UCV Parade - Memphis 1909

...Historic Photos of the Confederate Veterans Parade


These 1909 photo cards of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) Reunion Parade in Memphis are extremely rare.   One or two photo cards would be unique, but 60 photo cards are unimaginable.  We now think we know the story behind the photos, as well as the likely photographer/s.  

Philip Jordan Noel and members of the Kentucky Shader family were in Memphis to participate in the UCV Reunion celebrations.  Their accommodations were in a park where they pitched a tent.  One or more of them took photos and printed them on postcard stock.  Some of the cards were mailed to friends and relatives in Kentucky and Tennessee.  Comments were written on the back of many of the photo cards.  


"...Glasgow, Ky"

 "...Hartsville, TN"

Notations on back...


Carey Lasseter Cook found the photo cards still boxed and in pristine condition at an estate sale in Burns, TN. on August 11, 2012.  Of course Carey bought all the postcards, and listed 10 of them on eBay August 13, 2012.  Dave French, a member of our website team, won 5 of the 10 photo cards on eBay.  He then contacted Carey and made arrangements to acquire scans of the entire collection to be displayed on the Historic-Memphis.com website.  The entire collection is presented below. 

Update April 2015:  We have learned there is another set of these remarkable photos .  This set is owned by collectors Steve and Dean McFarland and contains 90 photos.  They have graciously allowed us to add the 30 additional photos to this page.


  "Marching as of long ago" "Great crowd today"

"They are still marching"

Click on small photos to enlarge them.  The quotes below the photos  are Philip Noel's  comments on the back of cards.

"Flower Parade"       

"Main Street"

Henry Shader

"Marching to Victory..."

There were two parades -  the flower parade on Day 1, and the Veterans Parade on Day 3.   There's evidence in the photos  that the parades traveled down Main Street as far as Beale and then continued on 2nd Street at least as far as Court Square.  There are numerous photos showing recognizable buildings at 2nd and Court.  The Bijou Theatre at Main and Linden, was designated "Convention Hall" and most Convention meetings were held there.

"The Pansy Girl"            

"Sitting on the bluff ..."

"Wharf on the Mississippi..."

"A good one of parade..."

"The Southern Gray"                 "Flower Parade" "A hornet's nest"

"...Court Square Corner "             "...Southern Mothers" "Uncle Josh"

"Three Cheers for the..."

"Main Street" "Main Street" "Main Street" "Main Street"

"...brother Jim's dental parlor"

"Main Street" "Gen Evans - Lee's Grandson"

"Oh you Commander in Chief"

"Father and Daughter"       "Main Street"    "Pvt Thurston..."

"Court Square"

South Main

"Main Street-Court Square "

"Wharf..." "Two Sponsors"

"Tallest soldier of the war"

"...you can't get away from me"

"Parade is on"

Flower Parade - Detail

"What's the matter with TN"

"They are still passing by"        "...Oh you kids" "They didn't win for Houston" "Indian sponsors from Okla"

"Fire engine in the parade"           "Part of the KY division" "Oh you kids, Flower Parade" "Part of the Parade"

"Mess Hall ...before dinner"

"Mess Hall ... serving dinner" "Hoorah for the Sunny South" "A lost cause"

"Oh you kid, I will get that smile"

"Oh you kid" "I love my wife, but oh you kid" "Oh you kids"
The Steve and Dean McFarland Collection

April 2015, we were contacted by Steve McFarland who told us about an identical collection of 1909 UCV Parade photo cards that he and his wife Dean had acquired - except his collection contained 90 photos - 30 more than  the collection acquired by Carey Lassiter Cook.  This collection was printed on the same type photo cards.  The only difference is there are no comments written on the back.   

Steve McFarland states  that in 1994, he purchased his set of photos from  Michael Leach at the National Postcard Exchange in Macon, Georgia, who told him the set was from the estate of Col. Philip J. Noel of Bowling Green, Ky.    Steve adds that collector Everitt Bowles also told him "...a few years ago a lady brought a set of the 1909 photos into the Civil War Show at Franklin, Tennessee.  He talked to the lady but didn't try to buy the set because he felt she was only "shopping" and would have turned him down and looked for another dealer."   Sometime after this 10 cards from this set appeared on EBay.

Thanks to the Steve and Dean McFarland Collection for scanning and allowing Historic-Memphis to post the additional 30 photos on this page. 

The Old Dominick Carriage


More Ladies

...and more

 Click on small photos to enlarge them.

...Still more

Marching Sponsors

General Collier and Daughter

Flower Float

Tyler - Carroll - Scott

Thurston - 7' 7 "


Ladies again

Parade float



Mess Hall

The photographer/s also made tours of other attractions in Memphis -  East End Park, Tri State Fairgrounds, Court Square, a boat regalia at the riverfront, the cobblestone landing, the Customs House, and a ball game at the old Red Elm Park - before it developed into old Russwood Park.  Several photos are not shown, because they are  almost identical.

