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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.
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Napier wins Councilman position

Tom Wood, writer of Nashville history over at NashvillePost.com sent me the following article from the September 29, 1878 issue of the Colored Councilman. 



J.C. Napier, the councilman elect from the fourth ward, is considered by the colored people to be one of the most creditable representatives of their race, and this great popularity was exhibited yesterday, in his defeat of Mr. Chas. H. Saunders, one of the most popular young men in the city.  Councilman Napier is about twenty-four years of age, a bright mulatto, and is a graduate of the law department of Howard University, Washington D.C.  He left last night for Washington City where he will be united in marriage at the Congregational church in that city, next Wednesday, to Nettie, the only daughter of Hon. John M. Langston, colored, the United States Minister to the Replic of Hayti.  Nashville has not had a colored man in her city council since the days of Alden rule.


Former Chicago Visitor Marries

From the Chicago Defender – 1 Mar 1919 

As included in the Military Intelligence on Negro Subversion, 1917-1940 collection on Footnote.com

Announcement was received here several weeks ago of the marriage of Dr. John E. Burchess, Forest City, Ark., a recent graduate of Meharry Medical College, to Miss Thelma B. Williams, also of Forest City.  It will be remembered that Dr. Burchess was in the city two summers ago, at which time he was royally entertained by friends and admirers. 

King-Harris Marriage

Nashville Globe – 1 Mar 1907

Mr.  William Thomas King, of 1616 Patterson street, and Miss Ada Lee Harris, of 513 Fourth avenue, South, were quietly united in the holy bonds of matrimony Sunday, February 24, at 4:$5 o’clock, at the home of Rev. C.H. Clark, 610 Jo Johnston avenue.  The ceremony was performed by Dr. Clark in the presence of a few relatives, after which they were driven to the home of Mrs. M.S. King, mother of the groom, where they were served, with an elaborate six o’clock dinner which consisted of several courses. 

Those seated around the dining table were Mr. and Mrs. W.T. King,  Mr. and Mrs. R.L. King, Mrs. M.S. King, Misses Mary Clark, Ophelia Alexander, Nellie E. King, Little Connie May King, Dr. Oliver Reynolds and Mr. Waymon Box.  A number of presents both handsome and expensive were received. 

The bride made a lovely picture in a creation of grey and blue grenadine over blue silk with hat to match.  She carried a bouqet of white and red carnations with white ribbon.

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.

Mr. and Mrs. King Entertained

Nashville Globe – 1 Mar 1907

Mr. and Mrs. King Entertained — Mr. and Mrs. Coffee, of 629 Ewing avenue, entertained Wednesday night in honor of Mr. and Mrs. W.T. King, who were recently married.  A limited number of friends were present who indulged in whist to the strains of music from a graphophone.  At a late hour an elaborate five-course menu was served.  Many happy congratulations and toasts were showered upon the bride and groom.

Marriages from the Meharry News – 1902

Marriages as announced in the 1902 Meharry News. See the Mehary Library Archives page for more information.

  • Dr. Cato H. Wilson & Mattie E. Warren married in Americus, Georgia
  • Minnie Lee Gibson to Dr. J. Lucian Carwins
  • Violet Black & Dr. E.W.D. Alexander married in Austin, Texas
  • Indianna Cobb and Mr. J.M. Robinson
  • Dr. A.M. Townsend & Willie Hadley
  • Dr. A.J. Davis & Nannie Pegram
  • Dr. A.J. Jordan & Ida Pegram
  • Dr. Charles R. Cooper & Eunice Lois Chesterfield
  • Dr. E.G. Overby & Docia Claggett
  • Wm. Sevier & Annie Spikes
  • Dr. J. Ballard Hughes & J. Olivia Ratcliff – Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Gabriella E. Mays & S. Means Plair – Jacksonville, Florida
  • Dr. Jesse B. Covington & Jennie B. Murphy

One name in this list that I recognized was that of Dr. A.M. Townsend. His name has appeared in several articles I’ve transcribed from the Nashville Globe and shared on this blog. I also have one article up so far that mentions his wife, though her name was printed as Willa instead of Willie.

