Volume 53, Number 21

fourteen pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sells' handcrated wagon takes him on his final ride

By: Amanda Hill Bond
I received a phone call last week asking if I would be interested in running a follow-up to a story that was written years ago in the Pickett County Press. At that time, no one knew exactly when the article was published but knew that it had been in the 80's. The story was about Mr. Herbert Sells who handmade wagons and it featured several pictures. The family asked that I come take a picture of their loved one while he was taken to his final resting place on a wagon which he had handcrafted earlier in his life.
Last Thursday, I waited for the mules and wagon so I could get my picture, the wind was blowing hard and the rain was coming but it took it's time about getting here. It was the most emotional, yet amazing thing that I had ever seen, the color of the leaves in the background, the beautiful mules, and the perfect little handcrafted wooden wagon with a cross carrying its maker draped with an American flag. I had to hold back the tears long enough to get the perfect shot and smile at the family members passing by.
Monday morning I tried to get as much information to write my story and decided that I was going to find the article if it took me all day. I eventually found the article which ran in October of 1984 when Sells was 70 at the time of making wagons. Since I knew the year, I went back in storage to see if we still had pictures from then. After searching many, many pictures and decided to give up, I looked in another box and found an envelope labeled 1984 and found just one picture of Mr. Sells. Ironically the one I found was in color, and wasn't even of the three pictures which were featured in the paper. It had been overlooked when the family got their pictures after they were published. Strange things happen sometimes but I knew that it was just meant to be found.
Herbert Sells was 95 when he passed and among the many titles he had... farmer, wagon maker, father, grandfather, he was also a World War II Veteran who had served his country. He received military honors by the Hull-York DAV during his burial at Bethsaida Cemetery in Monroe. His obituary is on page two of this week's PRESS.


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