A Brief History of Troop 48
(As written by Mr. Edgar Provine, assistant Scoutmaster and troop historian. Edited by Brian Issing, Scoutmaster.)
Troop 48 was founded June 29, 1929 at South Side Methodist Church on McLemore in South Memphis. There were ten boys and the Scoutmaster was Mr. Clarence Ransom. The troop grew rapidly and by the next spring had about twenty-five Scouts. Among the boys who joined in 1930 were Jack Lawson and Charles Church. Jack Lawson became the first Eagle Scout in the Troop in 1931.
Sometime in 1931, some furniture was broken at the church and Charles Church came home to tell his dad that they had been locked out of their meeting place. Mr. Church told him not to worry and that they would move the troop down the street, about two blocks, to their church. Thus they moved to McLemore Presbyterian Church in 1931. A short time later Clarence Ransom was transferred out of town and Mr. Church became the Scoutmaster.
In 1931, the troop built a log cabin at Camp Currier on the West Road. The cabin was used by the Troop until they were required to tear it down in 1983.
The troop did well through the 1930s with several Eagle Scouts, some of the highest scores in the city-wide rallies, and so many Scouts that they formed another troop at McLemore Presbyterian. It was Troop 58 which lasted a couple of years. Mr. Charles Cotton was the Scoutmaster.
Charles Church, Mr. Church’s son, became Scoutmaster in 1940, but this lasted only a couple of years as Charles and his two brothers joined the Army, Marines, and Army Air Corps, respectively. All three of the Church boys had become Eagle Scouts. During 1942 and 1943, the older boys in the troop formed the Sea Scout Choctaw. It was short-lived however since so many of the boys joined the service.
Mr. Church took over again after Charles joined the Army. In 1946, after the boys got back, they decided to alternate as Scoutmaster each year. This lasted until about 1951 when Lloyd Church took over for about thirteen years. Lloyd received his Silver Beaver award in 1959. Mr. Church had gotten his in 1938. They were the first father and son to receive the Silver Beaver in the Chickasaw Council.
In 1963, the troop moved to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Whitehaven, where they stayed until 1988.
Lloyd talked one of his former Scouts, Edgar Provine, into taking the Scoutmaster job at Troop 48. In 1965, Ralph Moak, came to work with us and stayed with the troop until his death in 2000. He served as the Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, and committee chairman at various times during his tenure with the troop. Ralph received his Silver Beaver Award in 1976.
Jack Lawson, the first Eagle Scout in the troop served as the advancement chairman in the 1960s and 70s.
In 1982, Barry Moore became the Scoutmaster and served a thirteen year stint.
The troop followed Covenant Presbyterian Church east to Shelby Drive and Germantown Road in May 1988, where it stayed until 2003 when it moved to the present location at Faith Presbyterian Church in Germantown.
In 1988 we gained a new leader who has been a great help for so many years; Brian Issing, our “Token Yankee” from New York.
Between the summer of 2009 and 2011 the troop grew by 50% thus allowing it to move from two to three patrols. In 2013 we expanded again and moved to four patrols: two regular and two new. In 2019 we held our 90th anniversary celebration with a dinner. Being 90 makes us one of the five oldest Troops in the Chickasaw Council, B.S.A. In 2020, we celebrated our 80th Eagle Scout. Records indicate that approximately 6.1% of our Scouts have made it to Eagle.