Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mrs. M.E. Clark's Select School for Young Ladies, Nashville Tenn

Young ladies from well-to-do families were often sent away to boarding schools.  Miss Fannie L. Moran was no exception.  She attended Mrs. M.E. Clark's Select School for Young ladies in Nashville, TN and also Price's School in Nashville.  Today's find from the collection of Moran papers includes the front cover of Fannie's school tablet which she signed and dated Dec 17- 1888.  On the inside of the cover she listed the date as Dec 18-1888.  The inscription shows that she was attending Mrs. M.E. Clarke's School and she also listed the names of perhaps some of her classmates and where they were from as well.

Here is a letter dated Aug. 28, 1889 from Mrs. B.A. Johnson, Principal to Fannie Moran (b. Oct 23, 1872 - d. May 3, 1955) exhorting Fannie to become a "thoroughly cultured woman" and that Fannie might be "a sincere Christian, no woman's life is complete without full communion with the church, and of course I mean the Methodist Church".  Fannie was 16 when this letter was written.  
(full transcription is at the end of this post.

Here is the backside of the letter with an explanation 
as to why Mrs. Clark located her school one mile east of the Nashville city limits.  

Transcription of the letter dated Aug 28, 1889, Nashville, TN
From Miss B.A. Johnson, Principal, Select School for Young Ladies
To Miss Fannie Moran

My dear Fannie,
I have only time to acknowledge the receipt of your sweet letter, am fully repaid if my letter re-established pleasant and friendly relations between us.  I wish you abundant success in your pursuit of knowledge.  I know your mind and what you are capable of accomplishing and shall be disappointed if you do not make a thoroughly cultured woman.  Above all I trust you may be a sincere Christian, no woman's life is complete without full communion with the Church, and of course I mean the Methodist Church.  Write me some time Fannie of your efforts in this direction (corner torn off so a word or two are missing) to your mama.  I shall certainly expect to see (missing corner) when in Nashville, telephone me 993. (then on the left side written vertically she says) Ever read Emerson's Traits of Character?  Much love from your (corner missing)
Bessie Johnson

Fannie Moran went on to become the State's first Democratic national committeewoman after serving as Tennessee legislative chairman for the American Women's Suffrage Association.  She was also active in her church and various clubs.  I'm fairly certain that Fannie Moran exceeded the expectations that Bessie Johnson expressed in her letter to Fannie.

Dresden Dry Goods

After he served in the U.S. Civil War but before he was a bank president, J.W. Moran was busy selling goods to save up enough money to open his own business in Dresden, TN.  Going through the paperwork I've found purchase after purchase where he was buying goods to stock his store which was called Dresden Dry Goods.  He was purchasing from a variety of cities including Nashville, Cincinnati, Louisville, Philadelphia, and New York.  I'll be posting more of these documents but for now here are two I pulled at random from one of the boxes.

J. & S.B. Sachs were boot and shoe sellers out of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Per The Northeastern Reporter "the firm of J. & S.B. Sachs failed, and made a voluntary assignment of all their assets for the benefit of their creditors, and ceased to do business thereafter". 

In a book about Prominent Kentuckians author Benjamin LaBree has this to say about Josiah Baker Gathright: "In the Civil War (he) commanded company of cavalry under Gen. Morgan.  Was for a time on the Mall" and as quartermaster organized factories and re-quipped the command after the disastrous Ohio raid. After the Civil War, in 1866, Mr. Gathright founded the saddlery and harness business of J.B. Gathright in Louisville, and later took in John J. Harbison under firm name of Harbison & Gathright". Below is a receipt dated Oct 6, 1880 to J.W. Moran from Harbison & Gathright for payment received.

Friday, June 17, 2011

RMS Titanic - Dresden Enterprise dated April 26, 1912

On April 26, 1912, the big news story on the front page of the Dresden Enterprise was the death of John W. Moran who had passed away on April 12 and The Dresden Banks New President, James H. Moran III.  Buried on page six was an article about the sinking of the Titanic.
It's interesting to note that the reporter, in the midst of such a tragedy, felt it necessary to give a 
fashion report on Mrs. John Jacob Aster. "She was dressed in a black Astrakan coat
and walked with difficulty." 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

1937 West Tennessee Sweet Potato Festival - Dresden TN

Before there was a Tennessee Iris Festival, Dresden hosted the West Tennessee Sweet Potato Festival September 22-24, 1937 - "The First Event of Its Kind in History of Nation" according to the front cover of the program!  Charles Harrell Moran was on the Board of Directors and held the position of Chairman for this event.  Why a sweet potato festival?  Because at that time Weakley County Tn was the second largest grower of sweet potatoes in the United States!  There's also another post and a letter from George Washington Carver wishing Charles Moran every success on the Festival.

