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

Obituary of Charles C. Poindexter (1913)

The following obituary for Charles C. Poindexter appeared in the June 6, 1913 issue of the Nashville Globe newspaper.

“Prof. Poindexter Dead”

Charles C. Poindexter, who was Professor of the Agriculture Department and Biology at Fisk University, died at Hubbard Hospital shortly after 12 o’clock Tuesday morning. He was operated on by Drs. Stewart and Welker Saturday and made good progress until an unfavorable change came Sunday afternoon, resulting in complications and ending in his death.

Prof. Poindexter was born in West Virginia March 10, 1880; he was a graduate from the Ohio State University in 1903 and did post graduate work for two years at Cornell University.  Upon completion of his work at Cornell, he became director of Agriculture work for both St. Paul School at Lawrenceburg, Virginia and St. Augustine School at Raleigh, North Carolina under the Episcopal Church. From there he was called to Fisk University four years ago  was assistant professor of Agriculture and Biology. In recognition of his efficiency and character, two years ago he was elevated to full professorship.

During his residence at Cornell he married Miss Florence Mercedes of Ithica, New York, March 31, 1905. A son was born to them in the summer of 1909. These two with three sisters and a brother survive him. The funeral was held Thursday morning at 9 O’clock in Fisk Memorial Chapel, and the remains were interred at the Greenwood Cemetery. The following young men of Fisk student body acted as pallbearers: Messrs. Nelson Glover, Raymond Powell, Charles Lewis, Overton Carter, Atwood Wilson and Henry Ferguson.

Funeral of Myrtle Callahan Chadwell

Impressive Funeral Services Held Over Remains of Mrs. Myrtle Callahan Chadwell, Monday, January 18th

Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Jammed to Capacity with Friends and Acquaintances of Deceased

22 Jan 1960, Nashville Globe Newspaper

Mrs. Myrtle Callahan CHADWELL died at a local infirmary, Wednesday morning, January 13th at 10:45, after a short illness.  Mrs. CHADWELL was born in Lincoln County, at Dellrose, Tennessee, July 12, 1912., the daughter of Marshall and Mattie CALLAHAN.  She grew up under a noble Christian influence, which early inspired her to look forward to the better things in life.  Attending the school of her community, she grew in knowledge and understanding and imbibed the spirit of her mother and father and mother, which influenced her life in the way of noble living, which she clung to, to the end of her earthly career.

In the year of 1924, she moved to Nashville, a young and energetic woman; she attended the schools in Davidson County.  Professing a hope in Christ early in her young life, at the First Baptist Church in Rock City, under the Rev. William PITT, who was a the time, the pastor.  In 1930 she was wooed and won by Mr. Sora W. CHADWELL, and united in the holy bonds of matrimony, then she moved her membership to the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.  To this happy union six children were born, of this number, two preceded her in death.

Her pastor, Rev. Felix H. NEW, delivered an impressive and worthy Mrs. CHADWELL, throughout her membership career; and said the pastor, “Myrtle was an asset and not a liability to Mt. Ararat.”  Papers and resolutions read attested the esteem and love held for the deceased: her friends and acquaintances were in attendance from all walks of life and all parts of Nashville.  Rev. L.R. HALL, assistant pastor of Mt. Ararat; Rev. William PITT, and Rev. Samuel H. SIMPSON, made brief remarks giving words of comfort to the bereaved family.

Mrs. Myrtle CHADWELL leaves to mourn her passing, a husband, Mr. Sora W. CHADWELL, two sons, Wayman N. and John N. CHADWELL; two daughters, Mrs. Cornelia BAIRD and Mrs. Ethel JOHNSON; one steps-son, Sora W. CHADWELL, Jr., four sisters, Mrs. Jerena MERRITT, Mrs. Lucy HARDING, Mrs. Wynona HARDING and Mrs. Elease HARRIS; seven grandchildren, seven nieces; two nephews; two aunts, one great-aunt; one uncle; father-in-law; mother-in-law; two sons-in-law; two daughters-in-law; and

“Sunset” and evening star,
a best of relatives and friends.
And one clear call for me;
And may there be no moaning at the bar;
When I put out to sea.”


