Saturday, December 15, 2012

Button Recycling

Our ancestors truly knew the value of a dollar.  Today we talk about being "green" and have trendy recycle and reuse sayings but they didn't think of it as being green, they thought of it as being thrifty, economical and saw the potential to reuse items when possible.

This tinbox, which was surely a magnificent thing in its day, was used to store buttons.  And not just the occasional button that popped off and needed to be sewn back on.

When clothing wore out they removed the eyelets, hooks, buttons, collars, cuffs, lace and anything else that could be reused on another piece of clothing.  And then they used the remaining clothing to stuff mattresses, pillows or used them as cleaning rags.

Here's what we found inside this particular tinbox.  A truly unique collection of buttons, clasps, hooks and beads.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Ferguson-Bozeman Nuptials 1930

We believe this to be
Harry and Helen.
Harry Maxwell FERGUSON is our first cousin, twice removed.  His grandmother on his mother's side was Agnes MORAN.  She married B.D. IRVINE and it was their daughter Sophia that married Charles A Ferguson, the parents of Harry.

Harry fell in love with Helen Josephine BOZEMAN, the daughter of Augustus Nardin BOZEMAN and Mary Josephine, maiden name unknown at this time.

Harry and Helen were married on July 19, 1930 at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York.

This is the front of a card that was sent to them from the church on one of their anniversaries and as a little fundraiser nudge.

My dear Friends:
This is the anniversary of your wedding and we want you to know that we are thinking of you and are sending you our Blessing and greetings.  May each year bring you increased happiness.
When you were married you became members of the Little Church Family.  Please do not forget to renew your membership this year and help us build up the Endowment Fund that is to keep the Church here at 29th Street for years to come.
Let us hear from you--and better still, come in and see us when you can. Be sure to let us know of any change of address.
Faithfully your friend,
Randolph Ray

On the back is written:
This is the church Harry and Helen were married
in 1930.

Here is another photo of the same couple.  These pictures were with the wedding invitation and the card from the Little Church around the corner.  The picture above is undated but on the back of this one it says Aug. 1, 1946.

I found this wonderful little video on Youtube about the Church.  The church was founded in 1848 and was named the Church of the Transfiguration.  It has a long tradition of ties with the theater and interestingly enough it received it's name when the rector of a nearby church refused to perform a funeral for an actor and and referred them to "the little church around the corner".  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mrs. Sam B. Wilson Dies - 1939

Before she was Mrs. Sam Wilson she was Paralee  T Wilson.  Her parents were Joseph Wilson and Parmelia Duncan.  She was born August 12, 1848 and died May 10, 1939.  She married Samuel D. Wilson (the newspaper clipping incorrectly said "B") March 9 1873 in Williamson County Tennessee.  They moved to Obion County Tennessee and eventually lived in Newbern, Tennessee.  They had two daughters Laura D. Wilson and Lillie Wilson.

Virginia Shumate Moran her sisters also lived in Newbern Tennessee with their uncle Quincy Shumate and his family.  This obituary was found among the papers of Virginia Shumate Moran.

Mrs. Sam B. Wilson Dies; Funeral Today
Native Tennessean, 90, was Mother of Memphis

Newbern, Tenn., May 10-- Mrs. Sam B. Wilson, lifelong resident of Tennessee and member of one of the most prominent families in Dyer County, died here tonight at 6 o'clock in the home of her son-in-law, Atty, Gen. John M. Drane.

One of the oldest residents of Newbern, Mrs. Wilson had lived here for 54 years and was one of the most active members of the First Methodist Church.

Mrs. Wilson came to Newbern from Obion County, where her husband, the late Sam Wilson, who died 30 years ago, was one of the leading landowners in this section.  She was born at Franklin Tenn.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon in the First Baptist Church of Newbern, with the Rev. H.W. Davis officiating.  Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery at Newbern.

Mrs. Wilson leaves two daughters, Mrs. John M. Drane of Newbern and Mrs. H.A. Roop of Memphis; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1895 - Belmont College scene of Magnificent Wedding

Belmont College last night was the scene of a very pretty wedding, when Miss Ida M. HUNTER pledged her vows to Mr. William Marvin LEFTWICH, Jr., of this city.  The bride is the only daughter of Mrs. Mary Collier HUNTER, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has been for three years with her cousin, Miss Hood, pursuing special studies at the college.  The grand old mansion, which lends itself so beautifully to such occasions, as though it had not forgotten the witchery, was ablaze with light and odorous with flowers, while pines, stately palms and smilax from the magnificent college conservatories were used throughout the house.

