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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Fisk Notes – 22 Feb 1907

Nashville Globe – 22 Feb 1907

Fisk Notes

  • Sunday, Feb 17, we had the unexpected pleasure of an address by Dr. Trumbull, editor of the Sunday School Times.  The basis of his address was his trip to the Holy Land several years ago.
  • Mr. Allen, of Walden, addressed the Y.M.C.A, February 17.  His subject, which was well handled, was “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”  The president of the Walden Y.M.C.A. was present and also made a few remarks.
  • At a business meeting of the Y.M.C.A. Tuesday night, the following officers for the next school year elected: President, T.M. Brumfield, Vice Presiden, A.M. Gilbert; Treasurer, M. Patterson; Corresponding Secretary, W.E. Key; Recording Secretary, W.H. Price; Librarian, Ernest Byrnes.
  • The Senior College Class was entertained at the home of President Merrill Monday evening from 5:30 until 9:00.  At dinner covers were laid for nineteen, including Mrs. H.F. Mitchell, wife of one of the members of the class, and Mr. Pratt Thomas, the absent president of the class.  Each one preset received as souvenirs of the occasion a little bow made of the class colors,  lavender and white and a choice from a group of Brown and <…> pictures.  All concur in saying that they spent a very pleasant evening at the President’s house.
  • We are expecting on March 6 a Pullman car full of friends of the A.M.A. who will spend the entire day visiting with us on the occasion of the dedication of Chase Hall.
  • La grippe has made its presence known at the University and a number of the students have felt its clutches.
  • The usual Washington’s Birthday Social was held in Jubilee parlors Thursday evening instead of Friday on account of the play, “The Merchant of Venice,” at Memorial Chapel Friday evening.
  • Mr. J.J. Green led Christian Endeavor at Howard Chapel Sunday night, February 17.
  • “Four-Square: or a Well-Rounded Manhood,” was the subject of an able address delivered before the White Cross League by Dr. Jas. Bond, on February 17.  The next meeting, held the third Sunday in March, will be addressed by Dr. F.A. Stewart.
  •  Calendar: “Merchant of Venice,” Feb. 22, Memorial Chapel – Dedication of Chase Hall, March 6.

Fisk 1898 Catalogue

While doing some searching on the Merrys, I found that Google had digitized the 1898 catalogue of Fisk University. In it, I was able to find a little bit of new information about a couple of members of the Merry family, in addition to reading that Ida Napier, sister of J.C. Napier, graduated in the class of 1877.

The catalogues of Meharry Medical College are also going online- currently, various catalogues from 1881-1902 are available.

News from Nashville – October 28, 1916

As published in the Chicago Defender

  • R.J. Johnston Jr., A.B., of M.M.C., Junior Med., has returned to Meharry from Panama.  C.A. Wm. C. Lowery and J. Fred Wells, junior meds, are back. W.O. Terrell, junior int., who reports a pleasant summer at Detroit, Mich., is back to Meharry with his “old pals.”
  • E.T. Buford, A.B., Fisk class of ’16, is president of the freshman medical class at Meharry.
  • Dr. J.H. Hale shows the Meharry men some deep points in surgery.   The inauguration of Dr. Hubbard was one of the most historical events of the city of Nashville.  Hon. J.C. Napier presented Dr. Hubbard the keys of Meharry, and announced him president of the institution.  Dr. Hubbard is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn, class of 1876, and has been laboring at Meharry since that time.  He delivered a fine address.
  • Isaac Fisher addressed the YMCA at Lincoln Theater last Sunday at 4pm.
  • Fisk met Walden on the football field last Saturday. 66 to 0 in favor of Fisk. Fisk will play West Virginia Oct 28 on Fisk campus. Coach Welker says that the boys are ready.
  • Mack T. William, Memphis sophmore, has returned to Roger Williams for study.  Mr. Williams is a licensed preacher and one of the best young orators of our race.
  • Miss Annie E. Stapler, South Pittsburg, Tenn., is back at Roger Williams for study. Eugent Tyler, Latin fiend, is back also.
  • The Nashville people enjoyed a heavy frost last Saturday night.
  • R.W. Brooks, Memphis, a graduate of Fisk ’16, is studying theology at Chicago University.
  • Miss Ethel Mayberry, Ruston, La., sophomore, is back to Roger Williams for study.

