rescued boys from their sentences, a woodcraft or other Scout-skill scene, a lifesaving-on-a-river scene, and possibly "first aid work after a street accident of a thrilling sort."  Miss Marie Macpherson’s scenario won the first prize, but was not used.

Filming continued through March 1915. One scene included W.C. Fowler, Judge Martin Fleming, and two Scouts. The scene, filmed at the Courthouse by the Georgia Avenue entrance, was directed to portray the "juvenile court work" there.

On April 21, 1915, 150 Boy Scouts paraded downtown to advertise the film that was supposed to be shown at the Auditorium the last three days of week. The parade began at 4:00 pm and was led by the Third Regiment Band. Taking part in the parade were two newly minted East Lake troops, which Scout Executive Burelbach had formed in an effort to expand the movement beyond the city limits.  It began in front of the Chamber of Commerce, which also served as the Council Office, proceeded down Broad Street to Sixth, and then turned onto Market.

The Scouts advertised that they would show the film, finally completed, at the old city auditorium on East Ninth Street on April 22, 23, and 24 along with "Griffith’s Famous Home, Sweet Home" and a Charlie Chaplin comedy. A printed ad promoted the event as "A Great Eight-Reel Show, Quartet and Music . . . for 10 cents."

The first showing of the movie was supposed to be on April 22, and "a continuous show" would be held April 23 and 24 from 3:00 pm to 10:30 pm, with 2,000 seats pre-sold for the picture. The Scouts invited the children of the Vine Street Orphanage to view the film on its first day.

Unfortunately, the film arrived late from development in New York. Large crowds gathered on the first day of its advertised showing and were disappointed to see only part of the film. However, all tickets sold for April 22 were returned and remained valid for the April 23 and 24 showings.  The film eventually arrived in Chattanooga on April 24 to the delight of a large crowd.  The film showed on April 26, along with "Home, Sweet Home" and a "Keystone comedy."

The film served its purpose. Those involved remembered putting in a lot of hard work to put it together. Thousands of people came to the theater and saw the film, which was priced low enough so more people could see it. The purpose was to promote the Scout movement to the public, not to make a profit. The ticket prices just covered the expenses in making the film

On May 6, 1915, 4,000 people saw the film at the Bonita theater, and it was in great demand in nearby cities and towns. Over the years, the film was lost. It resurfaced again around 1935 when Mr. Sears found it.  The film’s current location is unknown.

New Scout Executive


Major M.J. Burelbach became the acting Scout Executive for the Chattanooga Council on March 20, 1915 (with a salary of $80.00 per month) following the resignation of Mr. Fowler.  Fowler returned to his home in Chicago after his four-month stay in Chattanooga. The Boy Scout organization, 300 boys strong, rose to perfection under his guidance.

Fowler gave the following farewell address to the local Scouts:

Four months ago I arrived in the beautiful city of Chattanooga not with the idea of starting the Scouts but on a visit to my aunt. I might say in connection with my visit that she is the one to whom the Scout work here in Chattanooga is dedicated.  Mrs. J.W. Moore is the one who started the Scouts in this town.

In leaving your town I know that I have [left] behind me an organization of which the city can well feel proud, and I ask the ones who will come after me to keep the good work going, and have an organization which will make itself felt all over the country.

I have made many friends while here and some few enemies, but to those I hope after my departure will throw themselves into the harness and pull for the good of the cause.

I want to say for the boys, that in all my connection in the Scout work at home and other parts of the country that the boys of Chattanooga, taken as a whole, are the best of any that I have met, and it will be with a feeling of regret that I will have to leave them. I[n] leaving them I want to leave them with this article by the vice president of the Boy Scouts, the Hon. Theodore Roosevelt:

"To the Boy Scouts of America.
Of course what we have a right to expect from the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now the chances are strong that he won’t be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean minded. And clean lived and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of a man of whom America can be proud. As in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard: don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard."

If all you fellows will live up to these principles you will never get into trouble and if I ever come back to Chattanooga, which I will someday have the pleasure of doing, I hope to see the same fellows that I helped to enlist into the Scouts holding the positions of trust so that they will be a credit to their God and to their country.


Burelbach had worked extensively with the Boy Scouts in many places, and was a highly capable leader. The Chattanooga Scoutmasters and Scout commission fully supported his selection as
leader.  Burelbach aimed to expand Scouting in Chattanooga by adding new troops. The new executive sought to start new "Scout patrols" in the Jewish synagogues of the city: East Lake, St. Elmo, and Rossville.  When Burelbach took over, there were about a dozen troops and about 200 boys already enrolled.  It appeared that things were looking up for the Boy Scouts of Chattanooga.


Reports of Good Character

It was in this first full year as a recognized Council, 1915, that Scouting’s values set the tone in society’s attitude toward the movement. Exceptional character defined Chattanooga Scouts at that time:

[T]he rule inculcates the principle of self-control and individual responsibility, and is based on common sense—the only way in the world to make self-reliant, strong and disciplined men. The scouts organization has a wonderful influence on the morale of the enlisted boys and has given them a new perspective of their importance in the maintenance of our social orders and a more positive understanding of their responsibility for the future peace and progress of civil government.

The idea inculcated is the "honor system," and it has had a most beneficent effect upon the plastic mind of the youngster just entering the ranks, appealing strongly to his imagination and accentuating the idea, that has such a charm for boyhood, that he is under no restraint except to keep faith with his own promises.

Yet, the movement faced challenges in ways not dissimilar from more recent years. The leaders in 1915 struggled with the role Scouting played in the moral guidance provided to its youth and how that role affected the family structure of the boys. While the general values—personal responsibility, citizenship, self-control, and loyalty—have not changed, the organization’s positions on substantive acts have:

For instance, it was charged that the "Boy Scout" officers did not discipline the youngsters under their command and permitted them to smoke tobacco—hence the whole outfit was to be condemned. The supporters of the Boy Scout movement very frankly admit that they do not think tobacco smoking is an unpardonable sin, although they counsel boys not to indulge until their majority. So in regard to this vice, they put the boy on his honor not to smoke without his father’s permission and they exact this rule: "That if he smokes at all he do it at home and in the presence of his parents and his brothers and sisters, as well as on the street and in secret places, and that under no circumstances will he smoke while he is in uniform or in any part of it, nor while he is with boys in scout uniform."

As might be expected, some reserved judging such a new organization. To others, its benefits were clear. H.D. Huffaker, Chattanooga Commissioner of Health and Education, fully endorsed the program:

My life having been spent largely in educational work, I am naturally interested in any movement which is for the improvement of conditions affecting the physical and moral environment of the boy. I have watched with interest the Boy Scout movement and its influence on the habits and lives of boys and do not hesitate to give the movement my unqualified [e]ndorsement.

