Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mary Kay Killebrew Conaway, The Dresden Connection

We think it's possible that the Confederate Officer is Thomas Leroy Killebrew and the man on the right could be his
son William Thomas Killebrew

These pictures did not come out of Moran Place in Dresden but from an estate sale in Memphis. However they do have a Dresden, TN, connection and now reside in our home, Moran Place Redux. :)  We hope you enjoy this discovery as much as we do and one we are still researching.

In case you hadn't noticed, Kent and I like history and genealogy.  A lot.  That means we frequent estate sales almost every weekend. Sometimes, just like the people in Northwest Tennessee who visited the estate sale at Moran Place we go just to see the interior of homes we would never have the opportunity to see.  We always go looking for bargains just like everyone else and sometimes we find them, sometimes we don't.   But we always go with an eye toward historical items and on random occasions serendipity occurs.

Yesterday, such a "fortunate happenstance" came into play when we visited 440 S. Greer St. in Memphis.  I noticed a drawer with pictures and some empty frames.  I sat down on the floor and pulled the drawer out hoping to find something of interest.  My first find was a tintype of a baby and it was annotated on the back "Bill Killebrew" with the following information: "Connie Lodice, P.O. Box 2563, W. Helena, AR. 3 Print to Prints from orig."   The Killebrew name piqued my interest.  I came across three other pictures of interest: 1) a framed copy of a Confederate Officer in uniform, two stars at his collar and carrying a sword, 2) a loose copy of a post-civil war man, possibly the same man who is in uniform and 3) a framed picture of an unidentified man ca 1880-1900.

We know this is "Bill Killebrew" but which "Bill Killebrew?"  We think this baby picture is of the man in the red
oval frame.  We think he might be William Thomas Killebrew.

I asked how much for the pictures and was told "we don't usually sell pictures, we sell frames."  Um, yes you do sell pictures, we attend estate sales all the time by this company so we know they do sell pictures.  But I wasn't going to argue so I said how much for the frames??  He didn't know which made me laugh.  We wandered down to ask the check out person and was told he could go $8, I said how about $5?  He said no but then promptly knocked off $2 on another item we bought.  Go figure.

Could this be William Thomas Killebrew, son of Thomas Leroy Killebrew and grandfather of Kay Killebrew Conaway?

A quick search of property records told me that Lawrence S. Conaway owned the bungalow style home built in 1920.  My next search was marriage records for Shelby County which told me that Lawrence Stephen Conaway married Kay Killebrew (bingo!) on March 10 1967, the service was performed by Loyal O. Hartman, Jr.   A google search for Kay Killebrew Conaway led me to the obituary of her brother, William Kenneth Killebrew Sr who was born January 4, 1938 in Dresden, TN!!    According to his obituary, their parents were William Thomas "Captain Bill" Killebrew and Marie Buckley Killebrew of Memphis.  This branch of Killebrews moved to Memphis in 1943.  Kay was born June 17 1941 and passed on November 20, 1005 per the SSDI.

Is the perhaps the Confederate Officer in a post-war picture? 

Kay Killebrew's grandparents were William Thomas Killebrew (1869-1943) and Alice Ruth Moore (1877-1862), both interred at Sunset Cemetery in Dresden.  We believe that the "Bill Killebrew" in the baby picture might just be Kay's grandfather, William Thomas Killebrew, and to us, the baby picture bears a resemblance to the man in the red oval frame.  Kay's great-grandfather was Thomas Leroy Killebrew (1839-1907).  He married Martha Ann Kennedy (1841-1928).  They are also interred at Sunset Cemetery.

We believe there is a strong possibility that the Confederate Officer is Thomas Leroy Killebrew. There are two stars on the officer's collar which indicates he was a lieutenant.  Thomas Leroy Killebrew served in Co. H, 33 Reg. Tennessee Infantry. He was promoted from Brevet Lieutenant May 8 1862, to 1st Lieutenant.   Killebrew tendered his resignation January 12 1863 however he appears on a roster for Jan and Feb 1864 as a a private and teamster with Co. H 33rd Infantry. Oddly enough, in May 1864 he appears on a register of patients at Ocmulgee Hospital at Macon Georgia with chronic diarrhea  His rank was Captain at that time.

Initial research leads us to think this just might be Thomas Leroy Killebrew, Co. H 33rd TN Infantry

A search for person named on the back of Bill Killebrew's baby picture, Connie Lodice of West Helena Arkansas turned up the following information.  She is the daughter of Peggy Craig and Raymond Eugene Tucker.  She married Thomas Joseph Lodice.  Connie's sister, Pamela Jo Tucker married Stephen M. Conaway who, if I'm correct, is the son of Lawrence and Kay Killebrew Conaway.   I am still researching the Conaway family

If I've mangled any of the family information let me know and if anyone can confirm our suppositions regarding the identity of the men in the photographs we'd like to hear from you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, My name is Connie Tucker Lodice. Kay Conaway and I were best friends. Captain Bill was her father. She has a sister living named Judy. I can't remember right off what her married last name is. The Conaway that is married to Pamela Jo is Stephen M. Conaway. Lawrence Stephen Conways brother. I am pretty sure that the tin is a picture of Kay Conaways grandfather or ggrandfather. Hope this has helped some and if I can help in anyway let me know.