Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Andrew Jackson Martin Dead 1895

Andrew Jackson Martin Dead;
Grandson of the Sage of the Hermitage Passes Away.

Andrew Jackson Martin died at his home, near Buntyn, at 2:40 o'clock yesterday, after a long illness, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

This announcement will not only bring grief to a sorely afflicted family circle but sorrow and sadness to the heart of everyone who knew the kindly hearted, gentle natured man whose life's journey had just ended.

Mr. Martin was born on the 15th day of April, 1832, on the Cumberland river, near the city of Nashville, and was descended from an ancestry honored in the annals of Tennessee.  He was nearly connected by family ties with the illustrious sage of the Hermitage, after whom he was named.

Taught in the best local schools during his boyhood, when sufficiently advanced he was sent to the University of Virginia, where he completed his education and then devoted himself to the study of the law.  After the completion of his legal studies and his admission to the bar, he located at Kansas City, Mo., where he soon attained a prominent position, both in professional and social circles.  After the war he married the daughter  (Rosalie A. "Rosa" White ) of Col. Clark C. White, a wealthy planter and highly respectable citizen residing near Byhalia, in Marshall County, Miss., and engaged in farming operations in that locality for some years.  Shortly afterward he moved to his late residence, where he has ever since resided with his family, keeping his office in this city.

He was a thoughtful, cultured man, widely informed upon all questions of public concern, as well as upon those subjects which appeal to scholarly intelligence and investigation.  Though modest and retiring, he had the capacity of speaking and writing with much force and elegance.

While a devout believer in the fundamental truths and highest teachings of religion, he was broad and tolerant in his views and opinions, willing to study in any school and to labor in any field where good could be accomplished. He was a courteous gentleman, a true friend, an upright and honorable man.
Originally published in the Memphis Daily Appeal, May 27, 1895

Andrew Jackson Martin Sr. Family Plot
Elmwood Cemetery

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Confederate Park Postcard and Crockett's Rangers

This postcard of Confederate Park features a bench that had been donated by Crockett's Rangers, Company H, 154th Senior Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.  The 154th pre-dated the Civil War.  When units began forming for the Civil War the 154th wanted to retain their number, hence they were the 154th Senior Regiment.  The 154th was considered "elite" with many of societies creme de la creme among its ranks.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gathered About a Costly Rosewood Casket, Sixty Dark-Skinned Hawaiians, 1906

Juan F. Edwards, a native Hawaiian, died suddenly while on tour in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was the leading tenor in the Royal Hawaiian Band. According to several newspaper reports he was going to be interred at Elmwood Cemetery and that a "fresh grave" awaited him there with more than 100 mourners.  But at the last minute his band mates remembered an old Hawaiian belief that "the salvation of the soul was culminated in the peaceful repose of the body when laid under the soil of the birthplace" and it became imperative that Edwards be returned to Hawaii for burial rather than be interred in foreign soil.  His fellow band members literally banded together and promised to help pay the cost of shipping Edwards body back to Hawaii "where his wife and daughter can select his burying ground in the little home cemetery." Source: Hawaiian Gazette Aug. 24 1906

Funeral of J. Edwards


Memphis, August 10 --  Gathered about a costly rosewood casket, sixty dark-skinned Hawaiians, Friday morning, weepingly paid a last tribute to Juan F. Edwards, the sweet voice tenor, who died suddenly Tuesday afternoon at the Windsor Hotel.  With bowed heads and streaming eyes they listened to the last services over the dead, where the body was placed on a train, and soon began its long journey to his native home in Honolulu.

It was a strange funeral service to Americans, and many were gathered at the undertaking apartments of Taylor & Norris, while hundreds stood on the sidewalk and watched the procession as it slowly wended its way to the station. 

The services were entirely in the Hawaiian language, and were conducted by the Rev. B.R. Baker, D.D., a native preacher, who is accompanying the Hawaiian Band on its tour of this country.

