Remembering The Mosmans In St. Elmo

Sunday, January 13, 2019 - by Stephen Mosman

To Chester Martin, Re: St. Elmo article:

 

I so enjoy reading your column in the Chattanoogan. This day's blog is of particular interest in that my family, Mosman, started their Southern heritage in St. Elmo. My great-grandfather, Judson Adoniram Mosman, had been a prisoner of the confederacy at Andersonville, Ga and on his furlough and subsequent trip home to Maine and Massachusetts, stopped in Chattanooga.  Finding the climate much better than that of the North, he moved his family South and they built three houses on Beulah and Virginia Avenues in St.

Elmo. All three are still standing.....5307 (where my  dad was born) Beulah Ave and the two behind it.

 

Also, my grandparents (and great-grandparents before them) were all members of St. Elmo Methodist Church for most, if not all, of their Southern lives. The entire family took up the first three or more rows on the right side of the old church building. (so I was told when I joined that church back in the 1990s....There were Wallace and Josephine Cornelius Mosman and their son, my dad, Wallace Dee Mosman. My great aunt, MISS Clara Mosman (who also taught a single ladies Sunday School class and whose members were "Miss Clara's girls".) (Clara also worked as a secretary at the Medicine Company and was paid rather well since she purchased most of her clothing at Pickett's downtown, not a place to buy everyday run of the mill clothes).  Along  with the Mosman family, there were other Cornelius family members....Reuben Cornelius (and wife Lucille plus daughters Martha (later Mrs. Glenn Ellis)  and Florence (later Mrs. Bill Collins) and Reuben was a one time Physical Education teacher and coach at Chattanooga Central High School).  Then there was Mildred Cornelius (husband...Milton Westcott, sons:  Lawrence who worked at Fowler's Music Dept and Nelson), then there was another Cornelius sister, Julia (later Mrs. Ralph Turner) and her two daughters Jane (Holmes) and Anne (VanBrunt).

 

Sorry for the family tree but St. Elmo brings back all the memories that my late father shared with his family. He believed, i do declare, that in order to get to heaven, one had to go via St. Elmo. And when he died, his funeral cortege (from Fort Oglethorpe) took a long way to National Cemetery by going through St. Elmo and actually passing his birthplace on Beulah Avenue.

 

Also interesting in your blog was the Gothard mention. I know the Kellerhals family (whose farm by this time was in East Ridge (Con Kellerhals, a son, is a personal friend)....but Miss Nanny Gothard was indeed one of my dad's elementary teachers at St. Elmo and dad made her re-acquaintance by stopping by her farm house in the Boynton area.....

 

Another note of interest......when I began the first grade at Fort Oglethorpe Grammar School, my dad was introducing me to my teacher , Mrs. Martha Bullard.  Another older woman appeared in the doorway and kissed my dad's cheek. Daddy was someone taken aback by this forward gesture until the lady spoke, "Wallace do you not have at least a hug for one of your former teachers?"  Mrs. Myra Peebles had indeed been one of my dad's teachers at St. Elmo Elementary School. My second grade teacher was also a Chattanoogan of note, Mrs. Marjorie Cadek whose husband was of the Cadek Conservatory of Music fame (but my fantastic adventures with Mrs Cadek, my favorite teacher, is for another time).

 

Again, thank you for your most informative and interesting blog. I always smile when I see that you have posted a new one and read them with joy.

 

Stephen Mosman

Fort Oglethorpe, Ga


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