Friday, January 13, 2012

Flavius J. Ewing, Jr Laid to rest 1890

This death notice was among the papers of Fannie Moran.  I don't know yet if the Ewing clan is related to Morans but I do know that there were Ewings living in Dresden and if not related, were at least very good friends.

Friday night at ten o'clock,
Flavius J. Ewing, Jr.,
Son of F.J. and Mary Ewing.
Aged fourteen years, eleven months and two days.
Services at residence to-morrow (Sunday)
at two o'clock p.m.,
Conducted by Rev. F.B.Webb.
Burial at Rose Hill Cemetery.
Columbia, Sept. 13th, 1890

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1848-1943, John Williamson Harris, Head of Confederate Veterans

This is just one of the many newspaper clippings saved by Virginia Shumate Moran.  The article appeared in the Memphis Press Scimitar in 1938.  John Williamson Harris was born in Tennessee in 1848.  His grandparents were Williamson Harris and Elizabeth Battle Perry.  John's sister, Harriet Harris, married John Henderson Moran which makes him my husbands first cousin three times removed.  He and his family moved to Oklahoma probably sometime after 1880.  His wife was Susan Corilla Wall.  They had five children Eva Harris, John Williamson Harris Jr, Edna Harris, Albert Harris and Bessie Harris.  His parents were Albert Gallatin Harris and Lucy Pernecia Gilbert.

90 Year Old Head of Confederate Vets, A Teetotaler, Will introduce Liquor Bill
At Next Session of Legislature In Oklahoma
By Ada Gilkey
Press Scimitar Staff Writer
A 90 year old teetotaler by choice, General John W. Harris, newly elected commander of the United Confederate Veterans, plans to introduce a local option liquor bill in the Oklahoma Legislature at its next session.

"We're drinking bad whisky and drinking it illegally-feeling like we're stealing," General Harris declared yesterday.  "We might as well drink good whisky, drink it legally, and get for Oklahoma some of the whisky revenue that's now going to Arkansas."

The general, guest of Mr. and Mrs. Ben C. Mathes, 1188 Minna, used the editorial "we," but he has no notion of partaking of strong drink, legally or illegally.

"Drank so much as a young man that I'm preserved," he said humorously.  "My stomach's copper-lined I do believe.  But some years ago I decided I'd cut out drinking and I did-just like that!"-snapping his fingers.

Honored By UDC
Seven chapters of United Daughters of the Confederacy honored him with a reception at Hotel Gayoso yesterday.  He "went home" to the Mathes residence to put on a white shirt for the event.  Earlier in the day, he saw the sights and visited The Press-Scimitar wearing a sporty blue plaid shirt and a polka-dot tie with his long-tailed, gold braided uniform and gold-banded felt hat.

The general was born at McKenzie, Tenn., and is proud of it.

"Must you know how old I am?" he asked joikingly.  "You see, I'm a widower! Born in '48 and this is '38.  That makes me 90 years young."

General Harris farmed at McKenzie for some time after the war, then traveled for a Louisville wholesale firm before going to Oklahoma City, where he has oil interests and is commissioner of the state pension board.  He works regularly from 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.  His wife and three children died some years ago.

More Reunions?  "Sure!"
"I want to do what I can for the veterans," he said.  "Alfalfa Bill Murray cut the veterans' pensions in Oklahoma from $40 to $29 a month.  I'm going to try to get it raised again.  I'm also interested in making the next reunion a good reunion.  Where it will be ought to be settled in the next two weeks.  I favor Trinidad, Col. No more reunions?  They've been saying that for the last 20 years--and we're going to have them as long as any of us is able to go."

The general had "an elegant time" at the joint reunion of Confederate and Union soldiers at Gettysburg.
"we joshed one another," he relates.  "I told those Yanks, 'There're 1500 of you and only 500 of us.  We'll get in a bunch and forgive you all at one time.  According to numbers present, we have to do three times as much forgiving as you."

The general gets winded when he gives the rebel yell, but he obliged with the Indian yell he and fellow soldiers used mostly.  With friends, he visited Reelfoot yesterday, driving from McKenzie in two hours.  The trip in war times took two days!

With Forrest
An orderly for Colonel Greer in Buford's Division under Forrest's command, General Harris carried hundreds of dispatches for General Forrest as well as his colonel.  He lost one, but he was supposed to.  It was a ruse to throw off pursuing Union soldiers with misinformation.