"Rock of Ages" In Hawaiian

Dr. Baker opened the services with a short talk, in which he briefly referred to the occasion for the melancholy gathering.  An octet, lead by Miss Lei Lhua, the prima donna of the company, then sang "Rock of Ages,"  That well known song, in the strange language of the singers, sounded weirdly beautiful, and made a deep impression upon the Memphians present.

Dr. Baker then offered a prayer in the native language, in which he asked for Diving support to the widow and little daughter in Honolulu, and a blessing upon the member of the company.

Following this the minister read from the Hawaiian Bible, Matthew 25, the first to the thirteenth verses.

Dirge Produces Tears

A quartet, composed of B. Jones, W.S. Ellis, S. Hiram and Z. Kapole sang the Hawaiian dirge.  While not understood by many of those present, the sad story was easily understood in the music.  The dirge had a marked effect upon the former associates of Edwards.  As it began, many leaned forward, with their heads on their hands.  Then, as the music rose and fell the tears began to fall, and before it was half over nearly everyone was weeping.  The singers themselves were visibly affected, and sustained themselves with much difficulty.

Dr. Baker followed with a short address.  he took as his text Matthew XXV, 13: "watch, therefore, for he know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh."

In his exceedingly rapid native tongue he reviewed the life of Edwards, and spoke of his many good qualities.  He then drew his lesson from his death that was carried out by the text, urging his countrymen to live in such a manner that they would be ready at any time to meet their maker.

Friends Caress Casket.

After another brief prayer by the minister, the octet sang in their own tongue.  "Nearer, my God to Thee."  The words of this hymn, written in every tongue, seemed to bring out the culmination of grief.  Many who had been weeping silently then sobbed aloud.  The ladies of the company being particularly affected.  Following the benediction, by twos and threes they gathered about the bier.  According to custom the casket was closed, but they seemed to find satisfaction in caressing the receptacle wherein their dead comrade lay, and muttering brief prayers over his head.

There was considerable delay before the hearse arrived, owing to a misunderstanding as to the time of the funeral, but the procession finally startd at 9:30 o'clock.  The pallbearers; A.R. Conha, J.L. Ellis, B. Jones, J. Harrison, W. Prestidge, W. Schwartz, K. Kamakau and S. Cohen, bore the casket to the hearse, followed by the entire company.  Then the Royal Hawaiian Band gathered in a semi-circle about the hearse, and under the direction of the regular leader, Captain Berger, the band rendered the Hawaiian dirge.

Band Follows Hearse

The procession proceeded up Madison street to Main, and thence south to the union station.  The entire company following the hearse on foot.

To the many thousands who listened the music on the march was strangely American.  The musicians began with "Nearer my God to Thee" then, as they marched along in rapid succession followed "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." "The Sweet By and By," Lead, kindly light," and "God be with You Ill We Meet Again."  As they approached the union station, the band impressively rendered "The Dead march in Saul."

At the station the body was placed on board a Frisco train, which will convey it to El Paso.  There it will be turned over to the Southern Pacific, which will carry it to San Francisco.  At the latter point it will be placed on a ship and conveyed to the waiting wife and daughter at Honolulu.  The entire trip will consume about three weeks.

Originally posted in the Maui News, September 1, 1906

Monday, June 3, 2013

1857 - A Monument to the Fathers of Memphis

Communicated for the Newspapers of Memphis
   A Monument to the Fathers of Memphis and to Our Railroad Builders--We have long regarded it due to the life and public services of Gen. Andrew Jackson to expect a monument commemorative of his deeds and virtues, and believing that the popular heart will at once respond to the suggestion, we would suggest the 1st or 2nd day of May as the proper period for the inauguration of this work.

  The beautiful mound below our city was several years ago conveyed to the State, by Col. John C. McLemore, that this monument might be erected on it.  The State Legislature made an appropriation for the purpose of carrying out Col. McLemore's proposition, and our people might readily raise then or twenty thousand dollars in addition to this appropriation.

   Let the city and county take charge of this work, and let a marble column, on the banks of the Father of Floods, perpetuate the memory of Andrew Jackson.
          A.H.D. & D.J.L.

Originally published in the Memphis Daily Appeal, march 31 1857