1915 Service Projects


The week following the Scout Executive transition, the city’s women’s clubs requested the assistance of the Boy Scouts in "Clean-up week", the clubs’ annual spring clean-up campaign.  The annual event was geared toward making the city "as clean and germ proof as it is possible for a city to be."  The Boy Scouts, under the supervision of Scoutmaster Burelbach, helped clean vacant lots.  This further bolstered the Scouts’ positive reputation.  They received many letters of appreciation from the various women’s clubs for the effort.  Mrs. (T.F.) Margaret A. McFarland, the secretary of Kosmos—Chattanooga’s first women’s literary club—sent a letter on May 20 indicating her gratitude for the Scouts’ work:

Kosmos wishes to extend her most sincere thanks to you and the Boy Scouts for the assistance so gladly rendered during the recent clean-up campaign, under the chairmanship of Mrs. J.H. Daly. The scouts assisted very much, and their help is thoroughly appreciated.

Clean-up week continued to be a tradition for Chattanooga Scouts as late as 1920.  They enjoyed providing service to their community as word of their existence and abilities became better known.  When Governor Rye was in town, they were called upon to escort him to his hotel.  When hotels could no longer accommodate the number of people attending the convention of the Southern Conference for Education and Industry in 1915, the Scouts escorted visitors to private homes.  The Scouts took part in Decoration Day and the Confederate Memorial day exercises, as well.  While it is unclear whether this tradition has continued uninterrupted, this may be viewed as the origin of the current annual flag placement at the Chattanooga National Cemetery held every Memorial Day.  In June, the Scouts assisted the police department in marking sidewalks to regulate pedestrian traffic, as well as distributing 6,000 flyers informing citizens of proper rules for foot traffic.  So successful was the campaign that the city saw immediate benefits and Police Chief Hackett asked the Scouts to continue their work.

The Scouts attended a lecture sponsored by the Chattanooga Humane Association that directed Scouts on how they could assist by watching for signs of animal abuse.  The association instructed Scouts on the procedure to follow if they ever saw a horse down.  Troop 7 reported keeping a watch out to ensure all horses were well shod and enforcing a new "check-rein" ordinance.  If a Scout found a horse standing with his check-rein fastened, he would unfasten it and leave a card with the copy of the ordinance printed on it.

In 1915, the Scouts celebrated Independence Day on Lookout Mountain. Mrs. John Stagmaier organized a drum and bugle corps that performed for the citizens of Lookout Mountain on July 4.  The Scouts also participated in a large-scale effort to plant trees along the Dixie highway through Hamilton County.  At a local fair, Scouts rendered first aid to a boy who had been kicked in the head by a pony and found another boy reported lost by his father.

The local citizenry was impressed with the organization, and was willing to dish out as much work as the Scouts could handle.  It began with the women’s clubs but quickly the good word about Scouts spread. Even the Chief of Police sent a letter to the Scout Executive on May 20, expressing his feelings about the movement:

I am heartily in sympathy with the Boy Scout movement.  In my opinion it is the most complete of all nation-wide movements for the uplifting and enabling of the boy.  Boys are eligible for membership just at the age when nature cries out for action, when they are bubbling over with enthusiasm.  This superfluous energy must find an outlet some way.  Lucky the boy who can have the privilege of joining an organization where he is directed and trained along lines that develop all that is noble in his nature, and leaves no room for the growth of crime.

Financial Challenges Ensue


Finances were tight as the organization expanded, and its work was handicapped because of it.  M.J. Burelbach had volunteered since March 20 as acting Scout Executive.  The executive committee officially appointed him as Scout Executive on June 18, 1915, for a salary of $80 per month.  Limited funds required this small salary, and Burelbach led the Council in keeping office expenses to a minimum, using the free space afforded to the Scouts by the Chamber of Commerce, furnishing his own typewriter, doing his own stenographic work, and walking or riding streetcars for business travel.  Sacrifices such as these helped "keep the movement alive."  Mr. Sears personally took out loans to fund the organization, as did John A. Patten.

In May 1915, the executive committee decided to take part in a financial campaign to support the local movement.  At that time, there was no Community Chest from which the Scouts could receive money. Upon the invitation of Judge Joe V. Williams, W.H. Sears, J.W. Tyler, Ed Finlay, and Ellis C. Soper, a special field commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America from New Haven, Connecticut named B.M. Russell came to Chattanooga to bring Chattanooga Scouting to a new level of efficiency and excellence.  These leaders’ objective was to make the Chattanooga Council the example to follow for the rest of the nation.

A meeting on May 20, 1915 of the executive committee planned the fundraising drive.  The members—W.H. Sears, president; Ed Finlay, secretary; Taylor Durham, treasurer; Judge Joe V. Williams, James Tyler, and Ellis Soper—agreed to lead a campaign to solicit contributions on June 3, 4, and 5.  The committee invited one hundred Chattanoogans to a meeting on June 2 at the Golf and Country Club, and asked them to give $3000 a year for three years.  The committee earmarked this money for several purposes, including maintaining an executive officer and stenographer and for office expenses.  A portion of the money was for outfitting boys in need with proper uniforms.  Another amount was for a "camping outfit" to give every boy a chance to go camping.  The goal was to increase membership to 1,000 boys.

About fifty people attended the June 2 meeting.  The Scouts raised $1,000 at the meeting, with more pledges promised.  Gen. Lewis M. Coleman presided over the meeting.  His keynote address almost sounds appropriate to use today:

The conditions of modern city life . . . are so complex, the duties of parents so many, that the boys and girls can’t receive the home care and attention we used to receive on the farms and in the towns and villages of our land.  The public schools and the private schools see to meet the general educational demands, but the future citizen needs much more. There must be a physical and a moral education, keeping pace with the mental education. Without these we can make no promise for our future citizenship.

There must be inculcated into our boys a due consideration of the rights of others, such a consideration as will insure a fair estimate of one’s self. Thus is demonstrated the converse of Polonius’ advice to his own son "To thine ownself be true, and thou casn’t not then be false to any man."

To meet this demand for moral and physical and civil education the Boy Scout movement was ina[u]gurated. To be successful this movement must be superior to all caste, all creeds, and all race prejudices; it must be universal, embracing the brotherhood of boys.

This speech must have roused the interest of the general public.  The first day of canvassing the city, the Scouts collected about $3,000.150 This effort was reported to the national Boy Scout headquarters as being the most important factor in the Scouts’ success.  Although Scouts raised only half of the targeted amount of $10,000, they persisted and continued canvassing beyond the
three-day period advertised.

