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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.
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Funeral of Miss Sallie McBride

Nashville Globe – 22 Feb 1907

Funeral of Miss Sallie McBride – The funeral of Miss Sallie McBride, who died last Friday, took place at Payne Chapel Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Flagg, pastor of the Church. Miss McBride was an estimable young lady and had been a member of Payne Chapel for a number of years. Her funeral was largely attended by those who had associated with her from early girlhood to womanhood.

Note: Notice of her illness appeared in the Jan, 25th, 1907 issue (see last bullet point).


Death of Daniel Payne

Nashville Globe – 22 Feb 1907

Mr. Daniel Payne, father of Mr. Benjamin Payne, of Winter street, died Saturday morning after a prolonged illness.  Mr. Payne was 110 years old, and had been a devout Christian for 60 years.  He had been married four times and had thirty-five children.  Mr. Payne blasted out the foundation of the capitol building of Tennessee.  He died in full triumph of faith.

Smyrna Notes – 22 Feb 1907

Nashville Globe – 22 Feb 1907

Smynra Notes

  • Rev. S. Thompson was with us Sunday and as usual took a leading part in Sunday school.  He preached two sermons during the day.
  • Mrs. B.G. Strong and little daughter Lovie Lee, accompanied her husband on his charge this week, and were the especial guests of Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Dunnon.
  • Mr. John B. Ridley spent Sunday  with relatives and friends here.
  • The remains of Rev. Jordan Walker, and old resident of Lavergne, were brought here Friday morning for burial.  Quite a number came from the city to witness the funeral, which was conducted by Rev. Dr. Luckett, assisted by Revs. Giles and Pearson.
  • Mrs. Geo. Smith and little daughter Elizabeth, spent the day with the Dunnon family Sunday.
  • Mrs. Ellen C. Elliott, who has been here visiting for more than a month is to leave for Hot Springs, Ark,. Sunday night.  She will be in the city from seven till eleven-thirty, at which time her train will leave.  She enjoys reading the Globe, and will have it sent to the Elliott Flat, her home in Hot Springs.
  • Miss Isabella Batey left for the city Friday where she expects to make her home for a while.
  • While making boards, Mr. Pleas Smith was struck in the mouth, knocking out two of his teeth.
  • Mr. Geo Walker was in the city last week to have his eye treated.
  • Mrs. Mary J. Anderson is on the sick list.
  • Mr. J.M. Frierson was called to the city Sunday night on business.

A Bloody Tragedy

Nashville Globe – February 22, 1908

Renda Dilliard Kills Mollie Thompson – They Were Rivals For White Man’s Blandishments — The bloody sequel of the love affair between these two young negro women and their white paramour  should be warning to those similarly involved. 

The common saying, when there is a tragic difficulty between men, that a woman is at the bottom of it, is reversed in the tragedy enacted in the alley back of Seventeenth avenue, between State and Patterson streets, Sunday night, Feb 17, by Renda Dilliard and Mollie Thompson.  The cause of this fatal encounter, it is said, was a white man.  He was playing court to these two dusky damsels and this double dealing on his part when discovered aroused the green-eyed monster, jealousy, which had its tragic sequel in the death of the rascal’s paramours Sunday night….

the article continues, but I’m not posting the full-text here.

Cecil Gant 1913-1951

Cecil Gant April4, 1913- February 4, 1951 was a blues musician born here in Nashville. He had a song named “I Wonder” that reached number 1 on the black music charts. He even has a Wikipedia page.

Today I was contacted by someone who was trying to verify where Cecil is buried. He had some information from a book that Cecil was buried in Ohio, but had not found any associations that Cecil may have had to Ohio. His question to me – could I help him locate information that would help confirm where he was buried?

So, me being the obsessive one, had to start looking around to see if I could help him. Fortunately, the Chicago Defender comes to save the day again! I was able to locate some articles from the 1940s that mentioned that Cecil worked and travelled in Cleveland and even owned a nightclub there. I also found an obituary published in the February 17, 1951 issue of the Chicago Defender:

Interestingly enough, this obit does not mention his brother, Earnest, which I found mentioned in a later article from 1956. But, this, combined with the other articles I found, definitely show an association that Cecil had to Cleveland. The next step, locating where he may be buried. I’ve suggested to the person that contacted me that he try to get his death certificate (freely available on microfilm from the Tennessee State Library & Archives) to see if it is mentioned there. Another possibility would be to track his other family members to see where they may be buried. I’ll save that for tomorrow….

