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William Tannahill

Male - 1844


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Sketch of Mrs. Susan Tannahill

As published in Sketches of Old Warrenton, Lizzie Montgomery Wilson, (Edwards & Broughton printing company, 1924.), http://www.ncgenweb.us/ncwarren/warrenton/chap26.htm


On the north of the William Eaton, Sr., place, in fact on the edge of his large yard, as it formerly was, W. T. Johnson bought a lot and erected a very com­fortable and convenient brick house, about thirty-­five years ago. He did not live in it very long, and in 1893 he sold it to Mrs. Susan Tannahill, where she, with her two daughters, Miss Eliza and Mrs. Charles Jones, and her granddaughter, Lilie, now Mrs. Tasker Polk, and Alice, made a home. Alice died some years ago. Mary, the oldest daughter, married John White, of Norfolk, and died years ago in New York State, leaving one son, Edward. Miss Eliza has been a woman of splendid Christian char­acter, and of great usefulness in her family, a most devoted daughter, sister, and aunt to the many nieces and nephews.

The mother of the family, Mrs. Tannahill, was a most remarkable woman. She was left a widow in early life, with six children and very limited means. By her industry and good management, she so reared them that she was abundantly repaid by seeing their success in life, and their unfailing devotion to herself.

The oldest son, Robert Tannahill, served in the Confederate army; after the war he went to New York City to live, and engaged, very successfully in the cotton commission business, serving as president of the Cotton Exchange for some time. His two younger brothers, Edmund and William, were en­gaged in the same line of business with him. The oldest daughter married Charles Jones, of Warren County; there was only one son of this marriage, Edward, who died when quite a young man.

Isabelle, the second daughter, married Henry Plummer, of Warren County. They reared a large family in Petersburg, Virginia.

Mrs. Tannahill's husband died, when a young man, in Cuba, where he had gone in quest of health. She was a Miss McNair, of Edgecombe County, North Carolina; after her widowhood she moved to Petersburg, and lived there all during the war. She was most generous and unselfish, and her home was always open to the Confederate soldiers, when she assisted in nursing the sick and wounded. A Warren County soldier, Major Robert Alston, was nursed back to life, from horrible wounds, in that home, and as an expression of his gratitude for the kindness he had received, in after years he called his first daughter Eliza Tannahill.

Mrs. Tannahill was a woman of fine intelligence, very retentive memory, and very fond of reading. She wrote an excellent letter, for she was interested in every person and all her surroundings, had a keen sense of humor, and thoroughly enjoyed life. She was a most consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, though the least narrow professing Christian I ever knew. Her heart, her purse, her loving in­terest was open to all of God's children. In per­sonal appearance she very much resembled Queen Victoria. She lived to the advanced age of eighty­-eight, and used to laugh and say, "They call Mr. Gladstone the Grand Old Man; we are the same age, why not call me The Grand Old Woman?"

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