National Events Require Local Response


Concerns raised earlier in the year about the Boy Scouts’ "militarism" waned in Chattanooga toward the end of 1915.  Unfortunately, the subject came up again when news of Ernest Thompson Seton resignation from the national organization reached Chattanooga in December.  Seton was Chief Scout from 1910–15 and helped Baden-Powell start the Boy Scouts of England in 1908 and the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.  Seton disagreed personally and professionally with James E. West and Dan Beard, two other BSA Founders.  Seton was concerned that militarism would surpass woodcraft—the original purpose of the movement—as the most prominent feature of the organization.  In a statement, he announced, "The study of trees, flowers and nature . . . is giving way to wig-wagging, drills and other activities of a military nature, thus destroying the symbolism of the organization."

The National Council of the Boy Scouts issued a statement making it clear Seton had not resigned, but was dropped from the organization because he was not an American citizen. They emphasized that the organization was not involved politically, militarily, or in any antimilitary activities.

Regardless of whether Seton resigned or was dropped from the organization, the Chattanooga Scouts feared the impact of the news.  Burelbach worked hard to start an archery club in Chattanooga instead of a rifle club to avoid fears of military training.  Earlier in the year, he stated:


The scout officials are meeting with more or less unnecessary opposition on the part of well-meaning folks who misunderstood the Boy Scout ideals.  One of the prevailing mistaken ideas that seem to exist is that the scout movement is military.  Certainly the movement here has done much in a civic way and nothing has ever been done which should give anyone the above idea.

The scout movement all over the country is doing all in its power to instill ideas of self-restraint and calmness under provocation. . . . Of course, the movement has in its organization the necessary di[s]cipline. Without di[s]cipline no organization can exist.

Hoping this message would not be lost after Seton’s disassociation with the Boy Scouts, Burelbach addressed the community:

The resignation of Ernest Thompson Seton will not have any influence over the local scout movement. . . . Mr. Seton was not an American citizen.  The teachings of the movement are practically the same as when it was first organized in the United States.  They are certainly the same now as when Mr. Seton was chief scout.  Wig-wagging, or in other words signaling, drills and such activities as the scouts have taken part in this city could hardly be construed as militarism.  One of the so-called drills are first aid to the injured.  Does the fact that a boy is taught how to care for an injured person indicate that the movement is military? . . .

Chattanooga Boy Scouts’ education in woodcraft has never suffered on account of alleged military activities.

The debate over the Boy Scouts’ militarism seemed never ending.  The State Federation of Labor voted unanimously to oppose the Boy Scout movement because

a military spirit is aroused [by the Boy Scouts] which finally means joining the state militia. . . . [I]t is just one step behind the state militia, and we have found that the state militia always has been used to fight the labor movement.  It always, as is shown by history, is at the call of capital, and is directed at the striking workmen.  Led by young and inefficient officers usually, the militia, instead of maintaining order, hastens disorders. That is the reason why organized labor is opposed to the Boy Scout movement.

The media did not seem to help matters.  In an article discussing summer camp, the headline mentioned that the camp schedule seemed militaristic.  The article mentioned the cook’s status as a veteran of the Spanish-American war, where he was a cook as well.


1915 Draws to a Close

  • In October 1915 the band of the First Baptist troop, assisted by Mrs. Stagmaier, was active. Col. I.R. Summers, and later Joe Stagmaier, instructed the band.

  • The Council operated a model Scout camp on the grounds of the Chattanooga district fair on November 3, 1915 while demonstrating field events and assisting the officials of the fair in general.

  • The Council boasted a band, two drum and bugle corps, a hospital corps, and an archery club.

  • Thanksgiving found the Scouts contributing and delivering eighty-five baskets of chicken and other groceries to the poor.185 An even larger effort was organized and executed for Christmas.

  • On December 8, 1915, one year after the Council was started, there were 206 registered and about forty nonregistered Scouts in Chattanooga.  That number increased to 239 registered and thirty nonregistered boys by January 23, 1916.  The growth of the organization seemed extraordinary to local leaders, but the National Field Commissioner found that "Chattanooga contributed a much smaller number to the increase than other cities even of less population."


1915 Boy Scout Diary - Diary of Charles "Charley" Boyd Coleman.  Charley Boyd Coleman was born in 1904 and contracted polio at the age of six.  He was the "mascot" of the local Boy Scouts.  Mascots were boys too young to be Boy Scouts.  The policy of having "mascots" ended in 1918, when it was "announced that no more younger boys will be taken into the organization as mascots, animals only being used for that purpose henceforth."  Scouts to Distribute Posters for Red Cross, CHATTANOOGA DAILY TIMES, May 11, 1918, at 8.  See also Telephone interview with Charles Boyd "Boyd" Coleman, Jr. (Feb. 27, 2008).

January 1 - Y.M.C.A. "Open House" Athletic Feature of New Year's Day
February 7 - Lincoln Celebration Program Announced

