Monday, October 31, 2016

Whistle While You Work

Robert H "Babe" Cowley
Whistled While He Worked

Cowley's Ferry was on the Cumberland River 15 miles above Nashville, located at the mouth of Stones River.  The ferry was started in the 1850's by John B Cowley.  The early ferry was pulled by oars.  After John retired, his son, Robert H "Babe" Cowley operated the ferry.
In 1948, when Babe Cowley turned 85 years old, his daughter-in-law submitted the following tribute to the "Top O'the Mornin' " section of the Nashville Tennessean Newspaper. 
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948 

The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 19, 1948, page 8
Abstract of above article:
"From Mrs. Lee Cowley, Old Hickory, Tenn... I want to tell you about R H (Uncle Babe) Cowley who is celebrating his 85th birthday.  Many readers will recall Uncle Babe.  He operated the old horse boat at the mouth of Stones river.  Later the gasoline ferry, which was known as the Stone's Ferry.
Thousands have crossed with Uncle Babe.  He whistled while he worked and it never got too hot, too cold or the water too high for him to work -- or whistle.  He owned the first radio in his neighborhood and on Saturday night folks would come from miles away to listen to the Grand Ole Opry programs.  Back then only Judge Hay and Uncle Jimmy Thompson were the cast.
Uncle Babe is my father-in-law -- and though retired, still whistles."

Robert Howell "Babe" Cowley Obituary
The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) Friday, March 11, 1949
Robert H Cowley is related to us through through our Stewart and Medlin families.

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