Oh how I will miss you next year. But when you go out into the world, don't forget that junior boy back at old SCHS. ~ Emma's future husband Dana Parrott in her graduation journal
Emma Jane Emert was born May 3, 1904 to John Wesley Emert (1871-1915) and Avie Alice Hatcher Emert (1882-1906). Orphaned as a young child, and as an only child, she afterwards lived with her grandmother Letitia C. Wear Hatcher (1857-1950) on East Main Street in what was known as the Hammer-Hatcher House. This house was located near the present-day location of the Sevier County Electric System, somewhere between East Main and Bruce Street.
Emma was among the first graduating classes of Sevier County High School, which had opened in 1920. The first class in 1922 had only a few graduates and it wouldn’t be until many years later that the school began the tradition of yearbooks.
In 1925, Emma received the journal below as a gift from her grandmother Hatcher. In it she records some school sporting and social events, including news clippings, as well as notes from her teachers and classmates – including a few notes from her future husband Dana Parrott (1906-1992). Upon graduation, Emma worked as a clerk in a dry goods store and continued living with her grandmother and her maternal uncle, John A. Hatcher Sr., in the Hammer-Hatcher House. John Hatcher Sr. was a barber with a shop in the old Central Hotel. He was known for his long white beard. John Hatcher’s son would later found Hatchers Dry Cleaners.
Emma’s grandmother Letitia Catherine Wear Hatcher (1857-1950), circa 1940s.
Sometime between 1940 and 1950, she married her old high school sweetheart Dana Parrott, who was part owner and manager of Western Auto. In 1958, Emma fell ill with heart disease and died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville with her husband by her side. She was buried in Alder Branch Cemetery in Sevier County. In 1960, Dana remarried Jean Dennis. When he died in 1992, Dana was buried beside Emma.
In Emma’s graduation journal, you may find familiar area surnames such as Large, McCown, Allen, Connatser, Mullendore, Loveday, Tarwater, Ogle, Huffaker, Duggan, Murphy, Sharp, Whaley, and Hodges.
I hope you live for a thousand years and I am at your funeral. ~ Frank Mullendore in Emma's graduation journal.