SOLD! for $240.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $300.00
- High Estimate: $400.00
- Realized: $240.00
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Large collection consisting of correspondence, photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, and other materials from the estate of Ellen McClung Berry and relating to her life. Some examples include a letter written by Berry's cousin Hugh L. McClung to Berry, dated 1895 in which he is trying to locate the grave of his grandfather who passed away in 1800, a letter written to Hugh L. McClung while in Italy from his brother-in-law, fellow lawyer T.S. Webb, letter envelope addressed to cousin Hugh L. McClung while he was in Texas, court clerk receipt with the name of Rufus M. McClung (cousin and brother of Hugh L. McClung), botanical scrapbook of leaves noting the names of the leaves and where and when they were collected, travel diaries, photos and letters related to Mrs. McClung's travels abroad. Also includes some early family correspondance dating to the early 19th century. Biography (Courtesy of Special Collections Online at The University of TN): Ellen Lawson McClung was born to Judge Hugh Lawson and Ella (Gibbins) McClung in 1893 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was educated at Charles Coffin Ross's school in Knoxville and later studied at the Ogantz School for Girls in Philadelphia. After being presented as a debutante in 1914, she traveled abroad extensively with her parents. Ellen McClung married coal magnate Thomas Huntingdon Berry in 1928 in the formal gardens of Belcaro and the couple had one son, Hugh Lawson McClung Berry, in 1932. After Hugh McClung died in 1936, Ellen and her family returned to Belcaro to care for her widowed mother. On February 28, 1951, while the family was taking its annual vacation to Palm Beach, Hugh Berry shot his grandmother and father, as well as a policeman in his ensuing escape. His father survived, but his grandmother died of his wounds. He was eventually captured, and after a medical examination was ruled insane. Ellen Berry believed that her son's problems began when he suffered a head injury three years earlier, and she agreed to have him committed to a mental health facility in Chicago. Hugh Berry was eventually released and died from complications of pneumonia in 1963 in Mexico. During the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. and Mrs. Berry involved themselves with a number of historic preservation causes. In late 1951, Ellen Berry became the organizing chairman of the Upper East Tennessee Division of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities and helped to organize the Jefferson County branch of the organization. In the same year, she assisted the Knoxville chapter of the APTA in purchasing the crumbling Ramsey House. She and her husband also purchased and restored Fairfax (built by Major Lawson Franklin in about 1840). Ellen Berry also donated some of her property to the University of Tennessee in 1965 in order to build a plaza with a fountain and statuary. In 1977, the Berrys built a smaller home, called Berrymount. Thomas Berry died in 1978 and Ellen retreated to Berrymount with her housekeeper and companion Dan Tondevold. Tondevold, who bore a remarkable resemblance to the Berrys' late son, claimed to be from Denmark and moved into Berrymount's guest house after Thomas Berry's death under the pretext of writing a book. He eventually took over the management of the estate and was granted power of attorney in April of 1982. Using his position and influence, he stole the majority of Ellen Berry's savings and belongings. A body believed to be his (but never positively identified) was found shortly after the theft, but some believe that Tondevold escaped to Europe, the Caribbean, or South America. Ellen Berry moved into a small apartment in Jefferson City, where she lived modestly on the proceeds of the land she had donated to the University of Tennessee. She died on April 18, 1992 at 98 years of age. Condition: Various states of condition with most in overall good condition. Some toning to paper, photo scrapbooks not intact, general wear and tear. Some water damage evident.