UPDATE: as reflected by Chuck’s comment on this post, he found him! Chuck called Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland, one of two cemeteries where blacks were usually buried during that time period, and they confirmed for him that Gant was buried there.

Rev. W.S. Ellington’s Mother Dies in Memphis

Nashville Globe – February 22, 1907

Rev. W. S. Ellington, who was summoned last Sunday afternoon to Memphis on account of the death of his mother, has returned to the city. His trip was indeed a sad one. He did not know that his mother was even ill and states that it was one of the remarkable cases where a person is hale and heatry one day and a corpse the next. Last Saturday his mother was visiting some of her children, who reside in Lake View; Miss. After hearing a rumor that Rev. Mr. Elllington would preach in Memphis last Sunday she became very eager to return, and immediately boarded the train for Memphis. When she arrived there she found that the report was only a rumor; yet this disappointment did not seem to affect her, and she began in her usual jovial way to entertain the children. Saturday night she was taken very ill and the entire family summoned to her bedside. Physicians were called in the early hours of the morning, but in spite of their efforts to relieve the suffere, she grew worse. Finally, she succumbed to the Angel of Death at ten o’clock Sunday morning.

Rev. Ellington left Sunday night at 11:30, arriving in Memphis Monday morning at 8 o’clock, where all of the children, including four boys and three girls, children of the deceased, had met to pay their last respects. Mrs. Ellington was 77 years old and has raised her family principally alone, her husband having died twenty years ago last June. She had a remarkable record as a Christian woman and worker. She was 40 years a member of the same church at Gallaway, Tenn., where all of her children spent their childhood days, and where her remains were interred in the church yard. Rev. Mr. Ellington returned Tuesday evening and was joined by a Globe reporter at Hollow-rock Junction. Hundreds of friends in Memphis, at the old home, and in Nashville, join in sympathy with him in his hour of bereavement. The floral designs and the many tokens of true, life long friendship were offered by hundred of friends.

Note: her full obituary also appeared in this issue.

Hattie Brown’s Death

From the Nashville Banner
Tuesday, July 15, 1884

Hattie Brown’s Death: a supposed suicide in North Nashville this morning

Deputy Coroner Pulliam was notified by telephone this morning, at 9:30 o’clock, of a case of suicide in North Nashville. Accompanied by a Banner reporter, he immediately repaired to the house designated, which is on Cridle street, and is known as “Turner’s frame.”  A large crowd of negroes had collected around the door and were discussing the event.  Upon entering, the deputy coroner found that Justice Adams had preceded him and held the inquest, the jury returning a verdict of death from the excessive use of whisky and morphine.  A number of witnesses were examined and it was shown that the woman, Hattie Brown, died between 8 and 9 o’clock yesterday and last night, and that she was an habitual morphine eater.

Dr. Rainey identified that the appearance of the deceased showed that this was the cause of her death.  Matt. Linch, colored, the proprieter of the house, testified that the girl was in her usual health last night, but after retiring, Willis Hope had given her a severe beating, and she was positive that this was the main cause of her death.  She also stated that Hope remained in the room with the girl until this morning, when he left, locking the door behind him and leaving the girl locked up.  About 8:30 o’clock Hope returned to the house and gave the alarm.  She insisted on Hope’s arrest, but the jury fully exonerated him.

Deputy Coroner Pulliam conferred with Coroner Campbell, and was instructed to hold an inquest, ignoring the former one.  The body was then removed to Litton & Pulliam’s establishment, and the inquest held.

When Deputy Coroner Pulliam, in carrying out the orders of the coroner, went to the house to remove the body of Hattie Brown to his undertaking establishment, there to hold the inquest, he was met at the house by W.S. Cook of Combs & Co., to whom Justice Adams turned the body over.  Cook said Pulliam should not remove the remains.  Cook finally, however, gave in and allowed Pulliam to carry out his orders.

Columbia Notes – 15 Feb 1907

Columbia Notes
February 15, 1907
pg. 3

  • The remains of Miss Mary Moore, who died in Nashville, arrived Saturday and were taken to the home of her sister, Mrs. Ella Wheatly, on East 7th street. Her funeral was conducted at Beach Grove Baptist Church, of which she was a member. She was the wife of the late Rev. George Moore, former pastor of said church. Mrs. Moore had made her home with her sister, Mrs. Wheatly, for a number of years, and although she was an invalid she was cheerful and will be missed from the family circle.
  • Miss Bessie Patton, of Nashville, was visiting friends here for a few days last week.
  • Mrs. Hattie Fleming is in Nashville at the bed side of her husband, who is very low.
  • Miss Janie Green will go to Nashville soon to reside.
  • Mr. Clifford Howard, of Chicago, who is visiting his mother, Mrs. Mary Young, on 18th street, is in very poor health.
  • Dr. J. G. Johnson passed through Columbia last week en route to Pulaski.

