Old photos found at Miller Center
you know these people?
historian Edward O. McCue III is seeking to identify several women
featured in photographs that may be connected with U.S. Sen. Thomas
S. Martin, a powerful Democratic political leader who was born
in Scottsville, educated at U.Va. and died shortly after World
installing a smoke detector as part of renovations at Faulkner
House, the home of the Miller
Center of Public Affairs, recently found photographs, a letter
and documents linked to Martin, who lived in the house from 1907
to 1919, underneath insulation in the attic. Aside from the letter
and the photographs, which feature several women of varying ages,
there was an invitation to Martin to attend a meeting of the Washington
National Monument Society. There also was a calling card for Mrs.
Thomas S. Martin and some document fragments.
were installing a smoke detector and the photos just fell out
of the ceiling, said Scottsville electrician Kevin Evans,
who works for Moores Electrical and Mechanical. There
was black paper with photos on both sides.
said job superintendent John Radford then found the letter and
the calling card under loose insulation beneath floorboards in
the attic. Workers were not sure how old the insulation is or
when it was installed.
Center chief of staff Robin Kuzen, said the center would consider
further exploration after the renovations are completed.
center has no personal memorabilia from Martin or his family,
though the Special Collections in Alderman Library has some Martin
papers, she said.
The photographs feature women sewing or knitting on the front
porch of the house, which was named Montesano when Martin owned
it. There is a woman featured in three photos, knitting and sitting
with a white or grey dog. The woman may be the senators
wife, Lucy Chambliss Day Martin, who was bedridden with tuberculosis
and who died of the disease in 1915.
McCue, whose father was childhood friends with Martins son,
compared the woman in the photograph to a painted portrait of
the senators wife. An older woman in the photographs may
have been Mrs. Martins mother, he said.
letter, addressed to My dear daughter and signed Poppa,
appears to be written to a classmate of the senators daughter,
Lucy Day Keats Martin, who attended the National Cathedral
School in Washington from 1914 to 1916.
at the Cathedral School are examining the text of the letter to
see if they can connect it to any student who attended at the
time as Keats Martin. The letterhead read The
Kansas City Southern Railway Company, Read & McDonough, attorneys
for Arkansas and Oklahoma. Legal Department. Fort Smith, Ark.
native of Scottsville, Martin was born in 1847, attended U.Va.
Law School and opened a law practice in Scottsville. He was actively
involved in politics for many years, though did not seek office
himself until 1894, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate by
the Virginia legislature in a bitterly fought contest against
Gen. Fitzhugh Lee.
who served in the Senate from 1895 to 1919, built a powerful Democratic
Party apparatus the foundation of what would later become
the Byrd Machine, according to the Miller Centers
married Lucy Chambliss Day on Oct. 10, 1894, in what the New York
Times described as the social event of the season in Virginia,
that brought together in goodly array the most notable people
in Virginia, important factors in the world of fashion and the
died in 1919, four years after his wifes death and two years
before his daughter died of tuberculosis.
his death, University President Edwin A. Alderman ordered flags
lowered to half-staff. Lectures were suspended and local businesses
closed their doors during his funeral.