February 8 - Service for Boy Scouts

February 14 - Youngest Scout Dons Uniform and Gets Busy

February 14 - Clubwomen Have work for Scouts
February 15 - Scouting Magazine

February 20 - Scoutmaster Resigns

February 21 - Boy Scouts in Pictures

February 28 - Boy Scout Society Object of Censure

March 1 - Reply to Attack on Boy Scouts of America
March 1 - Scouting Magazine

March 9 - Boy Scouts Addressed by Mrs. Mary A. Sage

March 9 - W.C. Fowler in Farewell

March 19 - New Scout Executive to Take Charge Sunday

March 21 - Act of Boy Scout Play
March 21 - Clean Up of Spring Time
March 22 - Clean Up Campaign is Vigorously On Today
April 3 - Boy Scouts of Athens Elect List of Officers
April 4 - The Honor System
April 10 - Scout Film Nearly Ready
April 14 - Final Section of Movie Local Boy Scout Picture
April 16 - Scouts Will Entertain
April 18 - Boy Scout Film Ready
April 21 - Boy  Scouts to Parade Downtown District
April 22 - Advertising the Boy Scout Picture
April 22 - Scouts Defeat Soldiers
April 23 - Boy Scout Picture
April 24 - Scout Pictures Delayed
April 25 - Boy Scout Pictures Shown
May 15 - Scouting Magazine
May 20 - Boy Scouts Will Give Public Demonstration
May 21 - Chief Hackett Writes Letter to Boy Scouts
May 23 - Boy Scout Track Meet Next Saturday at Warner Park
June 1 - Scouting Magazine
June 2 - Boy Scouts Campaign for Funds is Started
June 3 - Boy Scouts Fund Starts
June 4 - Boy Scout Teams Raise About $3,000 First Day
June 5 - Funds for Boy Scouts is Increased to $4,200
June 6 - Chattanooga Ideal for Work of Boy Scouts
June 7 - Walk-Rite Campaign of Boy Scouts Begins Today
June 10 - Tuscaloosa Scouts Walk All Way to Chattanooga
June 14 - Continue to Walk-Rite
June 15 - Scouting Magazine
June 16 - Court of Honor Named for Local Boy Scouts
June 18 - Boy Scout Camp Will be Open About July 1
June 19 - Burelbach is Executive of Local Boy Scouts
June 23 - $4,722 For Boy Scouts Secured in Campaign
July 1 - Scouting Magazine
July 3 - Scout Camp at Boulder Nook
July 5 - Boy Scouts of Harriman
July 10 - Boy Scouts in Camp
July 12 - Boy Scout has Birthday
July 12 - Boy Scouts are Allies of Humane Society
July 15 - Scouting Magazine
July 18 - Boy Scout Campers Happy
July 25 - Shade Trees for Highway
July 28 - Boy Scout Chief Drowns
August 15 - Scouting Magazine
August 22 - Christ Church Boy Scouts Have Returned
September 14 - Boy Scouts to Revive Interest in Archery
September 18 - Three Moore Scout Teams to be Organized Here
October 5 - Boy Scout Archer club Will Organize Thursday
October 15 - Scouting Magazine
October 17 - Boy Scouts Will Not Act on Military Preparedness
November 6 - First Aid to Injured
November 13 - Going in for Archery
November 18 - Plans for Archery Club
November 23 - Boy Scouts to Help the Poor
November 25 - Boy Scouts distribute Thanksgiving Dinners
November 27 - Scoutmasters in Demand
November 30 - Boy Scouts as Santa Claus
December 1 - Scouting Magazine

December 4 - What the Boy Scouts Have Done in a Year

December 6 - Seton Quits Boy Scouts

December 7 - Seton's Resignation Not Disastrous to Scouts

December 9 - Ernest Thompson Seton Deliberately Dropped

December 10 - Those Boy Scouts

December 12 - Boy Scouts Want to Give Chickens to the Poor

December 14 - Chickens for Boy Scouts
December 14 - Weston's Reminiscences

December 17 - In Defense of Boy Scouts

December 19 - Boy Scouts Arranging for Christmas Baskets

December 22 - Boy Scouts will Give 200 Christmas Dinners

December 25 - Scouts Deliver Baskets

  • During Anniversary Week in February 1916, the boys once again carried flowers to the sick in hospitals and in March the boys once again took part in the "clean-up" campaign of the women’s clubs, in addition to conducting a "safety-first" campaign.

  • April 1916 included the celebration of Arbor Day with the planting of trees on public grounds.

  • On Memorial Day in May 1916, the boys decorated the graves of "both the Union and the Confederate dead."

  • In June 1916, the Scouts assisted the Humane Educational society in its program.

  • In June 1916, the Boy Scout Band presented Mrs. Susan Hannah Wells Stagmaier with a silver trophy, thanking her for her personal support and organization of the group.

Leading up to World War I


The Scouts’ service continued with another "walk-rite" pedestrian safety campaign and donations to the poor in 1916.  The walk-rite campaign aimed to inform pedestrians on the safe way to walk on sidewalks. Boy Scouts painted the sidewalks with arrows indicating that pedestrians should walk on the right side of the sidewalk, like street traffic. Scouts also circulated a flyer that included six rules for pedestrians:

First—Keep to the right.
Second—Move with the traffic.
Third—Turn your corners squarely; do not cut them.
Fourth—Do not congregate in the center of the sidewalk.
Fifth—In crossing streets, always look to your left first; on reaching center, look to your right. The street traffic is well-regulated, and always moves in these directions.
Sixth—On suddenly discovering yourself in front of an approaching vehicle, do not stop or turn back, but move quickly forward. A driver always tries to pass behind you.

Before World War I started, Scout Executive Burelbach offered the services of the movement as long as such services were appropriate by Boy Scout standards.  Specifically, Burelbach offered 250 Scouts’ assistance in:

  • Distributing notices and gathering information for civic and military authorities

  • Protecting property by accepting definite assignments for the purpose of signaling an alarm in the case of danger

  • Collecting information about supplies

  • Acting as messengers and orderlies

  • Assuming roles with the American Red Cross society and other agencies organized for relief effort

Scouts were particularly well prepared for a variety of service-oriented tasks. Every first-and second-class Scout was trained to render first aid and assist in a hospital. They knew both semaphore and Morse code. Each Scout knew the locations of every public building, fire alarm boxes, and hospitals. Scouts were willing to assist police and firemen. Their energy and youth gave them the unique ability to travel ground quickly where roads, cars, or bicycles weren’t available. The Scouts who owned bicycles could quickly carry a message, though national BSA policy stated that Scouts would not take a distinctive or definite part in military operations. Specifically, no Scout would bear arms.


January 1 - Scouting Magazine
January 11 - Boy Scout Movement Tends to Militarism
February 1 - Scouting Magazine
March 1 - Martin J. Burelbach, How to Conduct a Contest in Archery for Boy Scouts, Scouting Magazine
April ? - To Enlarge This City's Boy Scout Organization
April 1 - Scouting Magazine
April 9 - Boy Scouts Entertain the Campfire Girls
May 1 - Scouting Magazine
July 1 - Scouting Magazine
July 2 - Boy Scouts' Encampment
July 3 - 200,000 Boy Scouts Ready
July 7 - Boy Scouts Off to Camp
July 9 - Boy Scouts Undaunted by the Long Wet Spell
July 19 - Camp Stagmaier Reports
July 23 - Camp Stagmaier Scouts Prove to be Philosophers

August 3 - Orphans at Camp Stagmaier

October 28 - Boy Scouts Walk-Rite Campaign Begins Tuesday


As battles raged on in Europe, Chattanooga Scouts felt the ravages of war closer to home. On February 7, 1917, during anniversary week, the Scouts attended the funeral services of Corpl. Xavier Kuss, former assistant Scoutmaster and popular leader of the boys of the First Baptist troop.  Corpl. Kuss died on the Mexican border, likely during the Pancho Villa Expedition.


Scouting During the War to End All Wars


On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, and within thirty days, Scout Executive Maj. M.J. Burelbach was in military service. He was relieved of his capacity in the Scouts on May 1, 1917.


America was at war and the Chattanooga organization was now without a paid leader. Scouts mourned the death of a popular assistant Scoutmaster and soldier. Through this, Scouting pressed on. Seemingly forgetting the recent local concern about Scouts being too militaristic, W.H. Sears, Council Commissioner, advocated for a summer training camp for boys to spend several hours a day taking lessons in making items that military auxiliary units may need to furnish troops at the front or in mobilization camps.  Scoutmasters quickly became scarce as military recruiting accelerated, while membership applications for Scouts increased in Chattanooga.