1937 Dresden Sweet Potato Festival
   use the scroll bar to the right to view the entire program.

Honored guest speakers included Memphis Mayor Watkins Overton, Tennessee Governor Gordon Browning, and others.  The Festival included a horse show, beauty revue, Queen's Ball, Grand Float Parade and more!

Here is the official press release and program sheet for the Festival:

News Matter for immediate release.
With Mayor Overton of Memphis having accepted an invitation to be the honor guest of the West Tennessee Sweet Potato Festival to be held in Dresden on Sept. 22-24, and with plans complete for the various forms of amusement and entertainment, the committee in charge feels that the public can now be assured an event of more than the usual character.

A resume of the three days features follows:

First Day, Sept 22 ---1:30 pm band concert; 2 pm grand march to school campus and exhibit hall; 2:30 formal opening of Sweet Potato Festival; welcome address by Edward Maiden, Jr; 2:45; introduction of hostess queen; 3 pm broncho breaking by the Rev. L.M. Real, pastor Greenfield U.S.A. Presbyterian church; 4 p.m. Boy Scout Soap Box Derby, Night session: Annual festival horse show, Tennessee's classics, with $250 in awards.

Second Day; Sept 23: Band Concert by several bands and bugle corps.  Drill by Boy Scouts and Eagle Corps.  Free act on festival grounds; expert and fancy shooting by Herbert Persons, representing Winchester Arms co; 4:30 pm Concert by Swift's Jewel Cowboys; 5:30 pm, address by Mayor Watkins Overton of Memphis and Governor Gordon Browning. 7 pm Concert at school auditorium by Jewel Cowboys.

Third Day: Sept 24; 7:30pm selection and coronation of new queen for West Tennessee who will be the official "Miss Nancy Hall" for 1937-38.  10 pm Festival Queen's hall, high school gym.  Music by Husk O'Hare's Ochestra.

The fact first prize of $25 in case on best grade hamper of sweet potatoes will be awarded is attracting wide-spread attention.  Competition is open to all sweet potato growers of West Tennessee.  The complete premium list follows:
Judging will be done according to score card worked out by Division of Extension and Marketing Service.
Class 1.  For best peck of graded Sweet Potatoes, any variety-- $25.00, $12.00, $7.50, $5.00, $2.50, $1.50, $1.00-By F.A. Nants, Gleason.
Class 2. Best bushel of graded Sweet Potatoes (hamper) any variety--$25.00, $12.00, $7.50, $5.00, $2.50, $1.50, $1.00-By F.A. Nants, Gleason.
Class 3.  Best peck of graded Sweet Potato seed, any variety--$5.00, $4.00, $3.00, $2.00, $1.00.
Class 4.  Best Community Display showing improved method of selecting seed, keeping fields free from disease, practices for maintaining soil fertility--1-2 arrangement, 1-3 educational value, 1-3 display--$25, $12.50, $7.50
Class 5.  Best display of Flowers (as a community or individual, for amateurs only)--$10.00, $5.00.
Prize winning Potatoes will be claimed by the Sweet Potato Festival and will not be returned to the owners.

The Swift Jewel Cowboys appeared in concert on Sept 23 1937 and gave a special night time performance, for a small admission fee, that evening. To get a feel for their music and what people were listening to click on the MP3 link below to hear the Swift Jewel Cowboys in all their glory. My favorite is the Coney Island Washboard, I think it might be the third song that plays.

After the beauty revue came the highly anticipated Queen's Ball with "music by Husk O'Hare, the Genial Gentleman of the Air, and his 10 musicians and entertainers".  According to O'hare's bio in the Festival Program "he once taught Prince of Wales to play drums"!

Here is Husk O'Hare playing Milenberg Joys.

Husk O'Hare & His Footwarmers - Milenberg Joys by kspm0220s

Other items of interest from the festival:

Compliments of the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co, one free Dr. Pepper

Official envelope of the Festival

Official letterhead of the Festival

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Virginia Shumate Moran

I came across this Gibson Girl style picture of Virginia Shumate Moran today while going through boxes that we've had in our storage shed for a couple of years.  I must say it was a lovely surprise to find this and many other items that I hope to scan and share with everyone.  
The photographers hallmark is "Milloy" in Memphis, TN.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moran - Shumate Wedding Articles in The Tennessean, November 1911

James Henderson Moran III and Virginia Shumate were married on November 22, 1911, in Newbern TN. This is the shower and wedding announcement as it was reported in The Tennessean. These clippings were among the papers from Virginia Shumate Moran's desk in Dresden, TN.

