Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Greetings 1926

New Year's Greetings
Announcing the Dates West Tennessee District Fair
Jackson, Tennessee
September 13-14-15-16-17-18, 1926
Bigger and Better
W.F. Barry, Sec'y. and Mgr.

Letter From Daisy Gunn Ezzell

Back on Dec. 25th I did a two part blog for the high school graduation of James H. Moran IV. He graduated from the Dresden Tennessee High School in 1931 and went on to the Naval Academy at Annapolis.   (Part 1 and Part 2)  Today I came across another congratulations letter for him.  This one is kind of special because it's from one of his Gunn relatives, Daisy Gunn Ezzell. (1873-1972)

page 1
Daisy and James are descendants of Lyman Taft Gunn. Daisy is one of his granddaughters and James is one of his great grandsons.  Add the twist in that Daisy married Clyde Ezzell.  Clyde Ezzell was the brother of James Battle Ezzell who married Fannie L. Moran.  Fannie was James' aunt.  Which I think makes Fannie and Daisy cousins as well as sisters-in-law.

Daisy didn't marry Clyde Ezzell until she was 50 years old so they had no children.

Nashville Tenn
May 7, 1931
My dearest Jimmie, Well this is the day of days in your young life and all things look bright and rosy and there is nothing so refreshing as youth and its enthusiasm and those who have the companionship of young people can keep their own poise and faith in human kind.  To me there was never any thing that made me burst with pride and joy as my graduation and so it is with youth.  I am just dreadfully

ashamed though not to have gotten this letter to you today but I have a house full and in scanning the date (without my glasses) got May 17th in mind.  I know your father and mother will be very proud of you and I am indeed happy to have you in our hearts today and wish for you a most glorious future with the success in things that are really worth while, and hope you may attain your ambition soon to enter Annapolis.  I

page 2 and 3
think you are very brave to face these exams but I have a cousin who took four before he passed so just "keep agoing." I shall expect great things of you and Lyman Thomas, in whatever kind of endeavor it may be.  Lyman I believe will be a farmer but he wants to be a scientific one. He now has a fine herd of eleven registered Jerseys and a start with ten fine pigs.  I am a great believer in people doing what they have a talent for and not to carry out some older persons ideas.

page 4
Mama (Sallie Boyd Gunn) and Clyde both extend their most hearty congratulations upon your graduation and also wish for you much success.  I am mailing a little remembrance today and altho it may be a "little tardy" nevertheless express in a small way out thought of you on this joyous occasion.
With best love from your devoted cousin Daisy G Ezzell.  I think your invitations are lovely.

The Lyman Thomas she mentions is her sister Carolyn "Carrie" Gunn Davis' son.  He was born in 1914 and passed away in 1984.  He married Lenna Coles in Nashville in 1940.  

And apparently, Lyman Thomas Davis' dreams of becoming a dairy farmer came true!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moran Family Christmas Photo 1954

A few days late but the holiday season hasn't completely passed so the picture is still relevant! Taken in the first floor front parlor of the Moran home in Dresden Tennessee.

Back row from left to right:
Maria (Ria) Furman Moran, Nathan Harrell (Bub) Moran, Marion Louise Moran, James H. Moran IV, Betty McCloskey Moran

Middle row from left to right:
Charles Harrell  (Brud) Moran, Virginia Shumate Moran, James H. Moran III, Sandra Jane Moran (17yrs)

Front row from left to right:
James H. Moran V (11yrs), John W. Moran (6yrs), Dottie Louise Moran (13yrs), Margaret M. Moran (8yrs), E. Virginia Moran (15 yrs)

The relationships:
Charles H. Moran and James H. Moran are brothers.  Charles never married.  James H. Moran III married Virginia Shumate.  Their children are James H. Moran IV, Nathan Harrell Moran, and Marion Louis Moran.  

James H. Moran IV married Betty McCloskey.  All of the children in the picture belong to them.

Nathan H. Moran married Maria Fuhrman in Germany when he was stationed there.

Marion Louise Moran was single in 1954 but later married Dr. Robert Wrisley Atkins of Rochester, New York.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Methodist Missionary Couple Identified, 1890 Kobe Japan

Willard Elmer Towson and his wife
Emily/Emma Hatton and daughter
Manie Cooper Towson.  Kobe Japan June 1890.
Manie was born in Healdsburg, CA, Dec 3, 1889.
According to the announcement in the paper she was
"a 10 pounder!"
Several months ago I had come across an entry in the Dresden Enterprise dated June 29, 1883 that said "Miss Emma Hatton of Nashville, assistant state librarian, is visiting her cousin Mrs. J.W. Moran."  Neither my husband nor I had ever heard of any Hattons in his family tree so I filed the information away for another day in order to follow more pressing leads in the Moran family genealogy.