Tri State Fairgrounds Tri State  or East End Park Pippin at East End Park River regalia

Confederate Park Court Square Court Square Cobblestone Landing


Drinking Fountain Red Elm Park Baseball Red Elm Park Baseball

The McFarland Collection also includes this copy of the 1909 Reunion Official Program (Below).  It's interesting for a number of reasons.  It verifies all the activities and where they took place.  It lists the Bijou Theatre where the convention met and refers to it as "Convention Hall".  It also refers to a "Confederate Hall".  There was no Confederate Hall in 1909 Memphis.  We think that was meant to say "Convention Hall".  The brochure also lists an "Auditorium" near East End Park.   We were not aware of a theatre with this name in 1909.  After research, we've learned that this was the Auditorium Skating Rink associated with East End Park.

1 2 3 4 5 6


Who took the photographs?

We really don't know.  Originally we had thought the photographs were taken by "Phil Shader", and that he was standing in front of the tent in the park.  A lot of of the cards are signed "Phil" and written to "Miss Blanche Shader".  Some referred to her as "aunt".  Then Steve McFarland's set of photographs provided us with a new name: Philip Jordan Noel.  We are now sure that he is the "Phil" who wrote on the back of most of the cards and that the photographs were most likely taken by Richard Shader and/or Charles Shader.   We now know, conclusively that  the "kid" standing in front of the tent is Henry Shader.

Henry at the tent in the park  


Henry Shader as a young man and  the skating champ of Kentucky

Henry Shader...and his family


During a Google search, we discovered Laura J. Stewart, the Shader Family archivist.  She graciously replied to our email, correcting some of our errors in the Shader ancestry along with her belief that the photos were taken by Philip Jordan Noel.  After quite a few back and forth emails, opinions have been verified and/or revised.  She now believes the photos were more likely taken by Richard Shader and assisted by his nephew, apprentice Elva Shader.  And after a definite confirmation that Henry Shader was the subject in one photo, she now also believes that Henry and his father Charles Shader were also present, along with Philip J. Noel.  We are in agreement ... with minor exceptions.

Laura J. Stewart  

Richard Shader was a professional photographer and his apprentice was his nephew 17 year old Elva Shader.  They both lived in Nashville at this time although they may have known Philip Noel through their Kentucky connections.  Henry Shader was also 17 at the time and his father Charles Shader was apparently an amateur photographer who used photography as a means to document his family's history.  He and his family were experienced campers and their many trips were documented in many photographs.  Charles and Richard were 1st cousins.  Youngsters Elva and Henry were 2nd cousins. 


Richard Shader

Charles Shader


Charles and Henry Shader lived in Glasgow Ky and Philip Noel lived in nearby Bowling Green.  Since Philip was engaged to Charles sister Blanche, they would have known each other.  Philip would also have known that Charles and Henry were experienced campers and that Charles documented those family trips with photos.   We believe Philip Noel asked Charles and Henry to accompany him on this journey to Memphis to photograph the festivities although it's possible that Charles, not being a professional photographer, suggested his cousin Richard Shader to take the photos and Richard added his young apprentice Elva to assist him and to provide company for young Henry. 


Elva Shader

Henry Shader

Charles Shader's occupation was railroad engineer.  Therefore he could have "provided" all railroad fares ... and the transportation for all that camping equipment to Memphis.   Philip J. Noel would have known Memphis very well.  He had lived there for several years working as an insurance agent before moving back to Bowling Green, Ky.  In addition, Charles brother James Shader lived in Memphis boarding house at the time and was a dentist.

In 1912, Philip Jordan Noel married Banche Shader.  Their son Phil Jr and his wife lived in Nashville for many years.  After the death of Jr, and his wife, their son David Noel continued living in the Nashville area



In the photo it appears that the "Noel-Shader tent" is set up for the "the long haul", with an amazing amount of equipment including a surprising record player.  Music was apparently important to Philip Noel because on 10 of the cards, he refers to the lyrics of the most popular song of the day, "I love my wife, but oh you kid"


Record Player

"Oh you kid" evrywhere...

Sheet Music

Click on the
white arrow to listen to a bit of the song   >   


The song was published in the spring of 1909.  By today's standards the lyrics  were very mild.  But it was considered quite sexy in 1909 - full of euphemisms, innuendos and "coy talk".   In addition to the song references on 10 photo cards, Philip also made several comments about getting the girls on the floats to smile at him "Oh you kid, I will get that smile".  It's as if he had taken the photos or possibly had assisted the photographer.

"Oh you kids..." on post cards...


