Calahan-Romines Scholarship Endowment
The Calahan-Romines Endowed Scholarship was established by Reverend and Mrs. Billy J. T. Hauer in memory of Robert Bethel Calahan, Eva Mae Calahan, and Mattie Romines.
The Calahan family were natives of Monterey, Tennessee. Robert Bethel and Mattie were born into a family of sawyers, who operated a small sawmill that produced railroad ties for the narrow gage railroads of that era. Mattie the eldest child was born during the first term of the president Grover Cleveland. After finishing public school, she received additional training at one of the small normal schools where she pursued certification for teaching. Family obligations cut short her teaching career. She returned to the farm, and in 1943 received a federal commendation for her work in promoting home canning and victory gardens. When her husband's eyesight failed, the Romines' retired to Algood. Though not blessed with children of her own, she mothered nieces, nephews, inlaws, as well as anyone in need. She was a charter member of the Nazarene Church in Monterey, and when she moved to Algood, she was active in the Algood Methodist Church as long as her health allowed. She also became most active in the Senior Citizens Program when this program began in Algood. She took up painting at age 80 years and continued to walk to the beauty shop, church and senior citizens center past her 96th birthday. July 2, 1987 was proclaimed Mattie Romines Day by David Norris, Mayor of Algood, on Mrs. Romines' 100th birthday. To know Mattie Romines was to love her, and she was of the most beloved citizens of that small town. She remained mentally alert, interested in many subjects, especially her love for education until her death in 1991 at the age of 104 years.
Mattie Romines' younger brother Robert Bethel did not continue in the sawyer tradition due to the phasing out of narrow gage railroad tracks. After graduation from high school, he followed sister Mattie's example and became a school teacher. When a rural mail route became available he changed vocations. When he began carrying the mail the roads in that section of Putnam County were so poor that he began on horseback. (In many cases he was, for some of his patrons, their only link with the outside world.) Being a rural mail carrier he had one of the few dependable automobiles in Algood and provided transportation for those who were in need, i.e. job interviews, educational opportunities, doctor and dental appointments, etc. Robert Bethel began to lose his hearing but was able to continue his mail route until age 65 years with 40 years on the job. After retirement he continued his love for reading and became an avid patron of the book mobile and later the small branch library in Algood. He remained an avid reader until his death.
Eva did not pursue a professional career; however, she did teach school for one year prior to marriage. Like many of the women of her generation, she was a homemaker. Like her husband she was an avid reader and good visitor who had a genuine love for her fellow human beings, especially children. She was a walking encyclopedia of the history of Putnam County and could recite the histories of numerous families from the time they moved to Putnam County until current plus all the kinships. She was most interested in the culinary arts; her cakes, jellies and bread and butter pickles are legend.
Robert Bethel and Eva had two daughters, Carole June (married to Reverend Billy J. T. Hauer) and Linda Sue. Carole June is a graduate of Tech; Linda Sue attended Tech but received her degree from the University of Houston. She is married to Charles Smithers and resides in Cookeville.
Scholarships associated with Calahan-Romines Scholarship Endowment