Dialin' Back the Clock

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Former Dialville classmates of years gone by would say they all share a unique bond. That bond was celebrated once again, as Dialville School classmates participated in the annual Dialville School Reunion at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Jacksonville High School.

According to Max Thomason, the reunion began “probably ‘72 or ‘73, somewhere in there,” and was first held in Rusk, before moving to the Jacksonville high school’s cafeteria.

The Dialville school district consolidated with Jacksonville School District in 1959, with the last class attending the 1958-59 school year.

“In the fall of ‘59, it went to Jacksonville,” said Willie Harold Acker of Maydelle, whose wife, Sylvia attended Dialville school. “There was a discussion that both Maydelle and Dialville would be consolidated together, but that never happened. It was decided that Dialville would consolidate with Jacksonville ... and in later years, Maydelle went to Rusk. There were no elections — just discussions.”

Dialville (or as Willie said, locals dub it “Di-ville,”) is named after Joseph Jacob Dial.

“There were people actually living there before it was considered a town — at least in 1848 because that’s when Rocky Springs Missionary Baptist Church was established ... the church was organized on April 8, 1848,” Willie said. “The town I think was established in 1882.”

Willie said, according to Jack Moore’s book titled, “The History of Dialville,” the town had its “ups and downs,” bustling with stores, a newspaper, butcher shop and other businesses, but eventually was killed by the creation of U.S. Hwy. 69, which ran right through Dialville.

“Around 1920, they decided to build the present day (U.S. Highway) 69. That was the real death nail of Dialville. It was kind of like the end — it never really recovered after the highway.”

About 35 Dialville classmates, and their spouses, all mingled and visited for a few hours before others arrived. A dinner was served at 5 p.m.

For additional information about the reunion or if any alumni who would like to attend next year’s reunion, call Max Thomason 903-683-5024.

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