Shower for Bride-Elect

(Written for last week's Tennessean) 
  An unusually charming occasion was the miscellaneous shower given by Mrs. Louis G. Norvell Friday,November 17, in honor of Miss Virginia Shumate whose marriage to Mr. James
Moran, of Dresden, Tenn., will be the notable even in social circles on Wednesday, November 22.

  A gracious welcome was extended to the guests by Mrs. Norvell who was lovely in white media elaborately hand-embroidered in lavender. 

 The honoree was beautiful in a handsome gown of lavender broadcloth.
 The hostess was assisted in receiving by Miss Martha Belle Shumate.  In blue crepe-de-chene, Miss Olive Fields of  Dyersburg, in hand-embroidered media with trimmings of real lace, and Miss Grace Shelton, of Covington, in white

  The entire lower floor was thrown together, and the attractive decorations, carrying out the color motif of  green and white were artistically arranged.  

  After Mrs. E. Marion Clerc had pres- ented each guest with a daintily hand-painted score card they were invited 

into the beautiful dining room where Mrs. Franklin Grisham, in her usual charming manner, served punch.

  Rook was played, and upon compario-son of scores, Mesdames William L. Cawthon and Alfred Williams were highest for the drawing.  Mrs. Williams was successful in receiving the ex-quisite cut glass vase.

  Intense interest was manifested when the bride-elect started in her search  for the many and handsome gifts showered upon her by her friends.

  Mrs. Norvell made a unique feature in this part of the entertainment by forming an immense spider net of green

ribbon - each ribbon led to the hiding place of some gift.

  The Misses Dickey charmingly assisted their sister, Mrs. Morvell, in serving a daintily appointed two-course luncheon in which the color scheme of green and white was attractively used.

  The favors were water lilies filled with rice, the latter being used as a farewell shower upon the honoree.

  The invited guests numbered sixty. This shower was pronounced one of  the most elaborate as well as one of the most enjoyable social functions ever given in Newbern. 


  On Wednesday evening November 22nd at 7 o'clock in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, before a brilliant assemblage, Miss Virginia Shumate of this city was united in marriage to Mr. Jas. H. Moran, of Dresden, Tenn.  Never has Newbern seen a prettier wedding. The chancel was a veritable bank of  ferns, palms and hot house flowers,  the decorations being simple, yet artistic.

  The doors of the church were thrown open to the invited guests at 6 o'clock and long before the hour set for the wedding the church was crowded and large numbers were unable to gain admission.

  While awaiting the arrival of the wedding party Miss Annie Lee Hamilton, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Wm. A. Shibley sang a favorite selection of the bride, "oh Fair, Oh Sweet, Oh Holy." Mrs. Shibley presiding at the organ rendered the wedding march and the music during the ceremony. 

  To the strains of Mendelssohn's the bridal party entered the church. The ushers, L.W. Hughes of Memphis, and Wm. A. Shibley entered on the left while C E. Dickey, of Wynne, Ark., and John M. Drane came in on the right. The Bridesmaids, Miss Grace Shelton, of Covington, Tenn., and Miss Olive Fields, of Dyersburg, both lovely in white satin with draperies of chiffon ?n???ce, and empire sashes of green,  each carrying maiden hair ferns tied with spangled green tulle, came next with N.B. Gentry and Harry Jones, of Dresden. The Maid of Honor, Miss Martha Belle Shumate, in green and white crepe meteor, combined with gold cloth, and carrying Killarney roses, never appeared to better advantage or looked prettier than on this occasion. She entered with Dr. Mayo, of Dresden. 

  The bride in her gown of Duchess Satin paneled with Venetian lace, veil caught with Lilies of the Valley, and bearing in her arms a magnificent bouquet of roses and orchids, showered with Valley Lilies was radiant and beautiful. The Bride was accompanied by her Matron of Honor, Mrs. J. V.  Thomas, who was regal and charming in her creation of white messaline with overdress of silver embroidered chiffon and garniture of pearls and carrying a sheath bouquet of white roses. 

  The groom with his Best Man, Mr Harold (sic) Moran, came from the vestry entrance and met the Bride at the altar, where Rev. J.H. Thomas, using the beautiful and impressive ring ceremony, united them in marriage. 

