Thursday, August 21, 2014
Remembering “Sassy’s” stories
What a celebration we all missed Sunday when Sandy “Sassy” Miller glided through the Pearly Gates in her favorite pair of pumps! There is no doubt Graham was there with open arms and hosts of angels singing praises, as they gained one of the best ones yet.
Sassy was one of the most vivacious ladies I have ever known. She spoke her mind and was always true to herself, as well as to her beliefs. If you ever wanted to know the absolute truth about something, you could ask Sassy and she would tell you.
Caitlyn loved going to Linwood’s - she was not so much into the shopping experience as she was about seeing Sassy. One day, they got into a conversation about working. For years, Caitlyn counted down the time until she could go to work for Sassy at Linwood’s! When Linwood’s closed its doors, she was crushed, saying that would have been the best job ever, being around Sassy all the time!
I loved listening to all of the tales Sassy would tell. I always expected her to say something like “wouldn’t that have been great if it had happened?” but everything she said had actually happened! Some of the stories were so out there and unbelievably hysterical! If you were ever around her, she would inevitably hit that funny bone and your face would hurt from laughter.
There will be a void in our town without Sassy. I will forever miss her big eyes, huge smile and larger-than-life presence. Friday, her life will be celebrated, as I feel certain she will want everyone to exchange Sassy stories with tears of laughter, not sadness. That is who she was - a happy, over-the-top Southern lady who loved her family and friends beyond measure. Cheers to you, Sassy, for being the perfect role model!
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Nakisha Shaw and Anthony Snow to wed August 30 at Montrose
Nakisha L. Shaw, formerly of Aurora, Ill., and Anthony “Pie” Snow of Holly Springs announce their engagement and forthcoming marriage.
The bride-elect is the daughter of Georgia Hubbard (Shaw). She is the granddaughter of Robert and Linda Ross of Oswego, Ill., and the late Morris Junior and Pearline Shaw of Chulahoma.
She is a 1998 high school graduate of East Aurora High School in Aurora; a college graduate of Robert Morris University and College of DuPage. She is employed with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.
Anthony is the son Mr. and Mrs. Fred Snow, and the grandson of the late Chester and Ida Mae Glover and the late Orange and Lorine Snow. He is a 1993 graduate of H.W. Byers High School, and a truck driver and operator for Marshall County Road and Bridge Department.
The couple will wed Aug. 30, 2014, at Montrose on Salem Avenue in Holly Springs with a reception following. Formal invitations have been sent.
Mary Phillips and Kenny Edwards to wed Aug. 30 at St. Matthew MB
Family and friends are invited to join Kenny Edwards and Mary L. Phillips as they unite as one on Saturday, August 30, 2014.
The future bride is the daughter of the late Sammie and Rosie Lee Phillips.
The future groom is the son of Estelle Edwards and the late Johnny Edwards Jr.
The wedding ceremony will take place at St. Matthew MB Church, 61 Shinault Road, Byhalia, at 3 p.m.
A reception will be held after the ceremony at Fountain South Inn, 6767 Morel Cove, Olive Branch, starting at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited.
Jewish families were once dominant entrepreneurs in Holly Springs
The Marshall County Historical Museum is open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday by advance notice. Call 662-252-3669 for arrangements. For more information about the museum, visit and “like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mchistoricalmuseum.
Visit our website for programs; become a member or make a donation on PayPal: marshallcountymuseum.com.
In the latter half of the 19th century and well into the first half of the 20th century there was a significant complement of Jewish families residing in Holly Springs. Many of these families added to the tapestry which represented life in this community, participating in various clubs and fraternal organizations, being the dominant merchant entrepreneurs, serving on the boards of directors of financial institutions, schools, etc.
Although there were many Jewish families here, their numbers were insufficient to support their own synagogue and most went to Memphis, Tenn., for the religious holidays and when there was a death among their faith, most were interred in the Jewish Cemetery in Memphis.
In those days in Holly Springs, it was common for Jewish merchants to close for Christmas and Easter, and the other local merchants would close for Jewish holidays.
Any list of our Jewish families would probably begin with Isaac C. Levy, and then in no particular order, the Behrs (Baer), M(e)yers, Grosskins, Leibsons, Seesels, Blumenthals, Oppenheimers, Captain Sam Franck, brothers Isaac and Solomon Rhine, the Shumacker brothers, Lebolts, Kohners, Schneider, and others, including Marcus Louis who was murdered in his store by an axe-wielding assailant. Louis’s brother-in-law, Jacob Rosenf(i)eld, was a Confederate veteran who came here from Georgia after the Civil War. With the exodus of the Kohner family, not long after the tragic drowning of Junior Kohner in the pool at the old country club, the last of the old line Jewish families here was extinct.