The Nashville Public Library has an index of marriages in Nashville between 1864-1905 and Townsend & Hadley do not appear there, despite the fact that got married here in Nashville at the Spruce Street Church. It goes to show you have to rely on multiple sources!

Golden Wedding of J.C. Napiers

From the Chicago Defender
October 28, 1928

Golden Wedding of J.C. Napiers: Prominent Couple Feted by Friends on 50th Anniversary.

Nashville, Tenn., Oct 19. — At 6 o’clock Wednesday evening, Oct. 2, 1878, a procession moved down the aisle of the 10th and G. Sts. Congregational church, Washington, D.C. , to the strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, played by the famous billed organist and composer, Bischoff, when J.C. Napier and Miss Nettie Langston were united in the holy bonds of matrimony by Rev. J.E. Rankin, pastor of the church and author of the widely known hymn, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”

At the end of 25 years the blessings of life and happiness seemed so full and generous that a celebration of the event seemed the fitting climax. A silver anniversary was the occasion and friends and acquaintances brought and sent a huge supply of articles of use and beauty.

On Oct. 2 last, though 50 years had passed, Mr. and Mrs. Napier are still youthful in spirit and active in body and in possession of a host of friends all over the country. Because of this large acquirement of acquaintances and friends, as well as a proper appreciation for what had been done for them and a desire to relive those who would wish to give other gifts, Mr. and Mrs. Napier made an effort to “tell the world” all they desired was a handshake and a word of congratulation.” No special invitation was extended, but preparations were made for any who might choose to come and bring this message of good wishes.

But all were not of the same mind, and during the day there were gifts from Mrs. J.A. Myers, Miss Lillian Cashin, Dr. J.A. Napier, the Langston families in Chicago and St. Louis, Dr. and Mrs. Jones of Fisk University, Misses Lucille Jordan, Mattie S. Jones, Messrs M.G. Ferguson, A.G. Price and J.W. Manly. Congratulation cards and telegrams came in profusion from out of the city, including those from Prof. and Mrs. Lawson of Hartford, Conn.; Miss Beatrice Napier of New York; Carroll Napier Langston Jr. of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Binga of Chicago, Mrs. Chavis, Mr. and Mrs. Cheatham. Among the gifts was seen a bunch of new money, which was the gift of the groom to the bride, consisted of 10 new $10 bills, each one bearing the name of J.C. Napier.

Mrs. Napier is a member of one social club comprised of Mrs. Thomas Brumfield, Mrs. H.A. Boyd, Mrs. Eugene Page, Mrs. E.L. Price, Mrs. J.P. Hickman, Mrs. L.S. Headen, Mrs. E.T. Holt, Mrs. W.J. Hale, Mrs. Thomas Talley, Mrs. E.R. Jefferson, Miss Cecile Jefferson and Miss Lillian Cashin, who made the anniversary plant of beautiful yellow chrysanthemums and a bunch of the same blossoms, besides a golden card of congratulations bearing the name of the Congenial club. The members had invited the intimate friends of Mr. and Mrs. Napier and at 8 o’clock they commenced to arrive. A program of old and sentimental <….> music was rendered, refreshments were served, reminiscences were exchanged, much laughter and good cheer prevailed, and at 11 o’clock the good wishers left, having spent a delightful three hours giving joy, happiness and deep appreciation to the bride and groom of 50 years passed.

A novel incident of the occasion was an exhibition of several gifts that had been received by the father and mother of Mr. Napier on the occasion of their golden wedding many years ago. The parents of neither bride nor groom are living. Mrs. Nettie Langston Napier was the only daughter of Hon. John Mercer Langston, who represented a district of his state of Virginia in the 51st U.S. Congress. She is a church civic, state and national worker, president of the Douglass Memorial and Historic association and chairman of the Douglass trustee board.

Hon. J.C. Napier is a national character, having occupied many positions of trust and honor. He is widely known and thought of as being register of the United States treasury. He is most loyal and never permits an opportunity to pass to serve a good cause. He is a lawyer and leading organizer of the oldest bank we have and has occupied the position of cashier from the beginning.

