As a youngster growing up in rural Wilson County, A. C. was already working his way toward success.  At age 7, he traveled the countryside on a mule, gathering old bleached out bones; which he sold to a fertilizer plant for 40 cents per 100 pounds.  He married his sweetheart Mary Alice in 1939 on the public square next to the statue of General Robert Hatton.

He began operating a grocery store in the 1940’s when a farm injury prevented him from farming.

Mr. and Mrs Wharton’s overriding concern was a formal education for their five children.  They inspired them to become leaders in the field of education, law, medicine and government.  Each year Cumberland University awards a scholarship in Mr. Wharton’s honor.

Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Wharton retired in 1984 from the grocery store and restaurant supply business.

The family donated the original A. C. Wharton Store to Fiddlers Grove in 2003.