Several of the names of these old families are perpetuated by having their name associated with some building or landmark. Thus the I.C. Levy Store; the Nathan Seesel memorial water fountain near the entry to the Marshall County Historical Museum; the Shumacker Bros. name is imbedded in the entry tile to the present day Angie’s Boutique, at 111 E. Van Dorn; then there is Rhine’s Mountain several miles west of town. On the high bluff of the mountain, overlooking what was at one time a large lake, is an old cemetery.
I first visited the cemetery with Gus Smith, more than 30 years ago. Some call it the McClatchy Cemetery and others call it the Rhine Cemetery, even though there are no Rhines buried there.
From whence did the name Rhine come to the mountain?
Solomon G. Rhine was a native of Bavaria, born ca. 1829. He left Bavaria, and, traveling alone, arrived at the port in New York, N.Y. ,in Sept. 1845. He had come to the United States to live with his brother Isaac Rhine. In the 1850 census for Marshall County, Isaac is enumerated in the Williamson Hotel in Holly Springs with others of his family, and on the next page of the census, Solomon is enumerated, also living in the Williamson Hotel.
The Williamson Hotel was on the north side of the square between Market Street and Center Street. As recorded in the Marshall County Circuit Clerks’ records, Solomon Rhine filed a declaration to become a naturalized citizen of the United States in July of 1850 and received his order of naturalization on January 31, 1851.
He soon went into the dry goods/hardware/cutlery and notions business, his store being beneath the hotel. In 1858 Solomon married Frederica(?) in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. By December 1860 Rhine was prosperous enough to purchase from William Talliferro all of Section 8, Township 4S, Range 3W, except the cemetery mentioned above, which introduced the Rhine name to those bluffs. The area is now practically inaccessible.
Another prosperous year followed and Sol Rhine had an increase in wealth as did other merchants, but with the coming of the Civil War things became more complicated for merchants. Banks as we know them had not yet been established, and wealth had to be protected. There was no place to safely deposit money and have it secure until it was needed, and by 1862 the Federal army was moving farther south each month.
Many were afraid that Confederate money might become worthless so businessmen wanted the money they handled to be specie, gold or silver. The specie would hold its value but there was still the problem of securing it to prevent it being stolen. They would swap Confederate money at a discount for gold.
Sol Rhine normally went to New York or Philadelphia for his store’s goods each year in January, but by 1862 he had a surplus of cash and was looking for a way to invest it and make a profit, rather than having so much cash at home.
He went to New Orleans and even though he did not have a grocery store, he invested in sugar and molasses, and had it shipped by boat most of the way to Holly Springs. It was stored in the cellar of his store.
Among the goods Sol Rhine purchased in New Orleans that spring was 85 hogsheads of sugar, each averaging 1,050 pounds, for a total of 89,250 pounds of sugar; 300 barrels of molasses totaling 12,000 gallons; 200 half-barrels of molasses totaling another 4,000 gallons, and 300 bushels of wheat, altogether valued at more than $35,000. When the Yankees came to Holly Springs they took all of Sol Rhine’s stock, and left him financially ruined. He filed a claim with the Southern Claims Commission in 1871, stating he had been a loyal Union man and should be reimbursed. Mr. Rhine was out of town when the Union troops took his supplies, but Mrs. Rhine was present and watched them steal their store’s goods. When the claim was filed the Rhines could not remember the exact date of the theft, but she did mention Van Dorn’s Raid. This would have coincided with General Grant’s orders for his troops to live off the land, to take what they needed from civilians, as their supply base at Holly Springs had been destroyed in the raid.
Following some witness interviews, his claim was denied. His wife testified that she had been a loyal Southerner but that her husband was a loyal Union man and the “other Israelites” in town had berated him for voting as a Whig, rather than for the Democrats. When she told the commissioners what the “other Israelites” had done, they wanted to know if she and Mr. Rhine were Israelites also. I have wondered if the government denied his claim because he was Jewish. With their business and money gone the Rhines had to leave town separate from one another. After a period of briefly living in Baltimore and Minnesota, they each subsequently landed in Memphis. Isaac Rhine had previously moved to Philadelphia. Solomon was unable to pay the taxes on his property at Rhine’s Mountain and it was taken by the state for delinquent taxes. In 1870 he was able to buy his property back from the state at a tax sale, but in 1874, for some reason his brother Isaac acquired the property from Solomon. Isaac Rhine kept the property until 1898 when it was sold it to Martin Greene, another large landowner and businessman.
Solomon and his family were living in Memphis in 1878 when the yellow fever epidemic began. Unable to escape from Memphis because of various quarantines against citizens of Memphis, he moved into the countryside to escape the epidemic. However, for him it was too late, as he came down with what the newspaper called “malaria” and he died on August 29, 1878 at the age of 49.
I want to thank my friend Eileen Rhine, of Santa Fe, NM, for contributing the information about the claims against the government.
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