Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jennings Business College Ephemera

Charles Harrell Moran attended Jennings Business College.  For more an in depth look at the College, his diploma and more be sure to look at the Jennings Business College Nashville TN post.

This is a piece of education ephemera celebrating Ratification Treaty between the Confederate States and the United States.  Side one is facsimile of a $500 CSA note.

Side two is entitled "Strong and Pointed" and has endorsements by various prominent Nashvillians.

Bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire, while President of the Vanderbilt University, who never gave an opinion without careful study, said to a mother, whose son wanted a position: "Send him to Jennings' Business College; a certificate from R.W. Jennings to your son, recommending him for a position, will be of more benefit to him than all other influences, he could have." 

Gen. William Hicks Jackson  the distinguished proprietor of Belle Meade, says "Having known Mr. R.W. Jennings for a number of years, and being satisfied as to his business methods and efficiency as an educator of youth, to prepare them for practical business, I sent my son to his college, and it affords me pleasure to commend him to all who are contemplating the sending of their sons and daughters to such a school."

Judge Thomas H. Malone, Chancellor of this division and Dean of the law department of Vanderbilt University says: "I have known Mr. R.W. Jennings, of the Jennings Business College, for about thirty-five years.  Both as a practicing lawyer and Chancellor, I have had occasion to examine critically his statements of complicated transactions and his expositions of erroneous bookkeeping.  I always rely with great confidence upon his expert opinions, and believe that he, as an expert, has no superior among us.  I think he is eminently qualified to be at the head of a business college, and his success proves it."

Thomas D. Fite, Sr., a retired merchant of Nashville, and who was identified with the wholesale trade of the South for half a century, says:" "R.W. Jennings, the proprietor of Jenning's Business College, was my partner in the wholesale dry goods trade for six years,he having exclusive charge of the counting room, and it is needless to say his work was in the highest degree satisfactory; in fact, he has been for a long time considered one of the most scientific bookkeepers this country has ever produced.  I sent my two sons to his college for the reason that I knew the man, and knew that he had the entire confidence of the business community for thoroughness and reliability."

Mr. J.H. Fall, of the firm of J.H. Fall & Co., Nashville, one of the largest wholesale hardware houses in the South says:  "I have known Mr. R. W. Jennings, president of Jennings Business College, quite well for many years.  His long identity and close connection with the mercantile and banking world enables him to conduct a business college based upon actual experience, and this feature gives his school, in my judgment, a decided advantage.  Several of our employees were trained by Mr. Jennings, and all, without a single exception, are methodical, painstaking and reliable, I therefore, unhesitatingly endorse and commend this college to all who are seeking a business education."

For a catalogue of this noted school address Jenning's Business College, Nashville, Tenn.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Obituary and Funeral Notice of J.W. Moran, 1912

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the death of  John W. Moran.  Since last years anniversary blog post I have come across more items relating to his death which I would like to share today on the 101st anniversary of his passing.  

Although I've posted this picture of him before it remains my favorite and so I wanted to share it again for those who may have missed it in the past.

Here is the Funeral Notice of John W. Moran.  I have included a bit of information and links when possible about the pallbearers.

Funeral Notice

C.H. and J.H. Moran request the
presence of the friends of their father,


at his interment on the afternoon of 
Sunday, April 14, 1912.

Services at the Methodist Church in 
Dresden, at 2 o'clock p.m., by Revs. J.W. Irion and R.C. Douglas.

   Active                   Honorary     
J.E. Jones            E.C. Lyon
G.S. Boyd           S.P. Scott
Shobe Smith        J.J. White
W.R. Bobbitt       T.E. Loyd
W.A. McCuan     G.W. Martin
T.A. McElwrath   Elbridge Wright

The Active Pallbearers:
Joseph E. Jones was the judge who presided over the famous  Night Rider Trials in Union City.

