Meet the Mayor family

Our wonderful volunteer Becky Muska has been hard at work digitizing the images of the Pink Palace Collection.  She has discovered that a large number of the photographs were pulled from the same photo album, one that we now believe belonged to the Mayor family.  The photographs feature portraits and images from everyday life in Memphis in the very early part of the 20th century – a rare treat, since so many photographs remaining from that time period were staged by professional photographers.  Becky has been doing some digging and here is what she has discovered about this family:

Mencko Mayor was born in Mississippi in 1869 to M. Mayor of Germany and Theresa Levy of Alsace Lorraine.  He married Mamie Frank in Shelby Co. on February 11, 1896.  Mamie, born in 1870 in Tennessee, was the daughter of Henry Frank of Germany and Rosa Kalish of Poland.  Mencko was a cotton broker and co-owner of the Frank Godfrey Co. at 83 Union Ave., 2nd floor along with his brother-in-law Abraham Frank and Raphael Bernhold.

The Mayor’s son, Godfrey Frank was born in 1898.  In 1910, the Mayor family was living at 1556 Poplar Ave. at N. Willett in a grand two-story home on the north side of Poplar.  It was built on Lot 38, 200 ft. deep and 108 ft. wide, in the Henry Lake Subdivision.  Mencko’s mother-in-law Rosa Frank, a widow, lived with them as well as a sister-in-law, Amelia “Millie” Frank Marx.  Mamie’s older sister Millie was born in Napolean, AR in 1858 and married 40-year-old Max Marx in Shelby Co. in 1881 when she was 22 years old.  She was widowed that same year and never remarried.  In her final years, Millie resided at the Parkview Hotel near Overton Park and died of coronary thrombosis on April 19, 1936.  The 1910 Census lists three household servants living with the Mayors; Lizzie McNeill, Lizzie Rollins, and Lem Veland.

Mencko died at age 60 on August 30, 1929 at Baptist Hospital due to heart-related problems.  He was buried in Children of Israel Cemetery which is now Temple Israel Cemetery located between Calvary Cemetery and Forest Hill Cemetery in southwest Memphis.  Mamie survived him, but she died before 1935 when son Godfrey and his wife, Dorothy Hart sold the family home on Poplar which had been deeded to him upon his mother’s death.  The homes on Lots 38 and 39 were torn down and replaced with a brick office building which now houses the Memphis Leadership Foundation, Inc.

Click here to view the images from the Mencko Mayor family.



Filed under Collections, Dig Memphis, Photographs, Volunteers

5 responses to “Meet the Mayor family

  1. Pingback: The Sinking of the Shiloh | Memphis & Shelby County Room

  2. Theresa Mayor-Smith

    I am related to the Mayors of Memphis and I know that Mencho Mayor is related to me…maybe my great uncle? I think he is my grandfather’s brother. I remember my grandmother (Abigail Mills Mayor) mentioning him and we use to visit some relatives that lived in apartments on Popular. I do recall that the Mayors had a home on Popular. So happy to see the home!!! We lost contact when my father Albert Mayor Jr. (son of Albert Mayor Sr, Greenville Mississippi) passed away in 1971. There were three brothers I think Mencko, Albert, Sam, and a sister and I can’t recall her name who married a Hirsch and they lived in New Orleans. M. Mayor of Germany is Mier Mayor my Great Grand father and Theresa Levy is my great grandmother. I think I have all this straight. My aunt Theresa Mills Mayor born in Greenville MS, and I am her name sake Theresa Mayor- Smith. I’m calling Becky Muska tomorrow at the Pink Palace. Good job Becky and thank you for going through the Mayor photos. I am thrilled that someone has taken an interest in an old family from Memphis. Many of them were shutter bugs, my brother Alan Leslie Mayor (Nashville) has a ton of family photos from our side, as do I….and ironically Alan is a long time photo journalist.

    • Theresa,
      Thanks so much for sharing your information with us! Becky Muska is our fabulous volunteer here at the library who has been working on the Mayor family photos. Since she’s not at the Pink Palace, is it okay if we pass on your email address to her? I know she’d love to talk to you about this collection.

  3. Theresa,
    I am related to the Mills. In fact, your grandmother is my 3rd cousin. I’d love to exchange information with you. Thanks!

  4. Courtney Bressack

    Wonderful information! I too am related to the Mayor’s and am not certain of the exact connections. My great-grandmother was Louise Frank Lewis. I remember my family talking about Godfrey, Dorothy and Mamie.

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