"General Forrest was the greatest cavalry leader in the history of all wars because he didn't fight according to rules," he said.  "He didn't have a military education and he made up his own rules as he went along.  He fooled the enemy all the time.  He didn't ask his men to go where he wouldn't go-he always led."

General Harris had a good horse and was a hard rider, frequently making 40 miles overnight.  He weighed only 96 pounds and today only weighs 116, but is 5 feet 10 1-2 inches tall.

"The war lasted as long as it did because our mothers, wives and sweethearts stayed home and encouraged us and we fought as long as we could get anything to eat," General Harris said.  "I never drew a cent from the Confederacy--was never given a thing except a plug of tobacco and I didn't chew, so I gave it to some of the boys who did."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today in Moran History

Eula Virginia Shumate was born January 10, 1888 in Garrard County, Kentucky.

Happy 124th Birthday Grandmother Virginia!

Sophia Dobson's Mission...Which we chose to accept.

Sophia E. Ezzell and her grandfather,
John Williamson Moran
This post is dedicated to the memory of Sophia Eleanor Ezzell Dobson or as I know her, Aunt Sophie. A few years before I married Kent, he and I took a trip to visit his Aunt Sophie. He had visited her several times, this would be my one and only chance to meet her as she passed away just a few years later. I had heard many things about her such as her ability to make one heckuva Mint Julep.  I had also heard of her love for history.  In particular, her family history was very dear to her heart.  Aunt Sophie loved to tell about the times she would spend with her grandfather, John Williamson Moran.  She would sit on his lap and listen to his stories about the "old days" and his adventures as a Confederate soldier.  She said he once commented upon how she was always so finely dressed that she seemed "to the manor born", as indeed she was.

I wish I had paid more attention back then to what she said but honestly, the names would've meant very little to me at that time.  I remember meeting her son, Matt Dobson and I also remember how he asked Kent if I was the girl he was going to marry.  :)  I remember the beautiful family portraits lining the walls and also the feeling of smallness in a place that seemed dedicated to a different time period.  What I remember most is Aunt Sophie blessing Kent with the mission to research, preserve and report the family history.  We didn't have much to go on back then and life got in the way but this past year we've begun the work in earnest and we hope that Aunt Sophie is proud of what we've accomplished to date.

Lyman Taft Gunn
In my research journeys I have seen many webpages.  On Ken Gunn's website I found portraits that were purported to be of Lyman Taft Gunn (1810 - 1890) and his first wife Caroline M. Morehead (1817 - 1855).  I say purported because like any good researcher I like to have proof of something and as we all know anyone can be a dog on the internet. :)  No offense intended toward Ken, I'm sure his research is superb, I just wanted confirmation.  And I got it.  Last night.

On a side note, Ken's site says that it's okay to "view, borrow, and use any information" on his website that may be helpful in other research so I took him at his word and have copied the images here but I am also giving him credit for his hard work and diligence cause that's the right thing to do!

Caroline M. Morehead
A brief background:  My husband, Kent Moran, is the great great grandson of Dr. Lyman Taft Gunn and Caroline M. Morehead through their daughter Sophia Riley Gunn who married John Williamson Moran.  As a matter of fact at the end of his life Dr. Gunn was living with his daughter and her family in Dresden, Tennessee and it was in their home that he passed away.  He was buried in Nashville's City Cemetery.  Most of the Gunn family headstones are missing.  We have some personal effects of Dr. Gunn's such as his Bible which dates from 1808 and possibly belonged to his mother, Mary Taft Gunn (1793-1810). We found a slip of paper in the Bible with her name written on it.. At some point I will be posting pictures of these items.

Sophia Riley Gunn

Fannie L. Moran

Sophia Gunn Moran's daughter, Fannie Lemira Moran, married James Benjamin Ezzell.  Their daughter, Sophia Eleanor Ezzell (Aunt Sophie) spent a lot of time with her Moran relatives and was enamored of her grandfather, John Williamson Moran who had been in the Civil War.   Sophia grew up and married Matthew H. Dobson and they lived at Harpeth Westover Farm near Nashville.  Kent used to visit his Aunt Sophie at Harpeth and he and I visited her before we were married back in the early 90's.  She was a wonderful woman, southern to the core and very proper.  She made us mint juleps.  It was a great visit.  I wish I had taken the time to look closer at the history of the home and its contents because the Dobson branch of the family is where the portraits of Lyman Taft Gunn and Caroline M. Morehead ended up.  And how do I know this?

