“Nanny’s Long Box”
This is a long, low, rectangular pine box that measures
44 inches wide, 18 inches wide, and 13 inches high. The box has a removable lid, not
hinged, that is made from a single pine board.
Nanny's Long Box
Nanny's Long box -- closeup photo
History of Nanny's Long Box
The following history of “Nanny’s Long Box” was related by
Annie Lee Richardson Schlatter (b. 1924, d. 2007) to her son, Joseph A. Schlatter, Jr., and her
daughter-in-law, Rose G. Schlatter, at her home in Knoxville, TN, on 26 February
Annie Lee Richardson Schlatter is the daughter of Annie Lee
Dudding who is the daughter of Maurice (AKA: Morris) Dudding and Nina Anna
Statia White Dudding (AKA: Nanny; Dolly Dudding; Miss Dolly).
This box was obtained by Maurice Dudding (AKA: Morris
Dudding) in approximately 1903-1904 from a general store in Norwood, LA, “The
Brick Store,” operated by Bridges and West Mercantile Company.
The box was used to ship ladies' shoes to the store hence the logo
on the box “Southern Made for Southern Maids.”
The house in which Maurice and Nanny and their children
lived near Norwood, LA, had limited closet space. Mr. Dudding brought the box
home, made a lid for it, and Nanny cleaned the box. She then used the box to
store clothing, material from which she made clothes, and other household and
Nanny had nine children, eight of whom lived: three boys,
followed by two girls, an infant who died at birth, then three more girls. She
made most of the girls’ dresses. She would purchase material from The Brick
Store and store it in the long box until she made the material into a dress. As
the girls wore the dresses, Nanny would iron their dresses and lay them
lengthwise in the long box. As the girls grew bigger, their dresses would no
longer fit into the box, so, Nanny used the box for other personal storage.
The long box remained at the foot of Nanny’s bed. It was
covered in fabric which she replaced every few years. As a result of replacing
the covering many times, the box has a lot of holes from the thumbtacks used to
hold the fabric in place.
Whenever young grandchildren and great-grandchildren would
ask Nanny what was in her box, she would reply “Layovers to catch meddlers.”
Nanny died in February 1957. The box stayed in the
Richardson home in Centreville, MS, until Nanny's daughter (my maternal
grandmother) Annie Lee Dudding Richardson moved
into a nursing home in 1982 at which time her daughter (my mother), Annie Lee Richardson
Schlatter took the box home with her to Knoxville, TN. The lid on the box was
almost unusable and at some unknown date – probably in the late 1980’s – Joseph
A. Schlatter, Sr., found a single piece of pine that Annie Lee Richardson
Schlatter made into the lid that is now on the box; she refinished the box at
the same time.
The Long Box today
My mother, Annie Lee Richardson Schlatter ("Babe"
Schlatter) died on 18 March 2007 and I inherited Nanny's Long Box.
As of March 2008 Nanny's Long Box is with us -- Rose and
Joe Schlatter -- waiting the construction of our new home near the Chesapeake Bay after which it will stay at the foot
of our bed.
The box has been referred to as “Nanny’s Long Box” since at
least the 1930’s.
Family History Page