This is so disheartening 😦

From the May 12, 1866 issue of the Columbia Herald newspaper of Maury County, TN

We learn that two negroinfants were discovered drowned, in a branch on the farm ofCol. Andrew J. Polk on Monday last. They had been thrown there by their mothers, who, learn, gave as reason, their inability to support them.  — They ought rather to have sent them to their father Fisk

Obituary: Geneva Windham McKissack

Recently, I was contacted by a relative of Geneva, so have been doing some additional research on the McKissack family. Here is Geneva’s obituary:

McKISSACK — Thursday, Jan. 11, 1951, at a local hospital.  Mrs. Geneva Windham McKissack.  Survived by husband, Mr. Calvin L. McKissack; sister, Mrs. Melvin Sears, Birmingham, Ala; brother , Mr. Lewis Windham, Birmingham, Ala.; foster son, Mr. Lamar Mitchell; a host of relatives and friends. The body will lie in state at her late residence. 1503 Edgehill ave. from Friday evening 6 o’clock until Saturday afternoon 1 o’clock.  Funeral service will be held at Capers Memorial C.M.E. church Saturday, Jan. 13, 1951 at 2 o’clock. The Rev. L.A. Story officiating.  Active pallbearers are her nephews: L. Winter McKissack, Moses McKissack IV, Lamar Mitchell, Calvin McKissack, Lemuel McKissack, Samuel McKissack, DeBerry McKissack, and L. Winter McKissack Jr.  Honorary pallbearers , The Arora Assembly, Le Vingt et Un club and Associates of McKissack and McKissack.  Flower ladies: Cleaners Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Vagabond Club, Le Vingt et Un Club. Internment Mount Ararat cemetery. Queen Anne Funeral Home of Pulaski, Tenn. in charge with the assistance of the funeral directors of Nashville. — Nashville Tennessean, January 11, 1951.

Editorial note:  Capers Memorial Church was designed by the McKissack family.

A Hanging in Nashville

Today is Martin Luther King day and there are many activities going on around Nashville to celebrate the holiday.   While we still have far to go, let’s not forget how far we’ve come.

Hanging in Tennessee — The first legal execution ever witnessed in the county in which Nashville, Tenn., is situated took place when three negroes were suspended from the same scaffold.  The execution was witnessed by about two hundred people.  The condemned men were Babe BATTISE, Ducer THOMPSON and Abe PETEWAY.  There were about three hundred people outside the jail while the execution was going on.  PETEWAY killed an old white man named WRENN on the night of May 31, 1900.  BATTISE and THOMPSON were hanged for the murder of Cain THOMPSON, a negro spotter for the police, two years ago.

St. Petersburg Times Newspaper. July 27, 1901. Accessed via Google News Archive.

In Loving Memory: Mrs. Mary Holt

From the May 20, 1960 issue of the Nashville Globe

Mrs. Mary Holt

In Loving memory of my dear wife; Mrs. Mary HOLT, who passed away one year ago, May 25, 1959.  Sis.  HOLT was the wife of the Rev. R.E. HOLT, pastor of the Olive Baptist Church.  And a devoted member of the said church.

Sleep on dear Wife
” ‘Tis God who thought best
To take you from this world of sorrow
To a lovely place of rest.”

Day by day I’m striving to meet you
In that fair Heavenly home,
” ‘Tis the land where all is happiness
Up there where sorrow is unknown.”

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Angels guard thy sleeping clay.
I am working forward
To see you resurrection day.

