Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ben and Elbert


Today's post is about something that is as ephemeral as it gets, a napkin.  This particular napkin is embossed with the names Ben and Elbert.  In today's society it isn't unusual to see the names of men linked together but I was positive one of these people was NOT a man.  I was also positive that I would never know who Ben and Elbert were but actually I was able to smoke them out rather quickly using Findagrave.  I searched Sunset Cemetery with the first name Elbert and was rewarded with three hits: Elbert Lee "Skinny" Call, Elbert Hoyt Hutcherson and Elbert Thomas Reavis.  A quick look at each profile and I was able to determine that the Elbert on the napkin was Elbert Thomas Reavis whose wife was Benjamin Virginia Loyd!  E.T. Reavis opened a dry good store in Dresden in the 1890's.  It's still there today.  Say hi to them on Facebook.

Elbert (E.T.) and "Miss Ben" were married December 23rd, 1895 by Pastor A.J. Meadows at the Methodist Episcopal Church South.   I would imagine that some, if not all, of the Moran's would've attended the ceremony unless mourning customs decreed that it was too soon to be in public.  Sophia Moran, the matriach of the Moran family, had died in October of that year.



I'm going to make a guess here and imagine that this napkin was probably from the 50th wedding anniversary party of ET and Miss Ben which would've been Dec 23rd, 1945.  Miss Ben passed away the following year.


It just goes to show that even a napkin can be a connection to the past.

And just as I suspected, this napkin was saved from their 50th anniversary party because I just now came across this newspaper clipping:


Mr. and Mrs. Elbert T. Reavis of Dresden, Tenn., observed the 50th anniversary of their marriage at their home Dec. 28.  Mr. Reavis is a pioneer merchant of Dresden.  Mrs. Reavis is the daughter of the late T.E. Loyd.


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