Who’s That Cat in the Hat?

Until fairly recently, a hat was considered a necessity whenever a man left the house. A gentleman’s wardrobe was likely to include several — fedoras, boaters, Panamas, Homburgs, Derbys, top hats, touring caps, western — and they were made of felt, straw, wool, and silk. In fact, my great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel Wild, was a manufacturer of silk hats for the gentlemen of Derbyshire, England, in the early 1800s.

Not only were men expected to wear hats, they were expected to know a complex set of rules — hatiquette, if you will — for donning and doffing. In this regard, women did have the easier job, wearing hats when, where and how they chose. For men, generally, the hat remained on when outdoors. It was when the hatted head went inside that things got complicated. In a public space like a retail store, train station, hotel lobby, or saloon, the hat usually remained on. But in a proper restaurant, the hat was to be removed before being seated. In an elevator, it could remain on unless there was a lady on board. In a theater it was removed so as not to block others’ view. In an office, both employees and visitors would remove their hats. When entering a home a hat was generally removed immediately upon entering. Most homes and establishments had designated hat racks or pegs. Hats were to be tipped (lifted slightly) when meeting a lady, but removed if conversation ensued. Tipping also was an appropriate accompaniment to the words (spoken or implied) thank you, excuse me, hello, goodbye, you’re welcome, and how do you do.

Shown below are some of the stylish gents in my family tree.

Jim leonard

Jim Leonard (husband of 4 cousin 2 rem)

alfred garr4

Alfred Garr (4 cousin 3 rem)

erma reed

John Reed (uncle)

clinton wilhite

Clinton Wilhite (6 cousin 1 rem)

jacob mollett

Jacob Mollett (husband of 3 cousin 3 rem)

james e wheeler

James E. Wheeler (husband of 3 cousin 3 rem)

joseph r ratliff

Joseph Ratliff (husband of 3 cousin 4 rem)

reaford shirley

Reaford Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

nettie burrell

Hamilton Shirley (3 cousin 3 rem)

henry biggs

Guy Henry Biggs (6 cousin 1 rem)

francis shelley

Francis Shelley (1 cousin 2 rem)

delmer shirley

Delmer Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

lewis rush3

Louis Rush (5 cousin 1 rem)

fred rush

Fred Rush (4 cousin 1 rem)

harley rush

Harley Rush (4 cousin 1 rem)

john & lucinda rush

John Rush (3 cousin 3 rem)

wm franklin jenkins

Wm Franklin Jenkins (5 cousin 2 rem)

ruth shirley

Charles Blizzard (husband of 4 cousin 3 rem)

roy shirley

Roy Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

lee shirley

Lee Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

samuel shirley

Sam Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

james w shirley

James Shirley (4 cousin 3 rem)

john lawrence shirley

John Shirley (3 cousin 4 rem)

john otter

John Otter (husband of 5 cousin 2 rem)

james evinger

James Evinger (3 cousin 3 rem)

wm kent mudd

Wm Kent Mudd (5 cousin 1 rem)

joseph f haydon

Joseph Haydon (3 cousin 3 rem)

james chowning

James Chowning (husband of 5 cousin 1 rem)

virgil lee carpenter

Virgil Carpenter (7 cousin)

Francis Russell

Chester Russell (7 cousin 2 rem)

joe wilcox

Joe Wilcox (husband of 6 cousin 1 rem)

joseph m brown

Joseph Brown (5 cousin 2 rem)

virgil cummings

Virgil Cummings (husband of 7 cousin)

ira aylor

Ira Aylor (6 cousin 1 rem)

cecil autry

Cecil Autry (7 cousin)

leo cozad

Leo Cozad (husband of 6 cousin)

clarence rouse

Clarence Rouse (5 cousin 2 rem)

eugene horace garr

Gene Garr (4 cousin 3 rem)

alvin garr

Alvin Garr (2 cousin 3 rem)

charles grubbs

Charles Grubbs (5 cousin 2 rem)

william daniel batten

Dan Batten (4 cousin 2 rem)

John Amos Batten

John Amos Batten (4 cousin 3 rem)

Fred DeWitt Wild

Fred Wild (great undle)

Wm Harrison Dotson

Wm Harrison Dotson (5 cousin 1 rem)


David Wild (brother)

arthur yager2

Arthur Yager (4 cousin 3 rem)

ray wild5

Ray Wild (grandfather)

michael coleman

Michael Coleman (great uncle)

One thought on “Who’s That Cat in the Hat?

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