Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Original Moran Place

Before J.W. Moran built the grand Victorian house in 1895 the Moran Family was living in a much more modest one-story home built by his father, James Henderson Moran the first.  If you are facing the current Moran Place the original would've been off to the left.

These photographs are from 1947.  I imagine they were taken as keepsakes of the old homestead prior to it being torn down.

On the steps are Bump Irvine, Jim and Virginia Moran and their grandson Jim the fifth.

Here they are again but this time Harrell "Brud" Moran has joined them.  He's the long-legged fellow on the end.


Here's cousin James A. "Bump" Irvine.

Jim, Virginia and Carrie

This is Virginia again with her friend Carrie Lou LaFon Pentecost, the wife of Cayce Pentecost, and of course little Jim.

I like the double doors to the house.  You can see they have the screen door propped open.

Jim, Jim and Jim.  

I like this photo of the three Jim's because you can see the built in seats on either side of them.  The screen door is closed in this picture.

Jim, Bump, and Brud

And the last picture in this series shows three gentlemen with their hats.  Even in a "casual" setting the men were in suits and the ladies wore dresses.   How the world has changed!

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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dresden Enterprise Apr 24 1896 - The Illustrated Edition Part 2 "A Dead Town"

This is the second in a multi-part series featuring the April 24 1896 edition of the Dresden Enterprise.  If you missed the previous post you can find part one here.  The following segment was written tongue in cheek by an unknown contributor and is entitled "A Dead Town."

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Eleven years ago, when the effort was being made to abolish the charter of Dresden, and thereby drive the saloon from the town, the economics of the movement urged with zeal and eloquence, with argument and invective, that the result of success would be the destruction of the business of the town----a wiping out of all public spirit, and end to progress, in short, that Dresden would soon be a "dead town."  In spite of these doleful predictions, in the face of the convincing arguments thus offered, with the certain prospect of ruin before them, a majority of the people rushed heedlessly to their doom, and Dresden ceased to be an incorporated town, the majority, in its blindness, deciding that the absence of a police and no whisky was more tolerable than the presence of both.

Eleven years have now elapsed and our citizens are able to see the effect of their greivous (sic) error, in the
fact that new residences have been built in the village by only the few persons whose names follow, at an average cost of not exceeding one thousand dollars, towit: Gus Atkins, V H Davis, R T Overton, J F Brinkley, G Landres, Wm McCuan, B Jackson, W.J Reavis, Nat Moore, E H Ayres (e), Joe Nanney, G W Winstead, R G Maloan, the Methodist Parsonage, J A Irvine, G A Dowd, J G Thomason (2), G S Boyd, T A McElwrath, C P Meadows, John McGlothlin, J E Jones, A V Boden, T M Little J W Moran, T L Woods, (3), J B Jolly, C A Bailey (2), Joe Loyd, G I Baxter, J W Killebrew, A E Gardner (2), J R Thomason, T A McElwrath, H W  Paschall, W H Riddle (2), W T Mangum, Jeff Harris, H L Hill, C M Ewing and J W Rogers, besides the remodelling and rebuilding of the residences of J A Gibbs, Lea
Harris, W C Holt, and Will Fuller, and among the colored people Cullen Edwards, Nancy Bondurant, Ike Fowler, Bledsoe and Ruffan Rogers, and several others whose names we do not now recall.

The business houses erected are, six iron fronts, one by J.M. Meadows on lot that stood vacant since the great fire here in the 60's, three by J.W. Moran, one each by J.A. Gibbs and B.D. Irvine, and the two-story Brick hotel, on north side of the square.

The brick banking houses of the Henry County Bank and Weakley County Bank, the brick livery stable of J.A. Paschall and the iron roofed and weatherboarded livery stable of E.A. Maloan; while two story frame buildings have been built A.V Boden, B.D. Irvine and E.L. Rogers.  The J.W. Rogers frames, The Enterprise Office and T.L. Woods' business house have been remodelled.  Wm. McCuan built a business house near the depot, and McCuan's and Fuller Bro's., tobacco warehouses and the spoke factory, giving employment to fifty men and supporting as many families, complete the list of business houses.

Irvine & Scott
The public buildings are limited to two churches, two school houses and the new depot.  To be strictly just we must not omit the establishment of the Weakley County Bank and the Dresden Bank, neither of which has during the long continued depression failed to meet promptly every demand, and both of which have paid fair dividends to the stockholders.