On November 3, 2011, I had posted an image of a man, woman, and Japanese child taken in Kobe Japan, 1890, and posted it to The Victorian Hoarders blog.  The picture was taken by a rather famous Japanese photographer named S. Ichida.  We had no idea who the people were.  Friends? Family?  Missionaries was a sure bet but other than that, no clue.

Brig. Gen. Robert Hatton
Then last night I came across the Enterprise entry again and wondered who Emma Hatton was and how she was a cousin to Sophia Riley Gunn Moran.  So I took a few minutes to see what I could dig up. I wasn't able to find their ancestor in common as yet but  I did find that Emma Hatton had married Willard Elmore Towson, a Methodist Preacher, and that the couple had spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as Missionaries, along with Emma's mother Sophie K. Reilly Hatton. Sophie Hatton was married to General Robert Hopkins Hatton.  There is an excellent article about General Hatton including genealogical information about his parents, siblings, wife and children.

Sophie K. Reilly Hatton
According to the Handbook of Methodist Missions published in 1893, Rev. W.E. Towson and wife of the Pacific Conference arrived February 20, 1890 as part of the missionary reinforcements for Kobe Japan.  "In addition to the duties of Treasurer, Brother Towson had charge of Osaka Circuit.  Four regular services were held each week.  He had a class of bright young men who met daily for Bible study."  His wife was not able to devote time as a full missionary due to taking care of and schooling their three children.  However, according to the obituary of her mother that appeared in the Confederate Veteran her mother, Sophie Hatton, took over the duties of schooling her grandchildren so that her daughter Emily could fully embrace and enter life as a full missionary.

Bells and whistles were going off all over the place for me.  I immediately was struck by the similarity of names for Sophia K Reilly and Sophia Riley Gunn.  The next thing I remembered was a picture taken in Japan of a missionary couple that I had written about in November.  I think it is safe to say that the couple in the picture is Willard Elmer Towson and his wife Emma Hatton Towson.  On a side note, census records list her as Emily H. Towson.  Emily was probably her given name but she was probably called Emma by family and friends.

With that mystery cleared up I am now on the trail of the Moran/Gunn/Reilly/Hatton family connection.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Year, A New Look

Just a small sample of the many hats the Moran women owned.
I started the Moran blog May 29, 2011.  Since that time I've posted 149 entries, with this one being the 150th!  The vast amount of information is overwhelming at times.  Sometimes too much information is a curse and not a blessing!

With 2012 just a few days away I decided to change the background and spruce it up a bit with some font color changes.  The new background picture was snapped in the attic of the Moran house in Dresden.  Every box is a surprise package and this one contained a lot of women's hats.

Charles H. Moran's Stetson.

Today hats are worn for special occasions such as weddings and funerals but at one time it was considered disgraceful for people to appear in public without a hat and gloves.  Only the lowest of people went bareheaded.  We found hats in the attic and boxes of hats in several closets.  There were drawers filled with gloves as well.  The hats date from the early 1900's to the 1950's.  Hats were not just an adornment for the Moran women as we also found many men's hats as well.

This Stetson and hatbox belonged to Charles Harrell Moran.  He wore size 6 and half.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Perfection Student Lamp, Patented 1880

Perfection Student Lamp, nickel plated, patent 1880.
Still in perfect working order!
This kerosene lamp belonged to John Williamson Moran.  It is a Perfect Student Lamp, nickel plated, and the oil fount is a beautiful emerald green color.  If you're lucky enough to find an oil lamp from that time period most of them have been electrified and the original glass domes are missing or have been replaced.  This one however is in excellent working condition, with all original parts and has not been electrified.

John Williamson Moran
Being a businessman & banker I can imagine J.W. Moran  at his desk in the evenings pouring over bank statements and correspondence as well as reading the newspaper and the latest edition of the Confederate Veteran by the light of his desk lamp.