George Scott Boyd was a relative of the Moran family and a farmer and the cashier at the Bank of Dresden..  In 1928 he moved to Kingsport TN.

Shobe Smith was a dentist in Dresden.   W.R. Bobbitt was the druggist in Dresden and also was the proprietor of the Smith Hotel which he acquired in 1905.  He was also a one time suitor for the hand Fannie Moran, the eldest daughter of J.W. Moran.  I'm not exactly sure about W.A. McCuan yet.  I believe he may have been a tobacco farmer due to some correspondence I found relating to that topic.  I do know he owned The Kozy moving picture theater in Dresden but sold it in 1918.  Thomas Allen McElwrath owned a dry goods store in Dresden.  He eventually moved to Mayfield Kentucky.

Honorary Pallbearers:
Edward Coleman Lyon served as a Registrar in Dresden in 1904 and had served in the Confederate States of America.    Stephen Preston Scott served in the CSA and after the war was a miller in Dresden.  He was also a relative by marriage and I did a post on his daughters Cecile and Farrar sometime ago.  J.J. White had  served in the CSA alongside S.P. Scott in Company H, Russell's regiment.  T.E. Loyd was the Mayor of Dresden.  G.W. Martin has many accomplishments but the one I'll mention here is that he was the President of the Bank of Martin. Elbridge, which might actually be Eldridge, Wright also served in the Confederacy and was a farmer in Weakley County.

The following tribute was published in vol. 20, no. 6, 1912, of the Confederate Veteran.

John W. Moran

That no worthier man wore the Confederate gray than John Moran will stand all tests.  He was born in Dresden, Tenn., March 20, 1840; and died in a Nashville hospital April 12, 1912.  His father, James Moran, was a merchant of Dresden, and his mother was Miss Harriet Harris, of McLemoresville, Tenn. He was educated in the schools of his neighborhood.  He was of philosophic temperament; and while performing the duties that were incumbent upon him, his humor was proverbial and he was entertaining to his associates.

He was about ready for business life when the War of the States began, and he, together with a younger brother who soon surrendered his life in the cause of the Confederacy, enlisted in Company I, 31st Tennessee Infantry, in the brigade gallantly commanded by Brig. Gen. O.F. Strahl.  His first battle of importance was that of Perryville, Ky., in which the army and his company suffered heavily.  It had perhaps the largest percentage in killed and wounded of any company in that sanguinary battle.  He was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga.  He was again severely wounded in the battle of Franklin, and was long a sufferer in the hospital.  He frequently told a good story of his experience in the battle of Resaca.  he had captured a rabbit, which he secured in his shirt bosom, and of course had fond anticipations of a feast after the fight.  The battle waxed so hot, however, and his heart became so generous toward "Molly Cottontail" that he gave her freedom. He may have been author of the Zeb Vance story in saying: "Go it, Molly Cottontail! If I had no reputation at stake, I'd run too."  At all events, when the battle was over he regretted not having the rabbit for supper, as he had more appetite then than during the battle.

The funeral was conducted by Rev. J.W. Irion, assisted by the regular pastor of the M.E. Church, South, Rev. Mr. Douglass, and Rev. G.T. Mayo, pastor of the Baptist Church of Dresden.  It was largely attended.

Joseph E. Jones in an interesting sketch of Mr. Moran states that "he succeeded along all the lines of life that are worth while.  His business methods were open and above suspicion.  As possessor of a large fortune at his death, there was not in it all an unclean dollar."

