I Am Williamson County: Bill Derryberry

Oct 13, 2021 at 01:56 pm by RMGadmin

By Emma Chennault

Franklin’s Beloved Car Collector

1926 was the birth year for many famous people; Queen Elizabeth II, Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Hefner, Andy Griffith, and many more. However, this was also the birth year of someone very special to the Williamson County community. Bill Derryberry was born in August of 1926 in Michigan. Although he was not born in our special town, he has been in Franklin since 1955 and has been a crucial member ever since.  

Shortly after he was born, Bill moved to Alabama, and that is where he spent his childhood. While attending Grammar School, he met a girl named Christine, who he later married. At the age of eighteen, Bill enlisted in the military to serve in World War II, where he was stationed in Norfolk,
Virginia until 1946. 

After being discharged from the military, Bill decided to move back to Alabama to continue his education. He attended the University of Alabama, where he became a lifelong fan of the crimson tide. After receiving his degree, he moved to the charming town of Franklin, Tennessee.

Once he arrived in Franklin, he bought a house on West Main Street and started working for paving companies. Over the next few years, he managed the checkbooks for companies that paved in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. While Bill was still working for these plants, he received a call that would change his life.

Bill received a call from a paving plant offering him ownership. He was ready to write a check to them, but they would not accept his money and, in the end, gifted him the business. This did not change who Bill was though. He still drove his pickup truck, wore his work clothes, and lived in the same house on West Main.  

Bill Derryberry is also a notorious classic car collector, and throughout his life, he has amassed an extensive collection. While touring his warehouse, you cannot help but be in awe of all the amazing pieces of history that he has kept in pristine condition. His passion for cars is contagious, and he leaves you wanting to learn more about the history behind each vehicle. He is also a founding member of The Battlefield Region AACA. Their mission is to connect with like-minded people who share the same love for classic cars while helping the community through their car displays.