Saturday, October 5, 2013

Twins and a Job Reference 1893

I came across a cabinet portrait today taken by Clintock & Harper in Jackson Tennessee of two babies. It's annotated with the names William Freeman and James Rhodes Blackard. The name Blackard seemed familiar.  I do a lot of cemetery transcription and documenting graves on Findagrave and I recalled the Blackard family at Riverside Cemetery in Jackson. 

But even before that it seemed familiar and it was.  We have a letter from J.W. Blackard to Fannie Moran dated April 4 1893.  Fannie was looking for work and needed letters of recommendation.  James Washington Blackard of Jackson was writing back to say sure thing, be happy to give you a good recommendation.  

Dr. James Washington Blackard was a president emeritus of Lambuth College at Jackson Tennessee.  He was also a leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Memphis Conference.  Educated at Union University he received a BA in 1882 and in 1900 the doctor of divinity was conferred at Young Harris College in Georgia.  He was ordained in 1885 and held pastorates throughout West Tennessee including Dresden which is probably where the association with the Moran family began.  He retired in 1935 but by no means slowed down and continued to be active in the church til his death in 1938.

He married Louisa Francis White in 1883 and they had six boys and one girl.  He was the son of Sheriff Wiley Freeman Blackard and Teresa Matilda Wiley.  

The twins, William Freeman Blackard and James Rhodes Blackard, were born on June 29 1893 in Somerville Tennessee just a few months after he wrote the letter Fannie..  James died the following year on August 8 1894 in Jackson Tennessee.  His twin brother William went on to have a long life and followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Methodist Minister.  He married Edith Crawley Warren and they lived in Johnston City Tennessee are interred at Monte Vista Memorial Park.  On a side note their daughter Edith married Aubrey U. Meadows of Bristol, Tennessee.  He was employed in the chemicals division at Eastman Kodak and ironically James Henderson Moran was also employed at Eastman after he moved his family to east Tennessee!  I wouldn't be surprised if Jim knew Aubrey.

Here's the letter from Dr. J.W. Blackard to Fannie:

Somerville Tenn
April 4, 1893

Miss Fannie Moran
    Nashville Tenn.

My Dear Friend:
  You must excuse my delay in answering your letter.  I have been busy in a revival meeting lasting two weeks.  My time has been completely occupied.  So you are destined to be a Pedigogue and "teach the young idea how to shoot."  I think if I were you I would about as soon marry a Methodist preacher as to become a school teacher.  

However I can recommend you for either position.  I do not think however that a testimonial from me will be of much value to you.  If you succeed in finding a desirable position open you can refer the trustees to me and if they see proper to write to me you can rest assured that I will give you a first-class recommendation.

How would you like to come to Somerville to teach.  We have two very fine schools here-a Female Institute and a Male College.  There are five teachers in the one and three in the other.  I am quite sure there will be no vacancy in the Male School.  It is not likely that there will be a vacancy in the Institute still there may be.  There would be no harm in your writing to Prof. N.A. Flournoy the president and  referring him to me.

I was somewhat disappointed when you closed your description of the Mills revival without adding that you had joined the Church.  We are all well.  The family sends regards.

Yours,
      J.W. Blackard




In the letter Dr. Blackard mentions N.A. Flournoy.  He was Nathaniel Abraham Venable Flournoy, born 1839 in Virginia to Thomas and Frances M. Venable Flournoy.   Nathaniel was a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in 1858 and attended the University of Virginia in 1859.  Before the war he taught school in Mississippi.  At the age of 21 he enlisted in the Confederate Army.  Rank at enlistment was 1st Lieutenant, he was promoted to full Captain on Mar. 29, 1863.  He served with his brother Jacob Morton Flournoy in Co. E, Virginia 56th Infantry Regiment.  

He married Laura E. Lewis in 1864 and had four children.  After the war he removed to Tennessee where he opened a school.  From the letter we know for sure he was the president of Female Institute and Male College at Somerville.   In 1892 he married Dora Alston, the daughter of a prominent Haywood county physician named Auguston Alston.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Politics, a Wedding and a Watchmaker: Dresden Enterprise May 30 1884

I thought it would be fun to post some items from the Dresden Enterprise, May 30 1884.  Sort of a slice of news that would've interested the folks in Weakley County.

Wedding Announcement
Swaim-Boswell
At the residence of Mr. North Brasfield, five miles south of Dresden, on Wednesday afternoon, May 28, Dr. T.H. Swaim, of Gleeson, and Mrs. Carrie Boswell of this county, were united in marriage, Dr. D.C. Johnson officiating.

Attendants.
Dr. B.F. Taylor and Miss Tennie Green, Dr. R.W. Bandy and Miss Carrie Rogers, Mr. J.H. W. Bandy and Miss Kate Brasfield, Mr. C.S. Swaim and Miss Kate Jeter, Mr. W. R. Bobbitt and Miss Fannie Brasfield, Mr. M.F. White and Miss Kate Brasfield.

