An Irish Memphian

My latest post for the museum’s blog about our system’s most famous Irishman:

The Pink Palace

In the nineteenth century, many Irish citizens immigrated to Memphis. The poorest of these lived in an area of downtown known as the Pinch District. The name is credited to Mr. Craven Peyton, an early Memphian, who called the area “Pinch gut” after noticing the near emaciated look of the inhabitants. However, not all of Memphis’ Irish immigrants were the working poor.

Eugene Magevney

Eugene Magevney was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1828 before settling in Memphis in 1833. He opened a school for boys and eventually lived in a boarding house run by the McKeon family on Adams Avenue. In 1837, he purchased the white frame, six-room home for $2,500 (roughly $60,000 in 2015 dollars). Magevney continued buying real estate and purchased a pasture at the current intersection at Main and Union in 1839. As the city grew, he was able to sell the…

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