News of Nashville – November 10, 1917

    From the Chicago Defender November 10, 1917

  • President G.W. Hubbard of Meharry Medical College has returned to the city after a visit to New York, where he attended the meeting of the National Association of Dental Faculties
  • “The Model Home” was the subject of Rev. W. S. Ellington’s discourse last Sunday morning.
  • An attendance of seventy-five was reported for the Meharry Bible class at St. Paul’s A.M.E. church Sunday
  • E.L. Dunnings, A.B., senior medic, Meharry Medical College, was the guest of F.J. Myles, the Defender reporter, at 3528 West End avenue, Saturday.
  • Capt. M.V. Boutte and Lieut. H.A. Cameron left the city for Rockford, Ill. Tuesday night. They will be stationed at Camp Grant and will assist in training the Race men at that place.
  • The various educational institutions were visited during the week by Secretary Fabius of the YMCA international committee, together with two assistants, Belchaer and Evans, in the interest of the student friendship war fund. Fisk, Walden, Roger Williams universities, Meharry Medical College and the A & I State Normal were all visited and several hundred dollars in cash was tendered by the student of each institution.
  • L.E. Brown, the K. of P. secretary of Tennessee, whose home is in Memphis, was in the city this week.
  • Monroe Jordan of Pulaski, Tenn., is a popular junior dentist at Meharry Dental College.
  • Last week 150 men left the city for Camp Meade, Md. Some of Nashville’s best young men answered the country’s call.
  • Miss Hattie S. Hendly, 111 36th avenue South, was a visitor in North Nashville Sunday.
  • Mrs. Nelson G. Merry, wife of the late Rev. Nelson G. Merry, is dead.
  • The Chauffers’ Instructive association will hold a stag on Nov. 15 at the German-American hall.
  • Pearl High School had a dance last Saturday night at the German-American hall.
  • Miss Bertha Stevens and Ethel Mayberry, Louisiana, have returned for study at Roger Williams university.
  • Leonard Jones and Miss Gordon Officer were guests of Roger Williams university in a big cadillac.

Merrys, Merrys, Everywhere

Why are Merry’s coming out of the woodwork this week? Again tonight, I decided to do some more searching on Nelson Merry and found another relative for my friend. I came across this site that is in dedication to Sylvia Olden Lee, apparently, a great-granddaughter of Nelson Merry.

Sylvia Olden Lee was a classical musician and teacher, and the first black vocal coach at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, even playing at the inauguration ceremony of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She even has a Wikipedia entry.

On the dedication page, there is a section devoted to her family history and it states that Nelson Merry was her great-grandfather. It also provides some further history on her family, but some of it incorrect. This particular story attributes the Olden plantation to Nelson Merry, but an interview of Sylvia, that is provided as a link from this page, is more clear. Also, it states that Nelson had a sister, Elizabeth Merry, that was a Fisk Jubilee Singer.

After reading this, I went off to GenealogyBank to see if I could locate her obituary, and I did. There were two obits, one in the April 16, 2004 Philadelphia Enquirer, and one in the April 18th edition. She died April 10th of pancreatic cancer, and was 86 years old, thus born around 1918.

Off I go with more Google searching and I have just brought up a great amount of information! I cannot wait to add this to my Nelson Merry lineage; including, this book from Google Books that has information about Sylvia’s brother, Georg Elliot Olden.

Update  45 minutes later: I’ve found the exact connection! From the personal interview above, Sylvia stated that it was her father’s mother that was the daughter of Nelson Merry.  A search of the 1880 census revealed only one Olden couple that seemed to match for age, a G.D. and a Lizzie Olden. Well, I already know that Nelson had a daughter named Elizabeth, who is enumerated as “Lizzie” in their 1870 census record, and she is not in their house by 1880.  So, I suspected this was her as the age was right. Then, I decided to do a search of the Nashville Public Library’s marriage database from 1864 to 1905. Lo and behold, what do I find?   An entry for a Lizzie J. Merry united to George D. Olden on 27 May 1878! I am off to the Metro Archives this weekend to look at the actual marriage license.  This is wonderful!

