State honors local heroes

Jeff Whitten


The state legislature has recently approved honoring two local heroes by renaming highways after them.

Jimmy Tuberville, the late Milledgeville Fire Chief who died in the line of duty last year, and Pfc.Warren M. Mitchell, a McNairy resident who was killed in World War II, will have portions of two highways named in their honor, according to former County Mayor Jai Templeton.

While still in office last week, Templeton said that it was his understanding that the legislation passed a few weeks ago, and that as soon as the Tennessee Department of Transportation gets notification, it will begin the process of renaming the highway and changing the signs.

He said it would probably take several weeks for the project to be completed.

The renaming of these highways is strictly honorary, Templeton said,   addresses will not change.

A stretch of Highway 22 between the Adamsville City limits and mile marker 4 in Chester County will be renamed for Tuberville.

Highway 225, from the intersection with Highway 64 to the Chester County line, will be renamed for Mitchell.

The McNairy County Commission approved renaming the highways earlier this year.

Tuberville suffered a fatal heart attack while fighting a grass fire on Dec. 13 of last year.

He was the first firefighter in McNairy County to die in the line of duty and was given a firefighter’s line of duty funeral. There was an honor guard at his funeral and his casket was carried to the cemetery on one of the department’s fire engines.

Mitchell was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1944, when he was 20 years old, according to his brother, John Mitchell. 

He fought in Europe and was killed in Germany on April 18, 1945. This was the last battle for his unit, Mitchell said.

Pfc. Mitchell served in the 30th Armored Infantry Division, which was assigned to the 1st Army.

He was originally buried in Holland, but was disinterred and reburied at Mt. Gilead two years later.

Mitchell was posthumously decorated with the Purple Heart.