The Chattanooga Scouts were able to help the war effort from home.  They provided volunteer work for the Red Cross and created a bicycle corps for sending messages quickly among military groups.  Boy Scouts were frequently in the company of many community members, including immigrants, and were asked to remain alert for rumors of conspiracy or sedition.  Across America, the Boy Scouts were contributing to the war effort.  By the end of World War I, the national organization had sold $147,876,092 in Liberty Bonds, $53,043,698 in Savings Stamps, distributed more than 300 million pieces of literature, collected 1,000 tons of peach pits, which were used in gas masks, and planted 12,000 victory gardens.


Lone Scouting, an organization that permits boys to join Scouting even if they cannot regularly make meetings, developed in 1915 as a brainchild of W.D. Boyce.  Perhaps because Scoutmaster recruitment was difficult, Lone Scouting sprouted in Chattanooga as early as July 1917.  Although Lone Scouting was not incorporated as an official program of the Boy Scouts of America until 1924, at least one Lone Scout in Chattanooga was helping with the war effort.  Lone Scout James Brockman, who lived at 710 Georgia Avenue in Chattanooga, authored a short column in Lone Scout magazine on July 14, 1917.


Now is the time everybody can do his bit for his country.  I am doing by bit by having a garden. I made my garden so we might have plenty of food. Every Lone Scout should have a garden. Have plenty of food so as to put down high prices.  Some Lone Scouts are not old enough to help the country by joining the Navy or Army. But they can other ways. I am making a garden because I think it will help as I am not old enough to join the Army or Navy. But I am old enough to join the garden makers. In my garden I aim to help my country by tending to it, and having plenty to eat.


Another Lone Scout, Cooper Dyer of 415 Chestnut Street, wrote to Lone Scout magazine with an accompanying picture:


I am sending you a picture of the incline up Lookout Mountain. I took the picture myself. This railroad is the steepest in the world. It took about two and a half years to build it. This picture shows only half of the incline. The little house at the right is the half-way station, half-way from the top of the mountain. From the top of this mountain you can see seven States. There is a million-dollar museum there which is very interesting.


Major Martin Joachim Burelbach survived the war and died in Chattanooga on January 26, 1952.


April 3 - 250 Boy Scouts Here to be Quickly Mobilized
April 8 - All Boy Scouts and Former Scouts Called
April 10 - War Slogan of Boys
April 11 - Boy Scouts Meet Tonight
April 12 - Scouts to Open Ears and Report Secrets
April 14 - Boy Scouts Bicycle Corps
July 14 - Doing My Bit


Under the leadership of Scout Executive Roy Bachman, the Boy Scouting movement of Chattanooga remained invigorated through 1918. A new troop was organized at First Christian Church with Zennie Rowden as Scoutmaster.  The Scouts conducted an eight-day house-to-house campaign for the liberty loan program. The U.S. Government offered a medal for selling ten bonds, and many Chattanooga Scouts worked diligently toward that goal.  At least three Scouts earned the award: Morgan Ferrell, Donald Ream, and George Little.  Chattanooga was already above its quota for bond sales, and the Scouts’ efforts were declared exceptional.

Scouts distributed posters across Chattanooga advertising a Red Cross drive.  Two hundred Scouts placed white carnations alongside their mothers’ breakfast plates for Mother’s Day.  Recruiting continued, and several troops noted an increase in membership alongside six troops organized in Highland Park, two in St. Elmo, two in East Chattanooga, and one in Avondale.

A Boy Scout serial was shown for five weeks at the Superba movie theater. The serial, entitled "Boy Scouts to the Rescue," was directed by Baden-Powell, who also appeared in it. It showed the similar service British Scouts provided during the war.


On June 14, 1918, the Chattanooga Council met at the Hotel Patten.  The Rotary club pledged $2,000, which was the amount estimated to maintain the organization for two years. The Council appointed Mr. Sears to represent Chattanooga in the National Council, and also sent President Wilson a telegram pledging its support.  Officers were elected for the next year as follows:

Champe Andrews, President

C.H. Winder, Vice President

O.P. Darwin, Vice President

W.H. Sears, Vice President

D.A. Landress, Secretary and Deputy Scout Commissioner

D.S. Henderson, Treasurer

Jack L. Ryan, Scout Commissioner

Roy Bachman, Scout Executive

J.F. Finley, Executive Committeeman

John Stagmaier, Executive Committeeman

C.C. Nottingham, Executive Committeeman

S.B. Strang, Executive Committeeman

R.T. FaucetteExecutive Committeeman


On July 4, 1918, the Scouts celebrated with an all-day hike.  Scouts congregated at the Chamber of Commerce building with lunch and "one dime for car fare" for the all-day hike to Suck Creek gulch.  The Scouts took the 8:30 Signal Mountain car to Glendale, and from there hiked to Suck Creek, and then hiked up Suck Creek Gulch.  Approximately 150 Scouts were expected to participate.

Around the same time, Scout Executive Roy Bachman received an order from the national Scouting headquarters seeking assistance from Scouts to locate black walnut trees which were needed to manufacture rifle stocks and propellers.  The government sought the location of such trees, the names of owners, the sizes of the trees, and the price at which they could be purchased.  Scouts were also requested to gather together burlap bagging and manila rope.  To entice Scouts, the Butterick Publishing company offered Scouts 3 cents per pound for all the discarded rope and burlap they could collect.

In July 1918, the Boy Scouts also began a troop at Bonny Oaks, with Supt. Price as Scoutmaster.  They had at least 12 boys over 12 years of age to organize the "squad."


In August 1918, the Scout Executive Reverend Roy DeWitt Bachman got married to Miss Margaret McCutcheon Brown.  Ms. Brown was daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.V. Brown.  She attended Chattanooga High School and Agnes Scott college in Atlanta, where she studied Art.  Roy Bachman was the son of Rev. and Mrs. George O. Bachman, or Nashville and St. Elmo.  He graduated from University of Alabama and the Southwestern University of Clarksville. 




By October, Chattanooga troops were instructed to collect seeds such as peach stones, plum and prune pits, and other seeds suitable to make gas mask filters.  Scouts were instructed to bring them to the Scout headquarters where they would be weighed.  The troop turning in the most seeds would be rewarded.

Scouts continued to collect contributions to the war effort and sell bonds.  It was reported in Chattanooga that every scout taking as many as ten subscriptions could receive a medal.

In the Fall of 1918, the McCallie School added a "Department of Boy Scout work."  The department was under the supervision of Scout Executive Roy D. Bachman, who was also becoming a regular member of the school's faculty.  Bachman's purpose was to make the course just as effective as the regular work of the school.  Classes were to be arranged to allow for more advanced work upon the part of the Scouts who were beyond the Tenderfoot stage. 


Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters met regularly at the Scout Headquarters at the Chamber of Commerce building to discuss Scouting.  For example, the leaders met with Scout Executive Roy D. Bachman to discuss the Scout oath, the Scout salute, and the significance of the Scout salute.


