|203 Clifton Avenue, Natchez, Mississippi|
In 1885, my great grandfather, William Howard Pritchartt (Will) of St. Louis, Missouri, was a purser on a steamboat on the Anchor Line on the Mississippi River. While on a cruise downriver to Natchez, Mississippi, he met and fell in love with Miss Anne Mounger, also of St. Louis. After he married her, they returned to Natchez and he bought two lots on the bluff overlooking the river and built this house, completed in 1900 for the sum of $3,700. No one but Pritchartts have ever lived there.
I had hoped the house would stay in our family for many more generations, but things don't always work out the way we want, and we sold it last week to friends who will be loving stewards for our old legacy. In cleaning out the house for the first time in over a century, I found a small photo album with pictures of a family during happy times. The inscription at the beginning of the album reads, "To dear Aunt Lucy with love from Anne."
Anne was my great grandmother, and was the photographer who took and developed these photos. I remember hearing about her love of photography and found a metal cannister with Kodak stamped upon it as well as a metal gelatin developing tray.
Will and Anne had two children -- Anne Mounger, born in 1895 and William Howard, born in 1898 -- who brought their parents many joys. Anne, who was called Annet, lived there until her death in 1992. She was my great aunt, a brilliant woman who never married, but traveled the world, studied history at Barnard and returned to Natchez where she taught mathematics for 40 years. William Howard, my grandfather, was called "Boy" most of his life, and was a quiet, gentle man who offered his own family an example of an honest, dignified life.
I offer the following as a tribute to my forebearers.
(Simply click on a photo to see a larger version.)
Newspaper article from St. Louis Newspaper about 1885
"SURPRISE - Among the many gallant and courteous gentlemen who do service in the offices of the various steamboats coming to this city, and particularly those of the Anchor Line, there are none perhaps more courteous, polite and efficient than Mr. W.H. Pritchartt, of the steamer Arkansas City.
As a proof of his popularity, and the esteem in which he is held, especially by the ladies who are fortunate enough to secure passage on this boat, Mr. Pritchartt was presented, on the last trip to Natchez, with a beautiful stool or ottoman cover, exquisitely finished, and wrought in various colors. To say that the fortunate gentleman was surprised would be putting it mildly.
The fair donors of the handsome present were Mr. Capt. C.B. Ziegler, Mrs. Oscar Moore, and Miss Anne Mounger, all of St. Louis. These ladies are making the round trip on the elegant steamer. Mr. Pritchartt is proud of his treasure, but cannot realize how the ladies managed to resurrect Joseph's many colored coat of ancient fame, with which the dainty piece of work is finished."
Excerpt from his obit in 1934 - Natchez Democrat:
". . . For a time he was connected with the Anchor Line steamboats on the Mississippi river. When he came to Natchez in Sept, 1889, he went into business with the late Captain S.E. Rundle. In 1905, with W.R. Wade, he organized the firm of W.H. Pritchartt & Company and was connected with it until 1916. ............" William Howard Pritchartt was born in St. Louis in 1856 and died in Natchez MS 1934. He married the lady Annie Munger that made him the stool."
I found the stool about a year ago.
|Annet, age 11; Boy age 8; Jet, age 10|
|Annet, age 16|
|Annet, age 12, standing on the carriage block in front of the house. The block remains.|
|Aunt Puss and Annet, age 12. Aunt Puss was my great grandfather's sister, Sarah Pritchartt Caskie|
|Boy, age 10 and Bess, boy's dog. The name is rather prophetic, as he eventually married Bessie Rose Grafton, whom everyone called "Bess."|
|Boy, age 8 and The White Gobbler|
|Boy, age 11|
|Clifton Avenue. The bluff has caved off over the years until now the street ends just past the house. A herculean effort has been made to save the remaining bluff, and it seems to be working.|
|Annet and Possum; February, 1910|
|Annet and Possum; February, 1910|
|George, age 2; Annet, age 13. I don't know who George is.|
|Mardis Gras, 1909. The Automobile Parade. Annet, age 14 with unknown driver.|
|Natchez, Mississippi as probably seen from the ferry that used to transport people across the river between Natchez, MS and Vidalia, LA|
|The Side Yard|
|The New Puppy|
|The Side Yard|
|This is a daguerrotype. I think it may be my great-great grandmother. While going through the house, I found her marriage license, dated 1865.|
|On board the US gunboat des Moines, anchored at Natchez, 1906. William Howard Pritchartt and William Howard Pritchartt, my great grandfather and my grandfather.|
|Annet, age 12; boy, age 9|
|Annet, age 16 with her mother, Anne.|
|Annet, age 10; the fig tree brought from Farmerville|
|Annet in Colonial Costume, Age 15|
|I don't know who this is, but since it was the last picture in the album, I think it must be the aforementioned dear Aunt Lucy.|
|The Back Gallery|
|Boy, age 13 and Dolly|
|Boy, age 13. I can still remember when there was earth on the other side of the street, all gone now.|
|Boy and Jet|
|Boy on the back gallery. We still have those little children's folding chairs.|
|Clover, age 11 months|
|The Dining Room|
|The Dining Room. We still have my great grandfather's rolltop desk.|
|The Sitting Room. Although the piano is gone, we still have the stool as well as the flower painting on the wall. I found the menorah in the pantry in pieces. At least, I think it's a menorah. My great grandparents were Catholic.|
|The Sitting Room. We still have those fancy Victorian chairs, which were bought from the owners of the antebellum house, Montebello, after it burned around the turn of the century.|
|The White Gobbler|
|"My First Brood"|
|Will and Boy, age 13|
So Rose the Dead
Matters Familia -- The Fabric of Time
Matters Familia -- Photos of Annet Mounger Pritchartt
Matters Familia -- Ephemera
Matters Familia -- Hidden Treasures