Marriages – 22 Feb 1907

Nashville Globe
22 Feb 1907


  • George Anderson & Minnie Flanigan
  • George Ervin & Adel Hyde
  • Frank Wilson & Ophelia Franklin
  • Clarence Walker & Edith Virginia Waters
  • Marion Knight & Maggie Davis
  • Tom Keeble & Rosa Ewing
  • Justice Waters & Tennie Johnson
  • James Arms & Margaret Ann Morton
  • William Allison & Lizzie Broxshaw
  • Robt. W. Haynes & Nora L. Ruckers
  • Henry O’Brant & Bettie Hollowell
  • John Drake & Leila Moore

City Items

Nashville Globe
January 25, 1907
pg. 6

  • Mr. and Mrs. Alex Primm, of 68 Donelson street, entertained at dinner Sunday in honor of their sister, Mrs. Lee Fate. The table was laden with the delicacies of the season. Those present were Mrs. Ed Nesby and Mr. James Madison Primm. The guests retired to the sitting room where they were highly entertained by the following young ladies; Miss Mary E. Nesby, Maggie A. Beard and Kate G. Berry.
  • Miss Willie L. Allen, who recently left for Chicago, Ill., on account of the illness of her aunt, is expected home in two weeks.
  • Mrs. Battle lost her sister, Mrs. Rosa Burton, last Sunday.
  • Mrs. Jennie Nelson, who has been very sick, is reported better at this writing.
  • The many friends of Mr. Edward Kelly, who reside in North Nashville, will regret to learn of the serious injury which he received recently to one of his eyes. His eye is so afflicted as the cause the entire loss of sight.
  • Mr. Henry Osborne, of Gallatin, was a recent visitor to the city.
  • Mrs. Eliza Battle of South Nashville, who has spent quite a time with her daughter, Mrs. Lewis Bryant, of Sixth avenue, North, has returned home.
  • The marriage of Miss Izora Gray, of Crawfordsville, Ind., formerly of this city took place last Monday evening. Miss Lula Outen, also of Indiana, was the maid of honor.
  • Miss Wilodean Jones, of Third avenue, North, has been somewhat indisposed
  • Mrs. Scott, of Sixth avenue, North, is very much indisposed.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Felix Buchanon, fomerly of East Main street, have moved to Sixth avenue, North.
  • Mrs. Ed Nesby, of Hamilton avenue, entertained a limited number of her friends at dinner Monday. A tempting two-course menu was served. Those present were Mrs. Lizzie G. Ridley, Mrs. Lucy Brown, Mrs. Anna Montague, Mrs. Lee Pate and Mrs. Alex Primm.
  • Miss Pearl Brooks spent Sunday with Miss Gertrude Lewis, of First avenue, North.
  • Mrs. Dora Moor, of St. Louis, Mo., is visiting Mrs. Blanch Gleves, of 254 Fillmore street.
  • Miss Georgia Shelby, of Fourth avenue, South, has returned to her work at the Baptist Publishing House.
  • Miss Mary A. Dunson, of Ninth avenue, North is suffering from the effects of cold.
  • Mr. Wymon Brady, representative of the Nashville Globe, spent Sunday in Murfreesboro, with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Brady.
  • There is to be given at Pleasant Green Church, Monday evening, Jan. 28, one of the most promising concerts ever worked up by the choir.
  • Mrs. Ann Collins, of Cedar street, who some months ago was stricken with paralysis, is still very sick.
  • Miss John D. Thompson, of Nashville, Tenn., has been visiting her aunt, Mrs. M. L. Brown, of Pratt City. She was entertained Friday by a number of the Birmingham citizens. Among the number was Mr. Lucius Foreman Jeweler, Miss A.I. Purcell and Miss J. Bradford. Miss Thompson is very much pleased with her stay in the city — The Birmingham Reporter
  • Miss Carrie B. Page, who has been the guest of her brother, Walter Page, of Murfreesboro, has returned to the city. She will leave Thursday for Franklin.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joe Shannon entertained at their residence, 1285 Third avenue, South, Monday night, Jan. 13. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. Ben Reeves, Mr. and Mrs. Scaled, Dr. D.B. Miller, Miss Mary Page, Dr. Kershaw, Miss Hattie Cantrell, Mrs. Narcissa Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Prim and Mrs. Lawrence. Music was furnished by Mr. Clark and Mr. Shelton. At ten, they retired to the dining room and were served salmon salad, cheese, crackers, fruits cream, cake and wine.
