A large crowd gathered outside of the Wilson County Election Commission at 203 E. Main Street on Wednesday – but it was not to cast their votes in any sort of election.
Instead the group, comprised of city, county and state officials including District 17 State Sen. Mae Beavers, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan, County Commissioners Annette Stafford and Gary Keith, Ward 5 Lebanon City Councilor Tick Bryan and City Attorney Andy Wright, as well as members of the Wilson County community, came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the building’s groundbreaking on Oct. 30, 1913.
Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said that 100 years ago the building, which served as Lebanon’s first Federal Post Office, cost $50,000 to complete.
“Think about all the news that came through this building. This was the center of Wilson County for many, many years,” he said. Post office doors opened in 1915 and remained that way until 1964.
Before housing the election commission in 1995, the building was used for government offices and storage.
Hargett, Tennessee’s 37th Secretary of State, made a special presentation during the ceremony to commend Warren and his team on a job well done during past elections.
“We run good, fair, honest elections. Because of the professional men and women in these offices we count every vote once – no more, no less,” he said.
“When election officials do their job well nobody knows they are there except for on days like this. It is usually when things do not go right that something shows up in the newspaper.”
To commemorate the event, the election commission and Historic Lebanon created a keepsake book featuring photos from the past 100 years.
Beavers also delivered a proclamation to Warren to thank the election commission for their service and the important role the building has played in Lebanon’s history.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.