Rev. R.E. Holt, husband
Church and Family

Deaths: May 20, 1960

From the May 20, 1960 issue of the Nashville Globe

  • BEDFORD, Mrs. Hattie – May 14, at a local nursing home
  • CECIL, Wade – May 10 at a local hospital
  • COLLIER,  Mrs. Daisy – May 14 at a local infirmary
  • COPELAND, Rev. Thornton – May 16 at a hospital in Detroit, Mich.
  • CROOK, Mrs. Katie – May 9 in Chicago, Ill.
  • CURTIS, John Bowing – May 8th at a local hospital
  • FOWKLES, Mrs. Annie Bell – May 17 at her home 1720 Jefferson St.
  • HAMPTON, Mr. Thomas – suddenly May 16 at a local hospital
  • HARRIS, Mrs. Rhoda Ann – May 9 at a local infirmary
  • HARVEY, Mr. William McKinley – suddenly May 13 at a local infirmary
  • KNIGHT, Mr. Willie Rogers – suddenly May 15 at a local hospital.
  • MALONE, Mrs. Mary Kate-Lyda – May 14 at a local infirmary
  • SAMPLE, Mr. William – May 16 at his residence 594 J.C. Napier Cts.
  • SIMS Sr., Mr. Harvey R. – May 15 in Phoenix, Arizona
  • SWANSON, Miss Georgia Lee – suddenly May 9 at a local infirmary
  • TERRY, Dr. Maggie E. – May 15 at residence of sister 2107 Osage St.
  • WATSON Sr., Mr. Cain – May 9 at his residence in Cincinatti, Ohio

City Items – March 1, 1907

From the Nashville Globe – 1 Mar 1907

  • Mrs. P.R. Burrus, Mrs. N.J. Anderson, Mrs. Ligon, Mrs. R.S. White, Mrs. Ferguson and Miss Lena Jackson, representing the esteem and love of many of their friends, came laden with good things Saturday night to the parsonage of Howard Church, making the hearts of the pastor and wife glad.  Rev. J. Bond says  “Come again.”
  • The Misses Franklin, of 78 Claiborne street, were called to North Nashville Tuesday morning to attned the funeral of their cousin, Carrie E. Cleveland.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Becton, of 819 Stevens street, left for Battle Creek, Mich., Saturday night.
  • There will be a parlor concert on Wednesday evening, March 6, at the residence of Miss Mattie Matthews, 440 Eigth avenue, North, by the Willing Workers Club for the benefit of Tabernacle Baptist Church.
  • Miss Zenith McKatherine, who waited on her sick father until his death, never wearied, her kind hands were willing to do all they could to add to his comfort.  One year ago she left Walden University, and went to Lake Providence to attend her father, Mr.  Thom. McKatherine.  She did her duty lovingly and faithfully until the end.
  • Mr. I.W. Hydye, of 1606 Alberta Avenue, is suffering from influenza.
  • Mr. John Watkins arrived from New Orleans Tuesday night.
  • Mr. Jno. Langston Poole, of Meharry Medical College, leaves this week for Chicago.
  • The Meharry commencement has been changed from the first of April to the 29th of March.
  • Mrs. I.J. Jordan, of 514 Watkins street, who has been ill, is much improved.
  • Mr. William D. Boger was called to Marietta, Ga., last Saturday to attend the funeral of his grandmother who died last Friday.  He returned to the city Monday.
  • Prof. W.L. Cansler, though still confined to his room, is improving.
  • Quite a large number of Meharry boys left last Saturday for Chicago.
  • The Fisk Literary Club will hold its next meeting at the home of Miss Laura Stump, Twelfth avenue, North and Jackson street, March 7, at three o’clock.
  • Mrs. Myrtle Hicks and children have returned to their home in Indianapolis after a visit to her mother Mrs. Hill.
  • Mr. Eugene Clayton, of East Nasvhille, will leave in a few days for New York, Buffalo and Washington, D.C.  Mr. Clayton will be out of the city for about two weeks.
  • Attorney G.F. Anderson took a brief trip to Gallatin, Tenn., on legal business and it was quite successful.  He also made a trip to Livingston, Tenn.
  • The young ladies’ club of the First Baptist Church, East Nashville, will give their entertainment March 11.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carter were called to their home in Evansville, Ind., on the account of sudden illness of her mother.
  • The young men’s club of First Baptist Church, East Nashville, gave an entertainment Monday night which proved quite a success.
  • The death of Mrs. Mary Mason, mother of Miss Queenie Arnold, of East Nashville, was very sad.  The funeral took place Tuesday.
  • The Ladies’ Imperial Needlework Club met in regular meeting with Mrs. Napoleon Ransom, Wedndesday afternoon.  Several important topics were discussed, after which an article on “What women are doing” was read by Mrs. Herrod, which was very effective.  The ladies adjourned to meet next week with Mrs. J.H. Smith, of Phillips street.
  • Mrs. A.C. Gibson, of South High street, who has been reported very sick, is much improved.
  • Mr. Louis D. Bumbrey, who for some time was in the employ of the National Baptist Publishing Board, is in town.
  • Mrs. A.E. Montague, of 526 Fourth avenue, South, is slightly indispose this week.
  • The many friends of Mrs. A.J. Dodd will regret to learn that she is confined to her bed again.  At this writing she is improving.
  • Miss Annie May Neely has returned to the city after a month’s stay with her uncle in Columbia.  Mr. Harry McLawrine, who has been visiting his mother in Mt. Pleasant, accompanied Miss Neely back to the city.
  • Mrs. William Dopson, of 1892 Fourth avenue, North, is going to spend the latter part of the month in Columbia, Ohio.
  • Mrs. Ella Brown Beard passed away on the 22nd of this month.  Her funeral was held on the 24th at the Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church.
  • Mrs. James Dismukes entertained Wednesday at her home, 516 Fourteenth avenue, North.  Mrs. Wm. Richardson, of 1207 Phillips street, and Mrs. W.M. Cannon and little daughter, Glenora, with a one o’clock dinner.
  • Born to Mr. and Mrs. George L. Stratton, of 1507 Fourteenth avenue, a girl.  Mother and daughter are doing nicely.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jackson were entertained at her home 315 Eighth avenue, North, with her many friends, Monday night, February 25, she being thirty-four years old.  Those prsent were Mesdames Warmack, Frierson, Burrus, Dozier, Young, Overton, Misses Josie Thompson, Bell, Messrs. Jordan, Overton.  Dr. B.F. Davis spoke to the guests on “Life is what you make it.”  A number of presents were received by Mrs. Jackson.
  • Mrs. Lyttleton Jones has been confined to her bed for several days, suffering from an attack of la-grippe.  Mrs. Jones and daughter, Mrs. Kate Steele are located at 707 Jefferson street and Seventh avenue, North.
  • Mrs. Eliza Davidson, who has been sick for the last two weeks, is very much improved.
  • Mr. Jno. L. Cheatham, of 819 Eighteenth avenue, is on the sick list this week.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Prince, of Patterson street, spent Sunday and Sunday night in Franklin with his mother, who is very ill.
  • Mrs. Whigsaw, of 1918 Broadway, is expecting her two sisters from Indianapolis soon.
  • Mrs. Rueben O’Neal, who has been sick for several weeks, is up and out again.  She wishes to thank her many friends for their kindness during her illness.

