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“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 2007. 

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 personal items.

 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. 

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