John B. Weatherall died in Peabody School on Saturday, September 12, 1953, and on that fateful day, he had a fatal heart attack after rushing to fight a fire inside the school where he was the custodian. Born in 1900, he was the son of a pioneer and frontier family, and he enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War I.
After his discharge, he went home to the farm, but ultimately moved to Memphis and built parts for military aircraft for Fisher Body. After the war, he went to work as a custodian for Memphis City Schools at Peabody Elementary School.
In those days, it was necessary for someone to constantly maintain the school and keep the boilers and other equipment going at all times, so the custodian was required to live next to the school and in this case, his house was where the playground is now. For this reason and others, we feel it is most fitting for a historical marker to be placed at the playground in his memory since he gave his last full measure of his life for Peabody Elementary School.
– Excerpt from letter to Principal Jones and the Memphis City School Board, written by the family of John B. Weatherall.
A historical marker dedicated to the heroism of John B. Weatherall will be placed at Peabody Elementary durina a ceremony held this Saturday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m.
The ceremony will take place in the backyard of Peabody Elementary.
If you have any questions about the dedication, please contact Jimmy Ogle, Shelby County Historical Commission Chairman