Harry Boswell will turn 90 years old on August 24, 2020, and he still mows his lawn with a push mower and operates an appliance-repair business.
Dale Payette, a friend of Boswell’s, said that he is a truly amazing person.
“I don’t know anybody anywhere that does what Harry does – he’s amazing,” Payette said.
Amazing may be the most appropriate word to describe the Winchester resident who grew up on a farm near Tims Ford State Park and attended a one-room schoolhouse in Union Hill for his first eight grades, but a conversation with him lets you know he does not like to draw a lot of attention to himself.
“We had 20 students in that one building taught by my first cousin Virgie Boswell, who was not partial to me, and I got spankings just like the rest of them,” Boswell recalled.
After graduating from the old Franklin County High School in Winchester at the site of the current Clark Memorial Elementary in the Class of 1949, Boswell went back to farming and helped work on farm equipment.
He joined the Army National Guard in 1949 and served until 1961.
“We thought we were going to be deployed to the Korean War, but we were never activated,” Boswell said.
He proudly states he has voted every year since 1949 and has been doing appliance repair and service calls for the community since 1959 after working for Morehead Electric from 1953-1959, but the appliance-repair business has seen a lot of change since then.
“I’m computer-illiterate,” he said. “So I can fix anything that does not have a computer chip in it, but I can plow corn with a mule.”
Boswell met his wife, Mae Champion, when he noticed her picking cotton in a nearby field when they were both young.
Champion and Boswell tied the knot on Nov. 30, 1957, and are still together. They have two grown children and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren who now hail from Dickson and Cheatham County.
Throughout his life, Boswell has remained a proud Franklin County resident.
“I went to Chicago when I was 8 years old in 1938 with my parents and grandparents in a 1938 Chevy. We used to go to National Guard Summer Camp every summer at places like Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Other than that, I’ve spent most of my time right here,” he said.
While plowing fields on the farm as a youngster, he would turn up arrowheads near the river where Native American tribes lived near the water.
“I would use them to skip across the river like a flat rock, but then I started to appreciate them more and began a collection,” he said.
That collection now includes a framed display of 2,000 arrowheads.
“I’m a member of the Volunteer State Archaeological Society, and we get a journal regularly from them,” Boswell said.
As if that were not enough, he is active in the Winchester Church of Christ and enjoys people like Pavette, another church member.
“I started out and grew up in the Church of Christ in Owl Hollow and always was fond of social time as well as learning about my religion,” Boswell said. “Church was the main social event when I was young, so it was a special time for me.”
A pleasant man to talk to, Boswell is not too shy about his life when he gets into it.
As to push-mowing his one-acre lot, Boswell said: “I can’t do that in one sitting. It takes a couple of days sometimes.”