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.
Emma’s obituary, Sevier County News Records (July 3, 1958):
Mrs. Dana L. Parrott who died June 16 was a well-known Sevier County business woman who through her service with the public was well-known throughout the county. Mrs. Parrott graduated from Sevier County High School in 1925 and began her career as a teacher at the Waldens Creek School, where she taught for one year.
She was best known for her long period of service to Sevierville merchandisers and shoppers, through her affiliation with Sevierville retailers. She started her retailing career with the old Axelrod and Robinson Dry Goods Company, and later moved to the Draper and Darwin store where she worked for five years.
After that she worked at Wade’s for a period of six years, and at Carr Dry Goods for a year. She was associated for several years with The Corner Store where she worked until 1953 when her illness prohibited further clerking, but she will long be remembered by hundreds of shoppers who depended on her assistance and judgement.
Her parents John and Emma Emert died soon after she was born, and she was raised by her grandmother Letiticia Hatcher of Sevierville. Mrs. Parrott was active in the Spencer Clack Chapter of the D.A.R., and the Business Women’s Missionary Society. A member of the Alder Branch Baptist Church, she was active as a Sunday School teacher and youth department leader.
She is survived by her husband Dana L. Parrott.