The Jackson Purchase Historical Society, along with the West Tennessee Historical Society, met at the Weldon Public Library in Martin, Tennessee on Saturday, November 5th. Ed Frank, of the WTHS, welcomed everyone to the joint meeting. Frank also called attention to a WTHS presentation to be held in December by Rhodes University History Professor Tim Gruber about his book Liberty and Union: The Civil War Era and American Constitutionalism.
JPHS Vice President Dr. Bob Lochte introduced JPHS Treasurer Dr. Marvin Downing, who made brief welcoming comments. An information sheet about the speaker and upcoming JPHS programs was distributed to all guests. The next meeting of the JPHS will be on Saturday, January 14th at the National Guard Armory in Murray, Kentucky. Bill Schell and Greg Miller will present a program on the Mexican Expedition of 1916 with a focus on the role of Calloway County and its Lt. Nathan G. Hale, who died during the expedition.
Dr. Lochte introduced Dr. Brian Clardy as the guest speaker. Dr. Clardy is a native of South Fulton, Tennessee and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from the University of Tennessee – Martin, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern Illinois – Carbondale. He also studied Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of History at Murray State University. He is also the host of a popular jazz program on WKMS-FM 91.3.
Dr. Clardy’s topic was the career of west Tennessee Congressman John Tanner. “Tanner was a conservative, Blue Dog Democrat, a type of politician who no longer exists,” said Clardy. Tanner was born in Halls, grew up in Union City, and lived most of his life in the area except for the time he was in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee and when he was serving in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Clardy’s area of interest is particularly focused on Tanner’s service with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A slideshow of the progress Dr. Clardy is making with his research accompanied his talk. After the presentation, Dr. Clardy answered many questions from the interested audience members.