The fall of 1918 brought Armistice Day, when peace was declared and WWI ended.  Chattanooga Boy Scouts were prepared to help with the big celebration in Chattanooga.  The Scouts were prepared to be turned over to the police to help handle the crowds during the celebrations.  Scout Executive Roy Bachman received a telegram from "James R. West, of the southeastern division of the scout organization" instructing him to get ready to celebrate.  All scouts were ordered to hurry to the Scout headquarters as soon as they heard the first bomb fired to take part in the celebration.



After peace was declared in WWI, Scoutmasters began returning home and taking charge of their old troops and other good leaders were commissioned as scoutmasters over weaker troops.  For example, by December 11, 1918:

  • C.O. Brown was discharged from S.A.T.C of the University of Chattanooga and helped lead Troop 1 at First Baptist Church.

  • Dr. O.E. Gardner helped lead the North Chattanooga troop.

  • Charles B. Tarwater was commissioned Scoutmaster of Troop 10 of Alton Park (after two former members were expelled).

  • C.B. Bellamy was commissioned as Scoutmaster of Troop 13 at East Chattanooga.

  • W.A. Smith was commissioned Scoutmaster of Troop 17 at St. James M.E. church.

  • M.T. Murphy was commissioned Scoutmaster of troop 24 since Scoutmaster Ledford entered the YMCA work.

  • G.T. Damwood (G.H. Danwood) was expected to become Scoutmaster at the M.E. church in Rossville.

  • Another new troop was organized in Highland park under the leadership of Dr. T.S. McCallie and Morgan Ferrell (most of the boys of which were from Central Presbyterian and Highland Park M.E., south churches.

This growth continued as the Chattanooga Boy Scout headquarters received word from the national headquarters that the United States war department would assist in the enlistment of scout leaders. 


The Scout bugle corps met every Wednesday night at the Scout headquarters.  M. Borin, of the Khorassan bugle corps, took charge of the Scout bugle corps.  Mr. Borin had experience doing so, having organized several bugle corps during the past years.  The hope was that the Scout bugle corps would be far enough advanced in a few months that they could be turned over to the city for civic use whenever needed.


An all-Southern Scout executive conference was held December 12-14, 1918 in the auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce building (with opening sessions at the Patten Hotel.  The event was open to Chattanooga Scoutmasters and Scout officials, as well as the public.  Attendees included professional Scouts from Charlotte, NC; Lexington, Frankfort, Ashland, Covington, and Louisville, KY; Birmingham, AL; Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, TN, Knoxville, TN; Atlanta, GA, and New York City.

In mid-December 1918 the council met to discuss business including:  election of the council president and scout commissioner; appointment of a court of honor, consisting of eleven men, whose duty is to act as a court of appeals for the settlement of all disputes and controversies between scouts and their scoutmasters, to standardize all requirements for their examinations, to appoint men to compose the scout faculty, and to award all honors, merit badges, and medals; and hear a report from the camping committee.

In late December, troops took advantage of the good weather.  Troop 18 (Scoutmaster Ling) hiked to Elks Spring.  Troop 12 (Scoutmaster Everton) took an overnight hiked to Pan Gap.  Troop 26 (Scoutmaster Gay) hiked to the convicts' camp in the Suck Creek gorge.

Roy Bachman called all Scouts wishing to take the demonstration examinations for second- or first-class ranks to meet him at the Scout headquarters and bring his cooking outfit, lunch, car fare, and other things needed for the hike.  In late December, the following Scouts passed the written part of the second-class examination: Richard Savery, Walter Rutledge, Paul Bush, Samuel Spencer, Irvin Shapiro, Joe Green, William Neblett, Louis Smyth, Louis Silverman, Robert Reeves, and Scott McBroom.


January 25 - Plans to Organize Boy Scouts of the City

February 16 - Bachman to Reorganize Boy Scout Movement

February 22 - Boy Scouts and YMCA to Take Hike Saturday

February 27 - Reorganization of Boy Scout Troops

March 2 - Boy Scout Notes

March 2 - Boy Scout Troop Takes Long Hike

March 4 - Scout Troops Organized Tuesday

March 7 - Scouts to Spend Night on Raccoon

March 9 - Boy Scout Notes

March 16 - Boy Scout Troops Organized

March 21 - East Lake Scouts Hold Rally Meet

April 6 - Boy Scouts Execute Clever Publicity Stunt

April 6 - Boy Scouts Get Medals

April 18 - Boy Scouts Hike to Lula Lake
April 19 - Two Memphis Scouts Find Service at Camp
April 20 - New Impetus is Given Scout Movement

April 22 - Boy Scout Notes
April 27 - Boy Scouts Go Forth Today as Gleaners
May 2 - Boy Scouts are Active
May 7 - Boy Scouts Earn Medals
May 8 - Three Hundred Boys Wanted for Boy Scouts
May 10 - The Boy Scouts
May 11 - Scouts to Distribute Posters for Red Cross
May 13 - Flower for Scout Mothers
June 1 - Boy Scouts Very Busy
June 8 - Scoutmasters Classes at YMCA Tonight
June 10 - Boy Scouts
June 15 - Council for Boy Scouts
June 15 - Scouts to Place Posters
June 17 - Rev. Holly Hale Preaches Sermon to Boy Scouts

June 20 - Great Ovation for Selectmen
June 29 - Scouts May Wear Khaki
July 1 - The Answer of the Boy Scouts
July 2 - Chattanooga News
July 14 - Boy Scouts Canvass On In Earnest Today
July 15 - Once Held as a Spy, Now a Scoutmaster
July 16 - Scouts Sell WSS on Streets While Here
July 19 - Chattanooga News
July 26 - Boy Scouts Make Fine Impression
July 26 - Three Hundred Scouts Compose Local Force
July 27 - Scouts are Instructed in Principles of Service

July 29 - Roy Bachman Wedding

August 1 - Roy Bachman Wedding
August 1 - Chattanooga News
August 29 - Chattanooga News
August 31 - Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain

September 2 - Parade Most Spectacular Labor Celebration Ever Held in City
September 19 - Scouting Magazine

September 27 - Negro Selectmen Off for Camp Sherman
October 12 - Chattanooga News
October 21 - Chattanooga News
October 22 - Chattanooga News
November 11 - Chattanooga News
November 21 - Scouting Magazine

December 5 - Chattanooga News

December 11 - Chattanooga News

December 12 - Chattanooga News

December 13 - Chattanooga News

December 19 - Chattanooga News

1918-12-21 - Hardy, Andrews Chosen to Lead Boy Scouts

December 27 - Chattanooga News

December 30 - Chattanooga News




Scouting opened 1919 with the formation of "Training School for Boy Scout officials."  Mr. Champe S. Andrews was appointed teacher and was in charge of the work at the initial meeting.  The training school lasted five weeks, meeting Fridays at 12:15 p.m.  Much interest was shown in this new phase of the local Boy Scout work.  By early January Twenty-four business men pledged to take the course and several others were expected.  At the first meeting, Champe S. Andrews outlined the platform of the national organization and explained the work of the local council, troops, and individual scouts.  He then began a course that covered theoretically outlined work for Scouts, beginning with the tenderfoot work, and working through the second class, first class, life scout, start scout and Eagle Scout.

