Parmelia A. Kirk – Tombstone Inscription

Kirk, Pamilla A.
Section 18
ID # 180056

Pamilla A. Kirk. Historical Information

Christ Church (Episcopal) was established in Nashville in 1829. Pamilla A. Kirk was listed as one of the earliest members. Pew rentals were charged every year to finance the work of the parish.  Some members objected to this practice. When the Rev. Charles Tomes left Christ Church to found a new church with “free pews,” many, including Pamilla A. Kirk, followed him. Church of the Advent was established in 1857.

The U.S. Census 1860 for Davidson County, Tennessee, listed Parmelia A. Kirk, born in Virginia, aged 65 years old, as a Primary Teacher, with a personal estate of $1,000. She was a resident in the boarding house owned by Elizabeth Plummer, in the 3rd Ward of Nashville.

After 2009 Restoration and Marker Removal

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In her will, signed on November 3, 1860, she gave directions for payment of her funeral costs and any debts and left bequests of $500.00, to Mrs. Priscilla Martin and $20.00 to Mrs. Elizabeth Plumer, and to Pamela Berry, daughter of Wm. Berry of Sumner county, all her furniture and clothing and to Mrs. Elizabeth Plumer her bed, mattress and bed clothing. In the Codicil, she directed that any monies left after the different bequests shall be given to Church of the Advent, Nashville.

Tennessean, June 24, 1931
City Cemetery article included ‘Old Kirk School’
“…Old Kirk School, was located on High (now Sixth Avenue North), between Church and Broad, in an old brick structure. The school was for primary students and enrolled twenty or more boys and girls… Numerous private schools flourished from time to time, and one of these which was held before the war between the states was a school termed in those days a dame’s school, kept by Mrs. Pamilla A. Kirk“… The age of the old teacher is not set down on her tombstone at City Cemetery, but tradition fails to tell whether this is because her exact birth date was not known or whether Mrs. Kirk did not desire to make public… Robert I. Moore of Spring Hill, a former student, remembered that he had seen the scene depicted on the old teacher’s monument – three children standing close by the old dame’s chair, her arm half around them while she taught them, talking in a soft, low friendly tone of voice to them. He recalled that the chair shown in the bas-relief on the monument was an exact replica of her original chair…”

Note: There appear many different spellings of her first name and also differences in her age as given in the 1860 U.S. Census and in the City Cemetery Interment Book.

Prepared by  Fletch Coke