Mrs. Estell Verney Miller Malone
wife of
Mayor James Henry Malone
by grandson
Thomas Harrison McKnight Jr.

     This is some of the memories of my Grandmother Estell Verney Malone, who was married to my Grandfather James H. Malone, for over fifty years. She died in 1941 when I was 23 years old, so I have some great memories of her. This is being written with out notes so some of the dates could be a little off, but they are the things that come to my mind.

     Maw Maw as I called her, was from Cincinnati, Ohio. I do not know how she and Paw Paw, my Grandfather, met. He was from Caperville, Tenn. and his family history has been well documented by John Malone whose great-grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. So this will be about Maw Maw.

     My Grandfather died in 1929 and you can imagine the blow it was to Maw Maw as she had been a devoted wife and Mother for over fifty years. They had traveled to England and other places overseas and she was his constant companion. She did all the typing of both additions of her husband's book, the Chickasaw Nation. She must have been an accomplished Pianist as my wife Nola has a medal for music that she was awarded over 125 years ago.

     They had three children. One son died when three days old as seen on his tombstone. Their other son, Irvin Malone, died when he was 17 years and off at school. They had a daughter Verny Alma Malone, the Mother of my brother James Malone McKnight and myself, Thomas Harrison McKnight, Jr. My mother Verny Alma Malone McKnight, died in 1923. My parents had always lived with the Malones. In fact, James Malone was born in the house on Orleans Street in Memphis, and I was born at 335 Kenilworth Place in Memphis where she Maw Maw lived until her death.

     Here was a Lady, and I mean Lady, in all aspects of the word. By 1929, Maw Maw had lost her husband and all three children. After my mother, Maw Maw's daughter died, my Father had married again to Sadie Lee Davis (a very difficult woman but he stayed with her until his death in 1962). After our mother's death, my brother James Malone McKnight, lived at the Kenelworth with our Grandparents. I lived with our father, T. H. McKnight Sr. and my step-mother Sadie Lee McKnight.

     One of the great happiness of my life was when I was allowed to spend the night on Kenelworth and sleep with my Brother. I did go over every Sunday and have dinner with my Brother and Grandparents. During this time James Malone went to Webb School in Belbuckle, Tenn. and then on to Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Va. Goofing off or some other reason, he did not graduate in four years, so Maw Maw went to live in Lexington with my brother for his fifth year. James Malone did not have much fun with the arrangement but he did have Maw Maw's car to drive. Maw Maw never did drive in all her life as she either had a chauffeur so some one else to drive her.

     After James Malone graduated he returned to Memphis and continued to live with our Grandmother. After he married Lois Adams they continued to live on Kenilworth.

     As far as I know my Grandmother never held a paying job as it was the woman's duty to stay at home and run the house and that she did with an iron hand. She always had servants that lived on the place and saw to it that Mr. Malone (that is what she always called her husband) had his meals on time and what he wanted. We always had waffles on Wednesday and Sunday morning and he had to have a 3 minute egg the other days. Never, no never, on Christmas morning could we go into the room where the presents were displayed with the Christmas Tree that Santa had decorated, until Mr. Malone had his breakfast and read the morning paper!

     Each year on the anniversary of my Grandfathers death, my Grandmother would rent a room on the William Len Hotel and stay for a week all by herself with her memories. She would come home and be very up beat reading both morning and afternoon newspapers and would sit on the front porch talking about what had happened that day around the world.

     In 1933 when I was 15, she took me on a trip that lasted 2 months. It was all by train making a number of stops along the way. We went to Chicago, Lake Louse, Banff , Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Yellowstone Park. It is one of the most wonderful times of my life and maybe it is why I still like to travel so much.

     Love of people was one of Maw Maw's virtues. After her husband died she did not have the income that had in the past. Paw Paw laughed of how much money he had not given the insurance companies . He was diagnosed as having a irregular heart beat when a young man so did not have any insurance polices for Maw Maw to cash, and there was no such thing as retirement moneys in those days. So, come Christmas she would go to Kress 5 & 10 cent store and get everyone a present.

     I met my future wife , Nola Campbell a short time before Maw Maw died in August 1941. In fact Nola and I had a badminton, ping pong party in Maw Maw's back yard and she come to the back window to see what was going on even though she was bed ridden at the time. The next morning she gave me a four diamond ring that she had worn for years and she said it was for my wife. Even though we had not announced the engagement, I think she knew we would get married and was happy over it.

     I do not know if this gives the reader an insight to my Grandmother Estelle Malone, but I hope you get the idea that she was a true Lady, very private in her thoughts, strongly loyal to her family and all around good person. She was very genteel in nature, small of statue but strong willed in her beliefs. She had a very happy married life as her husband was not only a well respected lawyer but was Mayor of Memphis from 1906 to 1910. It was sad that she lost three children and I think that she took the love of her children and placed in on her Grandchildren, James Malone McKnight and Thomas Harrison McKnight, Jr.
Thomas Harrison McKnight, Jr.
Memphis, Tennessee Nov. 18, 1996

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