As a striking contrast to this doleful record of sloth, inertness and decline, let us now look at the rapid growth, striking progress and marked prosperity during the ten years preceding the suicidal act of its citizens in repealing its charter, during which time residences were erected by the following persons, greatly to the delight of every lover of the town, towit; M.D. Cardwell, R.N. Irvine, S.P. Scott and J.M. Meadows, at an average cost of probably not less than $1,500.  The Irvine& Scott flouring mill was also built during this period, but has been entirely refitted with new machinery of the latest construction and most approved styles within the last few years.

Of public buildings, there was built during that ten years, THE JAIL.

In the face of these startling facts, of this record of decline and degeneration, of rapidly approaching death there are, strange as it may seem, men in our town who are not ashamed to admit that

 they assisted in the fatal act which has brought such ruin and destruction upon our town, and obstinately assert that they have no regrets for what they have done.  There are even some blinded, hard-headed and misguided individuals, who go so far as to say they would like to see the town "ruined some more," on the same lines.

Weakly (sic) County Jail
The complete list of links in this multi-part series:
part onepart two, part threepart fourpart fivepart sixpart sevenpart eightpart ninepart tenpart elevenpart twelvepart thirteenpart fourteenpart fifteenpart sixteenpart seventeenpart eighteenpart nineteenpart twentypart twenty-onepart twenty-twopart twenty-three.

A Flirtation with Leone Fuqua of Hickman KY

There are some Fuqua's in the Moran tree but I haven't been able to connect Leone Fuqua.  It seems from the tone of her brief note there was a flirtation between her and Charles Moran and that he had a rival.  Perhaps the rival was Charles F. Baltzer who Leone married in 1901.   

My dear Mr. Moran:

The lovely and very unique present sent to me from you is a little beauty.

How dreadful it is that we all can not conceal the jealousy in our hearts for others.

Lets reverse the little story and make the two rivals the girls instead of boys.  Can you read between lines.

With repeated thanks and hoping to see you at the station when I return to Soule---

   Sincerely your friend,
          Leone Fuqua
Monday a.m.
postmarked Hickman Ky.  
Dec. 26, 1898 

Wouldn't it be wonderful to know what the "unique present" was?  And to be privy to the "jealousy in our hearts"?

And where is Soule?  I found a Soule's Chapel in Kentucky which people seem to think is haunted.  Surely that isn't what she meant.  

I hope to find more letters from Leone to find out what happened between herself and C.H. Moran.

Leone Fran Fuqua was born June 4 1879 in Kentucky.  Most likely in Hickman because she appears in the 1880 Hickman census at the age of one year old.   She was living in the household with her grandmother Mary P. Fuqua, her parents James Edward and Lenora "Nora" Fortune Fuqua,  her Aunt and Uncle Arch and Bettie DeBow and her one year old cousin Ivy DeBow.

A quick search on ancestry shows she married Charles F. Baltzer June 12, 1901.  I can only find that they had one child, Ralph, but other trees also list a Leslie and Rebecca.  Perhaps those two children did in infancy.  The family moved to Clarksdale Mississiippi sometime after 1910 but before 1920.  Charles was a bookkeeper and in the 1930 Census Leone is listed as the Organist for the Methodist Church.  

Charles died in 1949.  Leone survived him almost 20 years dying in 1968.  Their son Ralph passed on in 1990.  They are all buried in Oakridge Cemetery, Clarksdale Mississippi.

Monday, April 22, 2013

William Albert Shibley

Surnames: Shibley, Wermuth, Tigrett, Kearney, Davidson, Snell

There are several similarities between William Albert Shibley and James Moran III.  They both attended St. Albans School in Radford, VA and the University of Virginia.  They both played on the football team.  Their fathers served in the Confederacy during the Civil War, both married young ladies living in Newbern, Tennessee. Both had three children: William had two girls and a boy while James had two boys and a girl. William Shibley worked for a time as a Bank Cashier.  James' father owned the Bank of Dresden and he would eventually become the Bank President at his fathers death.  Neither stayed in the banking business.  By 1920 William and his family lived in Memphis and he was working in the automobile industry.  After the failure of the Dresden Bank James became a "bond buyer" and eventually found work as a bank examiner for the Federal Housing Administration and for a time he lived in Memphis and Little Rock.  William Shibley died in 1926 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Arkansas, the same cemetery as his parents.  James Moran died in 1968 and is buried in the Moran family cemetery.

That's the connection between William and James.  But what about Virginia Shumate, James' wife.  Virginia was born in Kentucky but after the death of her parents she and her sisters moved to Newbern and lived with their uncle Quincy Shumate and his family.  In addition the Gentry family, relatives of the Shumates were living in Newbern as well.  I believe that Virginia was probably friends with Rebecca and the Tigrett family.  Rebecca would end up being Williams first wife.  So it's very possible that James Moran and Virginia Shumate met through their mutual friends, William and Rebecca.

