ANN MEEKS

Streetscapes,

Mahannah

This street was named for Albert Ellsworth Mahannah, who built in North Memphis the largest hardwood sawmill in the United States in the early 1900s.

Mahannah, who was born in Cortland, Ohio, in 1864, came to Memphis in 1905 and started the Mahannah Lumber Co. near the intersection of Plum Avenue and the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1912, he sold his plant to the Kelsey Wheel Co. of Detroit, but he stayed on as manager and oversaw expansion.

The company made wheels and bodies for the major automobile manufacturers in what was deemed the best hardwood sawmill in the country. At full capacity, the plant required 4,000 men and could provide nearly a quarter-million feet of lumber a day if operated around the clock.

On a monthly basis the plant produced 50,000 automobile bodies and 80,000, sets of wheels, supplying all of the wheels for Cadillac, Studebaker, Hupp, Dodge, Maxwell, Paige and Hudson automobiles and a large part, of the Ford wheels.

Mahannah Avenue runs east off North Second Street and is the first street north of Pear.

Source: Commercial Appeal (July 11, 1991) Memphis, Tennessee (529-2211)