Local scoutmasters also formed a Scoutmasters' Association.  The purpose of the association was to have uniformity in the scout work of the city.  Elected were President W.H. Ling, Vice President Rev. George A. Gay, Secretary M.L. Mulkey, and Treasurer W.A. Smith.  The Scoutmasters decided to push the efficiency contest between their troops.  The troops were graded according to the percentage of attendance at each meeting, troop equipment, advancement of members, and other scouting activities.  The troop securing the largest number of points during one month will be awarded the efficiency flag, which will be retained by them for one month, or until won by another troop.  At the close of each calendar year the troop winning the flag the largest number of times will be awarded a loving cup--this to be retained by them for one year, or until won by another troop.  Deputy Scout Commissioner Will B. Schwartz was present and spoke to the Scoutmasters in reference to the prospects of scouting from the executive committee's standpoint.



In February, the highly anticipated troop in Rossville was formed.  G.H. Danwood served as Scoutmaster.  The troop met in the Rossville Y.W.C.A. building.

Friday, February 7, 1919 marked the beginning of Boy Scout anniversary week.  A citizens committee was formed for the anniversary week.  The committee was composed of F.A. Seagle, Chairman; D.S. Henderson; G.H. Patten; T.S. McCallie; O.K. LeBron; Phil Shugart; Mayor Jesse M. Littleton; Dr. W.M. Bogart; T.R. Preston; Judge Sam Connor; and J.T. Lupton.

During the week from sunrise to 6:00 p.m. Scouts were supposed to make "general individual good turns to the unfortunate, distributing food and clothes, and performing any service that [would] give comfort and home."  Scouts also focused on churches, including making repairs, mending humn books, cleaning rooms and grounds, preparing bulletin boards, and providing floral decorations for Scout Sunday.

On February 7, 1919, all Scouts assembled in troop formation at the Junior High school auditorium to watch the moving picture entitled "Adventures of a Boy Scout," a popular five-reel film produced by the World Film Company.  The film showed many Scouting activities and illustrated the spirit of the Boy Scout movement.  The scouts also heard a lecture on "Scouting" by Dr. George A. Gay, illustrated with stereoptican views. This gave "many wonderful pictures of true scouting in France, Great Britain, Canada, the United States and many other nations."  Among these pictures were "King George and Gen. Sir Robert Baden-Powell reviewing the Boy Scouts of England; President Wilson starting Boy Scout relay races; Hon. James Bonaparte presenting honor medals to Boy Scouts, 4,000 Scouts at English rally, Scouts hiking along Ches[a]peake Bay shore, [and] Arkansas Scouts on duty at State fair."

Scouts also gathered at the Central Y.W.C.A. gymnasium for an athletic event for the Scouts.  Then, all scouts gathered at the auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce for the Scout Assembly.  At 8:15 p.m., every Scout stood at attention and repeated in unison the Scout Oath.  Scouts across the world did so at the same time.

The Scouts participated in a memorial service for the late President Theodore Roosevelt, who died on January 6, 1919.  The memorial service was held at the Bijou Theater.  Scout Morgan Ferrell played taps.

Boy Scout shoes sold at The Wise Store (503 Market Street) for $1.69/pair.



At the semiannual meeting of the council, Scout Executive Roy D. Bachman made his financial report and told of the growth of the organization and the work of the Scouts during the six months beginning July 31, 1918.  The expenditures amounted to something over $3,400.  Bachman also gave a membership report:  22 Troops, 419 Scouts, 40 Scoutmasters, 99 Council Membership, 1 Executive, Total Membership of Scouts and officials: 566.

The following officers served on the executive committee for the year:

Richard Hardy, President

R.C. Jones, First Vice President

C.C. Nottingham, Second Vice President

C.H. Winder, Third Vice President

D.A. Landress, Secretary

D.S. Henderson, Treasurer

Champe S. Andrews, Scout Commissioner

Roy Bachman, Scout Executive

W.H. Sears, Council Engineer

James Finlay, Council Attorney

John Stagmaier, Committeeman

S.B. Strang, Committeeman

R.T. Faucette, Committeeman

George H. Patten, Committeeman

Marrow Chamberlain, Committeeman

R.F. Hudson, Committeeman

G. Fred Thomas, Committeeman



The beginning of April included the welcoming home of soldiers returning from WWI.  To assist with the large celebration, Scout Executive Roy Bachman issued the following message to all Scouts:  "All Chattanooga Boy Scouts must report in front of Boy Scout headquarters 9 o'clock sharp Thursday morning to await orders from Chief W.H. Hackett."

That month, the Council launched a financial campaign under the leadership of George H. Patten.  The plan was to raise $10,000 (or $15,000) in one week.  The primary purpose for the funds was to finance the purchase and equipment of Camp Raccoon.  The Boy Scouts took an active part in the financial campaign both in canvassing for subscriptions and in placing advertising matter.  Attractive posters were drawn and painted by girls in the high schools.  A large number of signs, handbills, and folders were distributed and placed in show windows and on bill boards. One newspaper article explained that "[t]he Boy Scout organization is the best possible weapon against the youthful cigarette, the ubiquitous 'cuss word' and unwholesome curiosity."



On May 10, the Chattanooga News reported that the Scout council, court of honor, and deputy commissioners called a special meeting to determine how to complete the scout budget drive for $10,000 to purchase and equip Camp Raccoon.  Two days later, it was reported that the meeting was enthusiastic, and confidence was expressed that the remainder of the funds ($5,000) would be raised in the next two or three days.

The Chattanooga Daily Times reported on May 12, 1919 Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation that Boy Scout Week would occur from June 8 until Flag Day, June 14.



On June 8, Chattanooga kicked off Boy Scout Week by supporting a nation-wide membership drive.  The Chattanooga Council participated by sending membership information with a letter signed by a committee composed of Tom L. Landress, chairman; John Stagmaier; W.E. Brock; Morrow Chamberlain; T.S. McCallie; and D.B. Loveman.