  After the wedding an informal reception was had at the home of Mr. Q. Shumate. Among the out of town guests at the wedding and reception were Hon. and Mrs. F.J. Garrett, Harold (sic) Moran, Harry Jones, Dr. Mayo and Mr. Thomason of Dresden, Mr. and Mrs. Cobb and daughter, of Union City, Mrs. Belle Williams of Hickman, Ky., C.P. Shumate and wife, A.M. Tyler and wife of Hickman, KY., Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Thomas, of Paducah, Ky., Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Newman of Memphis, L.W. Hughes, of Memphis and C.F. Dickey of Wynne, Ark. 

  Mr. and Mrs. Moran were the recipients of many beautiful and costly gifts, attesting the high esteem in which the young couple are held by the army of friends. The Groom's gift to his Bride was a beautiful diamond pendant, while the gift of the Groom's father was a chest of silver. 

  Mr. and Mrs. Moran took passage on an evening train for New Orleans and other points South where they will spend several weeks, after which they will be at home in Dresden. The Bride's going away gown was gray, with hat and accessories to match. 

  Mrs. Moran was one of Newbern's prettiest and most charming girls and will be greatly missed in the social life of our city. However, what is Newbern's loss is Dresden's gain. 

  Mr. Moran is a banker of Dresden and stands high socially, and in the business world of his home town. 

  The Tennessean extends to the happy twain its warmest congratulations and wishes for them a long, happy and prosperous married life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Entertainment in the 1800's

Entertainment was simple in the 1800's.  This is the program for the evenings Entertainment presented by the pupils of the Dresden Academy, Tuesday Evening, June 5.  No year is indicated but one of the songs that night  was a popular Victorian parlour song called "Come into the Garden Maud" by Alfred Tennyson, written in 1857.  So we know the program came after 1857 and probably sometime prior to 1900.

Found among the papers of Charles (Brud) Harrell Moran.

Martha Belle Shumate and Dr. Harry Lester Baum Wedding Invitation

Martha Belle Shumate was Virginia Shumate Moran's cousin.   After the death of  Virginia's father, Quincy Shumate became her foster father.  This announcement was found among her papers.  Martha was Harry's first wife.
A few years later Martha and Virginia were visiting each other with their firstborn children.

Bess, Marion and Hugh

Unlike so many of the pictures we have this one does not have a photographers name stamp or city.  However, on the back side it tells us that we are looking at Bess, Marion, and Hugh.
**Updated 10/22/2011  The children are Bessie Barr, Marion Moran, and Hugh Barr, Jr.
Since Marion is still a baby here that would put this picture being taken about 1886.
For more information about the Barr's see the Oct. 23 blog entry, Barr None.

Images from Times Past

Amongst all of the boxes of paperwork there are so many images of people that we are unable to identify or that have a name but to us, they still are unknown.  These people meant something to the Moran's because they kept the pictures.  And who knows, some of these unknown people may be unidentified relatives. No matter who they are, I intend to memorialize them in this blog. 

This first image is almost lost to us simply due to age and exposure to light.  There's nothing to indicate who he was but the photo was taken by R.C. Council in Wingo, KY.

This tintype was found just as you see it.  No frame or protective covering.   Just two interesting  ladies of the day.  I particularly like the bow at the back of the neck of the girl on the left.  Given their austere looking clothing that bow says "Look at me, I have a playful side!" 

And this little girl is Miss Aggie Doherty.  Doing a search on didn't reveal any "Aggie" Doherty's but there were several Agnes Doherty's born in the late 1800's in Tennessee.  Could one of them be her?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Charles.H. Moran's Tinbox

Today I came across a tinbox that had belonged to Charles H. Moran, known to most people as Brud.  There are nine items in the box: 
  1. Reunion U.C.V Louisville, June, 1905 badge picturing John C. Breckinridge
  2. Reunion U.C.V Louisville, May, 1900 badge picturing Robert E. Lee
  3. Metal badge edged in filigree, engraved with C.H. Moran
  4. One old key
  5. A small leather pouch, probably contained item no. 1
  6. One cravat (bow tie), that would have gone over a collar
  7. 8 "Best French Bone Collar Buttons" made in France (still attached to blue card)
  8. Leather cardholder with a lion, possibly embossed or drawn on it
  9. Small black holder that says "Compliments of T.A. McElwrath, Dresden, Tenn." on one side and on the other it says "Hamilton, Brown Shoe, Largest Shoe House in the World".  The inside panels say ""Hamilton Brown Shoe Co.'s Security School Shoes, Wear Longest" and "American Lady for women. American Gentleman for men.  In each shoe is reflected the Sterling Quality of Its Namesake".