Wilkins Tannehill store
a enjoyed a wide patronage almost from the beginning of the city. In fact, the earliest settlers brought their bundles of books with them, along with their furniture furniture and pots and pans, and the thirst for new books had supported supported a total of 179 different bookstores bookstores by 1978, David Marshall Stewart, head of Metro's public library system, said in an article published in the Tennessee Historical Historical Quarterly that yea r. The earliest bookstore Stewart discovered was founded in 1810 by a native of Scotland, Duncan Robertson, a generous civic leader leader (called "the most benevolent man that had ever lived in Nashville") Nashville") to whose memory the city erected a monument. In 1814, 1815, 1818, 1829 and 1835, new bookstores were established here. But none attained quite the club-like club-like club-like atmosphere that William William T. Berry's famed bookstore on the public square offered in its 41 years (1835 to 1876). In the store's handsomely furnished reading room, the city's leading citizens drank tea and discussed authors of the day. Berry was son-in-law son-in-law son-in-law son-in-law son-in-law of one of the city's book-loving book-loving book-loving bankers, Wilkins Tannehill, a noted orator who spoke at the laying of the cornerstone of the state capitol on July 4, 1845, made a welcoming welcoming speech when Lafayette visited visited here in 1825, greeted President President Monroe when he visited here in 1819, and twice served as mayor of the city. AT ABOUT that same time, Tannehill was associated with a "Mr. West, manager of a book store." Whether Tannehill and West were partners in a book store is not clear. But in 1826, 13-year-old 13-year-old 13-year-old 13-year-old 13-year-old William T. Berry moved to Nashville from Hickman County to take a job in Tan-nehill's Tan-nehill's Tan-nehill's printing company. By 1833, 20-year-old 20-year-old 20-year-old 20-year-old 20-year-old Berry had married Tannehill's daughter, Mary Margaret, and two years later Berry and Tannehill formed what was to become the famous Berry's Bookstore. The fame of Nashville as a book-loving book-loving book-loving town was wide Stewart said. Ralph Waldo Emerson is said to have written Thomas Carlyle that Nashville was second only to Boston in book sales in this country. 4 In the 1850s, there were five bookstores in Nashville, and only the Civil War put a stop to the continued influence of Berry's" Bookstore, which finally closed in 187641 years after it opened. SIXTEEN YEARS later, irt 1892, an 18-year-old 18-year-old 18-year-old 18-year-old 18-year-old lad named Reuben Mills opened his first bookstore on Fourth Avenue, N.; between Church and Union streets where drinking and gam bling were rampant. Mills stocked not only paperback paperback books and newspapers in (Turn to page 2-F) 2-F) 2-F) .