These items were found among the papers of Virginia Shumate Moran:

The wedding invitation to Rebecca Tigrett and William Albert Shibley's wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Tigrett

invite you to be present

at the marriage of their daughter



Mr. William Albert Shibley

Wednesday evening January the sixteenth

Nineteen hundred and one,

at eight o'clock

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Newbern, Tennessee

William Albert Shibley was born October 7 1876 in Crawford Arkansas to William Henry Harrison Shibley and Esther A. Cook.   William was married three times.  His wives were: Rebecca Tigrett (predeceased him), Marie Louise Wermuth (divorced) and Jeanne T. Snell (divorced).

Rebecca Tigrett was born July 6 1879 in Newbern to A.B.Tigrett and Lucy (Lutie) Parks.  Rebecca and William Shibley married in 1901 and had one child, William Burton Shibley.  Rebecca died March 27, 1905 and is buried in Poplar Grove Cemetery in Newbern.

Marie Louise Wermuth was born March 3, 1891 in New Orleans.  She was the daughter of Charles Ernst
Wermuth and Marie Agnes Pichet/Picket. She married William on January 9, 1910, in New Orleans.  James Moran was the best man at the wedding.  It's interesting to note that Marie Wermuth Shibley was the organist at the wedding of James and Virginia in 1911 and William Shibley was an usher!

I've transcribed the wedding information:
A pretty wedding was that of Miss Marie Louis Wermuth, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Wermuth, to Mr. William Albert Shibley of Newbern, Tenn., which was celebrated at 5 o'clock in the afternoon yesterday at the Prytania Street Presbyterian Church.  There was a large gathering of friends entertained for the ceremony, and there were several attendants on both the bride and bridegroom.  The church was decorated with a profusion of plants and tall ferns and numberous clusters of white cut flowers and loops of tulle.  "Lohengrin's" wedding march was played as the bridal party entered.  The attendants at the wedding were the bridesmaids, Misses Rita Kuntz, Ethelyn Reuss of Louisiana and Alma Spiller of Whitecastle, La., and the maid of honor was Miss Malissa Radetzky of Houston.  The groomsmen were Messrs. Aleck Leonhardt and howard Pattison and Dr. S.J. Muller, and the ushers Messrs. Walter Gerault, Jr., Oscar Catoire, John McCloskey, Jr. and H.G. McCall. The best man was Mr. James H. Moran of Rudderford (sic), Tenn.  Jest preceding the bride were the little flower girl, Miss Aline Casanas, and the little ringbearer, Maxwell Hughes.  The bride was given away by her father, with whom she entered.  She wore an elaborate bridal gown of cashmere de soie over satin, trimmed with duchess lace.  It was made in princess effect, with a long train, and worn with the conventional veil of illusion.  She carried lilies of the valley and orchids.  The bridesmaids' gowns were of pale pink messaline over satin, and they carried shower bouquets of La France roses and asparagus vine.  The maid of honor wore white sating and carried bride roses.  During the signing of the register Miss Marie Norra sang an "Ave Maria" very beautifully.  There was a reception later at the home of the bride's parents in Nashville avenue, which was a largely attended and elaborate affair.  Mrs. Wermuth was assisted in receiving by Mrs. O.H. Simpson, Mrs. Benj. Casanas and a few other guests, besides members of the bridal party.  Mr. and Mrs. Shibley left for a bridal tour in the Middle West, after which they will make their home in Newbern. The bridegroom is a native of Tennessee and is an alumnus of the University of Virginia.  There was a large number of beautiful gifts sent to the bride.

Marie and William had two daughters: Evelyn Wermuth Shibley and Marie Esther Shibley.  Marie and William divorced sometime before 1920 because she and her daughters appear in the 1920 Census living with her parents in New Orleans and her marital status is divorced.    Marie died in 1970.

Mrs. H. Crawford Davidson, the former Miss Evelyn Shibley,
devotes her spare time to various activities of the New Orleans
Junior League including the Children's Playhouse Company

Their daughter Evelyn married Hugh Crawford Davidson in 1934.  This picture is probably from the 1940's.  In the 1940 Census Hugh is listed as an executive.  They had no children at that time.

Miss Marie Esther Shibley, one of the beauties
of the younger set, whose engagement to
Mr. William J. Kearney, Jr., is announced
today by her mother, Mrs. Marie Shibley.

Their daughter Marie married William James Kearney Jr sometime about 1936.  His occupation was listed as lawyer in the 1940 Census.  At that time they had two children: William age 3 and Michael, 8 months.