Mr. George W. Martin, a life-long friend and a man who has long given liberally of his time and his means for the cause of education, paid high tribute to the deceased at the funeral and complied with the request of the Veteran in sending the manuscript that follows:

"The late John W. Moran, who died recently at St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, on his way from Florida to his home in Dresden, Tenn., was one of the most prominent and best known citizens of his county.  His father was one of the early settlers of Dresden, and for many years was a leading merchant of the place.  John spent his entire life where he was born and reared, with the exception of four years in the Confederate army.  When not at school he was in the store assisting his father, and had just arrived at manhood when the War of the States began.  He volunteered early in the struggle, remaining throughout the entire war, and from the record given by his comrades no one performed his duties with greater fidelity and bravery than he.  He spoke often of the war, but claimed little for himself.  He took great pleasure in commending the noble acts of others, as he was accustomed to do through life.  He was a man of remarkable courage, but he used it with great discretion and justice.  He had excellent self-control and possessed decided opinions on all subjects, but expressed himself reasonably and rationally and always with a view of being just and truthful.

"As a successful merchant and banker his integrity was above reproach and never questioned by any one who had business relations with him, and he performed every duty put upon him with noble fidelity.  His integrity was of such high order that if I had met him in the most remote part of the world and he had been on his way to Weakley County I would have been willing to intrust (sic) my entire fortune, great or small, to him to deliver in Weakley County without the slightest fear of his failing to comply with my request literally.  His individual wants were few and easily supplied, but he spent his life in honest toil to supply the wants of his family and to fulfill his duty to the public, which he did admirably.

"John Moran was a well-developed and an 'all-round' man.  As husband, father, citizen, soldier, neighbor, he contributed well to all these relations.  He had the misfortune to lose his wife when his children were young, and his devotion to rearing and training them cannot be commended too highly.  If there is anything that can lighten the grief and sorrow for the loss of this valuable man it is to know how well his life was spent and all his duties performed.  The influence of his life will long remain a benefit and a blessing to many."

While frugal in his personal affairs, he was diligent for the public, and served most efficiently as chairman of the Democratic committee of his (Weakley) County as well as publicly in many other usefull ways.

In his early thirties Mr. Moran married Miss Sophia Gunn, whose father, Dr. Gunn, formerly lived in Nashville.  She preceded her husband to the better land seventeen years.  Their five children are, Fannie (Mrs. J.B. Ezell (sic)), Ida (Mrs. W.G. Timberlake), Marion (Mrs. C.H. Cobb, Harold (sic), and James. The latter of the two sons succeeds as president, while Harold (sic) takes the place of their beloved father on the directorate of the Bank of Dresden.  He is survived by an aunt, Mrs. Virginia Wood, and a sister, Mrs. Aggie Irvine.  Not only those loved ones but the entire community sorrowed in his death as if all were of close kin to him.  The testimony at his funeral of a life devoted to uprightness and love for his fellow men was well worth his struggle for seventy-two years.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bicknell's Village Builder and Supplement

James T. Gunn was a carpenter and owned his own construction business.
From the paperwork I've been looking at he built everything from sheds to houses and even did house renovations.  

We have receipts and letters from Tennessee families with well known names like McGavock, Donelson and Johnson.  James was based in the Nashville area but for a period of time he lived in Pecan Point Arkansas where I believe he was doing work for some of the McGavock family who had moved from Nashville to Pecan Point.  Specifically Edward and John Jacob McGavock and James T. Gunn all resided within the Pecan Point vicinity according to the 1870 Census.  James was there as early as 1868 as that's when he married Margaret D. Brown.

In his file folder I came across an envelope addressed to James at Pecan Point with a Nashville Postmark.  The only thing inside was a newspaper clipping from American Agriculturist, November 1872.  On one side is an advertisement for Bicknell's Village builder and Supplement.

Clipping from James T. Gunn file

Amos J. Bicknell was not an architect.  He published several pattern books for  houses as did George Barber.  Moran Place is based on a George Barber design.  

The back of the newspaper clipping is interesting in its own right.  I especially like the Bickford Family Knitting Machine.  It looks a lot like knitting machines you can get today.

I think the house in the advertisement looks a lot like this design from Bicknell's book.  Bicknell's Village Builder and Supplement is available in its entirety online if you want to view the plans for this and other structures.

