Nashville History

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

K-K-K-Katy - Annie Lorena Capps Hunt

Mama was a storyteller and on hot summer evenings she entertained me and my cousins with tales of her childhood and her family.  We did not know that we learning the story of who we are and where we came from, we just enjoyed hearing Mama's stories.  Some were sad and some were funny and she even had a few a ghost tales to share.

Mama told many stories about her maternal grandparents, Felix and Lorena Hunt.  She called them Little Grandpa and Little Grandma.  They were both small people and the names fit them.  Little Grandpa was a kind and good man and his grandchildren all had good memories of him.  Little Grandpa died before most of her grandchildren were born.  Mama was only seven when her grandmother passed away from tuberculosis.  They were living in a house at 1815 Long Avenue in East Nashville, at the edge of Shelby Park.  During her growing up years Mama and her parents and siblings often shared a house with the Hunt grandparents and with Grandpa Hunt, after Little Grandma died.

Annie Lorena Capps was born on June 20, 1868, daughter of John Walker Capps and Margaret Louisa Sharpe Capps.  She was a pretty girl with dark hair and eyes so dark, they sometimes appeared to be black. 

Annie Lorena Capps Hunt

I only have a few photos of her, and just this one of her as a girl.  She was so cute, maybe a bit of tomboy.  Her hat was possibly inspired by Annie Oakley, who would have been very popular at the time. While she was a child, Annie Lorena lived with her family on the south side of the Cumberland, in a house on North Market Street (now 2nd Ave. N.), near Broad Street.  In the early 1880's the family crossed to the north side of the Cumberland to East Nashville.  Annie Lorena was just a week past her 18th birthday when she was married to Felix Zollicoffer Hunt, on June 28, 1886.  At the time they were married Annie Lorena and her parents were living at 620 Shelby Ave. Coincidentally, a few years later, Alex Steele purchased the house at 620 Shelby and his son Wilmoth Steele was born there.  In 1915 Wilmoth Steele would marry Minnie Hunt, daughter of Annie Lorena Capps Hunt. Felix and Annie Lorena moved a lot.  I don't think there is a street in East Nashville that they did not live or near. 

Little Grandpa loved to sing and even belonged to a barber shop quartet.  In 1918 the song, "K-K-K-Katy" was a big hit and one of Little Grandpa's favorites.  He began to call Little Grandma Katie. 

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore.
When the m-moon shines, over the mountain.
I'll be waiting at your k-k-k-kitchen door.

Little Grandpa adapted the lyrics to suit himself, but it was close to the original.  Mama remembered Little Grandpa singing K-K-K-Katy, long after his wife had passed away.  One granddaughter was named Katie, in honor of Little Grandma's nickname.