Promptly at 6 o'clock Dr. R.A. YOUNG, the college Regent, accompanied by Rev. W.M. LEFTWICH, the father of the groom, advanced to the bay window of the grand salon so famous in the past history of Belmont Place.  Around the fountain were grouped the members of the "Boom Camp," A social organization of which the bride and groom are loved and valued members.  Closely following came Miss Mary Lee LEFTWICH, who was met at the foot of the stairs by her attendant, Mr. Walter G. KIRKPATRICK.  The bride entered with her maid of honor, Miss Neva Sharon STEWART, meeting on the way the groom and his best man, Dr. Harry S. VAUGHN.

After the ceremony, all returned to the parlors for congratulations, after which elegant and elaborate refreshments were served in the spacious dining hall.  Many costly and tasteful gifts from many points attest the popularity of the young couple and the warmth of their many friends.

The bride was robed in an exquisite Duchesse satin, with rare old lace, which set off to fine advantage her fair blonde beauty.  The bridesmaids wore pink organdie, and carried La France roses.

Mr and Mrs LEFTWICH left at once for Atlanta and the East, and after their return will be at home to their friends at 2016 West End Avenue.

This clipping was found among the papers of  Fannie MORAN however she and her sister Ida both attended Belmont College in Nashville so it's very possible that both of them attended and perhaps were even part of the ceremony of Ida Mary Hunter to William Marvin Leftwich Jr on December 26, 1895.

It's also interesting to note that the grooms sister, Alice Kavanaugh LEFTWICH was a teacher at Belmont and an accomplished pianist graduating from the Beethoven Conservatory in St. Louis.  She was also a pupil of Arthur FOOTE and B.J. LANG of Boston and she spent three years in Paris with M. MOSZKOWSKI and Wager SWAYNE.

Adelicia Acklen
I think it's very interesting that the author of the article mentioned "witchery" in connection with the Acklen Mansion which became Belmont College in the late 1800's.  I'm not sure if they are referring to the feminine "witchery" of Adelicia Acklen the chatelaine of the mansion or if they are referring to the "witchery" after her death.  There have been reports and sightings of her ghost at the mansion through the years.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dance Card circa 1890's

Fannie Moran

This dance card was found among the papers of Fannie Moran Ezzell.   I seriously doubt her dance card was empty for the evening even though this one has not been filled.

On this particular occasion there were four Waltz's, fourteen Quadrille's, two Polka's and two Schottische's.    The Quadrille is a dance performed by four couples and is the precursor to Square Dancing.  The Schottische is a Bohemian partnered dance that was popular during the Victorian Era.  I would assume most everyone knows what the Waltz and Polka are!

The Kudzu Experiment of 1916

"Two new growths: namely the Kudzu vine and Himalaya vine, were taken up experimentally last spring.  From what information this office has secured about the kudzu vine it is hoped that good results may be obtained from it.  It is a legume with a very deep root system which builds up its own soil to fertility.  Its very heavy growth of vines is said to produce a most abundant and valuable hay for stock.  The vines when running along the ground take root at the knuckles like the sweet potato vine, and from these knuckle-roots new runners grow out in the spring.  Thirty land owners are experimenting with a few roots sent them and in a year or two some definite information can be secured concerning their value in reclaiming waste lands.. The object is to try them out to prove their worth."  (Source: The Resources of Tennessee vol. 5, Jan 1915.)

"During the years 1915 and 1916, the efforts of the Forester, Mr. R.S. Maddox, were exerted along the lines of practical forestry and educational work.....Roots of the kudzu plant, a little known perennial legume, were sent to 30 farmers to try experimentally on waste land.....A forestry exhibit was made a the State fair, and at the Knoxville and Dresden Fairs." (Source: The Resources of Tennessee vols. 7 and 8,  January 1917.)

Kudzu, under ideal conditions, can grow up to 60 ft each year and apparently the southeastern United States provides those ideal conditions.  Herbicides do very little to hold it back and some even make it grow better!!  I don't know if the MORAN's participated in the great Kudzu Experiment (I get the impression they didn't) but here's proof Mr. MADDOX encouraged them to take part!  It appears that C.H. MORAN had questions about Kudzu and the ability to get rid of it if he didn't like it on his farm as well as other concerns.  Mr. MADDOX said he would get more information and get back with him.

Letter number 1
State of Tennessee
State Geological Survey
Forestry Division

A.H. Purdue
State Geologist

R.S. Maddox

April seventh, nineteen sixteen

Mr. Harold Moran,
Dresden, Tenn.

