Steve Pike

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Memphis Moments
5:48 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Elmwood Cemetery

The Bridge Leading to Elmwood Cemetery

Elmwood Cemetery, founded in 1852, is the oldest active cemetery in Memphis. Fifty citizens put up $500 each to purchase and develop a 40-acre parcel of land. Another 40 acres were added later.

The name Elmwood was selected by a drawing from a list of proposed names. Elm trees had to be planted afterwards. 

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Memphis Moments
5:51 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The Murder Of Colonel Thomas Dickins

The Grave Marker for Col. Thomas Dickins, Located Near the Statue at Wade Bolton's Grave

In August of 1870, the brutal murder of Colonel Thomas Dickins was reported in the Memphis Avalanche. According to the article, Col. Dickins, returning to his farm near Raleigh, "was way-laid by some fiend, and his life destroyed, in daylight, on a public road."

The assassin had ambushed the victim and fired both barrels of a shotgun into Col. Dickins' body from close range. 

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Memphis Moments
5:50 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg

"Placer Mining for Minerals" - Illustration originally published in Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg's "Nord Amerika," Swedish Edition published in 1880.
Credit http://www.123rf.com/photo_7745783_placer-mining-for-minerals-illustration-originally-published-in-ernst-von-hesse-wartegg-s-nord-ameri.html

Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, an Austro-German traveler, visited Memphis a few months after the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic.

He described his mixed reactions to the city in his memoir Travels on the Lower Mississippi.

He wrote, “After traveling to the four corners of the world, I cannot remember impressions anywhere as disagreeable as those upon entering this Memphis.

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Memphis Moments
5:50 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Captain Kit Dalton And The James Gang

Captain Kit Dalton

Frank and Jesse James hold a prominent place in the history of outlaws. One member of the James gang has a Memphis connection. Captain Kit Dalton, born in Logan County, Kentucky in 1848, ran away from home during the Civil War and joined Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry.

Struck by the destruction that he witnessed when he returned home on a furlough, Dalton organized a band of guerrillas to avenge what he believed to be Union atrocities. Soon it became impossible for Dalton and his gang to return home, so he linked his fortunes with the James gang, and the rest is history. 

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Memphis Moments
5:52 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

R.Q. Venson And The Cotton Makers Jubilee

  In March of 1934, Dr. R.Q. Venson, a Beale Street dentist, took his nephew to a Cotton Carnival parade. While at the parade, his nephew pointed-out that, “the negroes were horses,” meaning that black men were pulling the floats.

In reaction to this, Dr. Venson requested that blacks be allowed to fully participate in future Cotton Carnivals.

His request was denied, so, Dr. Venson created the Cotton Makers Jubilee as an alternative to the racially-segregated Cotton Carnival. Black Memphians would have their own festival.

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