Former McNairy County, Tennessee, sheriff Buford Pusser and his mother Helen Pusser at their home in Adamsville, Tennessee, around April 1974.
Transcription of an interview with Gracie Williams York (1900-1984), the widow of Alvin York, in Pall Mall, Tennessee, on June 26, 1984 conducted by Dr. Charles W. Crawford of Memphis State University. The transcription was by Betty Williams. Gracie Loretta Williams married Sergeant Alvin Cullum York in 1919. York (1887-1964) was born in Fentress County, Tennessee, as one of 11 children. He went to France with the U.S. Army in 1918 and in October took part in an action that won him the Medal of Honor. Returning a national hero, York and Gracie were given a farm by the Nashville Rotary although it took an appeal to clubs beyond the state to complete the purchase of the 400-acre farm. He participated in charity work and helped establish the York Agricultural Institute. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and during World War II supported the war effort through bond drives and touring training camps. A successful film based on his life was released in 1941 starring Gary Cooper. He died on September 2, 1964.
Transcription of an interview with Helen Pusser in Adamsville, Tennessee, on August 8, 1978, by Dr. Charles W. Crawford of Memphis State University. The interview was transcribed by Carol Laney. Helen Harris Pusser (1908-1987) was the mother of former McNairy County sheriff Buford Hayse Pusser (1937-1974). Pusser was Adamsville police chief and constable from 1962 to 1964 and then became county sheriff who campaigned against moonshining, gambling and prostitution along the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. He survived several assassination attempts but on August 12, 1967, he and his wife Pauline were shot and Pauline died. Pusser continued as sheriff until 1970 when he was ineligible for re-election because of term limits. He was elected constable that year and served until 1972. He died in a car accident on August 21, 1974.
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