Sophia and Matt Dobson's daughter Lillian Ezzell Dobson married William Dunavant Jr of Memphis.  This was the wedding of two powerful families and their socialite children. Articles about their engagement and parties had been appearing in the newspapers for months.  However this article appeared in the Nashville Tennessean June 27, 1952 detailing the wedding of Lillian and William which took place at Harpeth Westover Farm. This article is where I had the "aha" moment last night. Take a close look at the portrait above the mantle. That is the portrait painted sometime in the 1840's of Caroline M Morehead.  It's good to know the portraits are in the family and are well cared for.  It would be really exciting to see them in person.
Wedding Photo, Lillian Ezzell Dobson and William Dunavant Jr
The Nashville Tennessean 1952
The portrait hanging above the mantle is
Caroline M. Morehead

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hattie Mai Shumate, 1881-1956

Harriette Mary (Hattie Mai) Shumate
abt 1881 - 1956
I came across a lovely letter written by Charles B. Kingry to Virginia Shumate Moran regarding the death and funeral of Hattie Mai Shumate.  Virginia was Hattie's cousin and Charles Kingry was Hattie's second husband. It's the kind of letter that genealogist love to find.  It's chatty, informative and a treasure trove of information about Hattie and her family. For instance, until I found the letter we didn't know her full name was Harriette Mary Shumate.  Census records only list her as Hattie.  We didn't know she had married once, let alone twice and we didn't know she had children.  We didn't know what she looked like and now we have several pictures of her and even one of her husband Charles.  So without further ado, here is the transcription of the letter and a few pictures.

Postmarked January 15, 1957
Denver Colorado

333 Ivanhoe St., Jan. 15
Dear Virginia and Family:
Thank you for you kind letter of sympthy (sic).  We were under the impression that Sittie (We haven't identified which person is Sittie but her name appears in several letters.)  would notify promptly all concerned in the Memphis are.
Page 1, Ltr from Charles Kingry
We bought and moved into a one-story English cottage type of house at he(sic) above address last Sept. 4th, to give Hattie Mai a change, after nearly four years of confinement to up-stairs, except when I took her down and up.  Here she could have the range of the house in her walker chair, as well as enjoying the screened back porch on warm days.  And she was refreshed and improved until about Nov. 1st, when the rheumatoid process began to involve her heart.  She suffered no great distress or discomfort, except some degree of nausea when we had to give her Digitalis.  Everything we thought possible was done to help her, but to no avail.  The morning of Nov. 20th her pulse was rapid, but regular, and I went to the office as late as I could, about 10:30, with no inkling that the situation was more critical.  I phoned about noon and Earlene, an excellent negro nurse and maid, said she had taken a little breakfast after I left and thought she was better.
Not long after that Hattie Mai called her, with her little bedside bell, and said "earlene let's change my gown and freshen up the bed".  As soon as that was finished, she patted Earlene on the cheek and said "you have been so good to me" and slumped over.  Earlene called me "Come quickly", and Harriette and Allison (These are Hattie Mai's two children from her first marriage to a man with the last name of Tyler.  Allison is a boy.) and Martha Belle (Martha Belle Shumate Baum is her sister and has a story of her own.  We are still trying to find out when she passed away and where.), and I called her Doctor (Buchanan).  We all got here at about the same time (15 minutes or so), but it was too late.
Hattie Mai Shumate and
Charles Bowdon Kingry
I feel she was ready to go, and that God saw fit to terminate the course of her disability and take her to Heaven where she could be healed.
She was beautiful in her favorite dress, a powder blue lace, with pearl beads necklace and ear rings and a white orchid, and her hair-do was just perfect.  We invited about fifty close friends and twelve honorary pall bearers (mostly Doctors).  An eloquently beautiful and most comforting Service.  "Life is eternal. There is no death of the Divine Spirit. No beginning. No end, insofar as real values are concerned."  We asked that no flowers be sent, but in lieu thereof, that donations could be sent to the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation, Colo. National Bank Bldg., as a memorial to her.  But, many beautiful flowers were sent.  We placed and arrangement of many red roses (her favorite Happiness rose, something like American Beauty) at either end of the casket, and a blanket of 120 such rosebuds and Lilies of the Valley.
After a brief service at the Chapel in beautiful Fairmount Cemetery, with just the family, her mortal remains were cremated, and the following Saturday afternoon we had a sweet, but brief interment of her remains in a beautiful bronze Grecian urn, placed in a family niche, with glass front and bronze frame and fittings, the floor of the niche draped in her favorite bright red velvet.  She did not want her date of birth or age stated in any of the records, bless her proud soul, -- so the old English style of engraving on the urn
Died Nov. 20, 1956
Wife of Dr. Chas. B. Kingry
Mother of Harriette and Allison Tyler