The Passing of a Useful Citizen – Brown Hightower

The Passing of a Useful Citizen – Brown Hightower
Nashville Globe – February 1, 1907
Pg. 2

In the death of Mr. Brown Hightower, Nashville loses one of its oldest, most useful and best known citizens. He was one of the first colored men to begin a mercantile business in the city. For years he successfully conducted a junk store at 215 Fourth avenue, South. Mr. Hightower’s health began failing last summer, but after having been confined to his bed for several weeks, he recovered sufficient strength to return to his place of business. His friends were hopeful that the worst had passed and that his life would be spared for several years longer; but on Wednesday morning, January 23rd, he fell in the yard at his home on Lewis street. His wife rushed to him and found him suffering from a stroke of paralysis. She and other friends assisted him into the house and put him to bed, notified his brother, Thomas Hightower, and called a physician. Everything possible was done to make the suffer comfortable and to relieve his pains, but at noon his soul took its departure and winged its sainted flight up to the hills of light, there to rest forever in the bosom of God.

Seldom in the history of Nashville have so many sorrowing friends gathered to do honor to the memory of the departed as assembled in the Second Baptist Church. Friday evening, Jan 25th to do honor to Mr. Hightower. His pastor, Rev. B.G. Taylor got up out of his sick bed that he might be present at the funeral. The floral offerings were profuse and very expressive sorrow for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved. The rostrum was crowded with city pastors and other distinguished individuals. The officers of the church were the pall bearer. Miss Georgia Sanders read resolutions of condolence. The Sons’ and Daughters’ of Israel, the society of which Mr. Brown Hightower was a member, turned out in a body. The church choir was at its best; Rev. Preston Taylor had charge of the funeral, and he not only directed it with a masterly hand but was of valuable service to the pastor in handling the large audience. The pastor, Rev. G. B. Taylor, took for his text Job 5:26: “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a [text cut off in my copy]… Rev. Mason was especially eloquent in his portrayal of the resurrection of the just and the eternal happiness of those who die in the Lord.

At the conclusion of these services, the body of the lamented dead was followed by the family and a large number of friends to its final resting place in Mount Arrarat.

A Paper by Miss Georgia A. Sanders
Mr. Brown Hightower was a member and officer of Hopewell Lodge, No. 2, Sons and Daughters of Israel. He was one of the chartered members who helped to organize this number five years ago. He was a good and faithful officer and would at all times respond very liberally to the financial needs of the lodge. He carried with him sunshine and laughter where’er he went, usually possessing a bright cheerful countenance. As soon as he would enter our Lodge room every one would begin to smile, and very soon the hall would be filled with laughter. He served the lodge very faithfully as Worthy Sentinel until his death. Oh but how we shall miss him. No more shall we hear those cheering words of consolation, for his voice is hushed in death, and his spirit has gone to the God who gave it; his soul is anchored in the heaven of rest, where there is no sorrow, sickness, nor death. In his death the Sons and Daughters of Israel have lost a Christian brother and a faithful officer. But we can only bow our heads in humble submission to God and say, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Deaths – 25 Jan 1907

Nashville Globe – January 25, 1907
Pg. 7

  • Arbunia Perkins, City Hospital, 16 years
  • Lee Robertson, Louisville, Ky., 35 years
  • Hortence Keeble, 41 Trimble street, 7 months
  • Infant of Sallie Weakley, 116 Fisk alley
  • Leslie McFarland, 604 Williams street, 2 years
  • James Floyd, Eve’s Infirmary, 28 years
  • James Bedford, 604 Fourth avenue, North, 4 years
  • Sutton, 47 Perkins street, 6 years
  • James Anderson, Hadley avenue, 51 years
  • Infant of Lillie Redd, 3 Fain’s alley.
  • Rosa Burton, 329 Thirteenth avenue, North, 58 years
  • Infant of Bertie Brown and Noah
  • Annie Dellahunter, 1113 Edgehill street, 64 years
  • Eunice Roberts Talley, 908 Seventeenth avenue, North, 4 months
  • Cornelius Hill, 221 Second avenue
  • Charles Brown, Jr., 315 Thirteenth avenue, North, 40 years
  • Thomas Pea, 22 Fairfield avenue, 30 years
  • Willie Hoard, Jr., 310 Twelfth avenue, North
  • Infant of Luceil Clark and Herbert