In case you're interested in what the full page looked like before it was torn out of American Agriculturist I've included them here:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dresden Enterprise Apr 24 1896 - The Illustrated Edition Part 1

Mrs. Susan Adelaide "Addie" Cardwell Lewis took over the Dresden Enterprise at the death of her husband, Robert Lewis in 1895 and was the editor of this issue of the Enterprise.   For a more in depth history of the Dresden Enterprise and information about Mrs Lewis be sure and check out this page at Rootsweb.  However, if you want to read what Nannie Drewry had to say about the Cardwell's you should check out her letter to J.W. Moran written in 1910 regarding the prohibition vote and Addie Cardwell's work with the Aid Society.

The Moran's saved a lot of newspaper clippings but we also found a few complete newspapers including some of the Dresden Enterprise.  Considering their age, the newspapers are in good condition except where they were folded.  The plan is to scan them causing as little damage as possible to the papers and to present the information here.

This is the first installment of the Dresden Enterprise dated April 24 1896.

A Brief History of the County from 1819 up to the Present Time--Dresden and Its Enterprising Business Men

We this week present to our readers our illustrated edition of THE ENTERPRISE, the first paper of the kind ever issued in Weakley county.  It is also the largest and handsomest paper ever presented to our people as a local enterprise.  While all of our business men did not see it to their interest to take space, enough have done so to make it a decided success, and there-fore speaks well for the push and thrift of the town.  We send out 3,000 copies, to every part of Weakley county, and hope that we may find in many who read this week's issue constant readers.  There are many people in the county who should be, but are not, Subscribers to this or any other paper.  

THE ENTERPRISE is the oldest paper in the county and the only one in Dresden, and while the editor is not rolling in wealth, our people have given us a handsome patronage for some time, thereby helping themselves to prominence, us to prosperity and the community thus brought before the outer world in an attractive way.  We have received some little advertising outside of this town, but we could have made it a financial success just by the patronage of our Dresden people alone, and when we take into consideration the fact that the illustrations have cost over $100, or $3 for each cut, except the centennial cuts, which were furnished from Nashville, it has been a big undertaking.  

Illustration of the Methodist Episcopal Church South

Unlike other publishers, we have charged nothing for the space occupied by the illustrations, and nothing extra for the write-up of our advertisers.  This has made our profits on the edition small, especially when it is remembered that the public buildings are our expense, unless some of our citizens help foot the bill, to which we assure them in advance we will take no exception.

In this paper we have undertaken to show that Dresden is a far more progressive town than she was years ago, and that there has been a large increase in the values here for the past ten years.  There is now talk of another road running through the town, and if such an opportunity really presents itself we hope our public spirited men will see to it that it comes in reality, for such an investment would greatly add to our already prosperous condition.

Dresden is a good town, and has a financial record that but few towns can boast.  While we have never had to meet the demoralizing effect of inflated booms, there has been a healthy steady increase in value of real estate, that, had it come at once, would have been called a big boom, but it is our normal condition to be prosperous.  it is perhaps the only town in the state that can boast that it has not a family within its borders dependent on the people for charity.  We went through the financial crisis unhurt, and today proclaim to the outside world that Dresden prosperity is here to stay, and we cordially invite people seeking new homes to come and abide with us.

Illustration of Dresden High School.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Mystery of Mrs. Bivier and Her Divorce, 1866

Today I started sorting through some of the paperwork belonging to James T. Gunn that we saved from Moran Place.   First of all, I find it fascinating that the documents ended up with the Moran family since some of James and Margaret Gunn's children lived well into adulthood and had families of their own.  But somehow, the files ended up with James' sister, Sophia Gunn Moran in Dresden TN.  The two families were very close and Willie, James' son, was staying at Moran Place in 1880 when his father was very ill and dying in the Nashville area.

James T. Gunn Documentation

James was a contractor/builder and we have some of his business ephemera dating from 1870-1880.  He was also a member of the Knights of Honor and we have quite a few death notices of various members of that society.  We have a few letters from his wife Maggie and other friends and associates.

