Doctor J.C. Fly

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Dr. J.C. Fly may have been the most well-known Doctor in the history of Roane County in many ways. He became a pioneer when he started a public health program in Roane County in 1920, serving as director of the Roane County Health Department from 1920 to 1955. He was born in Hickman County, Tennessee in 1883 and when he retired in 1955, he removed to Centerville, Tennessee and died in 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee. When you ask children who went to Roane County schools from 1920 to 1955, one painful memory that is repeated over and over again by former students was the day that Dr. Fly came to visit the school to provide shots against smallpox and typhoid. He traveled to all of the schools in Roane County providing immunizations for children. He was noted for his dull and long needles and the scars (both physical and mental) that were left behind. It is said that many children “escaped” from school the day that Dr. Fly visited.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, August 2014.