110 NORTH LIBERTY

110 N. Liberty

d n english

The building was first listed in the City Directory 1840.

It was listed as a Dry Goods and Food store.

In the 1880’s Edward Felsenthal moved his family from Brownsville to open his store at 110 N. Liberty . Soon his store was opened boasting the best selection of cigars, fine wine,  liquor and other house whole  provisions. Besides the retail store they had a wholesale warehouse. J. C Felsenthal  worked as the manager of the store.

 Edward and Carrie Felsenthal  were very active in the community. Edward was a member of the Knight of Pythias and Carrie was active in the Mutual Improvement Club and later the Civic League Society.

Edward died suddenly in 1895. Jacob and Mrs Carrie ran the store until 1902 when Samuel Tamm became a partner. ( Samuel was married to Ruby Felsenthal daughter of Edward and Carrie) . In the early 1920’s the family decided to close the store. Mrs Carrie Felsenthal died in 1927. J C Felsenthal  and Samuel Tamm went on to run other successful businesses.

In 1923 the Madison Co. Co-op Society store followed by Guy Townsend Hardware store (1929-1940’s).  From the late 1940’s there were various tenants including a shoe store and loan companies. 

The Liberty Grill was opened at this location until  on Feb 21,2003 when the bricks started to fall off the back of the building. By the time we got downtown Saturday morning the area had been roped off and the site condemned.

It was not long before construction on the new building was begun. Now the building is proud to be the home of The Liberty Grill again.

One day in 1998 I was in the Tennessee Room of the Library researching 110 N.Liberty and the Mutual Improvement Club.

Mr. Robert was working that day and introduced to a lady by the name of Florence. Florence was researching the Mutual Improvement Club also. We got to comparing notes and talking to Mr. Robert we were having a good time. When some other people came in Tennessee Room we got that look from Mr. Robert. 

I invited Florence to my office to continue our conversation .

The story she told me she got from her grandmother. When Florence was in high school for a history project she was to write about some of the first members of the Mutual Improvement Club. So she interview her grandmother since she had known  some of the ladies. 

The one she chose to tell her about was Carrie Felsenthal.

It seems the goal of the club was to teach ladies about finance, business, politics, community involvement and other important topics. Well to say this upset the gentlemen of the community was an understatement. They believed women should not get involved and do what their husbands told them to do. Since Mrs. Carrie was one of the leaders of this club she was targeted.

One afternoon one of the gentlemen was chosen to talk to Mr. Felsenthal. The message was to “speak” to his wife telling her this was wrong and not appreciated by the “powers that be”. What the gentleman did not know that while he was having this discussion Carrie was behind the counter posting accounts and heard every word. Before he finished the conversation Carrie came out behind the counter and proceeded to correct the gentleman. Needless to say it was reported the man made a quick exit. While both Edward and Jacob were laughing.Carrie got on the telephone to tell one of the ladies in the club what  happened. Now remember this was when party lines were in Jackson and the telephone operator could listen in and spread the word. By  the time the messenger got home it was known by all the ladies who was in this group who sent him. It was said there were many a discussions and gentlemen who did not enjoy their dinner that night. This is just one of the stories she told me about Carrie Felsenthal . This lady along with other ladies of not only the Mutual Improvement Club and the Civic League Society were women to be taken seriously. These strong women of Jackson and Madison Co helped the area grow and did not take “ no you can not”for an answer. Today this fact is still true.

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