But so far, I am intrigued by the oldest piece of paper that is dated September 10, 1866, and, well, it just doesn't seem to belong.  It's a receipt for $25, payment in full for a divorce for a Mrs. Bivier or possibly Bevier from Gantt & Waddell.    I've not been able to find any information regarding this woman.

$25.00 Recd of Mrs. Bivier Twenty five
dollars being full payment
for getting divorce.
Gantt & Waddell
Sept 10th, 1866

Poor Virgil, they spelled his name Virgin.
However, unlike the anonymity of Mrs. Bivier her attorneys Gantt and Waddell left a trail.  The firm of Gantt and Waddell was made up of George Gantt, Burin B. Waddell and Virgil B. Waddell.  In addition all three served in the Confederacy.

George Gantt
The Proceedings of the Annual Session of the Bar Association of Tennessee v. 1917 has a wonderful address by the Hon. James H. Malone in regards to Colonel George Gantt.  Briefly it says that on Dec 26 1909 a resolution was passed stating that a portrait of Colonel Gantt was to be painted and hung in the Memphis Mayor's office at the city's expense.  I wonder if his portrait is still there? Before the Civil War he was elected to the state legislature and was a contemporary of Emerson Etheridge.  "He was the Aristophanes of the Memphis Bar."  He served in the Civil War, first as a  Confederate Captain and later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 9th Battalion Cavalry TN, a title which he maintained after the War.  He was captured at Fort Donelson and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Burin B. Waddell
In addition to being an attorney in Memphis, Burin Waddell was co-proprietor with Coleman Boyd of the Overton Hotel in Memphis. Source: The Huntsville Advocate, May 30 1866.   During the war, he was a Volunteer Aide de Camp with the rank of Captain on the staff of General P.G.T. Beauregard, Army of the Mississippi. Source: Fold3, CSA Military Records  Burin Blackburn Waddell died in New Orleans and is buried Denmark Methodist Cemetery in Madison County TN.

Virgil B. Waddell
Virgil B. Waddell served as Acting Assistant Adjutant General., First Brigade, First Division, Tenn. Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records.  V.B. Waddell appears in the 1883 Record of Permits issued for Disinterring, Shipping and Receiving Dead Bodies to and From Memphis.  Date of death is approximate, January 1, 1883.  He was 45 and cause of death was pneumonia.  He died in Birmingham, Alabama and his final destination was OK Landing, Mississippi.  Place of burial: unknown.

The connection of Mrs. Bivier to James Gunn will most likely remain a mystery.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Maskey's Candies

I came across this pretty card from Maskey's Candies that one of the Moran's saved.  A quick google search tells me that there was a Maskey's Candies on Union St. in Nashville in the late 1800's.  Here is an example of a Trading card from the Nashville store.  It's possible this card was from that store.  

Another search brings up a 2010 obituary for Guido A. Ferrari of San Francisco, the owner of Maskey's Candies of San Francisco during the 1940's - 1950's.  I also found another Victorian trading card from San Francisco.

Perhaps it was kept for its beauty or maybe just as a remembrance of the giver, it's just one of many little keepsakes from Moran Place that we treasure.

Happy 95th Birthday, Nathan H. Moran

Bub Moran
age 16
We couldn't let the date pass without acknowledging the birthday of Nathan Harrell Moran.  He was also known as Nate and Bub.  Born April 8, 1918, he was the middle child of James and Virginia Moran.  He was a rough and tumble kind of guy who enjoyed the outdoors, sports, mechanics, and the military.  He would be 95 years old today.  Feel free to stop by and leave a virtual flower on his memorial.

<---- here's a school picture from 1934 when he was 16 years old.  It's amazing how much our own son resembles his grandfather and on many occasions we refer to him as Bub too.

For more information and pictures about the life of Nathan check out his birthday blog from last year.