1893 Letter of Recommendation

When Fannie Moran chose an occupation she followed in the footsteps of her mother, Sophia Riley Gunn Moran, and became a school teacher.  Even though the Moran's were financially well off the Moran children were expected to attend school, have a career and if possible, get married.  In March 1893, Fannie was 20 years and 4 months old.  Having completed her education she was now looking for employment and needed letters of recommendation,

Reverend William Thomas Harris was the nephew of Tennessee's Governor Isham G. Harris who served from 1857-1862.  William's father, Reverend George Washington Davidson Harris, was Isham's older brother.  William's mother was Elizabeth A. Dewitt.  William T. Harris was married to Mary Woods and had several children with her.  After she passed away in 1873 he married her sister Georgia Woods and they also had children.  The Woods family was from Carroll County Tennessee.  On a side note...the Moran's had Harris relatives in Carroll County, Harriet Harris (Fannie's Grandmother) who married James Henderson Moran (Fannie's Grandfather). In addition, Haywood Harris (Harriet's brother) married Elizabeth Hairston Woods.  I mention this because I believe that the Moran family is related to Isham G. Harris.  I just haven't stumbled across the ancestor in common as yet.

Reverend W. T. Harris thought highly enough of Fannie to provide her with a very nice letter of recommendation:

"W.T. Harris
Presiding Elder
Union : City : District,
Martin, Tenn, March 23rd 1893

I take pleasure in saying I have known Miss Fannie Moran for a number of years.  She is of one of the best families in the South.  She is well educated & in my judgment, well qualified to teach in any of our schools.  I recommend her most cheerfully."

It's very possible when he says Fannie is qualified to teach in any of "our" schools that he meant a school affiliated with the Methodist Church as he was a Methodist Preacher and the Moran's were Methodists.

When Rev. Harris passed away there was an obituary in the Nashville Christian Advocate, 1902:

Reverend William (Will) T. Harris born Gibson co., Tenn., May 13, 1833; licensed to preach in Methodist Church, summer 1852; nephew of Governor Isham G. Harris, Tenn.; served in General Forrest's command, CSA, Civil War. Doctor of Divinity degree bestowed upon him by Trinity College, N.C., in 1877; married (1) Mary Woods, 1854; 6 children; she died in 1873; (2) Georgia Woods, one child (died infancy); died in Jackson, Tenn., Oct. 13, 1901; burial in Martin, Tenn.  Surviving children were Mrs. Lillian Dickard, Texas; Mrs. Annie Hayden, Jackson; Rev. Edmond Sidney Harris, Clinton, Ky.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

James H. Moran IV, 1931 High School Graduation. Part 2

The previous blog entry about James H. Moran IV featured his picture and congratulatory cards for his high school graduation.  Young Jim had the responsibility of giving the Salutatory speech at the graduation ceremony.  We have his handwritten speech with strikethroughs and corrections included.  In addition we a complete copy of the commencement exercises for the Dresden High School class of 1931.

Page 1, draft Salutatory speech
Tonight is the summary of a twelve year chronicle.  We are considering things in retrospect, but we are thinking most of the future.  Modern youth is very out-spoken in fact the truth is too great that way. in that direction older critics consider the trend too great that way.  But the graduation of every graduation senior class in history, the speeches/addresses made at the occasion, have lauded it (each class) as the best.  We do not deceive ourselves.  This school or any other school has never produced a senior class in which every senior here lived/fulfilled up to the expations (sic) of his friends.  We recieve (sic) from life just what we put into it. contribute to life.  We are not trying to discourage ourselves, but are only looking at things as they really are/actually exist.  If we decieve (sic) our selves now, we are hurting our selves injuring in the future.  Now is the time to consider and profit by our mistakes of the past and draw conclusions/there from wisdom which will govern our future actions.  We are not going out  just launching into life and High school is not a place to prepare for life/ completion of lifes preparation.  We have been living in high school and as we have done things here we will be inclined to do their act in the future.   If we have formed bad habits already it is not to late to correct them but this correction will become more difficult every/each day.  As we look back we realize that we should/could have studied more.  We should have been more considerate of our teachers and school mates.  We are not discouraged by past mistakes.  We visualize the future with confidence and trust that every fate may carry, we shall always reflect credit and honor for our Alma Mater.

Page 2, draft salutatory speech

The Commencement Exercises covered a period of several days.  One night there was a Musical Recital, another was the Senior Play.  Jim was in the senior play, the Smiling Cow, as Uncle Ben Billinger.  There was also a Declamation Contest, Baccalaureate Sermon and the final day is the Senior Graduating ceremony.

James H. Moran IV, 1931 High School Graduation. Part 1

James Henderson Moran IV was born April 7, 1913 and passed away December 30, 2000.  He was the eldest child of James Henderson Moran III and Virginia Shumate.  Jim graduated from Dresden High School in 1931.  The graduation brochures and cards were found at the Moran family home in Dresden, Tennessee.