New Footnote Database – Negro Subversion

Footnote recently released a new database, Military Intelligence – Negro Subversion.  These materials come from the War Department and includes their correspondence with other agencies.  These records concern activities of black civilian and military citizens from 1917-1941.   I did some preliminary exploration and found that the collection includes several issues of the Crisis Magazine, the magazine of the NAACP.  

I assumed there would be materials in this collection relevant to citizens of Nashville and I’ve already found a few items.  Here is an example, a death notice published in the May 1919 issue of The Crisis

Dr. Gordon Phipps, of Corsicana, Tex., is dead.  He was born at Hartford, Ky., January 4, 1859 and was a graduate of Roger Williams and Meharry Medical College.

Smyrna Notes

Nashville Globe – 1 Mar 1907

Smyrna Notes

  • Mrs. Martha A. Thompson and Mr. George Edmondson were quietly married last Sunday.
  • Madames M.C. Wade, S.K. Ridley and George M.  Jordan were in the city last week visiting relatives and friends. 
  • Miss Mary Cartwright has joined Miss E.M. Perry’s class in instrumental music.
  • Mrs. Ellen C. Elliott, surrounded by a host of friends left for Hot Springs Sunday night feeling much refreshed by her two months’ vacation. 
  • Miss Ellen Baker has gone to the city to spend a few weeks. 
  • News of the death of Mrs. Mary Mason, of East Nashville, formerly of this place, has been sadly received.