The bridal couple left for nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, and then to the East, where they will visit Niagara Falls, Saratoga, and other noted places.  

A large circle of friends and relatives wish them much happiness in their new relation.

Links to Goodspeed Biographical information:
North Brasfield aka George R. Brasfield, the father of the bride Carrie Brasfield.  


Here's a nice advertisement for Calvin B. Scott's business.  Not only was he a watchmaker and jeweler but he sold sewing machines, musical instruments and silverware and "also headquarters for fine Saddles, Bridles, etc."  Located on the west side of the public square in Dresden TN.

Calvin B. Scott was born in 1840 in Madison or Rutherford County TN.  He was the son of George R. Scott and Hester Ann Haltom.  He served in the Confederate Army in Manney's Battery and was at the fall of Fort Donelson.  After that he joined Forrest's Cavalry and in 1864 he returned home.  He married Ann Jane "Jennie" Byrn in 1864 and had a large family.  He died in 1892 and is buried somewhere in Mayfield Kentucky.  His wife Jennie moved to St Louis and died there in 1929.

Link to Goodspeed Biographical information:

And last are the Political Announcements:

For Congress
We are authorized to announce WISE A. COOPER, of Gibson county, a candidate for Congress from this the Ninth Congressional district, subject to the action of the Democratic Congressional Convention.

We are authorized to announce Hon. RICE A. PIERCE, of Obion, a candidate for re-election to Congress from this the Ninth Congressional district, subject to the action of the Democratic Congressional Convention.

We are authorized to announce Hon. W.P. CALDWELL, of Weakley county, a candidate for Congress from this the 9th Congressional district, subject to the action of the Democratic Congressional convention.

For Attorney-General
We are authorized to announce STACKER J. TAYLOR, of Henry county, a candidate for Attorney-General of this the 12 Judicial Circuit.  Election August 7.

We are authorized to announce JOHN BELL, of Obion county, a candidate for Attorney-General of this the 12 Judicial Circuit.  Election August 7, 1884.

We are authorized to announce JOHN E. WELLS, of Troy county, a candidate for Attorney-General of this the 12 Judicial Circuit, at the next August election.

We are authorized to announce A.B. LAMB of Henry county, a candidate for Attorney-General of this the 12 Judicial Circuit at the next August election.

For Sheriff
We are authorized to announce J.P. (Dad) GIBBS a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

We are authorized to announce BOB SCOTT a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

We are authorized to announce W.P. DUKE a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

We are authorized to announce J.C. CARLTON a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

We are authorized to announce W.A. THOMPSON a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

We are authorized to announce N.T. (THADDEUS) GROOMS a candidate for Sheriff of Weakley county, Tennessee, at the ensuing August election.

For Trustee
We are authorized to announce LEA HARRIS a candidate for Trustee of Weakley county, at the next August election.

We are authorized to announce Dr. J.E. SHANNON, of the 9th district, a candidate for Trustee of Weakley county at the ensuing August election.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Town and County News May 30 1884


From the Dresden Enterprise
May 30, 1884


--But little over two months to the county election

--Mrs. Thomas Glass remains very ill at her residence near town.

--Prof. Charlie Denham and sister, Miss Allie, visited Dresden this week.

--The Prohibition Club, at its last meeting, obtained twenty-three accessions.

--Mrs. Polk Alexander and Mrs. W.A. Swaim, of Gleeson, were in Dresden Wednesday.

--Mr. George W. Winstead left for Athens last Monday, where he will deliver an Alumnal address.

--Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald, of Atlanta, Ga., formerly of this place, is visiting his mother, Mrs. J.A. Rogers.

--Dull times have set in and a local item is as hard to get as a straightforward answer from an evasive politician.

--The picnic to have been given tomorrow by the Dresden Sunday-school has been postponed until Friday, June 6.

--We need a Dean Swift to write up the political Liliputians who fume and fret their small souls in village councils.

--Miss Annie V. Bell, after an extended visit to relatives here, has returned to her home at Trenton, to the regret of her many admirers.

--Mrs. Annie Winston, who has been visiting her mother, Mrs. R.N. Irvine, the past few weeks, has returned to her home in Bowie, Texas.

--The cholera is still killing hogs in Dresden.  If this disease could be transferred to the Dresden dogs it would be changed from a curse to a blessing.

--This is the dull season for the towns but a very busy one for the rural districts, and consequently but few farmers are to be seen on our streets.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Luggage 1880's style, The Saratoga Trunk

I just liked this picture a lot.  There were several Saratoga trunks inside Moran Place.  Most of them were pretty beat up and ragged but the interior decorations were fun and whimsical.  Here's part of the inside lid of one of the trunks.