James Henderson Moran IV
I believe this is his graduation picture.
Mrs. Charles Henry Cobb was his aunt Marion Moran

Side two of card from Marion.  "I am so proud of you and
feel sure the future holds great things in store
for you. Devotedly,
"Aunt Marion"

From Mrs. Eula Chandler and
Mrs. Mary Padgett

Front Cover of the Card from "Dot"

Inside Cover of the Card from "Dot"

Sentiment page of card from "Dot"

Card from Mary Sue Mooney, side 1. She was
the daughter of Rev. Wellborn Mooney and
Sue Dromgoole Mooney, the local school
Dear James:-Under separate cover I am sending you a little package full of every good wish and sincere congratulations.  I wish I could see you graduate.  I heard such golden good things about you when I was in Dresden last summer that it made me very proud of you. Remember me to the whole family.  I hope to see you this summer. With Love, Mary Sue Mooney.  Arkadelphia, Arkansas May 15, 1931
Card from Mary Sue Mooney, side 2

From Lester and Maude McCuan.  At one time the Moran's and McCuan's
co-owned an automobile dealership in Dresden Tennessee.

The Dreadnaught was the name of the High School paper.  We have the complete issue, this one is from February 1931.  You can see that James Moran was the paper's Business Manager.

The next blog will be a continuation of this one.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Season's Greetings from Jenny Lind York, 1931

This Christmas card was sent to James Henderson Moran IV in 1931 from Jenny Lind York of Memphis, Tennessee.  
Season's Greetings to All of You
From The Moran's of West Tennessee
December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dresden TN, ca 1920's photographs

These stamps were found among the papers of James Henderson Moran IV. We believe they date from the  mid 1920's to the mid 1930's.

The Weakley County Court House was built in 1858 and was lost to a fire in 1948.  For more information about the courthouse and the fire read the article that appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

West Side of the Public Square in Dresden TN

East Side of the Public Square in Dresden TN

Methodist Church S., Dresden Tennessee.
The first Church was built in 1833.  The Moran family were members and helped in many ways.  In the 1800's, Mrs. Sophia Riley Gunn Moran, along with Mrs. C.W. Cottrell, aided in selecting new pulpit furniture.  Both ladies donated one chair each.  Mr. John Williamson Moran planted the trees and cared for them for many years.

Residence of D.C. Bower, Dresden, Tennessee.

Dresden Tennessee Fair Grounds.

1908 Letter, Doubtless You will be Surprised...

Even in 1908 people were interested in genealogy.  This letter is from Willie W. Moran of Boswell, Oklahoma.  He was the Assistant Cashier at the First National Bank in Boswell, the identical position that Charles Harrell Moran held at the Dresden Bank in Dresden, TN.  Willie came across Charles name in the bank directory and thought they might be related.  I haven't done extensive research but what I've found seems to indicate these two Moran's may share a last name but they don't share the same family line.  There is an extensive genealogy page devoted to Willie Moran's line if you are interested.  

Willie's grandfather was Madison Moran and he was the son of James Edwin Moran and Mattie C. Brown.  He was "borned" close to Water Valley, Mississippi in 1868.  Interestingly enough some of his family ended up in Lonoke County Arkansas which is where many of my Billings relatives lived.  As a matter of fact, according to the 1920 Census these Morans were on page 17 and the Billings were on page 32.  There's a good chance that they knew each other.  Later Willie and his family moved to Honey Grove Texas.  When he was about 37 they moved to Boswell, Oklahoma.  He doesn't mention having a wife or children and he makes no reference to being a preacher which according to the history of his family he was married three times, to sister, and he was a preacher.

May 4th 1908

Mr C.H. Moran,
Dresden, Tenn.
Dear Sir:-
Doubtless you will be surprise to get this letter form me, but looking through the Bank Directory, I found your name as Ass't. Cashier, of the Dresden Bank, and as you xxx spell your name same as mine thought I would write and see if we were related.
My grandfathers name was Madison Moran, and would be something over 90 years old if he was living.  He died when he was about 60 years old.  I know one of his brothers name but never did see him, his name was John.  He died close to Arkadelphia Ark.  Grand Pa died close to Little Rock Ark.  Grand Pa mooved from near Water Valley Miss. when he came to Arkansaw.  My Fathers name is Edwin Moran, and is living now close to where Grand Pa died.  I was borned close to Water Valley Miss., and we mooved to Arkansaw when I was five years old and I lived there till I was 23 years old and went from there to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Honey Grove, Texas, where I lived for nearly fifteen years and then came from there to this place and have been here nearly three years.I was 40 years old this past January,and, my Father, was 62 loast month.  I am the Ass't. Cashier, of the First National Bank, of this place as you will see from the heading of this letter.  I have been with these people little over one year xxx.Business is very quiet here now as we made a complete failure on cotton last year.  Corn was good.  The prospect is very gloomey for the time of year for a crop.  The timber business is quite an item with us in this country.  Trusting to hear from you soon, I remain, 
Yours very truly,
Willie W. Moran

