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Public Notices

April 20, 2014

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Robert Maloney - The Tailor Before Johnson

Originally published: 2012-12-27 10:54:33
Last modified: 2012-12-27 10:55:29

How many of you know who the tailor was in Greeneville before Andrew Johnson arrived?

My research shows that it was Robert Maloney.

The Maloney family lived on the left side of North Main Street going toward Kingsport. The house was the third house after passing Spencer Street, and the property is said to have extended all of the way through to Irish Street.

After Johnson arrived, he and Robert Maloney were partners for a time. Then, Robert retired and Andrew Johnson became the principal tailor for the Town of Greeneville.

Both men were noted for their fine needlework.

The trousers in the picture were made by Robert Maloney, after his retirement, in or about the year 1835. The material is that of the early "Satin Weave," which does not show the warp of the material.

There were three popular early weave patterns: "Plain," "Jean" and "Satin," with "Satin" being the finest.

The trousers are "fall front" (zippers were not available at the time) riding "britches."

These trousers were purchased from the Richard Doughty estate by Alice Loftin and donated to the Nathanael Greene Museum.

At that time a note was discovered in the pocket with the following inscribed:

"Greene County Fair

"October 10, 11, 12th 1923

"Greeneville, Tennessee.

"These pantaloons, made by Robert Maloney about the year 1835.

"Robert Maloney was a tailor, who plied his trade in Greeneville, Tennessee being associated in later years with tailor Andrew Johnson.

"These pantaloons belonged to W.H. Doughty, having been presented to him by Mrs. Robert Maloney, the wife of the son of the maker of these pantaloons."

The trousers are displayed in a Smithsonian Case in the Elegant Home Gallery on the main floor of the museum.

Come by the museum when it reopens and visit this gallery as well as other wonderful artifacts from the area.

As is customary this time of year, the museum closed to the public on Dec. 22 and will not reopen until 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.

However, the office will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday during January.

The regular museum hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The museum is located at 101 W. McKee St. in the Historic District.

We'll see you at the museum!

This column is written by Betty Fletcher of the Nathanael Greene Museum and is published every other Thursday.

For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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