TOP PHOTO: Big Bill standing in front of his shop on 1st Street.

By Charlie Hutson

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Hatfield’s woodworking shop was once on 1st street right beside Shelby’s Grocery, which is now the home of Pyro Shows today. The shop was owned by William Evert Hatfield the man many called WE or Big Bill.  

He was a woodworking craftsman who built furniture like the grandfather clock he built for the Roach family that was in the lobby at Roach Mortuary. The clock is now on display at the Campbell County Historical Museum.  He also built house boats and custom truck beds as well as the custom interior of the Shelby’s Grocery Bluebird Rollin Stores fleet.

“Big Bill of Hatfield’s Woodworking Shop, is on the left, and the man to the right of Bill is my dad, Bill Thompson,” said Nick Thompson. Thompson goes on to say “My dad, Bill Thompson, and Jack Rogers built five of those houseboats. Bill and Bill were very good friends and built several projects together. I spent much of my childhood in Bill’s shop learning the trade. A fine man.” The two other men are Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Big Bill passed away in 1978, and Shelby’s acquired the building which was later torn down. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/24/2022-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON-UPDATED – 03/24/2022-1PM)

2 Replies to “Big Bill’s woodworking shop is remembered”

  1. What a surprise! I’ve often thought about this man and his business but couldn’t recall exactly where his shop was located. My grandfather, Herman Robbins, enjoyed Mr. Hatfield’s company, had custom truck beds made every time he bought a new truck, brought truck loads of fine wood shavings home for his chicken houses, the patter including small pieces of wood shaped in countless geometric shapes: triangles, circles, squares, rectangles. My younger brother and I spent countless happy hours building things with those wood blocks! It was the era of Tinker Toys which our parents gifted at Christmas. What we learned! I still have warm memories of Hatfield’s Cabinet Shop. Thanks for this article.

  2. Shelby’s grocery store was beside his shop. The establishment bought the property after his death and extended the store to make it bigger.

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