On September 8, 1919, thirty Scoutmasters and officials had their monthly meeting of the "Scoutmasters Association of Chattanooga" at the Second Presbyterian church.  They discussed "the questions that are vital to the advancement of scouting."  The group planned to hold a training course for Scoutmasters at Camp Raccoon.  Scout Executive Bachman announced that the camp would be opened for weekend hikes.  The Boy Scouts were the guests of the county fair in 1919 as they were in 1918.  Five boys from each troop were allowed to attend the camp that was on the fairground during that week.

The group agreed that a council paper was best for scouting that would chronicle officially the activities of the Scouts.  The plan was for the first paper to be printed in October.  In October, it was reported that plans were underway for the Chattanooga council to publish a bi-monthly scout newspaper, which would be named "the Moccasin Trail."  It would carry the news of the local work and would be mailed free of charge to all registered scouts, scout officials, council members and donors.

At the same meeting on September 8, 1919, Deputy Scout Commissioner Paul J. Kruesi suggested creating interest among scouts by having a competition among scouts to pass certain tests in scouting.  R.H. Willard, an expert in signalling, outlined a plan whereby all Scouts could benefit from his knowledge.  W.H. Ling was president of the Scoutmasters association.

Chief Scout Executive James E. West arrived in Chattanooga on September 24, 1919 to attend the Scout Executives Conference at Camp Raccoon.  Scout Executive Roy Bachman met Mr. West at the station and took him to the scout camp.  West said that conditions of modern civilization are such that a large amount of leisure time is in the hands of the boys, without supervision.  This causes much of the mischief among the boys of the nation and is the greatest negative influence in a boy's life. West remained in the area until September 26, 1919.  That day, Champe S. Andrews arranged for a sight-seeing trip of Chattanooga for the guests at Raccoon Mountain.


In early October, the Scouts erected a camp inside the entrance at the large Rotarian fair, as did the "Corn Club boys" or "Corn Clubbers."  The Scouts also succeeded in finding the father of a lost child on the grounds. By mid-October, Scouting had grown so large in Chattanooga that it became necessary "to make a little change of plan in the advancement work of the scouts."



November 7-8, the council offered a training course for Scoutmasters at Camp Raccoon because the Scoutmaster was determined to be the "keystone" of the movement as far as the boy is concerned, and it is the Scoutmaster who represents the movement.  The number of Scoutmasters was insufficient, and the training course was designed to both recruit more Scoutmasters and increase the effectiveness of the organization.



In December 1919, it was reported that Lipson-Ryan Manufacturing Company, the Chattanooga company that makes "leggins and over-gaiters of all kinds," secured the contract for the manufacture of all leggins worn by the Boy Scouts of America for the coming year.  The contract was "regarded as an achievement of considerable importance to local concern" and involved the production of several hundred thousand pairs of scout leggins during the next twelve months.  Founded in 1914, with its first plant in Rossville and then moved to Whiteside Street, the first plant had a capacity of ten dozen pairs a day.  By December 1919, the plant had 75 employees.

In December, the Executive Board met at the Hamilton Club cafe.  Bernard E. Loveman was elected President to replace Richard Hardy, who was "compelled to resign this position on account of other matters demanding his attention."  The Board requested Loveman to "at once revive the present court of honor and increase its number to fifteen members."  Champe S. Andrews and W.H. Sears were requested to investigate the proposal of placing a partition between the supply department and and the assembly room at Scout headquarters and were given power to carry this work out.  The Board endorsed the court of honor recommendation to national headquarters for a merit badge in first aid for Scout Dick Price, member of Troop No. 1.


In December, the Scouts had an assembly with a "Christmas tone" at the Chamber of Commerce auditorium.  Scoutmaster George A. Gay gave a talk about Scouting supported by 57 stereopticon views of Boy Scout activities throughout the world (which arrived from Underwood & Underwood Company).  Also during the event, Scout Leonard Murray received a medal for selling ten $50 liberty bonds and Richard Price received the First Aid merit badge.  Ellis Bathman was a Scoutmaster.


January 9 - Chattanooga News
January 10 - Chattanooga News
January 23 - Chattanooga News
January 23 - Scouting Magazine

February 1 - Chattanooga News

February 6 - Chattanooga News

February 7 - Chattanooga News

February 8 - Chattanooga News

February 27 - Scouting Magazine

February 28 - Chattanooga News

March 28 - Chattanooga News

April 2 - Chattanooga News

April 8 - Boy Scouts Preparing to Celebrate Peace

April 10 - Scouts Want Club Home

April 10 - Chattanooga News

April 11 - Chattanooga News

April 12 (first) - Chattanooga News

April 12 (second) - Chattanooga News

April 12 - Boy Scouts Canvassing for Playground Funds

April 14 - Boy Scouts are Drafted for Work in Loan Drive

April 14 - Chattanooga News

April 15 - Money Keeps Coming in for Boy Scout Fund

April 15 - Chattanooga News

April 16 (first) - Chattanooga News

April 16 (second) - Chattanooga News

April 18 - Boy Scout Fund Falls Short of Desired Sum

April 18 - Chattanooga Scouts Seek to Have Dreams of Owning this Camp Site Come True

April 19 - Boy Scouts Sacrifice Own Cause for Loan

April 24 - Scout Drive Stopped Until Loan is Secured

April 26 - Begin Work on Scout Camp

April 27 - Scouts Begin Work on Pan Gap Reservation

May 2 - Boy Scout Council to Reopen Fund Drive

May 3 - Scout Sunday Tomorrow

May 9 - Scout Council Plans One Day Drive for Fund

May 10 - Chattanooga News

May 12 - Chattanooga News

May 12 - Boy Scouts to Renew Their Campaign Tuesday

May 15 - Scouting Magazine

May 16 - Chattanooga News

May 26 - Boy Scouts to Use Camp During Month of July

May 29 - Scouting Magazine

June 8 - Boy Scout Week
June 11 - Boy Scout Drive is on for Associate Members
June 13 - The Boy Scout Drive

June 14 - Scout Drive is Extended
June 30 - Boy Scouts Prepare for their Camp Season

July 22 - Chattanooga News

July 26 - Chattanooga News

July 26 - Camp Ready for Scouts

August 13 - Chattanooga News

August 21 - Chattanooga News

September 9 - Chattanooga News

1919-09-17 - National Recognition for Local Scout Camp

1919-09-18 - Boy Scout Officers' Camp To Open Here Next Sunday

1919-09-20 - Scout Leaders Here Tomorrow

1919-09-23 - More Scout Officials Arrive for Conference

1919-09-25 - City Today Entertains Chief Scout James West

October 2 - Chattanooga News
October 13 - Chattanooga News

October 20 - Chattanooga News

October 22 - Chattanooga News

October 31 - Chattanooga News

November 7 - Chattanooga News

November 13 - Scouting Magazine

December 26 - Chattanooga News

December 3 - Chattanooga News

December 31 - Chattanooga News

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