Frank Avent

Frank Avent

Male 1858 - 1941  (83 years)

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  • Name Frank Avent 
    Born 7 Mar 1858  Murfreesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 Oct 1941  Nashville, TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1619  avefamily
    Last Modified 1 Feb 2008 

    Father James Monroe Avent,   b. ABT. 1816, Greensville Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1895  (Age ~ 79 years) 
    Mother Mary W. Childress,   b. 1 Jan 1834, Murfreesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Sep 1894, Murfreesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Married 24 Feb 1857  Murfreesboro,TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F482  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mayna Treanor,   b. 17 Sep 1868, Nashville, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1959, Sewanee, TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    +1. Mary Avent,   b. 26 Jul 1892, Nashville, TN Find all individuals with events at this location
    +2. James Monroe Avent, Sr.,   b. 1895, Murfreesboro, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1995, Sewanee, TN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years)
    Last Modified 1 Feb 2008 
    Family ID F483  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Headstones
    Avent, Frank (1858-1941) and wife Mayna Treanor (1868-1959).
    Avent, Frank (1858-1941) and wife Mayna Treanor (1868-1959).

  • Notes 
    • FRANK AVENT. As secretary and commissioner Mr. Avent has been identified with the work of the Tennessee State Railroad Commission for fourteen years, and probably there is not a man in the state better informed on the technical, legal
      and commercial details of Tennessee's transportation system than Frank Avent.

      In 1906 he was elected to fill an unexpired term of two years in the commission, and in 1908 was elected to the full term of six years, representing the middle division of Tennessee. In 1899 he began his service as secretary of the commission, which he continued until his election as one of the members. During these years the work of railroad commissions throughout the country have been vitalized into one of the most important services of the state government, and Mr. Avent has taken a creditable and useful-part in promoting the better relations between the public and the transportation companies, but probably more important still in laying the foundations and precedents upon which the work of succeeding commissions will long be based.

      Mr. Avent was born in Murfreesboro on the 7th of March, 1858, a son of James M. and Mary Williams (Childress) Avent. The father, who was a son of James Avent, a Virginian and a pioneer settler at Murfreesboro, was born near Petersburg, Virginia, and died at Murfreesboro in 1895, his active career being spent as a lawyer for more than fifty years. The mother was born at Murfreesboro and was a daughter of Maj. John W. Childress.

      Reared on a farm, Mr. Frank Avent began his education in private schools, after which he took a special course for two years in Vanderbilt University, and in 1880 was graduated in law from the Cumberland University at Lebanon. He was
      engaged in practice at Murfreesboro for six years, and has been a resident of Nashville since 1898. He was elected to the legislature in 1886, and in 1894 declined a second nomination. Mr. Avent is a Democrat, his fraternities are the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows, and he is a member of the Methodist church South. He was married in 1891 to Miss Mayna Treanor, of Nashville, and they have
      two children, Mary and James M.


      A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans : the leaders and representative men in
      commerce, industry and modern activities
      by Will T. Hale
      Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1913
      "The following artists are listed in Who's Who in American Art for Tennessee in 1937: Mayna Treanor Avent.."

      The log cabin she used as a studio has been preserved by the State of TN and is open to the public. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

      "The Log Cabin" was built before 1845 by Humphrey Owenby on Cherry Branch (Creek.) It is little changed and is well-preserved today: some of its furniture was built in it when the cabin was originally constructed. Steve Owenby married Sam Cook's daughter and Sam gave them 50 acres above the present Elkmont (see map.) Portions of Sam Cook's cabin still exist (#56.) Albert and Ivah Owenby and others were born there; James M. Avent was born there in 1895.

      Mayna Treanor Avent, an important southern artist, lived and painted there from 1919 for over 20 years;

      Avent Cabin
      Built:1845 or earlier

      Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN, one mile south of Elkmont and west of Jake's Creek Trail

      Located on a quiet mountainside above a mountain stream, Avent Cabin is isolated from all but the most careful hiker and known to only a few, this wonderful example of early Appalachian mountain cabin building is truly a treasure for the ages. It is unique and unusual, yet it is at once a place where one can feel completely comfortable and safe.

      Mayna Treanor Avent (1865 - 1959), the nationally known Tennessee artist whose work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery, used Avent Cabin as her summer studio retreat in the early 20th century. She is one of Tennessee’s most esteemed artists.

      The following history of ownership of Avent Cabin was provided by Julie Brown:

      The cabin was built in 1845 or earlier by Humphrey Ownby. As a wedding present, Sam Cook (who lived nearby) bought the cabin for his daughter, Eva, when she married Steve Ownby. Sam paid $500 for the cabin and 50 acres. In 1918 Frank and Mayna Avent bought the cabin and 18.5 acres for $200. Mayna Treanor Avent (1868 – 1959) began using the cabin as an art studio in 1919 and continued to do so for over 20 years."

      In 1926, Frank and Mayna Avent gave the cabin to their son Jim Avent (who was on the original board of the Appalachian Club). In an effort to improve the cabin for his mother’s use, Jim made several alterations to the building. Windows were cut to see the apple orchard. There was no electricity, although they had permission.

      Ownership of the cabin and its 18.5 acres was transferred to the National Park Service in 1932. A lifetime lease was given to James Avent and his wife Jeannette. He subsequently transferred the lease to his children, Jacqueline and James Avent, Jr.

      In 1993 the National Park Service approved the request of the Tennessee Historical Commission that the Avent Cabin be placed in the National Register of Historic Places for two reasons. It was the summer studio of a noted regional artist, and also because it is a rare surviving mid-nineteenth century log structure representative of the pioneering architecture once prevalent in this mountain region. The Avent Cabin was owned by the family from 1916 to 1932 and leased from 1932 to 1992.

      Avent Cabin is more than just a log structure in a mountainside clearing. It is the surviving and tangible evidence of the deep appreciation for the forest, the stream, the solitude and solace found in quiet places and unique settings. Today it has even more value for its history and the need to preserve our past. An excellent artifact of our past, it is also a present element of our heritage. The door is unlocked (a single stone propped up against the door bottom keeps it shut). The one room is open and refreshing with large windows on two sides, a door on the back wall and a fireplace on the remaining wall. The kitchen built on in the mid 20th century is small but adequate and holds a book of laminated pages containing the history of Avent Cabin.