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Judge and Mrs Joseph E. Jones and the Night Rider Trials, 1908 Tennessee

Today I came across the obituary and death certificate for Mrs. Jones.  She was born March 21, 1866 in Camden, Tennessee.  Her parents were William Hill of Virginia and Mahuldah Perry of Tennessee.  Mrs. Jones died December 7, 1938 in Dresden, Tennessee.  Her husband, Judge Joseph E. Jones, was born October 29 1857 in Carroll County Tennessee and he died August 8, 1922 in Dresden, Tennessee.

Mrs. Joseph E. Jones
Widow of Prominent Dresden
  Judge Dies of Heart Attack
DRESDEN, Tenn, Dec. 7 -- Mrs.
Joseph E. Jones, a resident of Dresden
since 1902, died of a heart attack
at her home here tonight at 7 o'clock.
  Mrs. Jones was a native of Benton
County.  Her husband, the late
Judge J.E. Jones, presided in 1908
at the famous night-riding cases in
Union city.  A son, Herbert Jones,
was the first casualty in France
from Weakley County during
the World War.
  She was a member of the Methodist
Church and active in church work.
  She leaves two sons, H.E. Jones
and Arthur Jones of Dresden.
  Funeral services, conducted by
the Rev. W.E. Mischke, will be
held at the Dresden Methodist Church
at 1030 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Burial will be in Dresden cemetery.

Read more about the Night Rider Trials at the Tennessee State Library Archives.

Historical Newspapers- MORRIS - CURLIN - GIBBS - RANKIN - HOGG - LONG - JONES
1909-01-03-AUGUSTA CHRONICLE-Georgia
Conscience-Stricken She Tells the Truth
Mrs. Morris On being Recalled Said Husband Was not at Home-Hurried From County Under Guard
Union City, Tenn, Jan 2 - The defense rested its case in the night rider trials this afternoon and the state began its rebuttal testimony which will be concluded Monday.  The grand jury likewise made its final return, including several indictments, and was discharges. When court adjourned until Monday Mrs. Wade Morris, whose sensation confession of perjury today was the star feature of the trial accompanied by her husband and baby, under the protection of six soldiers left for Dresden, Weakley county where she will live in the future
She was in such terror of her life that she did not even wait to get her other two children or her personal effects.  The state put but one witness on the stand before adjourning.  Bob Curlin, driver of the hack which plies between Union city and Walnut Log, on the Lake.  Curlin drove some of the defense's witnesses to Walnut Log the night the fish docks were burned and saw them leave his conveyance to join the night riders.  On cross examination he said he took two quarts of whiskey with him on the drive and at the end of it had a little less than a quart left.  Asked if this had not made him "feel his oats," he grew indignant and replied:
"What, drunk on a quart in an hour's drive?  Why, I can prove by Uncle Bill Gibbs that I drink a quart before breakfast and never feel it"  Asserting that on the witness stand yesterday that she had deliberately perjured herself for the defense and conscience-stricken, desired to tell the truth, Mrs. Morris, wife of one of the eight alleged night riders, asked to be recalled today.  

Wade Morris swore he was present the night Captain Rankin was killed and recognized some of the defendants.  Mrs Morris, his wife, on the stand yesterday, swore that her husband was home that night.  She left the stand pale and trembling and sent for the attorney general "I have done a great wrong," she said.  "I have told a lie.  My husband was not at home that night.  He was with the riders.  I was forced by my relatives to testify as I did.  I want to see my husband "Her brother-in-law tried to get her to leave the city
with him but the attorney general ordered him away and took Mrs. Morris to her husband.  The meeting of the young husband and wife, separated since October 30, was silent but pathetic.  After alibi witnesses had been called today the attorney general asked that Mrs. Morris be permitted to correct her testimony.  She took the stand and said "I was persuaded to tell a lie yesterday on the stand.  I was told by Joe Hogg and Jack Long that unless I swore that my husband was at home that night the soldiers would hang him.  They also threatened me and I was afraid, so I told this lie.  Now I want to tell the truth.  "The witness bore the taunts and innuendoes of the defendant's attorneys and the glares of the indicted men patiently but she was badly frightened, and often seemed on the point of collapsing.  She declared the attorney general refused to listen to her until she summoned some of her relatives to advise her.  The defense attempted to show that some of theaccused men were Odd Fellows.  Judge Jones sharply shut out the testimony with the remark, "Odd Fellows must be tried the same as anyone else in this court."