Now, the sad part is, why didn’t I search the marriage database before? I found marriage records for another two girls who could be Merry’s daughters.

Dr. Josiah Strong Lecture

Nashville Globe – Feb 22, 1907

Dr. Josiah Strong  – Eminent Divine & Author Delivers Great Lecture to Prominent Colored & White Men of the City

He showed that Christianity under the workings of true service, love and sacrifice would solve all the difficult problems now vexing men.

In the  columns of the Globe of February 15, on the second page, appeared under the caption “Prominent Divine Coming,” an announcement setting forth that through the efforts of Rev. J.H. Currey and Dr. Lamburt, of this city.  Dr. Josiah Strong, an eminent minister and author, of Buffalo, N.Y. would visit Nashville on February 20.  It was desired by these gentlemen that the leading ministers, professional and business men (colored) of Nashville should be given an opportunity to hear this distinguished author.  A Globe reporter was on the scene at 10 o’clock according to appointment.  On arriving he found the new chapel on the fourth floor of the Publishing House of the M.E. Church, South, filled almost to capacity.  The faces of the leading colored, divines, professors, doctors, lawyers, merchants and bankers were prominent.  Dr. J.B. Currey (white), opened the meeting with a few remarks, stating that Dr. Strong was in the city the guest of Dr. Lamburt.  He was suffering some from fresh cold and possibly he would be delayed ten or fifteen minutes, but that he desired that the time should be profitably spent by hearing brief remarks from leading colored men setting forth their opinion of the new move to inaugurate a better relations between the two races in Nashville.  Dr. J.H. Welch, presiding elder of the A.M.E. Church, Dr. Henderson, Dean of Theology at Fisk University, and Dr. R.H. Boyd, President of the One Cent Savings Bank and Secretary of the National Baptist Publishing Board each made brief statements.

During this time Dr. Strong made his appearance in company with Dr. Lamburt.  After a brief introduction by Dr. Curry, Dr. Strong arose andin his clear and cool manner apologized, explaining that he was suffering from considerable hoarseness, but said that if he was going to preach a sermon to the gentlemen present, he would use this text, “Behold, I make all things new.”  Dr. Strong started out by narrating a story, stating that Mrs. Russell Sage had in her possession a letter written by an English lady to a friend one hundred years ago; giving her a description of a trip on a little boat from New York City to Albany and returning, which required seventeen days.  He said that invention and science had made such rapid progress that the Atlantic Ocean could be crossed, the continent of Europe could be entered as far as Constantinople and return in the same length of time.  He said that what was true in the changes of speed and comfort of travel in this county was also true in the new development of all others — wealth, science and knowledge.  He said that a majority of the world’s wealth and knowledge that had been accumulated within the last one <….text missing in between….>

…from the various governments and various nationalities, and yet were huddled together as one family, each depending upon the other.  He showed that the great questions arising were not questions that could be settled by political issues, but to be settled like all financial questions, commercial questions, labor problems, and sociological questions or problems — must be settled upon the Christ plan.  He said that the old theology and theologians had misunderstood and misinterpreted the purpose of Christ’s coming to the earth.  The old idea was that Christ’s purpose for visiting earth was to increase the census or population of Heaven and that his greatest mission, his greatest argument, was to persuade men from earth to Heaven, but that nothing could be more foreign from the teachings of Christ.

He said that this old idea of both the theologians and the scientists was to set forth a theory and then look for facts to support it; but that the new theologian and the new scientists looked for all the facts both in the Bible and in nature, summed them up and then applied the best theory.  And this new theory and new theology had made the world rich in wealth, rich in Christianity, and rich in knowledge.  He said that so soon as each man could be taught to understand his proper relation to  his fellow brother, all these problems would be readily settled, and then, and not until then, would the kingdom of God come.