My dear Mr. Moran:

I am desirous of trying a new experiment on reclaiming waste lands, and hope you are willing to take part in it.  The kudzu vine is a legume, and grows rapidly where I have seen it.  It is said to furnish excellent feed for stock.  I secured my information from a nurseryman, Mr. J.H.H. Boyd at McMinnville from whom I secured the roots, and also from a circular which he gave me relative to it.

I am sending you, under separate cover a bundle of six roots, which I wish you would set out on some of your waste land, first preparing the place well before you set them out about 15 feet apart and put a shovel full of manure with the dirt well mixed in each hill.

I am much interested in this project, and am sending these roots out to those whom I trust will plant them in the interest of their gullied lands.  I shall endeavor to visit you as early this year as possible to see the experiment.

Very truly yours,
R.S. Maddox

Letter number 2
State of Tennessee
State Geological Survey
Forestry Division

A.H. Purdue
State Geologist

R.S. Maddox

April tenth, nineteen sixteen

Mr. Harold Moran
Dresden, Tenn.

My dear Mr. Moran:

The kudzu vine so far as I can learn is a new introduction into this country from Japan, and a legume, having nodules on its roots.  I found this at the nursery of Mr. J.H.H. Boyd, McMinnville, Tennessee.  It occurred to me that this vine would be a good thing to experiment with, in reclaiming waste lands.  Mr. Boyd said he knew one vine to grow 70 feet in one year.  The vine runs along the ground and takes root at the knuckles, somewhat similar to the sweet potato vine.  I asked Mr. Boyd if he thought this plant would be hard to get rid of if the farmer wished, and he then showed me two or three rows of nursery stock growing where he had the kudzu vine the year before, and there was no sign of any vine.  

I have sent these roots out as experimental and hope those receiving them will give them careful attention, as they may prove of great value.

Mr. Boyd also says that stock are very fond of the vines, although they contain a good deal of woody substance.  If possible I shall collect more information from the growers of this vine, and mail it to you.

Very truly yours,
R.S. Maddox


Sunday, December 9, 2012

1912 - Fannie Moran's 15th Wedding Anniversary

This letter is to Charles Harrell Moran from his cousin Daisy Gunn and she's talking about Fannie's 15th wedding anniversary to James B. Ezzell.   Fannie Moran is Charles' sister and also Daisy's cousin.  In addition, Daisy married James Ezzell's brother Clyde making her Fannie's sister-in-law as well as her cousin.  Got that?  :)

Oct 1912

Dear Brud
As next Saturday the 19th is Fanny's fifteenth anniversary we have been planning to go out and give her a surprise on that day.  Just the family, and I wondered if you were expecting to be down here any time soon, if you could not arrange to be with us at that time.

We don't want her to go to so much trouble so have not written her we were coming although I told her that probably Mama (Sallie Boyd Gunn) and Carrie (Carolyn Gunn Davis) would be out.  I met Sophia and told her and will probably see Jim.  Did not know until yesterday whether to plan or not for I was afraid Fanny would have a house full already, and expected Marion and Ida (Fannie's sisters) to be there.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather as we are.  I spent Saturday before last at Newsom and it was certainly beautiful in the country.  I saw Emmie (sp) yesterday as she and Carrie came in and she enquired especially about Mr. Moran.

Hope Virginia (Fannie's mother) has felt the benefit of her trip to Epperson and is gaining her strength rapidly.

Now I am just writing this note hoping you can join the family on the 19th.

Love from all to Jim (Fannie's father), Virginia and yourself.

As ever....

Went to hear Heoper (sp) and Judge Jones the other night.

Epperson Springs was a resort area at Westmoreland Tennessee.  During the Civil War it was used as a Confederate recruitment and training center.  By the middle of the war the Federals had taken control of the area but were constantly plagued by Confederate Troops.

It became one of the most famous Tennessee health resorts in the early part of the 20th Century and was known for its variety of waters. It was listed in Brennecke's First Annual Automobile and Resort Guide, Tennessee, 1912.

Silver Spray ca 1890's

This is a lovely little book book of poetry entitled Silver Spray and Illustrated by Benjamin D. Sigmund, a prominent artist of the 19th century.  Sigmund was known for his gardens, animals, landscapes and waterways.

It was designed in England by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London E.C. and Printed in Germany.  The Name Geo. C. Whitney, New York also appears on the envelope.  Perhaps he was the distributor in the United States?

The featured poets are Shelley, Byron, Moore and Tennyson.
It belonged to Fannie Moran.  Perhaps a gift from a suitor?