Morgan Blair

Morgan Blair Chest of Drawers
Morgan Blair Chest of Drawers

Morgan Blair a Family Tale

This family tales is told by Hugh Barnes and it accounts how a flawed piece of furniture allowed him to acquire a prized family heirloom.

Morgan Blair is my great-great-grandfather.
* Hugh Barnes
* Selma Oxford Barnes
* Hugh Blair Oxford
* Sarah Jane Blair (Oxford)
* Morgan Blair

Morgan Blair is my 2nd great grandfather. His daughter Sarah Jane was the second wife of my great-grandfather Elisha “Lish” Chambers Oxford. Morgan was born on September 25, 1812, in Burke County, North Carolina. Caldwell County was formed in 1841 from Burke. He died at the home of his son-in-law in Alexander County on December 14, 1886, in Alexander County, North Carolina.  Morgan’s son Hartwell Spain was a reporter for the Lenoir Topic newspaper and reported of his father death. Blair is buried in the Cedar Valley United Methodist Church Cemetery. Morgan married Elizabeth McLeod Blair ( May 26, 1817 – September 29, 1877).  A Methodist, The Lenoir Topic reported that he gave a small contribution to Davenport College a Methodist institution.  An early Census lists his occupation as farmer and mechanic.

Morgan Blair built a chest of drawers from solid cherry. It is made with pegs, not nails. It is joined with mortise and tenons. The keyholes are made of maple. The top keyhole has a slight imperfection. I do not know, who the chest was built for, but they refused it and demanded that another one be built. The chest was given to Morgan’s daughter Sara Jane Blair Oxford. The chest fell into the hands of my grandfather Hugh Blair Oxford (Pap-paw), son of Sarah Jane. She lived along with her son in her late husband’s home on what is now known as the Dover Church Road on Duck in Alexander County, North Carolina. Built in the late 1880’s the home is still standing and has been restored.  Like all country furniture in the early to mid 20th century, it received a fresh coat of shellac each year. The result was a piece of black furniture made of an unknown wood. Selma’s (Hugh’s daughter’s) husband, Glenn worked in the furniture factories of Lenoir as a repairman. He took damaged furniture that could not be sold, off the assembly line and made it look new. Glenn saw a gem in the old eyesore and persuaded Pap-paw to give it to him. He returned it to its original state, and it remains in the family.

Another piece of furniture, a massive, seven-foot-tall walnut corner cupboard also reflect the same style of Primitive American furniture. An online article, in “Collector Weekly”, states that Primitive American furniture was made between the 1700’s through the early 1800’s. Morgan Blair post dates this period.

Click to view his tombstone which will soon be cleaned by the Foundation

American Primitive Furniture Discussion