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Nashville in 1890
Most of the "socially prominent" younger people lived around within walking distance of the
Watkins, and it became a sort of rendezvous, a place where most every night could be found a
coterie of visitors and loungers discussing and planning business deals and social events.
One of the young men who maintained bachelor quarters here in the early 80s was Associate
Justice James Clark McReynolds of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. McReynolds was
attending Vanderbilt Law School and was graduated in the class of 1882.
Another roomer in the Watkins at this time, who rose to considerable prominence, was
Herman Justi. He came here in 1882 from the Belknap Hardware Co., of Louisville' and joined
forces with Buford Bros. & Hillman, a wholesale hardware company on Market Street.
Mr. Justi maintained a suite of two sumptuously furnished rooms on the corner. Justi was a
fine looking man of engaging personality, and there was rarely an evening that did not find a
group of friends and acquaintances lounging around in his apartments. He was breezy,
aggressive, and full of ideas, in fact a little too much so for some of the more conservative
businessmen of that time. They felt he was taking too much of a hand in things for a newcomer.
Across and up Church Street a little bit was the old DeMoville home, another popular
rendezvous for a lot of these eligible young bachelors on Sunday afternoons and evenings. In
due course, Mr. Justi married Miss Maggie DeMoville.
One of his earliest promotions was the Amusement Hall. It was on Broad Street just east of
Price's College for Young Ladies. It was of the same general type of brick and stone
architecture, a substantial one-story building with a heavy, squat-looking central tower in the
center and opening up into a sort of amphitheater or arena in the rear. It was used as a rollerskating rink and for all kinds of indoor shows and athletic exhibitions.
Mr. Justi's real monument to himself, however, left in Nashville, was the Nashville Trust
Company. He conceived the idea and did most of the organization work. It first opened for
business in the Vanderbilt Building, on Cherry Street, now the Chamber of Commerce Building.
It was capitalized at $250,000.
Most of the stock had been subscribed, but the going for the balance was a little slow. Justi
decided to tackle old man Charlie Nelson, who was in the wholesale liquor business on Market
He found him one morning over on the opposite side of the street, sitting in a chair on the
sidewalk, reading a newspaper. He carefully and judiciously laid the proposition before him
"How much stock you got that you ain't sold, Herman?" asked Mr. Nelson.
"$75,000 worth, " was Justi's reply.
7. Mr. Justi's father was a native of Marburg, Prussia, who immigrated to Louisville.

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Nashville in 1890
As a postscript to the foregoing account of the origins of Nashville Trust Company, it may be
noted that the incorporators, in addition to Justi and Nelson, were Dr. Walter M. Dake, Gates P.
Thruston, and Joseph Philips. They served as directors for some years to come.
General Thruston had been a Union soldier from Ohio who served in Nashville as judge
advocate of the Army of the Cumberland, married a Nashville girl, Ida Hamilton (daughter of
James McClung Hamilton, hardware merchant), as soon as he was mustered out, and remained
in Nashville.
Joseph Philips was a well-to-do farmer, whose sister, Mary, had married John Felix
Demoville. This Joseph Philips was the grandson of an earlier Joseph Philips and his wife,
who before marriage was Milberry Horn, later abbreviated to Milbrey. They came to Tennessee
from North Carolina in 1791 and have numerous descendants, including Milbrey Warner
Waller, the editor's wife.
The first officers of Nashville Trust Company were: Charles Nelson, president; Joseph Hamilton
Thompson, vice president; Herman Justi, general manager. The marriage of Miss Maggie
Demoville to Mr. Justi took place in April 1892, soon after Mr. Justi had resigned to become
president of First National Bank.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nelson had died, and Joseph Hamilton Thompson was elected president, with
H. Bruce Buckner as vice president. In 1899, another Demoville daughter, Willie (who had
been christened William Philips), became the second wife of Joseph Hamilton Thompson,
whose mother was Mary Hamilton, sister of Mrs. Thruston's father, James.
Thus it will be seen that Nashville Trust Company was quite a family affair. It conducted only a
trust business, and after the 1893 panic its advertisements stressed the fact that it did not take
Two other Demoville daughters, Mary and Annie, lived in Nashville to ripe old ages; neither
of them married.

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