At the close of his address, Dr. Lambuth arose and spoke of starting to Japan within the next few days to assist in organizing the United Methodist Church of Japan, to be composed of the Methodist churches of the South, East and of Canada.  He asked the prayers of all present for diving guidance.

He also explained that the Minister’s Conference had done all in its power to prevent the appearance of “The Clansman” on the stage in this city a few weeks ago; that they offered to pay the rent of the opera house in full if prevented; that they  had not succeede, but that the efforts to suppress the “Clansman” had awakened a great idea of Christian responsibility among the Christian citizenship of Nashville, and assured the colored representatives that the better element of the Southern whites were willing to join heart and hand with them for bettering their condition in this county.  After which, Dr. Chappelle, Hon. J.C. Napier, and a number of gentlemen present expressed their high appreciation for the visit of Dr. Strong and assured him that they believed this to be the beginning of a “New Era” in the city of Nashville.

“The Merchant of Venice”

“The Merchant of Venice”
Nashville Globe – February 15, 1907
pg. 4

On Friday of next week the Junior College Class of Fisk University will present the “Merchant of Venice” in the Fisk Memorial Chapel, commencing at 8 pm. Much care, time and pains have been spent in the preparation and practice towards the end of making the play the huge success that indications show it would be. Among the personnel are James A. Myers, of Lexington, Ky., in the role of Antonio the merchant, and William Arthur Macintyre, of Port of Spain, Trinidad, B.N.I., as Bassanio, the friend and born companion of Antonio.

The proceeds are to be devoted to the endowment fund of the Carnegie Library, and it is hoped that this fact, apart from the literary treat in store, will draw a representative gathering of the lovers of race progress.

Prince Herman

Nashville Globe
February 15, 1907
pg. 3

The entertainment at Fisk University Friday night, Feb. 8, was a success in every way. Every teacher and student of Fisk, and hundreds of our best citizens, were present. The 800 people who were fortunate in squeezing into Livingstone Hall were more than delighted, while the 200 or more persons turned away from the door because there was no room inside missed a real treat. These and all others will, however have opportunity to see Prince Herman at his very best in a bran [sic] new programme at Meharry Auditorium the night of Friday, March 8th. This will eclipse all other programs, because the stage is sufficiently large to admit of many very special features.

Crowded houses have greeted Prince Herman and Duke Berryman this week, 2 nights at Second Baptist Church, 2 nights at Jackson Temple and 1 night at Trinity C. M. E. Church. Their engagements for next week as follows: Payne Chapel A.M.E. Church, Monday night, Feb. 18th, Hubbard Chapel M.E. Church, Tuesday night, Feb. 19th; Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, Wednesday night , Feb. 20;; Third Avenue Baptist Church, Thursday night, Feb. 21st; Seays Chapel M.E. Church, Friday night, Feb. 22nd.

Prince Herman advises his many friends to see The Merchant of Venice at Fisk University Friday night, Feb. 22nd.

Fisk Notes – 15 Feb 1907

Fisk Notes
Nashville Globe – February 15, 1907
Pg. 2

  • Miss Hukill, principal of the English Department, has returned and resumed her duties.
  • A crowded house witnessed the performance of Prince Herrman [sic] last Friday night. A neat little sum was realized, the University portion of which was given to the Fisk Athletic Association.
  • “The Country Fair” was given by the Tanner Art Club, netted the sum of nearly thirty dollars. This will be used in helping to furnish a club room for the girl’s literary societies.
  • A number of Fisk students attended the Christian Endeavor School at Howard Chapel, Tuesday night.
  • Mr. Ricks, a promising attorney of St. Paul, spent several days in the city, and while here visited friends at the University.
  • The Senior College and Junior Normal Classes are throwing “rocks” at each other in grand style.
  • Miss Florence G. Jackson, of the Senior Class, was the victim of a social occasion on her birthday, February 7. H. R. Merry’s birthday fell on the same date but he happily escaped.
  • Mr. J. T. Phillips read an original poem composed in honor of Professor C. W. Morrow on the latter’s birthday, February 8.
  • Mrs. H. F. Mitchell is on the sick list.
  • Thurlow James, who has been confined for several weeks, will soon be out.
  • President Merill preached Sunday, February 10. His subject was “Moses, the Leader of his People.”
  • Mr. Allen, of Walden, will address the YMCA Sunday, Feburary 17.
  • Mrs. Green, mother o four instructor of elocution, has had quite a pleasant visit at Fisk.
  • Prof. H. C. Morgan has returned from her Southern trip.
  • Mrs. J. G. Merrill gave a luncheon, February 9, in honor of the Senior Normals. The Senior College girls were entertained at supper St. Valentine Day by Misses Boynton and Morgan.
  • Newman Sykes is on the sick list.
  • Alfred King sang at the Christian Endeavor social, Howard Chapel, February 12.

