The Tennessee Maneuvers – A Temporary Interruption

New Board Member

New Board Member

Friends of the Wilson County Veterans’ Museum, Inc. is proud to announce Jack Cato has joined our board as Vice-President. This comes after the resignation of businessman Tom Clemmons.

Jack lived in the Rome community in western Smith County during the maneuvers. He recalls all the excitement from seeing the tanks roll across the farmland to watching the soldiers build pontoon bridges across the Cumberland River.

Like many young boys of the day, he made friends with some of the soldiers and eventually began to ride his bicycle to the general store to buy candy bars for them. He would buy 2 for 15 center and in turn, the soldiers would often give him a quarter! That was big money for a young boy!

That entrepreneurial mind may be the reason for the decisions Jack made later in life. Like the time he was asked to invest in the Cracker Barrel restaurants. A decision he admits was crazy at the time, but one that he does not regret.

Jack was drafted into the Korean War where his job was to find land mines and render them useless.

Once he returned home from Korea, Jack opened a tv and small appliance business in Lebanon that he and his wife, Ruth, ran for more than 40 years.

Currently, Jack owns Cato Industrial with his wife and two children. They oversee a variety of commercial properties including strip malls and manufacturing buildings.

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