Entries

Meriwether, Lide Smith
A leader of the first generation of southern feminists and social activists, Lide Smith Meriwether was president of the Tennessee Woman's Christian Temperance Union, serving from 1884 until 1897,... Continue Reading »
Miles, Emma Bell
Emma Bell Miles, artist, naturalist, and author of The Spirit of the Mountains (1905) as well as poems, stories, and essays, was born in Evansville, Indiana, on October 19, 1879, to schoolteachers Ben... Continue Reading »
Milton, Abby Crawford
Woman suffrage leader Abby Crawford Milton became involved in the suffrage movement after marrying newspaper publisher George Fort Milton, moving from Georgia to Chattanooga, and giving birth to three... Continue Reading »
Moore, Grace
Grace Moore, popular soprano in opera, musical comedy, and film, was born December 6, 1901, in Slabtown, Cocke County, and christened Mary Willie Grace. She spent her youth in Jellico, where she sang ... Continue Reading »
Murfree, Mary Noailles
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Mary Noailles Murfree depicted the scenery and people of the Tennessee mountains for a national audience. At a time when local color fiction was much in v... Continue Reading »
Nash, Diane J.
In the vanguard of the national civil rights and antiwar movements from 1959 to 1967, Diane Judith Nash was born on May 15, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. Reared a Roman Catholic, Nash received her prima... Continue Reading »
Neal, Patricia
Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal was raised in Knoxville, where she studied theatre and performed in various venues. In 1942, following her junior year of high school, Neal landed a summer ... Continue Reading »
Newman, Willie Betty
Willie Betty Newman, a key figure in the state's art community at the turn of the century, was born on the Benjamin Rucker plantation near Murfreesboro, the daughter of Colonel William Francis Be... Continue Reading »
Nineteenth Century Club
At the urging of Elise Massey Selden, a group of elite white women assembled at the Gayoso Hotel in May 1890 and founded what was soon to become the largest and most influential women's club in M... Continue Reading »
Omlie, Phoebe Fairgrave
Known as the "godmother" of early Tennessee aviation, Phoebe F. Omlie started her career as a barnstormer, wing walker, and stunt pilot. She and her husband Vernon settled in Memphis in 1922... Continue Reading »
Orr, Anne Champe
Born in Nashville, Anne Champe Orr became widely known at home and abroad for the published needlework patterns she began producing in 1915. A lifelong resident of Nashville, she studied with Nashvi... Continue Reading »
Ossoli Circle
The first women's club in Knoxville and in Tennessee and the first club in the South to join the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Ossoli Circle was organized on November 20, 1885, when L... Continue Reading »
Page, Bettie
Bettie Page has been immortalized in bronze sculpture, song lyrics, paintings, comic books, and enough tattoo ink to flood a swimming pool. As the many tributes testify, the Nashville native reigns as... Continue Reading »
Parton, Dolly
Dolly Parton emerged from a childhood of grim mountain poverty with formidable singing and songwriting talents, which she forged first into Nashville country music fame and then into international sta... Continue Reading »
Patton, Mary McKeehan
Mary McKeehan Patton, pioneer gunpowder manufacturer, was born in England in 1751 and immigrated with her family to Pennsylvania in the late 1760s. McKeehan served an apprenticeship, possibly under he... Continue Reading »
Pearl, Minnie
Though arguably the most recognizable person in the history of country music, Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon's name was never a household word. It was her alter ego, Minnie Pearl, with her frilly dr... Continue Reading »
Pearson, Josephine Anderson
Josephine A. Pearson, leader of the anti-suffrage movement in Tennessee during the 1920 fight for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, was born in Gallatin. Pearson grew up in McMinnville, where ... Continue Reading »
Phillis Wheatley Club
A group of black women, wives of prominent black leaders in Nashville's church, business, and professional arenas, organized the Phillis Wheatley Club in 1895. The club, established its headquart... Continue Reading »
Pickens, Lucy Pettway Holcombe
Known as the "Queen of the Confederacy," Lucy Holcombe Pickens was born in LaGrange in Fayette County, the daughter of Beverly Lafayette Holcombe and Eugenia Dorothea Hunt. At some time betw... Continue Reading »
Pierce, Juno Frankie
Founder of the Tennessee Vocational School for Colored Girls, J. Frankie Pierce was born during or shortly after the Civil War to Nellie Seay, the house slave of a Smith County legislator. Frankie Pie... Continue Reading »