Fisk Notes – 1 Feb 1907

Fisk Notes
February 1, 1907
Pg. 5

  • Dr. Grant, traveling in behalf of the Old Folks’ and Orphans’ Home, of Birmingham, presented the needs of that institution to Fisk at prayer meeting, Wednesday evening, Jan. 16. A contribution of more than seven dollars was made by the students and faculty.
  • Friday night, Jan. 18, Prof. H. C. Morgan left for a three weeks’ tour of the South. She will visit the various schools of the South, and the homes of Fisk graduates and former students.
  • On January 17, the College Seniors were excused from classes that those who desired might attend the inauguration of Gov. Patterson. Among those who took advantage of the opportunity to attend were H.F. Mitchell, H.R. Merry, and B.W. Payne. As might have been expected, there were very few Negroes present, but it is the consensus of opinion of those who were there that the occasion was inspiring and uplifting.
  • Through the kindness of Dr. R. H. Boyd, B.W. Payne and G. T. Overstreet spent a very profitable afternoon one day last week visiting the National Baptist Publishing House. Dr. Boyd seemed delighted to show us through the various departments, and not only extended us a cordial invitation to return, but assured us that he would be glad to have any of the students visit him. The afternoon was one of incalculable value from an educational standpoint, and if ever you feel discouraged about the “Negro Problem,” we advise you to visit Dr. Boyd and his Publishing House.
  • Miss Maud Clayton, of Savannah, Ga., was called home on account of the serious illness of her mother.
  • Percy Crenzot has been laid up on account of rheumatism. Crenzot has never fully recovered from injuries received in the early part of the football season.
  • Thursday evening, Jan. 17, the Fisk Debating Club held its regular monthly meeting in the collegiate room of Livingston Hall. This was the most interesting meeting we have had this year. The subject for debate was one in which every Negro is interested: Resolved, That President Roosevelt was justified in dismissing the three companies of the Twenty-fifth Infantry. The speakers on the affirmative were T.P. Haralson and W. G. Upshaw; on the negative, J.A. Green and Wm. Dawson. The speakers on both sides showed that they had givine much care and thought to the subject, and their manner of delivery as well. The decision of the judges was in favor of the negative. Music was rendered by the Fisk Quartette — Myers, Merrill, Boutte and A. King. There was an unusually large attendance, including several members of the faculty.
  • Mr. G. W. Haynes suppled Mr. J. C. Russell’s pulpit at Goodletsville Sunday
  • Mr. Gore, President of the city association, visited the Sunday morning meeting of the Y.M.C.A. and made a few remarks.
  • Prof. J. W. Work addressed the Y.M.C.A. Jan. 27
  • Fisk University and the music lovers of Nashville had a rare treat in the lecture-recital given ni the Memorial Chapel on the January 18, by Prof. Edward Baxter Perry.
  • Prof. W.A. Giles addressed the White Cross League Sunday night, Subject: “Significance of the Sexual Instinct.”
  • Mr. W. A. Hunton, International Secretary of the Y.M.C.A., spent a couple of days with us the early part of last week. Tuesday evening he addressed the Mission Study Class on the subject of “Africa.”
  • Prof. T. W. Talley’s baby, Eunice, died Sunday, January 20. Funeral services were held at the residence Monday afternoon at two o’clock. Prof. C. W. Morrow, pastor of Union Church, officiating. Out of respect for Prof. and Mrs. Talley in their bereavement there was no school on the afternoon of Jan 31.
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