  • Mrs. Jesse Smith, formerly of Nashville, but now of Louisville, Ky., is in the city on business matters. She will probably remain about two or three weeks.
  • Mr. T. W. Maddux, of Normal, Ala., is in the city the guest of his brother, Mr. J.C. Maddux of Kayne avenue Baptist Church, preached a soul-stirring sermon at 11 o’clock last Sabbath.
  • Mr. Unphrus Maddux, of Ivory street, is seriously ill.
  • Rev. J. H. Lawrence, of Chicago, Ill., is in the city visiting his brother, Rev. E. M. Lawrence, of 1027 Thirteenth avenue, South.
  • The Willing Workers Club, of Kayne Avenue Baptist Church, will meet Monday night at the resident of Mrs. Lucy Amos, of Overton street.
  • Mr. E. G. Lawrence, of Ament street, who has been slightly disable, is able to be up again.
  • Mrs. Annie Dillahunty, of Edgehill avenue, who has been sick for some time, died last Saturday evening at six o’clock. The funeral services were held at Kayne Baptist Church. Revs. J.C. Harding, Green Thompson, J. L. Harding and the pastor officiating.
  • Mr. W. A. Anderson entertained in honor of Mr. T.W. Maddux last Wednesday night. Those present: T.W. Maddux, A.A. Underwood, P. Perkins, David Nelson, A.L. Anderson, J.W. DeWees, —- Britt and —- Williams.
  • Mr. T. G. Ewing spent last week in Lebanon, Tenn., attending to some very important cases in which he was attorney for the defendant. It is said he won his three cases with all ease.
  • Rev. W. D. Chappell is back from the Bishops’ Council
  • Rev. C. H. Clark will occupy his pulpit on Sunday at Mt. Olive Baptist Church after an absence of several weeks in Savannah, Ga.
  • Rev. Wm. Buckam left Thursday for Bowling Green, Ky., where he spoke Thursday and Friday night.
  • Mrs. Prince Ella V. Willams-Abrams, of Houston, Tex., is contemplating a visit to Nashville in the near future while en route East.
  • Little Marie McKinney Singleton, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Singleton, has been very sick with rheumatism for several days, but is improving slowly.
  • Rev. P. H. Kennedy, Superintendent of Missions for the state of Kentucky and General Missionary of the Baptists of the proud Blue Grass State, spent two days in Nashville this week, looking after some new work along Mission fields for his staff.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Napier left Wednesday evening for St. Louis, Mo., where they will remain for two weeks visiting relatives. Mr. Napier will spend a while with his mother and sister, while Mrs. Napier will remain over a week longer as the guest of her brother and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Langston.
  • The Fifth Avenue Baptist Church is showing signs of much improvement under the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Gardner, who has only recently taken charge, and who is being nobly assisted by H.M. Barnes, R.L. Woods, and S.L. Owens, the three trustees, who are giving yeoman service.
  • Mr. Elmo Bond, and Mr. Preston Scales, of Murfreesboro were in Nashville Tuesday, Jan. 22
  • Miss Molly Sheppard, of South Nashville, underwent an operation Tuesday, Jan. 22, and is resting nicely.
  • Mrs. Vera Forles Scott, of East Nashville, who has been spending the last three months in Bowling Green, Ky., left Friday night for Chicago to spend a few months with her aunt of that city.
  • Miss Frances Walker left Wednesday morning for Courtland, where she will teach music at the Baptist Seminary.
  • Mr. Joseph W. DeWees spent a few days in Hopkinsville, Ky., this week.
  • Damon Lodge, K. of P., installed its new officers Wednesday night. Dr. J. C. Crawford, G.C., officiated. The following are the officers: C.C, J. W. Blaine; V.C., F. J. Ewing; M of W., Wm. Boger, M. of F., S. J. Chandler; M. of Ex., J.B. Batte; M. at A., R. E. Gee; I.G., Willis Jones; O.G., Ernest McGuire; Trustees: J. O. Battle, A.W. Fite, J. Thos. Turner.
