December 13, 1907 — Arthur St. Clair Colyar dies at age 90. He served in the Confederate Congress, led a successful effort to place Nashville in financial receivership in 1879 on the grounds of alleged public corruption, served as publisher of the Nashville Daily American, and co-founded the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co. — a prime mover in the development of the steel industry in Birmingham, Ala., and a company included in the first Dow Jones Industrial Index in 1896.
December 13, 1928 — Jacob McGavock Dickinson, a Nashville lawyer who became Secretary of War under President W. H. Taft and president of the American Bar Association, dies at 77.
December 13, 1935 — Joel Owsley Cheek dies at the age of 83, seven years after the Nashville-based coffee business that he co-founded was sold for a reported $40 million. As detailed in newspaper obituaries, the roster of Cheek’s honorary pallbearers was truly a who’s who of Nashville civic life at the time, with the likes of C.A. Craig, C. Runcie Clements, Dr. Rufus E. Fort and Ridley Wills of National Life & Accident Insurance Co., emerging grocery magnate H.G. Hill Sr., telecom entrepreneur Leland Hume, Gov. Hill McAlister, Mayor Hilary E. Howse, American National Bank honcho P.D. Houston Jr. and Vanderbilt Chancellor J.H. Kirkland.
In more recent history, Nashville said buh-bye to its status as a national air travel hub on December 14, 1995. That’s the day American Airlines ceased to operate flights from Nashville to Austin, Denver, Newark and Philadelphia, with a spokesman conceding that BNA could no longer be considered an American hub.
On the other hand, two longstanding Nashville religious congregations have celebrated new milestones during this week in years past:
December 16, 1894 — Christ Church, Episcopal moves into its new building at the corner of Ninth and Broadway.
December 19, 1930 — The Nashville Tennessean spreads word that the three-year-old Hillsboro Church of Christ has set out to build a fine new church building at the corner of 21st Ave. S. and Ashwood Ave. The church would meet there until it outgrew the facility in the 1970s and constructed a new home at the corner of Tyne and Hillsboro in Forest Hills. Hillsboro is now in the midst of a major expansion at that campus.
Just next to Hillsboro’s news is the announcement of a significant moment in the history of the arts locally. James M. Cowan, a little-known former resident of Nashville, was revealed to be the donor who left an art collection and $10,000 in support funding to the Parthenon.