Col Philip J. Noel married the former Blanche Shader in 1912.  She's the "Miss Blanche" and "Aunt Blanche" that Phil sent cards to and is referred to on the back of several other cards.  >

On another card Phil wrote to Blanche, "...your brother Jim's Dental Parlor".  There is a "Painless Dentist" sign on this card, taken on 2nd Street (Verified by Lyceum Theatre building).  The dentist at this location in 1909 was  James M. Shader,  (Memphis Directories).  Blanche's brother was named James Marshel Shader.

Col Noel Obit

"Your brother Jim's..."

On Several cards (Left and Below), Philip makes references to "L. J .. Liza Jane ... L. J. of Ky ... L. J. Commander in Chief ... and Lisa Jane of Glasgow, KY".  According to Laura J. Stewart, this refers to Eliza Jane Church Church, Blanche Shader's 1st cousin. (Eliza Jane married her 2nd Cousin, Jim Church).

And that one card written in pencil by Clara Shader, niece of Blanche Shader?  It was written over a month after the Reunion, which probably verifies that she was not at the reunion in Memphis.  She could have gotten the postcard from Philip,  after he returned and mailed it to her Aunt Blanche who was visiting her sister Mrs. J. E. Greathouse, in Hartsville, TN.   Clara would have been 14 years old.

           Clara Shader's card...  

Four stools, three hats, 2 skillets outside this tent?  And who took this photo of Henry?  That was always a mystery.  Now we have 3 or 4 people - one of them trained in photography, and one an amateur photographer, camping here.  So we're relatively sure that the photo was taken by Richard Shader, an accomplished photographer or by Charles Shader, the amateur photographer.  That's why the quality is so good.  And when some of the photos are not so sharp and clear?  Well maybe the assistant Elva was having a lesson or else Henry or Philip gave it a shot?

We briefly thought there might be a third set of the UCV photos.  Laura Stewart found a copy of Henry in front of the tent in the "Charles H. Shader Photo Collection".  On the back is marked "Henry Shader".  Charles is Henry's father  and cousin of photographer Richard Shader.  It's marked "1908" on the front and we think that might have been added later and was simply mis-dated.  After checking with the McFarland Collection, we verified that this photo is not in their set - so apparently it was pulled by the photographer/s for Charles Shader to add to his family photo collection.  We no longer think there is a 3rd set of these photos "out there".


For the time being, there are only two sets of photo cards.  We believe that Philip originally had both sets -  the set he wrote notes on (acquired by Carey Lasseter Cook)  and the blank set (acquired earlier by the McFarland Collection).  Philip's son, Philip Jr. was a military man and would have been very interested in his father's photos.  When Jr. married and moved to Nashville, he probably took the more personal set his father had written notes on with him.  Or after his mother's death he took the personal set and left the other set to be sold in the Noel estate sale.  Philip Jr. died in 1993 and his wife died in 2012 - and Carey Lasseter Cook found her set of photos at that Tennessee  estate sale  in 2012.  (Unfortunately she can't identify the estate the photos came from, because the sale was a general sale combining several estates)


We're satisfied with the narration and theories above but we do have some exceptions.  We believe that Charles Shader is the photographer and that Richard and Elva were probably not at the 1909 Reunion.  Charles, Henry  and the Shader family took numerous camping trips together.  There are many, many photos of the Shader family, posing in front of a tent just like the Memphis campsite.  It could be the identical tent because the stove and stove pipe are the same.  These photos are all marked "Charles H. Shader Photo Collection" yet Charles is not in any of these very good photos.  Obviously he is behind the camera.   And Charles and Henry lived in Glasgow, while Philip lived in nearby Bowling Green, Ky.    We further believe that if professional photographer Richard had been the photographer, he would have printed a 3rd set for himself.  Richard was a bachelor and died in 1938.  Surely that set would have surfaced by now if it exists.  If Charles had been the photographer, he would only have been interested in having a photo of his son because his collection consists solely of photos of the Shader family.

To us, it just "doesn't quite fit" that Richard and Elva, who lived in Tennessee at the time, would have been "necessary" for this expedition.  And if they were part of the group, it would have been a rather crowded 5 people in that tent.  If new evidence surfaces verifying Richard as the photographer, this "Addendum" will be removed.        



Visit the 1901, 1909, 1924 UCV Reunions page of the website.  Click here

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The "Historic-Memphis" website would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions which helped make this website possible:  Memphis Public Library, Memphis University Library, Memphis Law Library, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press Scimitar, Shelby County Register of Deeds, Memphis City Schools, Memphis Business Men's Club, Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis City Park Commission, Memphis Film Commission, Carnival Memphis, Memphis Historical Railroad Page, Memphis Heritage Inc, Beale Street Historic District, Cobblestone Historic District, Memphis Historic Districts, Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Tennessee State Archives, Library of Congress, Kemmons Wilson Family, Richard S. Brashier, Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Woody Savage and many individuals whose assistance is acknowledged on the pages of their contributions.  Special thanks to Memphis Realtor, Joe Spake, for giving us carte blanche access to his outstanding collection of contemporary Memphis photos.

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