  • The delegates from the various Pythian lodges held a meeting in the reception room of the Pythian Temple last Sunday afternoon and organized by electing A.W. Fite, chairman, and A. A. Bennett, Secretary. All the lodges excepting Harmony were represented.
  • Mr. Clinton and Miss Mary Louise Buchanan, of 81 Fairfield avenue, and a few of their friends gave their cousins, Miss Mary Myrtle and Mr. George Drew, a surprise party last Monday night. Music and games were enjoyed and fruit and cakes were served.
  • Messrs. James Cannon and Will Gibson left the city this week for Weoky […]
  • Rev. W. S. Ellington, the popular pastor of the First Baptist Church; Spruce street, is suffering from the effects of a heavy cold.
  • Mrs. Lucy Rhodes is now teaching millinery on Thirteenth avenue, South. Any one wishing to take lessons will call to see her.
  • Miss Malissa N. Wims is suffering with her throat.
  • A limited number of persons gathered at the home of Prof. and Mrs. J. B. Battle last Tuesday evening and spent a pleasant time. Those present were Mesdames Mary Cardiman, Laura Reed, Mary Saunders, Misses L.J. Halfacre and J. V. Dixon, Messrs. Randal Hardiman, Taylor Saunders, Edd Buford and Mack Buford.
  • Mr. Geo Gibson is slightly indisposed
  • Dr. H. T. Johnson, who visited the Bishops’ Council, passed through the city Monday en route to the Florida Conference.
  • Bishop Evans Tyree will speak at St. Paul Sunday morning
  • Dr. E.S. Randals, of Clarksville, Tenn., was in the city last week.
  • Mrs. Fannie Dillahunt departed this life last Saturday night. She was a faithful Christian woman and well respected by those who knew her. The funeral services were held at Kayne avenue Baptist Church with Rev. A. Parr officiating.
  • Mr. August Caruthers, of 906 McCampbell street is sick.
  • Miss Bettie Ashley, who has not enjoyed the best of health this winter, is rapidly improving.
  • Mr. Oliver H. Brown, of McCampbell street, is quite indisposed this week.
  • Little Dayton Arabele Hart, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Hart of 1726 Jefferson street, is quite sick with pneumonia.
  • Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Cole, of Thompson street, are in smiles. Little H. C. Cole, Jr., smiles also when he is not crying.
  • Miss Fannie Mai Rhodes and Mr. Ernest Foster were married at Clark Memorial Church at the close of the morning service last Sunday.
  • Mr. S. P. Toney, of 1700 Patterson street, who has been confined to the house by sickness for some time, is able to be out.
  • Mr. William Broyles, who has been at Mercy Hospital for several months, is rapidly improving.
  • Little Merrill Work, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Work, attended church Sunday morning for the second time of his life.
  • Miss Sallie Ezell, of East Nashville, is suffering with neuralgia.
  • Miss Bessie Matlock, of Thirteenth avenue, North, who has been sick for about two weeks, is able to attend to her duties at the Baptist Publishing House.
  • Mrs. Jefferson Martin is sick at her home on Hynes street.
  • Miss Sallie McBride, of East Nashville, is still seriously sick. (Note – she later passed, her obituary was published in the Feb 22, 1907 issue.)

McGavock & Burrus Marriage

Quiet Marriage
Nashville Globe – January 25, 1907
Pg. 5

A wedding of quite a social interest was that of Miss Carrie McGavock and Mr. Charlie Burrus, which took place last Wednesday evening, January 17, at the residence of the bride’s parents; Mr. and Mrs. J. W. McLemore, of North Mary street. The bride was handsomely gowned in a white silk mull costume. Many handsome presents were received from the numerous guests that were present. Mr and Mrs. Burrus will be at home to their many friends 1503 North Mary street.