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September 23, 1997

Mobile: Then and Now

Then Now

by Tom McGehee

A handsome home, in the fashionable Queen Anne style, once occupied in the south west corner of Government and South Hamilton streets. In this photograph taken early this century the sidewalks appear new and the iron fence of the Masson home to the west is quite visible.

Attorney Thomas N. MaCartney had built the home in the late 1870's. His wife was a daughter of Jonathan Emanuel, one of ante-bellum Mobile's most prominent citizens. Their home reportedly boasted several paintings from her parent's old home at Government and Joachim streets.

MaCartney died in 1883 and by the time of this photograph the house was owned by his son Edwin and his wife Minnie.

Edwin MaCartney was a vice president of Gibson-Labuzan Grocery Co., dealers in groceries and liquors. He was also a director of the Bank of Mobile and a member of the real estate firm of MaCartney and Wiley. Edwin died young -- at age 36 in 1904. He was buried in the Emanuel plot at Magnolia Cemetery as the choir of Christ Church sang "Nearer My God to Thee."

Minnie Hatch MaCartney remarried. Her second husband was Dr. Henry Pearson, a New Yorker. The Pearsons made their home in New York for a number of years and rented out 451 Government Street in their absence. Mrs. Pearson proudly noted that she had sold war bonds in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria during World War I as her contribution to the effort.

After Dr. Pearson's death his widow moved back to Mobile where she was referred to as Minnie MaCartney Pearson. She died in 1943 and was buried next to her first husband as Minnie Hatch MaCartney.

The MaCartney home briefly survived as doctors' offices until the early 1950's when it became a used car lot for Joe Bullard Motors. The entire block is now occupied by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.


Above Left: Photo courtesy of the Wilson Collection, Historic Mobile Preservation Society. Above Right: photo by Kevin Marston


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