The final marriage of William Albert Shibley, that I'm aware of,  was to Jeanne T. Snell on June 30, 1923 in Arkansas.  The marriage lasted less than two years as the couple divorced in January 1925.

In the span of 19 years William Shibley had married twice, been widowed, and then divorced and had three
children.  The 1920 Census has him living in a boarding house with his 18 year old son William B. Shibley.  His daughters are living in New Orleans with his second wife.  It's very possible that his son had a place of his own and William is living alone in Memphis in 1922 when he sent this Christmas greeting to Jim and Virginia Moran.  In six months he would be married for third time and divorced again in a year and a half.  William died in 1926.

There is one other item I recall seeing but can't put my hands on it and that is a calling card for William.  When I do I'll scan it and add it here.

For now that's all of the Shibley family information I've located but I also haven't been through all of the items from Moran Place which means there could be more!

At this time I can find no family connection between the Shibley and Moran Clans except that they appeared to be very good friends.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gardening Club of Dresden TN 1939-1941

In addition to growing their own food the Moran's enjoyed growing flowers, big shade trees and at one time they had a grape arbor.  Or more specifically the grape arbor was an agricultural experiment of Uncle Bruds which didn't produce many grapes but it did provide a lovely addition to the grounds. 

Uncle Brud was very much ahead of his time in terms of farming and being green.  He was constantly trying to improve the land, looking for crops that improve soil conditions and all in all being a good steward of the planet.  He loved planting trees and was given the nickname Johnny Appleseed.  One of his projects involved planting pecan trees along Highway 22 for which he received approval from the county highway department.  But later when the highway was widened the trees were all cut down.

Virginia and Jim Moran loved traveling and along their travels they would visit places like Cypress Gardens and Ash Lawn.  Virginia particularly enjoyed the cultivation of flowers.  

So it was no surprise to come across a folder full of brochures about growing flowers and plants from the USDA, Farmers bulletins, and newsletters from gardening societies and guilds.  The really interesting booklets came from the Dresden and Union City Garden Clubs because they tell us who was a member and what the club was involved in.

We have four Dresden Yearbooks from 1939 to 1941.  We also have a Union city Garden Club Yearbook 1939/1940.  The first page of each yearbook tells who the book belonged to, in our case each one says Mrs. J.H. Moran (insert year), Dresden, Tennessee.   It explains what a woman's club is, when it was organized and the club motto. There are lists of members, past officers, committee assignments, by-laws, minutes of meetings and more.  

I particularly like the 1941 yearbook because the cover is hand printed with artwork.   So, I've selected 1941 as the edition to showcase here.  At some point I will transcribe the entire yearbook so that the content is searchable.

So far I have transcribed through page 10.

page 2
What is a Woman's Club?
"A meeting ground for those of purpose 
Great and broad and strong;
Whose aim is in the stars; who ever
Longs to make the listening world resound 
With sweeter music, freer tones. 
A place where kindly lifting words 
Are sailed; kindlier deeds are done;
Where hearts are fed; where wealth of
Brain for poverty atones; where hand
Grasps hand and souls find touch with 

page 3
The Garden Club of Dresden, Tennessee
Organized March 9, 1936.
Flower..........The Rose
Shrub.............Crepe Myrtle
Motto..................."Watch Us Grow."

page 4
The Collect.
Help us O God, to grow in Spirit and
in truth; Lead us in thought, word and deed.

Let us be kindly one toward another reserving all
hasty judgment.

Save us to be straight-forward and unafraid.

May we grow calm, serene, and become
gentlewomen willing to work and wait for
the fullness of our plans.

Remembering always that we are as one in the
big things of life.

O Lord God, give us love and understanding
as a key to unlock the hearts of womankind
and bestow our gifts of truth and beauty.

page 5
Club Membership
Charter Members
Mrs. I.L. Banks            Mrs. Mary Irvine
Miss Ida Baxter            Mrs. J.E. Jones
Mrs. J.N. Brasfield        Mrs. H.E. Jones
Mrs. W.D. Brasfield      Mrs. R.E. Maiden
Mrs. Roy Brasfield         Mrs. L.D. Maiden
Mrs. Lee Brasfield         Mrs. J.H. Moran
Mrs. Allen Brasfield       Mrs. W.G. Nall
Mrs. Claud Brock          Mrs. Warren Pettigrew
Mrs. H.O. Cashon         Mrs. Peter Porch
Mrs. M.E. Chandler       Mrs. W.H. Pritchett
Mrs. R.A. Elkins            Mrs. J.E. Shannon
Mrs. H.C. Frazier           Mrs. F.G. Smith
Mrs. Tom Grooms         Mrs. Raymond Smith
Mrs. Pete Harris            Mrs. Ruben Taylor
Mrs. S.L. Hastings         Mrs. J.W. Thomas
Mrs. J.C. Holbrook       Mrs. A.G. Thomason
Mrs. M.D. Ingram          Mrs. J.C. Vaughn
                     Mrs. King Webb

