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Percy Warner

Nashville businessman and civic leader Percy Warner followed the lead of his father, James C. Warner, in capitalizing upon the New South exploitation of natural resources with his Warner Iron Corporation in the 1870s and 1880s. While working for the family company, the younger Warner developed an interest in the new areas of electric utilities and urban mass transportation. From 1903 to 1914 he presided over the Nashville Railway and Light Company, controlling all the city's streetcars. In this position, he held influence and interests in a number of Nashville businesses. Warner also involved himself in utility organizations in Memphis, Knoxville, Birmingham, Little Rock, Houston, and New Orleans and served as a director of the National Light and Power Company of New York.

Warner's marriage to Margaret Lindsley, daughter of Sarah McGavock and J. Berrien Lindsley, united new and old Nashville families. Warner inherited money and clearly enlarged those financial holdings. And though he cultivated a private collection of birds on his estate, Renraw, he also worked to save Centennial Park. Such civic-minded benevolence led to his election to the Nashville Board of Park Commissioners late in his life. Warner died suddenly and unexpectedly at age sixty-six. As a memorial tribute, land which had been presented in the preceding year to the city to form a large public park by his daughter Percie and her husband Luke Lea received the name Percy Warner Park.

Suggested Reading

W. Clark Conn, "Waverly Place: The Study of a Nashville Streetcar Suburb Along the Franklin Pike," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 43 (1984): 3-24.

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » January 01, 2010