Nancy Baker,    Joseph & Caroline Barnett,   Debbie Bosten,  Jody Brown

Toof Brown, Ben Burleson,  Phillip Burnett,  Thomas & Barbara Callery   Christopher E. Carnett,   Virginia & Bryon Crain,     Michael E. Cross

Bob Ford,      Brian Johnson,   Pat Jones,  Mike Kernell,  Louise Muller    Andy Pouncey,   Christopher Ratliff,  Jackie D. Wood, Dale Zacher


  If you have questions regarding your membership status, reply to this e newsletter or contact Carol at

Historic Marker honors R. S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home

Historic Marker placed at R. S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home

374 Vance Avenue, Memphis

Founded in 1914 by Robert Stevenson Lewis Sr. and later operated by sons Robert Jr. and Clarence, the family business committed to improving quality of life for African-Americans in the community. Among their achievements, in the 1920s Robert Sr. owned the baseball’s Negro American League Memphis Red Sox and financed Martin Stadium, also called Lewis Park. In the 1950s Robert Jr. helped establish T.O. Fuller State Park, one of the first state parks open to African-Americans. In 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the nearby Lorraine Motel, Robert Jr. was asked by King’s aides to prepare and restore Dr. King’s body, which lay in state at R.S. Lewis & Sons. Hundreds gathered for the first viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend.

American Studio Historic Marker Unveiling

 Dedication Wednesday August 13, 2:00 p.m., 831 Thomas Street, All Invited

American Sound Studio was a recording studio located at 827 Thomas Street in Memphis, Tennessee. More than one hundred hit songs were recorded there between its founding 1967 and its closing in 1972. The music for these hits was played by the house band “The Memphis Boys”, also known as the “827 Thomas Street Band”. Included in the many hits are “Sweet Caroline” (Neil Diamond), “Son Of A Preacher Man” (Dusty Springfield), “The Letter” (Box Tops, # 1 in August, 1967) to “Goodtime Charlie’s Got The Blues” (Danny O’Keefe), and, of course the famous Elvis Comeback session, which was two weeks in January, 1969 that produce two albums, 36 songs including “Kentucky Rain”, “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds”.

Sponsored by the Shelby County Historical Commission, an historic marker will be unveiled at the former site of American Studios on Wednesday August 13, 2:00 p.m., 831 Thomas Street,  in front of Family Dollar Store at the corner of Thomas St. and Chelsea Ave. This event is free to the public.

A Call for Papers – Society of Tennessee Archivists

The 37th Annual Conference of the Society of Tennessee Archivists (STA) will be held October 15-17, 2014, at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center at the University of Memphis. The theme of the conference is Accidentally on Purpose: Acquisition, Care, and Promotion of Unusual or Specialized Collections. The STA is soliciting proposals for the Conference sessions based on this theme.

society of tn archivistsMany archives are offered collections that are exceptional or unusual in some respect. They may document an otherwise poorly documented period of history, have been acquired in an unusual way, provide unique access or conservation challenges, be “orphans” that do not seem to fit with any collection policies, or be undiscovered treasures for which few researchers are aware. Such acquisitions can present both challenges and opportunities in areas of preservation and care, management and mission, negotiation and promotion. This theme will allow presenters to demonstrate how they have dealt with such issues, highlight challenges, and introduce related issues that they feel may be part of the management of archival practices.

The STA welcomes proposals from independent researchers, archivists, librarians, museum curators, public historians and others related to our field of expertise. We especially encourage presentations with innovative delivery models including multimedia applications, interactive sessions, associated artifacts and collections, and roundtables.

For more information, please contact:
Susan Knight Gore, Vice President & Program Chair

Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
8207 Traditional Place
Cordova, Tennessee 38016
Phone: (901) 276-8602
FAX: (901) 272-3913

2014 Shelby County Awards Dinner

Wednesday August 6 at 6:30  pm at Hillwood Hall (Davies Manor) 3570 Davieshire Dr, Bartlett, TN. This year’s annual history awards dinner will have several features including the recognition of the Ed Williams History Teacher of the Year Award, the first annual “State of the County History Address” by newly appointed Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle, recognition of the winners of the West Tennessee History Day competition held at the University of Memphis on February 22, remarks from Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and more.
shelby county h comm
Tickets are $25.00 per person, which includes the buffet dinner. Check and reservations due by August 1. Please make check payable to Shelby County Historical Commission and mail to:
History Awards Dinner
 c/o Jimmy Ogle

4349 Sequoia Road,Memphis, TN   38117

History organizations that will participate include the West Tennessee Historical Society, Shelby County Historical Commission, West Tennessee Military Vehicles Collectors, Davies Manor Association, Tennessee History Day (University of Memphis History Department), Bartlett Historical Society, Main Street Collierville, N.B. Forrest Camp 215 General Forrest Historical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution & Descendants of Early Settlers of Shelby and Adjoining Counties.

U of M Becomes Repository for Official Papers of Gov. Winfield Dunn

u of m logoMay 5, 2014 – The University of Memphis has become the repository of the official papers from the administration of former Tennessee Gov. Winfield Dunn. Dunn served as governor from 1971-1975.

The Governor Winfield Dunn collection includes 35 linear feet of material. It contains correspondence, speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings and other items from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, including campaign literature. The collection also contains some audiovisual material.

dunn“The University of Memphis is thrilled to become the repository of the official papers of the administration of Governor Winfield Dunn,” said Interim President Brad Martin. “The Dunn administration marked a time of substantive policy debate and significant change. From the introduction of statewide kindergarten to the political battles associated with the method of selection of Tennessee Supreme Court justices, students and historians will benefit from this enormous trove of information chronicling those fascinating times. We are grateful to Governor Dunn and the supporters of this initiative who have made it possible for the U of M to have this significant opportunity.”

Martin served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives during the 1973-74 period of the Dunn administration.

The U of M’s Oral History Research Office has a complete recorded history of the Dunn administration. “Every member of the Dunn cabinet was interviewed for the project,” said David Cox, executive assistant to the president. “Bringing the printed materials together with the recorded materials will provide a unique database from which to write about the issues and politics involved with, at that time, the first Republican elected governor in 50 years.”

The Dunn Collection will be housed in the Ned R. McWherter Library’s Preservation and Special Collections Department.

Bemis Mill in Jackson TN faces demolition

bildeBemis Mill in Jackson TN faces demolition. – Cotton mill town named Bemis constructed in 1900. Efforts by citizens to save the historic Bemis Mill have taken many forms including a protest rally at the Museum that produced hundreds of signatures on petitions turned over the City Council of Jackson. The mill is listed on the National Historic Register. When placing the Bemis property that included the mill on the Local Historic Register, a survey was done. However before the application was submitted, the mill building was taken off by a city employee who determined it should be considered commercial property and not historical property. This was done without notification to the Bemis Historical Society. Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist and Christian Morton, a co-owner of Bemis Mill LLC, met early Wednesday, 4/2/2014, to discuss the fate of the Bemis Cotton Mill and what it would take to save the old building from deconstruction. After negotiation, it was decided that the city will have two weeks to find investors to buy the mill, or deconstruction will begin. Learn more about this historic landmark visit:


Shelby County Historian Appointed

Congratulations to Jimmy Ogle our new Shelby County Historian


Shelby County Commissioners on Monday March 24, 2014, selected Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, to serve as the county historian for the next six years. Mr. Ogle is a member of the West Tennessee Historical Society and serves on its board. The position of Shelby County Historian was vacant with the passing of Ed Williams last September.  Ed had succeeded Ellen Davies-Rodgers as only the second County Historian in the history of Shelby County.



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