Miss Lettie Clement         Mrs. Fred Mayo
Mrs. W.E. Mischke         Mrs. Cayce Pentecost
Mrs. G.T. Mayo              Mrs. A.D. Stubblefield
                     Mrs. A.N. Walker

page 6
In Memoriam
Mrs. J.E. Jones . . . . . . Died December 7, 1938
Mrs. M.E. Chandler. . . Died April 23, 1939

Our Gardens
"The little worlds all set apart,
So loved by many a wistful heart,
Our gardens fair and green and still,
Where lovely flowers their sweetness spill.
So Sweet are they the soul forgets
All fear and longing and regrets;
For in these gardens worlds apart
The seeking one finds Peace O'Heart."

"Go make thy garden as far as thou cans't
 Thou workest never alone.

"Perchance he whose plot is next to thine
Will see it and mend his own."

page 7
Members for 1941
Mrs. J.O. Alexander        Mrs. H.E. Jones
Miss Ida Baxter               Mrs. R.E. Maiden
Mrs. O.W. Beard            Mrs. L.D. Maiden
Mrs. J.N. Brasfield          Mrs. Hobson Mayo
Mrs. W.D. Brasfield        Mrs. J.H. Moran
Mrs. H.O. Cashon          Mrs. Cayce Pentecost
Mrs. H.W. Davis            Mrs. Peter Porch
Mrs. R.E. Ellis                 Mrs. W.H. Pritchett
Mrs. R.A. Elkins             Mrs. J.E. Shannon
Mrs. S.L. Hastings          Mrs. H.A. Taylor (Maggie Fisher)
Mrs. Joe Hilliard             Mrs. A.G. Thomason
Mrs. M.D. Ingram          Mrs. J.W. Thomas
                       Mrs. King Webb
                       Miss Elsie Henderson
                       Mrs. John Smith

Miss Lettie Clement           Mrs. G.T. Mayo
Mrs. Fred Mayo                Mrs. J.B. Underwood
Mrs. Harold Watson          Mrs. Lyn Claybrook

page 8
Mrs. J.E. Shannon. . .1936, 1937, 1938
Mrs. H.O. Cashon. . .1939, 1940

Officers for 1941
President. . . . . . . . . . .Mrs. R.A. Ellis
1st Vice-President. . . .Mrs. R.E. Maiden
2nd Vice-President. . .Mrs A.G. Thomason
Secretary. . . . . . . . . . Mrs. L.D. Maiden
Treasure. . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. L.D. Maiden
Reporter. . . . . . . . . .  .Ms. A.G. thomason
Historian. . . . . . . .  . . .Miss Ida Baxter

Time of Meeting
Second Friday in Each Month

"Give fools their gold and knaves their power,
Let fortune's bubble rise and fall.
Who sows a field or trains a flower
Or plants a tree is more than all.
For God and man shall own his worth 
Who toils to leave as his bequest
An added beauty to the earth.

Page 9
Program and Year Book:
  Mrs. Joe Hilliard
  Mrs. J.W. Thomas
  Mrs. H.E. Jones
  Mrs. O.W. Beard

  Mrs. L.D. Maiden
  Mrs. J.E. Shannon
  Mrs. H.O. Cashon

  Miss Ida Baxter
  Mrs. J.N. Brasfield
  Mrs. M.D. Ingram

  Mrs. A.J. Thomason

  Mrs. H.O. Cashon
  Mrs. Hobson Mayo
  Mrs. H.W. Davis

  Mrs. R.A. Elkins
  Mrs. R.A. Taylor
  Mrs. King Webb

page 10
Flower Show:
  Mrs. H.E. Jones
  Mrs. R.E. Maiden
  Mrs. H.W. Pritchett
  Mrs. S.L. Hastings

City Beautiful:
  Mrs. J.H. Moran
  Mrs. J.O. Alexander
  Mrs. Peter Porch
  Mrs. Cayce Pentecost
  Mrs. W.D. Brasfield
  Mrs. J.N. Brasfield

Rules for the Flower Exhibit
Cut Flower exhibits shall be classified
into two groups:
I. Arrangement--Consisting of Same Kind of Flowers
or mixed varieties