I go to the Mausoleum -- a large beautiful Greek Temple on a gently hill overlooking the Cemetery and toward the Rocky Mountains -- Beautiful White marble interior -- Sundays after Church, and replace the flowers, usually red carnations, and commune with her "Blithe Spirit" which has always been my conception of her, and especially sice she has been released from the cares, suffering and disability of this earthly existence.
We have sold the other house, just recently, and have this house up for sale.  Don't know just what living arrangements I shall make, apartment, at the Club or something -- It doesn't see so important now.
Page 2, Ltr from Charles Kingry
Allisin spends part of the time with me, lunch, dinner, and occasionally sleeps here.  Has his own little house.  He is in the Real Estate business and is managing the sale of the houses.
Harriette divorced Albert Crumbaugh after a long and unsuccessful effort to make a success of their marriage.  Had adopted Dorris, (9), and Charles Michael, (5), now, I mean.  Both wonderful children.  She married James Samuel Gutshall last June.  They are very happy.  He and his brother own a good Tent & Awning business here.
My work keeps me busy, and I try to seize whatever opportunities the Lord reveals to me to be of service to those who need it, over and above purely medical matters.
Macki (Macki is her sister Frances McLean Shumate MacPherson) was here with us for the Services.  She owns a nice little home in a very scenic location in Banning, Calif., and has enough from Gov't. Insurance and Pension to live on.
Martha Belle has a apartment and has one of her widow friends to share it with her.  Address 1225 E. 9th Ave., Apt. 10.
Hattie Mai loved you, in return, and great respect for you and Louise and Maybell.
She was the greatest person I ever knew -- the main works in this organization, Kingry & Co., and all I could possibly be and do were far less than she deserved.  My loss of her physical presence is difficult to bear, but I am resigned to God's will in terminating her illness and disability before it became too much for her to tolerate cheerfully and bravely.  She never gave up.  Her Bible marker, I find, was at the 3rd chapter of The Acts.
Hattie Mai Shumate
The organ music at the Mortuary Service was the instrumental for the Hymns "Just As I am Without One Plea" and "In the Cross of Christ I Glory"
I am enclosing some color prints which show how we looked in our home before she began to have the disabling effects of arthritis.  I would like you to keep whichever one of her you like best and return the others.  She means so much to me that I want all who lover her to know of her as she was, and to have some picture or memento of her.
I do hope to have the pleasure of seeing and getting to know you and all your fine family, and you certainly have my cordial invitation to visit us here if you ever come this way.

You probably remember Annie Laura (Pretty) Campbell of Dyersburg.  She has lived here for years.  Lost her husband, John, a year ago.  She and Hattie Mai were great friends and she was very kind and attentive during her illness, and has been a great help during these trying times.
Bertha Minning of Dyersburg (Mrs. Nat Green, 4350 Middlesex, San Diego, Calif.) kept in touch with Hattie Mai in recent years.  She lost her husband several months ago.
Harriette and Allison send their love.  She appreciated your letter greatly and will write you soon.  Her address is 2300 Poplar St.
Page 3, Ltr from Charles Kingry
Memorial pamphlet from Hattie Mai Shumate Kingry's funeral.
Hattie Mai, of course, told me much about her childhood and early life down there, and I had the great privilege of know Mr. and Mrs. Shumate (Quincy Shumate and Louise Elizabeth McLean were her parents).  They were great people.  One of my fondest memories is of a visit I had with them in Milltown, in their declining years.  On a trip to Alabama to see some of my family, in 1934, I believe, I stopped off in Lewisburg on the way back and went out to see them for a day.  We went up to Harvey's and had a visit with him and Sister Hattie, who was visiting him at the time, and we had an interesting time going over some of teh McLean family history and lore.  Hattie Mai had the Clan history and pictures of the old Castle of Duarte, on the Island of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, together with pictures of the then Chief, Sir Fitzroy.  These were taken by one of her friends who visited the Castle and had tea with the old Chief, and she proudly displayed Coat of Arms in the entrance hall of our homes, and it is there now in this present house.  An aristocrat in spirit and manner and deeds, but never lacking in love and human kindness to the lowliest in birth and fortune, was she, oved and respected by all who knew her.
Chas. Kingry